The world of nonprofit CRM systems is shifting, especially as organizations transition from Common Ground.
While some well-known solutions continue growing and developing, others are pulling back and leaving the market altogether.
Blackbaud, for instance, recently announced it would retire its CRM product, Common Ground, in March 2014. With this change coming, many nonprofit organizations must begin planning the transition from Common Ground.
To ensure a seamless transition to the next CRM solution, nonprofit organizations should keep these 5 things in mind.
1. Stay with a Cloud solution
Cloud solutions have become the industry standard.
With universal and distributed access to data, along with data integrity and security that is so essential to today’s environment, the Cloud approach is what every organization needs.
There are non-Cloud CRM solutions available, but the growth of wireless connectivity means their usage options are already limited.
2. Use your team effectively
Barry Finestone, Executive Director at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF), has his own success story of leading his organization’s implementation of a CRM initiative, based on the Salesforce.com platform, which integrates Breakeven’s Causeview solution.
His advice? Hire the right people and use your existing resources strategically.
Make sure you have the right team internally – people with the conceptual knowledge, the right skills and an understanding of the organizational culture that allows them to harness the organization’s processes and move the project forward.
You can read all of Mr. Finestone’s insights on managing CRM for nonprofits in this story.
3. Get third-party expertise
Barry Finestone also talks about getting the right external people on board.
Regardless of how big or small your project is, unless you have some serious in-house IT capacity, you’ll need third-party expertise.
A robust CRM initiative is too fast moving to rely exclusively on internal knowledge. Plus, your internal people will be focused on the organizational processes and making sure the team is on board.
4. Avoid homemade solutions
Many nonprofit organizations may consider building their own CRM systems.
While this may seem like cost savings initially, the long-term scenario is rife with technical glitches, security leak,s and other operational headaches.
A managed CRM solution from a reliable vendor comes with a proven technical package and ongoing support.
5. Invest in a flexible, best-in-class solution
The road is long, and a transition from Common Ground is just the first step. Today’s best-in-class solution may not be the best investment for the long-term, unless it has the flexibility to accommodate changes in the future.
No single solution can possibly integrate all of the features required to optimize your donor management systems – at least not in a best-in-class manner. The problem with all-in-one solutions is that every organization is unique and it’s hard to develop a single solution that meets everyone’s needs.
After all, you may need to incorporate best-in-class capability for all or some of the following:
- Email Marketing
- Payment Processing
- Peer to Peer fundraising
- Shopping carts
- Offline Processing
- …and more
It’s a lot to manage in one single solution. It’s better to invest in a best-in-class solution that was built with the flexibility to add best-in-class apps so that you can scale your system to support your needs.
Your donor management system should allow for these moving parts to be upgraded as the standards change over time. And your donor system must be capable of centralizing all of the data collected through these systems. You should consider all of these variables as you transition from Common Ground.
A best-in-class donor management system like Causeview does just that.
Causeview is a seamless transition from Common Ground
Nonprofits who need to transition from Common Ground will find that Causeview offers a long-term, sustainable CRM solution that can scale to their needs.
Causeview is based on the Salesforce.com platform, so it will fit seamlessly with their current system and their existing data will easily transfer over. Causeview’s cloud-based solution provides nonprofit organizations with tools to meet all their CRM needs, so they can focus on the matters that are really important. Take the first step and see for yourself!