The popularity of CRM has exploded these past few years and it certainly shows. It’s hard to go a day without reading something in the news about some new CRM system or update, and with more CRM options than ever, it’s easy for businesses to find the perfect CRM custom-tailored for their needs. Unfortunately, while more and more businesses are getting plugged into CRM, CRM for nonprofits is treated as more of an afterthought. Many nonprofits don’t even consider CRM as an option, and likewise, some CRM systems don’t provide the options and tools that nonprofits would find useful.
According to destinationCRM, this needs to change. “Nonprofits deserve a whole new breed of technology with the kind of leading-edge features available in business-centric CRM tools,” Gabe Cooper said in an article about the topic. “The type of holistic relationship management required for philanthropy engages donors at the very core of their beliefs and identity—and then builds a highly personal relationship that often stretches over years. CRM traditionally stands for ‘customer relationship management,’ but donors aren’t customers. They’re co-conspirators in solving the world’s toughest problems. And the work of charities would not be possible without their help.”
CRM is such a great, comprehensive tool that could provide incredible value for nonprofits with just a few innovations. Cooper suggests improving generosity-specific predictive data analytics, giver-managed relationships, adding open APIs and integrations, increasing efficiency and decreasing overhead and perhaps most importantly, removing the “sales” paradigm and building up the advocacy and engagement aspects of long-term relationships. They’re simple, but effective changes that would provide even more value for nonprofits.
Of course, some CRM systems, like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, recognize that nonprofits do have different needs and have already begun innovating CRM for nonprofits accordingly. With its “NGO Accelerator” tool, donations, relationships and members are all accommodated for and nonprofits can even manage events, activities and fundraising.
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