Today's CRM systems are much more than the original "Customer Relationship Management," systems that tracked customer names and addresses, and little else. Today's CRM systems are complex platforms that track every aspect of a company's client relationships and activity. Nonprofit CRM systems, also known as "Constituent Relationship Management" systems, similarly can track almost any piece of information about all of your supporters.
Wendy Levine, on February 11, 2020
We sat down recently with Joyce LeBombard, the President of the League of Women Voters Austin Area, to talk about the process her organization went through to select a software system. Joyce and the League of Women Voters Austin Area (LWV-AA), the largest League of Women Voters chapter in Texas, have agreed to let us follow them through their implementation and share their story with other organizations who might be going through the same process. We started by discussing how they made their system selection in the first place.
"Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Melissa White, on December 15, 2019
As summer fades into fall and we start donning scarves and warmer jackets, no doubt your staff is abuzz with putting the final touches on fall fundraising events and programs, and preparing for your final end-of-year fundraising push.
Melissa White, on November 25, 2019
In nonprofit organizations, communication is key to ensuring your fundraising goals are met, and that your events go off without a hitch.
As an Executive Director, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page, that roadblocks or challenges are identified as soon as possible, and that last-minute surprises are kept to a minimum.
While you may hold regular staff meetings to collect status updates and keep everyone on the same page, don’t underestimate the power of one-on-one team member meetings to keep your initiatives and organization running smoothly.
Melissa White, on October 30, 2019
Like many nonprofits, there’s a lot of effort that goes into the mission of the organization. You and your team spend months planning and organizing events, and coming up with creative ways to cultivate and retain donors. Not to mention working on your corporate gift programs, grant writing, and building relationships with community partners. Nonprofit work can be fulfilling, yet tiresome, sacrificial and emotionally draining.
Wendy Levine, on October 3, 2019
Managing a software selection project
Whether your nonprofit is looking for a new CRM system, an event tool, or a complete digital marketing and donor management platform - an organized software selection project will ensure that you find the right solution for your organization.
A good selection project consists of the following:
1. Project team and executive sponsor
Selecting a new software system can be a huge decision. Take the time to consider what and who will be impacted by the change, and then put together a team that has the time and knowledge to assist with the selection process. Depending on the size of the project and the size of your organization, a project team may range anywhere from 2 members to 10.
When putting your project team together, consider the following:
- Who will be directly affected by the new system?
- Who will have the most valuable input? Don’t overlook lower-level employees who have been with the organization for a long time and may have a very different perspective from leadership.
- Who are the biggest users of the current system? Whether software or a manual system is being replaced - you will need to make sure that you aren’t losing needed functionality.
- Who will be the biggest consumers of information coming out of this system? Your ED will need operational reports, the board will want high-level intelligence, and others will need specific information to do their jobs effectively.
Alex Jeter, on July 12, 2019
Every nonprofit needs a marketing plan. It's never been an optional strategy. No matter how consistent the need for a nonprofit marketing plan, the methods of implementing successful plans have changed dramatically over the years.
Alex Jeter, on July 8, 2019
Grassroots nonprofit marketing campaigns are a valuable opportunity for nonprofits to raise awareness of the mission that sparked the commencement of the organization itself. These campaigns provide an opportunity to share your passion!
Vanessa Chase Lockshin, on May 21, 2019
If your organization is like most, your donor retention numbers might be less than stellar. In fact, according to the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Study only 37% of donors who made a gift online in 2017 donated online again to that nonprofit in 2018. This was a 3% decrease from the previous year. It’s worth considering how much fundraising revenue your organization may be losing because of low donor retention. For some it’s thousands of dollars.
Alex Jeter, on April 29, 2019
By incorporating some nonprofit marketing best practices into your day-to-day strategies, your organization can increase your visibility to the community, communicate your mission, and share opportunities to get involved.