Non-profit organizations live in a category by themselves. If nothing else, the name gives it away, but that doesn’t mean your non-profit doesn’t share characteristics with its for-profit counterpart. There are plenty of business processes and strategies commonly employed by for-profits that you should look to mirror in your organization. One of those strategies is the use of a CRM. CRMs are as common in sales teams as cold days are in Siberia, and there’s likely some use cases that would apply to your organization.
Let’s take a look at how a CRM can help you manage and grow your non-profit.
Whether it’s with your donors, volunteers, or just a broader audience that you want to stay in touch with, effective communication is just as important as it is difficult. With a growing list of contacts, it feels near impossible to make sure each one of them is receiving the right amount of personalized attention, and while it’s no easy task, making sure this happens is crucial to the health of your organization.
Customer relationship management tools (or constituent relationship management in the non-profit world) are systems that enable you to store a master database of all of your contacts and track all of your interactions with them.
Many CRMs allow you to segment your contacts by any number of factors. This is a valuable function as your donor pool is going to be different from your volunteer pool, and both of those promise to be different from the communities your organization wish to benefit. When you segment your contacts, it becomes much easier to control who sees what.
Learn about tagging to create endless segments of contacts
Emulate a Sales Team
Try as you might, you won’t find a sales team without a CRM and for good reason too. Sales teams don’t just use CRMs to manage contacts, but perhaps more importantly, they track contacts through the sales pipeline. With the visibility into the sales pipeline provided by the CRM, teams can see which prospects are on track to become customers, which could use a little extra push, and which are in danger of being lost forever. Using this info, salespeople strategize how to close those that are inching toward the finish line and win back sales that were just hanging on by a thread.
It may not be a one-for-one comparison, but you can use pipeline tracking for your donors and volunteers the same way a sales team does its customers.
As an example, let’s say you have a landing page with a form on it to be filled out by anybody that visits your website. In addition to basic contact information, you might ask a question on the form that would specify the intent of that visitor. If they select donor, filter them through to the donor pipeline, and you’ll already have a plan in place for how to convert them from a prospective donor to the real deal.
The same principles apply to volunteers, but rather than donating their money, you can think of it as donating their time.
Automate your CRM
Between website visits, emails, phone calls, and text messages, tracking all your interactions with your audience threatens to leave your head spinning. The prospect of trying to track all of these in a system may seem like more trouble than it’s worth, and if you had to do it manually, it probably would be.
That’s where automation comes in. ActiveCampaign’s automation capabilities enable you to automatically move contacts through your pipelines. For example, if somebody on your email list doesn’t open any emails for two months, you can configure an automation so that the contact is moved to “at risk” in your pipeline, and you’ll be notified that you need to take steps to reengage the contact. All you need to do is take care of the actual communication. In fact, you can even automate that as well with a personalized email. This functionality saves you loads of time without sacrificing quality of service and communication.
Try ActiveCampaign for free to see how it can help grow your non-profit
Evaluate the Health of Your Non-Profit
When you have all of your contact data in one place, it becomes exponentially easier for you to analyze the success of your initiatives. You can use your CRM to track every single interaction between your organization and a prospect or constituent.
Find out which of your strategies are working and which aren’t, then dump the not-so-successful ones. Optimize your communications so that you’re only sending out ones that garner the desired response.
CRM as a Swiss Army Knife
On the surface, CRMs may appear to be robust versions of simple contact management tools, but they are so much more. When you properly implement a CRM, you unearth an endless mine of business processes and functions that help your non-profit grow. You can effectively turn your CRM into a hub for all donor- and constituent-related activity providing your team with all the information they need to execute your initiatives and raise your organization to the next level.