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6 Ways Charities are Crushing It with CRM

CRM for charities

26th August 2014 

Managing a charity is very challenging. You need to keep on top of finance, human resources, marketing and technology, while finding time to advance the goals of the organisation.

In a non-profit context, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is often called Constituent Relationship Management, your constituents being your volunteers, donors and beneficiaries, along with other stakeholders.

A CRM system is an integrated tool that streamlines the management of all elements of an organisation.

How can a CRM system help?

Here are some brilliant ways that charities are using CRM:

1. Motivate and Manage Your Volunteers

Managing human resources is challenging in any organization and when they are unpaid, motivating them and using their time effectively becomes even more important.

A good CRM system will allow your charity to:

  • Keep track of duties assigned to individuals and groups
  • Associate volunteers with groups, projects and beneficiaries
  • Acknowledge volunteer efforts via personalised email and website news features
  • Keep volunteers informed via newsletters and SMS texts
  • Quickly mobilise volunteers using SMS text broadcasts
  • Maximise the contribution of your volunteers by using their time more efficiently 

2. Identify Your Best Fundraising Activities

The famous observation "I know half my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half" should no longer be the case.

A good CRM system will track the impact of even offline promotional activities and events, allowing you to repeat what works and amend activities that do not contribute to your objectives.

To identify what fundraising activities are working for your organization:

  • Track the sources of traffic to your website that result in donations
  • Compare promotional activities to key performance indicators such as website visits, newsletter signups, volunteer queries and donations
  • Use unique website landing pages for different offline promotions and track performance
  • Measure and analyze donation patterns compared with promotional activities
  • Track effectiveness of mass communications (e-newsletter opens and clicks, constituent website activity, etc)

3. Communicate with Stakeholders

Charities typically need to foster good relationships with a large number of stakeholders, such as beneficiaries, volunteers, donors, local community representatives, government agencies, service providers and others. Consistent, streamlined communication is particularly important when committee members change or new board members are appointed.

Although CRM systems today do lots of fancy things, this kind of relationship management is what they do best.

Your CRM system should allow you to:

  • Organise and segment your stakeholders by type, interests, engagement, contributions and myriad other factors
  • Schedule personalised communications to each segment based on this kind of criteria
  • Keep stakeholders engaged with information relevant to their interests and involvement
  • Create and track performance of website content to advance organizational goals
  • Give stakeholders access to live data through a cloud based system

4. Manage and Report Donations

For transparency and stakeholder reporting, charities need to have robust financial management systems in place. A CRM system takes this to the next level by providing forecasting, donation reconciliation and integration with stakeholder profiles and activity.

To optimise your donation management and reporting:

  • Forecast projected donation patterns to identify best times for promotional activities
  • Automate timely, friendly and personalised reminders to donors at appropriate times
  • Measure the effectiveness of individual fundraising drives with segmented reports
  • Provide accurate financial data to stakeholders at any time
  • Ease bank reconciliation to quickly identify issues with standing orders etc.

5. Turbo Boost Your Advocacy

Imagine there is an unexpected spike in demand for your services or your interest area is due to be covered on national television.

With a good CRM system you can blast out timely messages by email or text message to specific groups of supporters to mobilize them to action.

The ability to quickly and easily publish and disseminate your story can be critical to successful advocacy.

6. Streamline Event Management

Events are critically important to fundraising and service provision for a charity, so you need to get it right and maximise the opportunity each event presents.

Some sure-fire ways that a CRM system can optimize event management:

  • Process payments and ticketing efficiently, retaining individual purchase history
  • Manage 'member only' or priority event access to reward and incentivise supporters
  • Project attendance figures and compare event performance
  • Cross-reference attendance with promotional activities on social media to identify what has worked

The right CRM system can significantly reduce administration time, improve communication and ensure you focus your efforts where they are getting results for your charity. 

For more ideas on how CRM can get results for your charity, contact WandSoft.com, an affordable web-based CRM system that can do all of the above and more.