Craig Ford, Polymorphic Solutions

Your community organisation might have run on spreadsheets, shared folders and Access databases until one day, when you realised the systems don’t talk to each other and your organisation can’t grow without a single integrated system. Then it is time to consider a CRM (Client Relationship Management) system, but how do you choose which one suits your specific organisational needs?

Budgets are lean, spare time is scarce and the list of needs can fill a library, and you cannot afford to waste time and money in endless training and adaptation. The following article should help you identify what you really need from a CRM, and how to start your search for the right one.

What Problems Are You Trying to Solve?

First of all take a look at some of the issues you might be trying to address with a CRM. Which ones strike a chord for you?

  • Better Organisational Management – tracking staff activities, services delivered, resources allocated and reporting  
  • Improved Team Collaboration – are your staff in different locations, time zones, on the road and working from home?
  • Single Source of Information – is everyone keeping their own spreadsheets, and coming up with different versions of the truth at reporting time?
  • Electronic Trail of Staff Activities – does everyone know what emails and phone calls have been made to each client?
  • Consistent Service Delivery – when teams deliver multiple projects to the same group of clients, it is difficult to know what has been delivered and what is needed
  • Reporting and Data Accuracy – the old cliché garbage in/garbage out applies, when staff don’t record data consistently, reports don’t representative actuals
  • Improve External Communications – consistent messages across email, SMS and fax, from all staff, tracked and recorded
  • Standardised Record Keeping – without a clear information management guideline, staff may store the same data in completely different ways, making it impossible to find and report on
  • Minimise Data Entry – manual note taking can be time consuming, and not easily shared
  • Donation management – who has given what, and help to secure more donators and spend per donation

Read the full resource here

Where to from here?

This resource was provided by Polymorphic Solutions, who run a membership database system specifically designed for Not for Profit organisations, ChilliDB. You can contact them for more information on their database or CRM functions in general.

ConnectingUp also provide a range of information on various CRM systems tailored to Not for Profit organisations.

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