Nonprofit CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) is Next Generation Fundraising Software
Nonprofit organizations need a forward looking strategy that places donors and other constituents in the center of their operational processes, as well as in a single database surrounded by a set of core software capabilities. Today’s software application category most uniquely suited for such processes and capabilities is “CRM” or Customer Relationship Management.
Although “C” has traditionally represented the Customer in commercial organizations, the definition and use is expanding to include other “Cs” such as “Constituents” for nonprofits and “Citizens” for government or NGO organizations. In fact, recent improvements in some CRM platforms have lead observers to name the category, xRM, where x signifies the potential fit across numerous vertical industry segments that require these capabilities.
How Does CRM Software Empower Nonprofits?
Sending the right message to the right person at the right time every time is at the heart of successful fundraising. To accomplish this, fundraising organizations need to know each donor in a personal manner. What are his or her interests and special cause concepts? How does he wish to be contacted? How frequently does she donate, and what is her preferred method of payment?
A nonprofit constituent relationship management (CRM) system records donor interaction history, capturing the implicit and explicit interests of donors. Because a nonprofit CRM system provides much more information about the donor than just giving history, it gives an organization the resources it needs to reach each potential donor in very specific ways. Fundraisers and direct marketers can select the audience that is most interested in the cause of their organization, and therefore most likely to respond to targeted appeals.
Organizations that use nonprofit CRM software can track donations by source code as well as by designation, even if the donor changes the designation from what was requested in the appeal. The CRM system also can integrate with the organization’s accounting system to avoid duplicate data entry and provide one common answer from both fundraising and accounting to the age-old question, “How much money did we raise for the program?” With the addition of an analytical or business intelligence module, a nonprofit CRM system can become even more powerful by enabling users to spot patterns, understand donor behavior, and predict future trends to increase donations.
Nonprofit CRM Software Makes Closed-Loop Fundraising Possible
An effective CRM system provides the tools to answer questions about how much money was raised and how that money was utilized by the organization. Such a system allows an organization to close the loop on its marketing – from the beginning of a campaign to the final reporting of how much was raised and by whom, as well as which programs were funded by the gifts.