There are many different charity CRM options available these days. But which of them understand your special needs as a Not-For-Profit? What can replace your cumbersome excel spreadsheets? Which can answer questions like ‘How do I receipt easier?’ or ‘How to manage memberships?’
Charities and Not-For-Profit Organisations (NFPOs), like other organisations out there, require a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that keys into their goals and helps them get the desired results. Whether you are learning about CRMs for the first time or looking to know more about how they work and what they can do for non-profit organisations and charities, you are at the right place. This article extensively discusses CRM software, how they work, and why they are vital to what NFPOs and Charities do. It also offers excellent CRM recommendations based on what is currently available in the market, emphasizing its pros, cons, and features.
What does CRM Mean?
A few quick searches will tell us it is Customer Relationship Management. They are nearly all designed to manage sales.
But for Not-For-Profits, this doesn’t really fit, which is why a lot of these CRM don’t quite work as we need them to either. We aren’t selling to Customers. We have Contacts. We have Community. We have Church Members.
So what about Relationships? Well this sounds great in the new context. It is all about the people after all. How they fit together. How we work together. How we interact and integrate together. And, how we can help each other.
Then there is Management. This sounds promising! After all, we are looking for something to help us manage all this admin we are doing, and make our lives easier. We want to spend more time focusing on our Mission. Not all our time managing a growing number of spreadsheets and tables that don’t get updated, get lost, and are hard to navigate.
What Does a CRM Do?
Typically, CRM allows you to store information on customers, allow you to contact them, and manage sales related data. There are a whole host of tools available depending on which CRM you use, all designed around maximizing sales for profit.
Why do Charities and Nonprofit organisations need CRM software?
There is a lot of crossover with the needs of a Not-For-Profit, but there are a lot of areas that are not addressed that are unique. So we need a charity CRM system that will help us to take care of our community, help us to see how we can connect with others and how we can support, care, help and encourage one another. We need to be able to take donations, and give receipts out for these quickly and easily. We need to handle giving numbers, families, mentors, newsletters, events, groups. We need to roster teams, track volunteers and hours volunteered, get forms filled out, and handle our libraries and…. There really are a lot of unique things nonprofits deal with!
So the basic needs of a charity CRM system needs to be able to see who is a part of your community, record and store information about them that is essential to your needs, mission and values etc, add notes and be able to contact people. Keep track of people’s involvement. Keep a history of communication. Be able to see how people in a household or organisation fit together.
We have established that CRM is all about managing relationships and people. But it is also easy to argue that Charities and Not-For-Profits are not set up to run like other regular businesses. So, why do they need a CRM system? The answer is simple: Nonprofit Organisations are borne out of the need to help others. They do not sell to customers. Instead, they have communities, donors, programs, trustees, and members. Therefore, there is a strong need for a people-focused CRM system that caters to their unique needs.
From donor segmentation to targeted communications to membership and fundraising campaign management and prompt, accurate reportage, the ideal CRM software for these organisations must do more than just collect, organize, and store data. Unfortunately, only a few of the CRM systems fit the bill.
So let’s look at the best CRM Systems for Charities…
Infoodle’s complete customer relationship management and financial management solutions benefit charities and churches of all sizes.
With their comprehensive cloud-based software solution for nonprofit management, you can centralise all of your administrative obligations and spend more time furthering your organization’s goals. The Infoodle team believes that their platform will help organisations of all sizes to expand their audience and raise the bar on the amount of community service they provide.
You may centralise all of your administrative processes on Infoodle to better manage your non-profit. If you use a unified system, you won’t have to worry about managing many databases or wasting time searching for, modifying, or merging data. Donation records such as transactions, receipts, and statements are simplified when using Infoodle and remind them of the positive effects they had and how their contributions aided you in achieving your goals.
Tickets, attendance records, rosters, centralised scheduling, and a child check-in system are all available. Include everyone on your team and in the surrounding area, and stay up to date on all scheduled events. You can save time by using our wizard to establish a roster or rota; it will also send out reminders automatically.
Nonprofits can save a lot of time by centralising the management of paperwork, equipment bookings, and asset records. In addition to storing all of your data and files, you may use it as a library to check out and return books, tools, toys, and equipment.
Plans and Pricing
Pricing starts from just £18 per month depending upon which packages you choose and how many subscribers you have.
The Access Group is a renowned provider of business management solutions, and the Charity CRM is one of its products. The Access Charity CRM is an Access thankQ CRM solution upgrade designed to empower fundraising teams. It centres on effective management and engagement of supporters. It ensures supporters can easily access campaigns and essential information, thus creating solid relationships. Notable features of the Charity CRM include:
- Fundraising management, where Charities can create personalized communications targeted at different audiences.
- Donor management, where Charities can track supporter interactions centrally.
- Marketing automation, where Charities can integrate the system with Mailchimp to get more out of the collected data.
- Charity event management, designed for effective event planning and reporting.
There is also the direct debit payment processing and reporting and analytics feature. The inbuilt calling application also allows seamless communication between Charities and their supporters. The interface is simple but effective. Called the Fundraising Hub, this interface makes it super easy to access donor data and take desired actions without any prior expert knowledge. In addition, anyone in the organisation can access the dashboard without needing an extra CRM license. There is also a handy Donor Journey dashboard, where organisations can see the stage of each supporter’s journey.
