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Unless you’re open to daily backing up records with old-fashioned pen and paper (while tearing your hair out) you must get a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) that does all the things you need it to.
Here are some points to consider…

The best CRM for charities will keep track of what you need it to

Ultimately, you want software that will save you time – and help you communicate with your valued donors in a way that builds relationships and has them excited to support your cause. The best CRM will help you listen to your donors, such as what type of communication they prefer. It will also prompt you when to follow up with long-term donors and send welcome packs to new ones.

Automatic data entry will help you sort the data as you enter it, so no important information disappears. Ultimately though, a CRM being used to its full advantage will be one that a charity uses to build stronger, more personal relationships with the supporter. It allows the caller to record certain thoughts, feelings and needs of the supporter that were brought up in conversation so they can refer back to this or follow up on the next call.


The best CRM will segment your donors well

A powerful CRM will have the smarts to analyse the data and recognise attributes in common between donors. By being able to segment your donors with Artificial Intelligence (AI), you’ll be able to test different campaigns… then re-create further targeted campaigns to get even better results.

Although setting up a CRM can feel overwhelming and time-consuming at the start, the time it saves in the long run and ability to help you better serve your audience is so worth it.


The best CRM for non-for-profits is user-friendly

Not sure which CRM will be right for your organisation? A great place to start is to ask: who will be using it? Not everyone is tech-savvy! Choosing one that’s intuitive and simple to learn will save much time and angst, unless you’re okay with seeking lots of IT support! It’s handy for future team members to be able to log in and quickly see all donor’s past engagement.

And if you’re transferring from one CRM to another, make sure the new one will be easy to change over too! Allow for a time period where both CRMs are in play (if possible) to allow your staff time to get used to the new interface without data being lost. Alternatively, can you set up a demo sandpit or training sessions on a trial version? Ensuring your team is confident in the system BEFORE switching over, will ensure that the changeover is seamless – ideally, your supporters should have no clue that such massive change on the back-end has occurred.


The best CRM is one that keeps up with the times

> Security

In an ever-changing cyber world it’s vital to make sure your CRM software has strong security to keep out hackers and protect your donors’ personal details.


> Automation and Integration

What other software do you need to integrate it with? Make sure it will complete repetitive tasks like automatically sending emails and texts and that it sends you a regular report (handy for sharing with stakeholders too).


> Cloud-based and accessible on handheld devices

Having a CRM that is cloud-based ensures you’ll always have an updated version rather than it being in an office on one computer, ageing like a 90s PC game. And the ability to have it accessible on phones and tablets is the way of the future!


Prices vary considerably, so consider what each one offers. The right one will be an asset! It will help you nurture your supporters and take your organisation to a new level!

Before resorting to upgrading your CRM, there are a few essentials we advise you get right first when it comes to donor journeys. Download your copy of the donor development guide here to learn more.