CRM Software For Small Charities

Sep 24 2015

Why Small Charities Can Benefit From A Fundraising CRM

The last 20 years have seen huge changes in the way that charities conduct fundraising campaigns. The third sector has become far more professional, focused and targeted in the way that it fundraises and manages donors. For large charities, such as Shelter, Macmillan, RSPB and Oxfam, this is resulted in a massive increase in income through fundraising, and a subsequent expansion of their operations. Much of this has been made possible by specialist fundraising CRM software packages that are tailor-made to meet the needs of charities.

However, it isn’t simply the big players who are in a position to take advantage of the benefits of a fundraising CRM. Small charities stand to benefit equally, or even more, by having a CRM software application as part of their fundraising toolkit. This is the case, even if the charity only has a few hundred supporters.

Here are three good reasons why small charities should consider investing in a decent fundraising CRM:

1) Keep track of your supporter activity

CRM software makes keeping donor records up-to-date a simple and straightforward matter. Using a CRM application enables you to search for specific donors and to quickly update contact and address details. Moreover, a CRM lets you segment your supporters into different donor groups. Over time, this allows you to track donor behaviour, mark out your regular supporters and accurately record the results of different fundraising campaigns. The information on your CRM database can be used not only for fundraising purposes, but also for recruiting volunteers and soliciting feedback from your supporters.

2) Reporting functions

Having instant access to a wide range of supporter data allows you to create elaborate reports and charts at the click of a button. This is extremely handy when it comes to comparing the results of different fundraising campaigns, or tracking donation trends for different supporter segments over time. Most CRMs allow you to export reports and graphics directly into Microsoft Word or Excel, something that is very useful when putting together presentations and annual reports.

3) Target your fundraising campaigns

A CRM package is of great assistance while planning and executing a fundraising campaign. On the planning side, the ability to hone your database into narrowly defined segments allows precise targeting for your campaigns. This is hugely beneficial when carrying out community or individual giving fundraising campaigns. You can also use your data to identify high net worth individuals, who may be approached as part of a legacy campaign, or when fundraising for a capital project.

Your CRM will also assist you in implementing the campaign itself. If you choose an application that integrates with Microsoft Word, then you can use your database to feed directly into mail merges for direct mail campaigns. Many CRM’s also allow you to send emails directly from the application interface, or even linking up with online email marketing applications such as MailChimp.

CRM applications are not simply the domain of large campaigning charities. The fundraising advantages that come from using a CRM software package can be of great use to small charities, churches and community organisations. Most CRM applications can be customised so that you only get the functionality you actually need. They give you greater efficiency when it comes to targeting your fundraising efforts, and unlock the true potential of your supporter database.

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