Choosing to use CRM is arguably one of the most important decisions that nonprofits can make. CRM has such a positive impact on how nonprofits function, from affecting the day-to-day tasks of team members and volunteers to spurring growth, that deciding not to use CRM could very well leave a nonprofit in the dust. So why don’t more nonprofits use CRM and instead rely on clunky spreadsheets and email systems? The reality is that many CRM systems can be expensive despite the long-term savings they can bring. With the already tight budget nonprofits have to work within, finding the extra cash for CRM may be difficult.
What’s the solution? The simplest is to choose a CRM that falls within your organization’s budget. Some systems, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, even offer some pretty big discounts to nonprofit organizations that qualify. If your nonprofit is located in the United States and holds a 501(c)(3) status, it probably qualifies for a discount, but check the official qualifications to be sure.
If your nonprofit organization is still struggling even after qualifying for a discount, you may want to consider reorganizing your budget. npENGAGE has a ton of tips for fundraising and budgeting on its website, including some pointers specifically for budgeting for CRM. Among its recommendations are to strategically plan out your CRM goals before you even get started. Decide if you want to do a complete system overhaul, work your way up with small changes or a pilot program.
Only once you have a good idea about your goals and your organization’s budgeting process, should you begin to deal with planning out how to make your case for CRM and defining ROI metrics.
Do you have questions about CRM for nonprofits, budgeting for CRM or anything else? Please feel free to give us a call at 816-781-3006 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.