What is a CRM? – A quick guide

“Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a system for managing a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It often involves using technology to organise, automate and synchronise sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.” —


A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is not just a database but a strategy; an improvement in the way you manage customers and, in the not-for-profit sector, your donors, contacts and supporters. It can underpin a new fundraising strategy, consolidate disparate IT systems (perhaps even multiple spreadsheets), reduce costs and automate processes as well as improve your knowledge of, and contact with, your donors and supporters. A fundraising CRM system is built with the
not-for-profit in mind, providing tools to make fundraising easier.


Why should I consider a fundraising CRM system?
Perhaps you are having difficulties keeping accurate records of your supporters, spending too much time on administrative tasks, or aren’t able to send out consistently targeted communications to your contacts. To solve these problems it’s always important to get the basics right so you are able to not only sustain, but grow your charity. A fundraising CRM system can help you achieve this.


A fundraising CRM system consists of four parts:
1. Relationship Management
2. Fundraising
3. Marketing and Communications
4. Reporting and Analysis


1. Relationship Management
Recording all your information about a supporter in one place means you are able to draw a 360
degree view of them, which in turn helps you to build a stronger relationship with them over time. A
fundraising CRM system makes seeing the history your not-for-profit has with a supporter quick and
easy, and provides you with the information you need to determine how loyal they are as a donor, or
what their particular interests in your organisation are. Knowing this information will allow you to create
more targeted and personalised messages so you are able to build a better, stronger and longer term
relationship with them.


2. Fundraising
Not-for-profits need to rely less on grants and statutory funding, and diversify through individual giving
and events. A fundraising CRM system manages the end-to-end processes and automated actions
for you, such as integrated online giving pages and gift processing, meaning less time spent on
administration. Keeping an accurate record of Gift Aid and automating monthly giving payments helps
make donor relationships your priority.


3. Marketing and Communications
Sustaining and developing your organisation will mean that supporter relationships need to be
cultivated. Being able to send consistent communications that are targeted and personalised, lays the
foundation for a more loyal supporter, protects your brand and builds trust. By keeping track of the
communications you send to your supporters, you can ensure that duplicate, or mixed messages are
not sent out.


4. Reporting and Analysis
An integrated fundraising CRM system provides quick and easy reporting at the click of a button.
You can also save even more time by scheduling reports to come straight into your inbox. Dashboard
tools provide quick statistics on how much your campaigns have raised, who your top donors are,
and which approaches work best for you. Pre-configured reports allow you to quickly access detailed
campaign analysis, manage your duplicates and much more. With the ability to design your own
reports for review or export, all bases are covered.

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