Every nonprofit organization will face a time in its lifecycle when it simply outgrows its database system. Excel might have been fine in the first year to record donations but as your organization grows, this will simply not be effective or even secure. So, how do you know when the time is right to invest in a fundraising CRM system that’s a better fit? Ask yourself the following questions:
Is our CRM restricting our growth?
If your current system is slow, dated, and struggling to meet the demand from its users, then it’s restricting your opportunity to grow. If it doesn’t work perfectly in a web browser or on a mobile device to allow your members, supporters, or alumni access to update their information, then you risk not being able to communicate with them, and ultimately, could lose their support.
Is our CRM easy to use?
If the answer is no, evaluate whether you need a new CRM that is appropriate for your needs. Clunky, complicated systems will slow down your efficiency and limit your growth. Look for a fundraising CRM that is simple to use, is intuitive, looks good visually, but also, and more importantly, makes searching, email integration, and reporting easy, particularly for non-technical staff.
Is our CRM functional?
Are you currently able to search, segment, and target your audience easily whether it is by engagements, location, donation history, or member behavior? Does your CRM integrate with Twitter or LinkedIn to identify influencers and let you engage with your supporters? If not, you are missing out on valuable opportunities to connect and engage with your audience in a targeted, meaningful way.
Do we have control of your data?
It’s important to have control of where your data is held, so does your current CRM let you choose your hosting provider? Does it allow you the option to host it yourself or even where your data is located? If you’re looking for a new CRM, it’s important to consider what options are important to your organization and not what the software vendor thinks is right for you.
Is our CRM integrated?
If your fundraising, operational, membership, and finance teams all use separate systems, that not only adds complexity, but is costly and time consuming. Look for a fundraising CRM that could offer integrated financials to make your processes and teams joined up, saving both time and money.
Are there hidden costs?
Decided that you would like to start using a specific functionality only to find that you have to pay extra for it? Ensure that you understand exactly what you are getting for your money, upfront. Hidden costs could include paying for hosting, additional capacity, or the ability to integrate with social media platforms, email services, or finance systems. If these are important to you, make sure you ask whether they are included in the price that you are quoted.
If you are unsure if your current fundraising CRM is still a good fit, don’t hesitate to contact the thankQ CRM team for expert advice and guidance.