What is CiviCRM and what is it used for?

Record, organize and simplify the management of customer relations from a single software.
As you already know, a CRM is useful for all this and much more. But not all of them are the
same. Today at iXiam we want to introduce you to CiviCRM, a solution that offers countless
advantages and facilitates the work of organizations, especially those in the Third Sector. Do
you want to know it? Join us.

What is CiviCRM?

Most CRMs are oriented towards customer relations, marketing and sales. CiviCRM does not
neglect these aspects, although it adapts them to the particularities of the Third Sector. In
other words, contact management is essential, but taking into account that we are dealing
with contributors, donors or volunteers, among other profiles.

Let´s take it one step at a time. The first thing you should know is that, in order to work with it,
it is necessary to link it to a CMS, which can be WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. Its use also
requires a server that supports the demands of such a complete software.

And once the requirements have been laid out on the table, let´s briefly review the functions
that CiviCRM allows you to activate.
Of course, we must start with a key point of this type of software: contact management.
CiviCRM records all user activities, whether it is receiving an email, making a phone call,
making a contribution to the NGO… Whatever.

All the information related to the organization is recorded in the CRM and allows you to returnto it and interact with it as needed. Up to this point you will notice that we have pointed out functions similar to those of other software with similar features.

However, the changes begin to be perceived when we get into the section for payments, which
CiviCRM calls Contributions. We are talking about the Third Sector, so these payments can be
donations, periodic contributions or eventual or recurring payments. All of them will be linked
to the system by which the economic transaction is executed so that it is also recorded if this is
done by transfer, Pay-Pal, Bizum….

On the other hand, the way in which contributions are incentivized is included in the
Campaigns section. These will be linked to the different actions carried out with the potential
contributor, either by mailing, surveys or direct requests, among others.

It should not be forgotten that this CRM also functions as an online marketing platform. It also
makes it possible to manage events, a fundamental part for any NGO, and to integrate data on
those attending them.

Finally, the system reports on the different aspects related to the organization. Being an open
source system, it also facilitates the generation of extensions that optimize the development
of a specific function.

Get to know the applications included in CiviCRM

Depending on the needs of the organization, CiviCRM has different applications that provide
specific contact linkage models. Here are the main ones.

  • CiviContribute. The perfect component to control and manage contributions to the
    organization.
  • CiviEvent. Focused on events, it facilitates the creation of event web pages and the
    tracking of each participant.
  • CiviReport. The ideal ally to create reports that will allow you to see, at a glance, the
    results of your actions.
  • CiviMember. Designed for all the management processes of the members that are part
    of the organization.
  • CiviCase. Controls and organizes the different cases and presents reports that can be
    configured.
  • CiviCampaign. Aimed at the control and evaluation of the actions that are part of the
    campaigns and their results from the interactions.
  • CiviGrant. In this case, it is focused on those organizations that offer funds to other
    entities.

What are the advantages of CiviCRM for a Third Sector organization?

As you can see, the functions included in CiviCRM cover practically the entire organization.
Centralizing the information of a complex environment brings considerable advantages that, in
a global way, allow the simplification of processes, the organization of data and the
consequent increase in productivity. Let´s take a closer look at some of these benefits.

  • Constant improvement thanks to user participation. The fact that it is open source
    software allows anyone with knowledge to generate extensions that benefit the entire
    community.
  • Mobility. You will be able to access all the information from anywhere and whenever
    you need it. You don´t need to be in an office or in your home to use it, since you can
    install it on your smartphone, computer or tablet and take it with you wherever you
    go.
  • Easy to use. It has an intuitive interface. Once you have worked with it a few times, the
    process will be a breeze.
  • Implies significant savings. If you had to perform all the tasks it allows independently,
    your organization would be forced to make a much greater outlay. CiviCRM is an
    efficient and rigorous assistant that makes it easy to control expenses, something
    essential in the Third Sector.
  • Guaranteed reliability. The technology helps prevent common human errors when
    entering data or performing repetitive tasks. Process automation allows these tasks to
    be performed flawlessly.
  • Features that simplify contact management. CiviCRM has a feature that makes it possible to match two contacts who have a family relationship with each other and collaborate with the organization. In addition, it detects if there are duplicate records.

The function of Third Sector organizations is to improve society and support the groups that
need it most. Sharing these values, CiviCRM is their best ally. We have heard a thousand times
that the great engine of change is technology. With this software, we have in our hands a
solution that simplifies processes in a collaborative, integrated and productive way. In other
words, an engine that stimulates progress based on solidarity.

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