How to Select CRM for your Non Profit

When selecting the right CRM system for your nonprofit organization, treat it like hiring a Chief Relationship Officer.

Here's the job description you're trying to fill:

Here at The DoGood Association, knowing as we do that our constituents are far more motivated by personal relational loyalty when donating their time or money to us than they are when buying deodorant or tires, we have reached the point in our growth where we need to hire for the position of Chief Relationship Officer to prioritize and maximize the relationships we have with our constituents — donors, members, volunteers, everybody.

  1. The Chief Relationship Officer (CRO) will be thoroughly familiar with our goals and needs, and will know all our constituents. Everybody. This person will keep in one brain what there is to be known about them, including specifically how The DoGood Association fulfills a passion of theirs.
  2. The CRO will know which volunteers and donors want e-mails, tweets, mailings or phone calls, who wants to be called in the day and in the evenings, and who doesn't want to be contacted. The CRO will be available to all departments of this organization, will present the same information to everybody and will collect the information everybody has for all to use.
  3. The CRO will be able to match donors with the suitable fund raising opportunity based on their historical interactions and any other information that can be collected, putting the right fundraising opportunity in front of the right donor at the right time. The CRO will thank everybody and let them know where their money's going, how it's being used and how much the organization relies on each donor.
  4. The CRO will keep track of all the direct mail, all the e-mail, all incoming donations, all fundraising events and all volunteers, coordinating that knowledge for maximum efficiency in our fundraising and outreach efforts and minimizing overlap and neglect.
  5. The CRO will know what everybody in the organization knows about each constituent, such as Jake, a regular donor. Nobody in the organization has relevant information about Jake that the CRO won't also know. The CRO will use everything we know about Jake in every interaction, getting all the details right.
  6. If the person who's dealt with Jake leaves us, the CRO will have a record of every interaction with Jake over the years and will pass on everything necessary about Jake for the benefit of the new person as well as for a seamless transition and continued relationship with Jake.
  7. The CRO will understand that constituents like Jake see The DoGood Association as a person. Making constituents repeat information about themselves to different people shows we regard them as ATMs or slave labor. Jake wants The DoGood Association to know that his passion is Central Asian deforestation, not saving the Hector dolphins off the coast of New Zealand, and will resent requests to give money for some dolphins he not passionate about.
  8. Knowing everything in one brain, the CRO will be able to assign a volunteer to call Jake -- in the evenings -- and say "Jake, there's a specific opportunity for you to help us fight Central Asian deforestation in about three months. The government of Boratistan is voting on a large forestry bill. We know how much you care about this, Jake, we need your help to work to defeat this."
  9. The CRO will be flexible enough to work with our existing IT systems with minimal disruption, and will be constantly updating job performance to the latest best practices. The CRO will not need the assistance of expensive outside consultants or technical contractors.
  10. The CRO will ensure we won't waste time trying to get everybody who knows something about Jake, received a donation from Jake or met Jake in a room to figure out how to maximize Jake's interest in the organization, while chasing down every spreadsheet mentioning Jake and e-mail conversation with Jake. The CRO will know it all and will be fully prepared to deal with Jake any time.
  11. The CRO will ensure that each constituent will receive a personalized interaction with us, tailored to their specific passion and interests with The DoGood Association.
  12. Everybody at The DoGood Association will have an app on their computers and mobile devices to summon the CRO in person, instantly at any time and in any place, to assist in any interaction with any constituent. This will free up our people to focus much more time and energy on actual fundraising and pursuing the actual goals of The DoGood Association.

Finding the ideal non-for-profit CRM system will still include the traditional steps such as CRM RFP scoring, tailored demo presentation and CRM reference calls. But keeping the above job description front and center will accelerate and simplify the CRM selection process.