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How to Use a CRM System To Benefit Your Nonprofit

Unfortunately, most nonprofits are still reluctant to use CRM software. Common barriers that prevent nonprofits from effectively using CRM include outdated management procedures, inexperienced staff, and failure to see the advantages of using such software. However, nonprofits can overcome these barriers by providing their workers with CRM knowledge.

So in order to help you and your nonprofit organization understand the benefits of CRM, we have created a short guide on the topic that explains all the essential details. Read on, and learn why CRM came to dominate the commercial sector.



Centralize Data

The greatest benefit CRM offers to nonprofits is aggregating data into a single, easily accessible repository. Nonprofits interact with variety of different actors, including government representatives, donors, members, and the general public. Moreover, these interactions are often carried out via different channels, and keeping track of them all can quickly get out of hand. The purpose of CRM software is to take these various inputs and file them into a single database. Nonprofit stakeholders can then access this data in a convenient manner, and sort it according to their needs.


Segment Donors

Nonprofits work with donors of all shapes and sizes, from private individuals to companies, to foreign investors, to government agencies. Since each category of donors has their own preferred way of donating, it is useful for a nonprofit to have the ability to segment them into groups. This will greatly streamline the donation process, allowing nonprofits to automate their basic workflows. CRM software even allows you to take things a step further, and organize donors according to demographic data such as age, sex, location, socio-economic status, or other customs categories.



Communicate Efficiently

Just as businesses need to communicate with customers to maintain a meaningful relationship, so do nonprofits with their members and donors. However, each donor will favor one communication channel over others, whether it be email, telephone, regular mail, etc. This can create a lot of additional work for nonprofits because they can’t afford to give advantage to a single channel and still maintain a high level of donations. Even free CRM tools can solve this problem out of the box by providing quick links to every channel conceivable from a unified dashboard. Nonprofit workers can seamlessly transition from talking to someone over chat to writing out emails, and making phone calls.


Provide a Personalized Experience

Talking with donors over their preferred communication channel is essential for gathering donations. But it is equally important to adjust your approach in terms of content to suit the needs, wants, and desires of each donor. Sending the same generic ‘thank you’ message to everyone will make some donors question your sincerity and dedication, and they will probably look for other nonprofits to work with. To solution is to create personalized content for each donor and member segment, which can be a time-consuming task, unless you use CRM. CRM software gives you access to all relevant donor information in one spot, which makes it significantly easier to customize content to suit every individual preference.


Manage Donation Campaigns

Maintaining existing donors over longer periods can be challenging, but it pales in comparison in difficulty with gathering new ones. Most prospective donors have to undergo a lengthy nurturing process in order to be convinced to part with their money. Nurturing is usually done via campaigns that involve sending out emails, posting content on social media, and organizing events. And failure to do these things properly can cut life short for nonprofits and businesses alike. CRM offers a way out of this problem with automatic email outreach, social media posting, and event creation features.


Produce Accurate Reports

The final piece of the nonprofit puzzle is keeping track of donation runs, and creating reports on their success and failure. It is a process that is prone to errors, errors that you can’t afford to make when dealing with government and industry agencies. Some CRM applications have a built-in reporting feature that can help you generate timely, accurate reports without breaking a sweat. Not only that, but CRM allows you to enhance your reports with a variety of data such as email open rates, average call duration, time spent per donor, and other useful information.


Further information

Nonprofits rely on long-term relationships with donors to be relevant as organizations. And with the right CRM tools, a nonprofit can easily forge strong bonds with members and donors thanks to streamlined communication, personalized content, and information-rich reporting. A CRM will help you eliminate common bottlenecks in your workflows, ensuring the successful fulfillment of your goals and obligations.


Page last edited Aug 26, 2019 History

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