This might not be your ideal CRM if your Charity is big on service delivery data. The Access Charity CRM is primarily designed with fundraising and membership management in mind. Therefore, it does not handle other organisational requirements as efficiently.
Plans and Pricing
There are three packages on the Access Charity CRM:
• the Essential Fundraising package is the starter package, allowing up to three users and unlimited contacts or supporters, for £250 monthly;
• the Growing Fundraising package is the standard package, allowing up to 10 users and unlimited contacts or supporters, for £525 monthly; and
• the Advanced Fundraising package is the premium package, allowing up to 30 users and unlimited contacts or supporters, for £833 monthly.
Salesforce is a high-performing multifaceted CRM product best suited to a small or medium organisation or business with a larger team and complex needs. It is often touted as the most powerful CRM software in the market, thanks to its excellent functionality and wide versatility. The non-profit version of Salesforce is hosted in the cloud, offering a wide range of features that meet the specific needs of Charities. These include tools for retaining and monitoring donors and features for data collection, storage, and reporting of processes and activities.
The strongest point of Salesforce is its collection of features. This beast of a CRM system will handle every task you throw at it as a charity organisation. It is highly customizable with a dedicated dashboard and can be integrated into any external system. The ‘chatter’ function comes in handy for cross-departmental communication. There are tons of online training materials to turn to if you ever get stuck and a large community of users willing to help.
Pricing remains the biggest downside of using Salesforce as a CRM. It will most likely be expensive for small charities working on a budget. It is also best to have a prior experience with the system to get the best out of it.
Plans and Pricing
Salesforce has four pricing plans:
• the Salesforce Essential plan costs £20 monthly and covers up to 10 users
• the Salesforce Professional plan costs £60 monthly and allows unlimited users
• the Salesforce Enterprise plan costs £120 monthly and allows unlimited users
• the Salesforce Unlimited plan costs £240 monthly and allows unlimited users
The Blackbaud CRM software is one of the very few CRM systems out there that is specifically designed for non-profit organisations. This cloud-based fundraising and relationship management system runs on Microsoft Azure. The official website says the software combines “fundraising expertise with complete non-profit CRM software solution to empower fundraising programs.”
In addition to fundraising and customer relationship management, this CRM software offers integrated analytics, multichannel marketing, and data mining features to help medium and large organisations build and nurture more robust and productive relationships with their donors and supporters. With the Blackbaud CRM software, charities and non-profit organisations can take advantage of an integrated approach to online donation, peer-to-peer fundraising, multichannel marketing, and database segmentation to achieve set organisational goals.
It is more suitable for larger organisations with its long list of comprehensive features. Blackbaud CRMs offer charities access to enterprise-level tech that enhances operational efficiency while attracting, engaging, and retaining donors and supporters. The software is built to serve non-profits out of the box, focusing on relationship building. It also provides an excellent multichannel marketing outlet and a content management system (CMS) that boost organisations’ online presence and reach.
Only a large charity organisation can maximize the Blackbaud CRM system’s robustness. The powerful tool will most likely be underused by a smaller organisation that requires no advanced functionality. The pricing and learning curve required may also be overkill for smaller organisations.
Plans and Pricing
The Blackbaud CRM system pricing plans depend on the number of records an organisation keeps and the level of functionality required. The company is always ready to provide a custom quote on request based on these criteria. You can also request a demo to test how it works.
HubSpot may be the surprising entry on this list, but it has made it because it is an innovative marketing solution. The excellent marketing features of the HubSpot CRM system make it an efficient system for attracting donors and supporters. It is also the best choice for Charities that does seasonal fundraising, thanks to its permanently and generously free plan and unlimited users. The system also shines at handling all the repetitive outreach tasks, freeing up more time to focus on other important aspects of the projects. For example, sending follow-up emails straight to the donors from the dashboard is easy. There is also an auto-response feature that helps engage donors and supporters.
The platform is compatible with and implementable across multiple channels, including website builders, making it ideal for lead generation through pop-ups and web forms. Another plus is that it is relatively customizable and allows users to access more features via plugins at relatively lower costs. A free library of resources is also available, dedicated explicitly to non-profits and charities. You may not get the best social media integrations with the free plan. The customer support tools are also not the most efficient, and there are no security emails.
Plans and Pricing
There are three pricing plans on the HubSpot CRM:
• the HubSpot Free plan that allows an unlimited number of users for £0;
• the HubSpot Marketing Hub plan that allows an unlimited number of users for £42 per month or £38 when billed annually; and
• the HubSpot Sales Hub plan that allows two free users for £42 per month or £38 when billed annually.
Which is the best charity/nonprofit CRM software for you?
The one cap fits all approach does not work when choosing the ideal CRM system for your organisation. In most cases, it depends on your organisational goals and the specifics you require from the software.
- What are your missions or visions?
- How many users are you planning for?
- Do you prefer CRM software that integrates with existing software or platforms?
- Are you looking for a bespoke solution or something that works out of the box?
- Do you favour a cloud-based system or an on-site setup?
Your answers to these questions will guide your choice of CRM software. Remember, more than administration, the ideal CRM solution must help with your primary task, focus, mission, and others.
The Bottom Line
The quality of tools available for the administration and execution of the primary tasks, focus, mission, and vision often determines the pace of organisational growth. We hope that this article has done justice to customer relationship management software and how they help manage people and meet other related needs of Charities, Churches, Community Groups, and other non-profits.