thankQ Resources

How to Sell Your CRM to Your Nonprofit’s Executive Team

A CRM is one of the most important purchases an organization makes. As a fundraiser, the benefits are clear, but according to industry analysts, at least one third of CRM projects fail, which means there’s more than a little risk attached. Your Executive Team is wise to question this investment, and you need to have the answers.

Know why you want it:

Following the crowd isn’t enough. Consider your organizational functions. Map data processes and identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and gaps. Can you give examples of when your current system has cost money or time? This is the foundation of your argument – write a definitive list of ‘needs’ and prioritize them.

Involve people: 

No man is an island. Involving people at this early stage will help secure buy-in later on, and we’re not just talking investment. Employee pushback is a big reason CRM projects fail, so you need to get users, not just investors, on board.

Do your homework:

Stay strong. Don’t be seduced by a Sales CRM because it’s free. There are plenty of solutions out there, so make sure you choose one that fits. Look back at your list of needs. Is this the right database for you? If you’re not sure, ask questions. Make a shortlist and schedule demos. Putting the hours in at this stage will make life easier in the long-run. 

Think resources:

74% of CRM projects take 1-2 years to complete, so you need to think about project management. Be realistic. If you need extra resource, plan for it. You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen, but a small working team with a vested interested in success will help keep the project on-track. 

Cost it out:

You know what you want and what you need – so set a budget. Don’t skimp. Cost-out success, and add contingency. Almost 30% of CRM projects overspend. Don’t be one of them. 

Back-up the benefits:

Let’s face it, the point of a CRM is to help you develop relationships with your donors and ultimately raise money. Now’s the time to make it count. List the benefits of your new CRM, and assign value. Think about direct income – online giving, donor re-activation, matching gifts. But don’t forget about those indirect benefits. How much time will you save? What is it worth? If you can’t count it, bullet- it. Make sure the benefit is clear for all to see. 

Present your case:

It might have taken a while, but you’re there. In the end, pitching for a CRM is all about managing risk. Show your process. Work through the ‘why’, the ‘what’ and the ‘how’. Back your case up with solid costs, a realistic timeframe, and a clear cost-benefit analysis. Be concise. You’ve done the ground-work. You have everything you need to make that sale.

Want to see how thankQ CRM can help you strengthen your donor relationships with its powerful, yet easy-to-use donor management tools? Contact us to set up your personalized demo.