Why should your NGO use a CRM?

One of the main assets of a Third Sector organization, a non profit, an NGO, associations, foundations, non-profit, educational, political entities… are its contacts. Without this figure the organization can not address their projects and communication with these people, whether they are partners, affiliates, volunteers, donors, suppliers, workers … It is key to the management of the organization.

How many different databases does your organization manage? What is the history of communications or messages you have had with each person in those databases? A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the necessary tool to have an exact relationship of people, with their roles and profiles defined, and a history of the relationship maintained with each of them.

The use of a CRM within organizations facilitates the work and helps to improve the management and activities developed. But there are more reasons why an NGO should use a CRM, and if it is one already oriented to Third Sector organizations such as CiviCRM, the better the process will be. CiviCRM is an online and open source solution oriented to the particular needs of Non-Profit and Third Sector Organizations. This CRM is intended for use in this sector, so the tool’s fields and flows are oriented to the management of contacts and their relationships, and not sales flows.

Regardless of the software, what is CRM management for?

1. Contact management: if you have scattered databases from different areas such as press or partners, a CRM allows you to unify them in a coherent way by grouping contacts and classifying them by the criteria you need, as well as facilitating collaborative work between the different areas of the organization since, for example, when updating a contact, it is updated for all databases.

2. Management of activities and events: if you organize events, the tool allows you to manage their planning and related actions (invitation, attendee management, planning, ticket management, etc.). A CRM has the ability to create email campaigns, segment the target audience, have traceability on attendees or store data on participation, in order to have the most information available to help you generate new loyalty actions or communication oriented to the stakeholders of your organization.

3. Communications: facilitates communication with the different contact profiles (associates, affiliates, volunteers, donors, suppliers, employees, etc.), being able to segment who receives each communication at any given time, and to store in the contact’s profile which communications he/she has received. There are projects with the management of alumni communities, such as the Universidad Autónoma AlumniUAM project that manages this interest group with CiviCRM.

4. Campaign management: whether you carry out periodic campaigns or you are thinking of starting them, with a CRM you can manage both the operations and the analysis. It allows you to establish and define the parameters of a specific campaign, the segment of contacts to which it is addressed, the objective and obtain the results of the campaign to help you in making subsequent decisions.

5. Recruitment: the insertion of registration forms through the web facilitates the recruitment of potential associates. Thanks to the tool, new information and the appropriate entry of new members and collaborators is managed centrally. Entities such as Médicos Sin Fronteras Argentina that, after using CiviCRM for fundraising and communications with their partners, increased fundraising and funds available for more projects.

6. Economic management: with this functionality it is possible to automate a large part of the back-office activity of the organizations, having a better control of the economic activity (membership fees, donations management, project management, grants, etc.). In the case of CiviCRM, it is integrated with RedSys, the most widely accepted payment gateway, which facilitates the online collection of tickets for events, receipt of donations, payment of fees, etc. Amnesty International has collaborated in the development of this integration, but it is not the only one since CiviCRM is easily integrated with local and specific payment gateways.

7. Analysis: it is necessary to measure the actions and activities carried out. By collecting complete information and campaign results, you can analyze and measure actions, and make decisions based on objective data to improve efficiency in the use of resources and selection of more effective activities. In short, using a CRM allows you to connect, manage and deal with large volumes of information and relationships with your current and potential partners and collaborators in an agile and simple way. The innovation and optimization of processes improves coordination to avoid duplication of efforts and optimize management in order to make strategic decisions that benefit your social action.

Foto crédito https://unsplash.com/es/@markuswinkler

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