5 reasons why a social cause should consider CRM

With our upcoming Fuze Night in July exploring the topic of relationship management, here are ten reasons why a non-profit or a social cause might consider investing in a CRM system.

1. YOU’RE ALREADY DOING IT

Let’s face it, relationship management is at the core of what a social cause does. A non-profit reaches out to stakeholders, beneficiaries and donors, while at the same time builds on a history of interactions. It might not be as well defined as a process or an asset but you’re still doing it.

However, having a systematic approach to relationship marketing is world of difference to using just your email and address book, especially if you are looking to scale and spend more time delivering impact.

2. IMPROVE YOUR CAUSE’S SCALABILITY

If you’re the founder of a social cause, organising your contacts might seem relatively simple. However, when a social causes becomes successful, scaling up might become a problem. Imagine the challenge it is to manage your own address and emails on your own. Now imagine several people updating that with their interactions with your contacts. Go even further, and imagine they are all using their own address books and contact management processes. The complexity for social causes and non-profits increases as new team members, volunteers and advocates join the organisation as it scales up.

Without a well defined way of managing the interactions your team has with potential donors or beneficiaries, you’ll reduce your ability to make a difference as you become bogged down by a process that, with some investment of time to set up correctly, can yield benefits over the long term.

3. A PERMANENT ASSET IN A TRANSIENT ENVIRONMENT

Most social causes and non-profits suffer from a lack of consistency with staff and volunteers, which makes it even more important that your interactions with stakeholders is captured somewhere. A methodical approach to your relationship management system creates a permanent repository of organisation’s history in one place. All the donor interactions and stakeholder discussions are captured for good in a valuable asset that can always be accessed by new team members and infrequent volunteers alike, regardless of how long they have been with your non-profit.

4. DON’T FORGET ANYTHING

Even the best of us without eidetic memory are prone to forgetting things or recalling things slightly differently from how they happened. If your cause, campaign or non-profit starts creating the impact you want, you’ll start to get busy in no time with lots of new interactions. And you don’t want to miss out on opportunities because you forgot to capture an important piece of information.

5. EMAIL SUCKS AT MEASUREMENT AND IDENTIFYING OPPORTUNITIES

Email is great but it isn’t always the best way to measure your relationships across your organisation. It will be hard to extract data on both the quality and quantity of your causes interactions. For example, pulling dating on total donor value should happen as easy as clicking a button. Equally so for all donor value, across the organisation. 

When you are managing a team, you also want to know how effective they are in their interactions with people. You may want to measure a field force’s effectiveness at securing new donations or funding. A social media manager might want to capture interactions in social channels that might be useful for follow-up by other teams.

As the manager of a social causes, you want to start identifying opportunities along with effectiveness. If ten beneficiaries are telling you that you need to adjust your program to fit their needs, with a properly implemented relationship management system, you’ll be able to spot this easily. This data should be freely available to you, rather than locked away in your team’s inboxes.

There are lots of reasons why an organisation invests into defining its relationship marketing as a process and building it as an asset. 

One caveat to the above is that relationship management solutions need to be supported by an investment of time and money, as poorly configured relationship management systems are sometimes worse than not having one at all. For non-profits and social causes, this resulting drain in time and resources makes a ineffective CRM system much more of a cost. However, the initial time spent in setting up a robust process to relationship management, frees up time later to can be used to make more of a difference.

Find out more about how investing in a CRM solution would benefit a social enterprise, non-profit or social cause at our upcoming Fuze Night in July.