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In one of our recent articles, we discussed the 5 signs your charity needs a new CRM system. With this information, you’re now ready to take the first step towards a smarter CRM solution. To do this, you’ll need to gather some important information about your software requirements. Gathering this information isn’t as straightforward as it may seem – it’s easy to miss the finer details when looking at the bigger picture!
The trouble of searching “what is the best charity CRM system?” is that you’ll be met with information that has been generalised for the many, not for the specialised few. This information typically focuses on the newest technology and latest functions, which is great for a quick win but not for the long haul.
For your charity or non-profit organisation, you need a CRM that focuses on your industry’s needs. With common charity and non-profit needs in mind, we’ve compiled our top tips for gathering the information you need to understand your CRM system requirements.
Engage with Current System Users
Talking to your team members is a great place to start. Ask for their opinions, thoughts and needs to understand what you’ll need in your new CRM system, adding more value for each user.
Understand Your Current Processes
Having a deep understanding of your processes allows you to highlight the things you like about your current solution, as well as the pains and problems.
Set Clear Objectives
What is your measure of success once you’ve got your new CRM set up? Starting with the end in mind will help you define your objectives, making your requirement gathering a lot clearer.
Connect the Dots
How consolidated is each department currently? How connected do you need them to be? What opportunities are there to achieve better data sharing? Answering these questions will clarify the needs of your NFP or charity.
Consider Data Security
Be sure to include security requirements. Protection is important across the board but especially for high-profile contacts. Are there contacts that require additional security to protect their data? Can all the necessary departments see the data they need or are there limits you’ll need to apply?
Which department will see the biggest impact when you switch to a smarter CRM? It’s tempting to do everything all at once, however, it’s best to break down the move into phases, starting with the highest priority function. Assigning a value to each function will help you work out where and how to start.
We’ve briefly touched on this, these shiny new impressive functions may be impressive, but do they help you achieve your objectives? It’s important to not get caught up with technical jargon. Concentrate on the functionality needed. What specific processes do you need for maximum efficiency?
Don’t Forget About Your Data
We know you wouldn’t intentionally do this, but it’s important to consider what happens to your existing data whilst gathering your requirements. Data migration is about more than just contacts and accounts, when we say ‘don’t forget’ we are really referring to the data that could be forgotten such as activity records, historical data relating to donations, memberships, events and grants.
Step Up Your Reports
What would be the point in changing to a smarter CRM solution if you don’t improve on what you had before? Change can be scary but consider your dream report. Ask your colleagues – you may find that different people have different dream reports!
With 15 years of experience, we’ve seen it all. We’re happy to share examples of common requirements to give you an idea of what to consider and you can contact us any time for further guidance. To contact a member of our team, submit your details via our contact form and we’ll be in touch.
If you’d like to see our CRM solution for charities and not-for-profits in action, you can register for our upcoming webinar.