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5 of the best CRM features required for not-for-profits & charities

Deciding which CRM is right for your charity or not-for-profit can often be a difficult decision to make. To make this decision much more straightforward, in our latest blog article, we will provide you with 5 of the best CRM features that you as a charity or not-for-profit will need for your software. 

Creating a charity database with Cloud-based CRM software 

It goes without saying but as charities and not-for-profits help more people, the level of data involved ramps up dramatically. Like in most organisations, this data is often siloed off, stored in different systems which don’t work together. 

By choosing to invest in a CRM for charities/not-for-profits, you can collate all your data in one central location and take advantage of the various automated processes and reporting tools to improve the overall efficiency of your organisation enabling your team to spend more time on more important tasks. Furthermore, it also enables you to spend more time analysing the various touchpoints you have with your users and donors to help improve the overall service. 

Advantage has been working with businesses to better manage their data since 1999, which has put us in the perfect position to identify which main features make for a winning CRM system for charities & not-for-profit organisations. 

1 – Seamless integration with other apps & easily scalable 

It is of the utmost importance to select a CRM for charities/not-for-profits that can work in cohesion with your existing systems and software that can be easily scaled up or down if required. You are more often than not likely to require a system that can be scaled up over time as the more you use the CRM, the more you will know exactly what you need from it now and well into the future. To put this into context in the form of an example for seamless software integration is Dynamics 365 for Charities/Not- for-Profits which seamlessly integrates with all Office 365 applications that you use on a daily basis. 

2 – One channel for enquiries 

How do people contact your charity/not-for-profit? You will find that it is likely to be through contact forms via your website, direct contact via the telephone or online chats. Any CRM system that you choose will need to be able to collate all those enquiries and create one record for individual users in your charity database.  

This is where automations can come in handy as it can be set up so that your employees are notified to complete certain actions throughout the user journey. Glean insights on this data to find out how different stages of the process could be improved to find out which approaches work best. 

Taking this one step further, your CRM system can be used solely as charity membership management software which will enable you to oversee members and send automated reminders when members are coming up for renewal. 

3 – Fast & easy reporting 

Follow and review donor behaviour, donation history, marketing preferences and review each stage of the service user journey. Take advantage of real-time reporting along with simple access to both notes and data. Better still, you will also be able to have an overview of how many hours volunteers have completed along with any training requirements which will enable you to keep them on side. 

4 – Lifecycle tracing for both events and grant applications 

It goes without saying but applying for grants is very time consuming so being able to easily track submissions end to end, easily share documentation with others and have reminders to either renew or reapply for grants will help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. 

If you find that your organisation organises a number of different fundraising events, picking a CRM system with an event management function is essential. This will allow you to keep track of bookings, donations as well as to send reminders. 

5 – GDPR Compliance 

One of the core elements of the GDPR guidelines is the ability to view, copy and delete user information when prompted which is much simpler to achieve if all your data is in one place. Through the use of a specific CRM for not-for-profits/charities, you are able to record and access consent choices & ensure that all engagements with that service user or donor can easily be tracked. Furthermore, it is even easier to make changes to data or permissions in one area. 

Next Steps? 

If you are a charity or not-for-profit organisation that is looking for a cost-effective implementation of a Dynamics 365 for Charities/Not-for-profits through one of our dedicated CRM packages then please don’t hesitate to give our CRM experts a call today to discuss your specific requirements as well as grant options that might be available. 

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