As a nonprofit professional, you know the incalculable value of having a strong nonprofit CRM in your corner. Not only do nonprofit CRMs help manage and organize the vast amounts of donor information your organization collects, but they also help streamline and automate a lot of tasks that can take up your staff’s time.
There are dozens of different nonprofit CRM software solutions out there, meaning that there are an infinite number of features to help you grow and manage your organization. But are you using them to their full advantage?
In this article, we’ll guide you through four ways to make the most of your nonprofit CRM:
- Take your fundraising efforts to new heights.
- Use your nonprofit CRM’s reports to their full advantage.
- Understand the power of integrations.
- Easily disseminate information and free of up staff time.
Let’s jump right into the best practices!
Gathering requirements for your nonprofit CRM selection project? Use a CRM Software Requirements Template
It’s no question that donations are the lifeblood of any nonprofit. As such, a key component of nonprofit CRM software is to support fundraising efforts. Instead of managing separate tools to accept online donations, utilize your nonprofit CRM to consolidate your tools.
As each software provider offers different fundraising features, DonorSearch has created a helpful guide on how to choose the right nonprofit CRM to help you compare features.
Most CRMs have the functionality to create donation pages that can be customized to your nonprofit’s preference.
Best of all, since these donation pages are part of your CRM, donor information is immediately stored in your database so you never have to worry about transferring data to another platform.
Nonprofit CRMs also augment data by providing nonprofits with the ability to:
- Automate donor acknowledgements.
- Track donation amounts and giving methods.
- Plan and manage fundraising events.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a CRM benefits your organization’s fundraising by pulling together information to create detailed donor profiles.
With information on all of your constituents—donors, event attendees, volunteers, staff, and board members—in one location, you can view a more complete picture of your supporters.
As a result, you’ll be able to develop a more targeted marketing and outreach campaign to get (and keep!) supporters involved in your fundraising efforts.
You’re probably familiar with the reporting dashboard on you CRM, but have you really examined the insights it provides?
CRMs generate a whole host of useful information that can help you better develop strategic plans. Some examples of the information CRMs can collect, compile, and tailor to your nonprofit include:
- Donor behavior, history, and demographics.
- The effectiveness of events and fundraisers.
- Email open rates.
By carefully studying these reports, you’ll be able to pinpoint your nonprofit’s strengths and weaknesses.
Insights into your nonprofit’s budget and financial transactions also make it much easier to be transparent about budgeting and management to your board of directors and key stakeholders. That way, you can build trust with the major financial backers of your organization.
Additionally, because all reports are centralized and tracked in real time, it becomes a cinch to report on your activities to the government or IRS. Simply harness your nonprofit CRM to compile the relevant data and you’re halfway there!
One of the major advantages of nonprofit CRMs is their powerful and multifaceted functionality. However, sometimes even the most powerful CRM doesn’t cover everything your nonprofit needs.
With that said, most CRM providers understand this and make it easy to collaborate with other platforms.
There are a variety of common applications that can easily be integrated with many CRMs. For example, Salsa’s nonprofit CRM integrates with Double the Donation’s matching gift tool to offer nonprofits a simple way to promote corporate giving programs right in the donation form.
Other examples of third-party integrations include:
- Email marketing software, such as MailChimp.
- Sales and customer relations, such as Salesforce.
- In-person and event fundraising devices, such as DipJar.
- Accounting and budgeting software, such as Quickbooks.
Integration with outside applications allows you to extract even more usability from your CRM. Plus, you’ll be able to manage every aspect of your nonprofit from a single platform instead of constantly having to switch back and forth from different tools.
You’re more than likely already using your CRM to automate a lot of tasks, such as inputting and consolidating donor information that used to bog your staff down. That’s great!
But CRMs have a plethora of capabilities to do even more to help you focus your attention on what matters most: developing relationships with supporters and fundraising.
Boost your CRM’s efficiency by:
- Syncing all of your staffs’ calendars to see upcoming engagements and priorities.
- Centralizing valuable task-specific information in one easily-accessed place.
- Segmenting your email list so that you can automate communications among your teams.
- Sharing updates to your staff and board using your CRMs communications capabilities.
With everyone always on the same page, you don’t have to take time away from valuable donor interactions to hold meetings to provide updates.
In addition to internal communications, CRMs can help you set up automated emails and social sharing so that you’re able to interact with supporters online.
This not only helps to spread the word and keep your constituency engaged, but also significantly increase the amount of money you raise. Your CRM can help manage all of your digital outlets so that you don’t miss a beat.