Why CRM software isn’t just for larger charities

Here at m-hance, we often find that smaller charities make the assumption that Volunteer or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is only for larger charitable organisations. Perceived costs as well as the size and scope of all the well-known software solutions on the market, play a large part in forming this assumption. Knowing where to start when embarking on a CRM implementation project can also feel really daunting.

But this shouldn’t be the case, as there are many options out there for smaller charities, and the benefits of having the right CRM solution should far outweigh the cons. Smaller charities can benefit from:

  • Increased efficiency – smaller charities can benefit from a reduction in the time your staff spends on administrative tasks, as many of these can be automated in a CRM solution. This can then help to reduce your operating costs.
  • Improved decision-making – with all your information stored in one place giving you a 360-degree view and Single Source of Truth of every single supporter, you’ll be able make informed decisions based on accurate, up-to-date data.
  • Increased income – you can attract more grants by leveraging the data within your CRM system to highlight your social impact, how you are using funds and how many people you have helped with the grants received.
  • Enhanced data security and compliance – CRM software provides GDPR compliance ensuring that your charity is not breaking any codes of conduct.

So, as a smaller charity, what exactly should you look for in your CRM software solution? Are you aware of just how much you can achieve with one? Is your chosen solution scalable because what suits your needs now may not in the future as your charity grows?

Cost is often at the top of the list when choosing the right software for your organisation, especially for smaller charities who may not have the funds. Consider it a long-term investment that will pay off over time and will be one of the most important digital tools your charity can invest in.

Many CRM software solutions offer free licences for charities – Microsoft, for example, offers free or discounted licences for charities on many of their products. Our NfP 365 Accelerator (a fundraising and donor management CRM solution) is built on Microsoft’s Common Data Model and comes with 10 free Power App licences, which is all you need to get set up on the system.

What functionality can an affordable CRM solution provide to your organisation? It should be able to:

  1. Store your information safely – CRM software such as the NfP 365 Accelerator provides a place for your charity to house and organise every piece of information you have regarding the people who volunteer, support or donate to your organisation. This gives you a complete and detailed view of every interaction each person has with your charity. What’s more, this information is held securely and enables you to ensure compliance with any relevant data protection regulations including GDPR.
  2. Manage your volunteers – the solution should allow you to easily manage the people who volunteer for your charity. From the moment they apply to become a volunteer, your chosen solution should help you to vet and approve every person and then store that information securely. It should enable you to document the skills every volunteer has, allowing you to deploy the right people to the most appropriate tasks. Furthermore, you should be able to capture every hour that people have volunteered for your charity and connect this time to specific activities that your charity is carrying out such as fundraising events, allowing you to closely monitor the resources required for each activity.
  3. Organise fundraising events – an essential part of almost every charity, a good CRM solution can assist with the management of your fundraising events. It will allow you to easily coordinate your costs, staffing, donations, volunteers, email communications and more from the one place. This information should then feed into automatically generated, custom-built reports, helping you to see the success of your events.
  4. Monitor your donations – your charity can benefit from the efficient and effective processing of income via donations. You should be able to see where donations have come from through to where the money has been spent, enabling the people who need to, to have complete visibility, traceability and transparency of every donation.

Smaller charities can benefit hugely from not only having the right CRM solution, but also the right implementation partner who can guide you every step of the way. Our NfP 365 Accelerator can help with all of the above so if you’d like to explore this scalable and affordable option for your charity, please get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements. You can also view our on-demand webinar here for an introduction to the solution.