Using a CRM for nonprofits can nurture relationships with volunteers, donors, and patrons

Customer relationship management software is a great way to streamline your organization’s sales process, particularly when it comes to following-up with your customers. It expedites an employee’s job of manually following-up and allows them more time to focus on cultivating relationships – whether the clients are new leads, referrals or previous customers.

Using a CRM for nonprofits can be a similar process; however, your nonprofit organization has a unique situation. Nonprofits see people that volunteer their time, donors who offer financial support, and in many cases, patrons of the organization, instead of focusing on selling. Each individual respectively offers a piece of themselves to the organization since the nonprofit is seeking to better a certain cause.

Because nonprofits are so dependent on the passion and support of other people, the organization has to be conscientious about following-up with its volunteers and donors.

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Ways to use a CRM for nonprofits

1. Locate your target: Are you going to reach out to donors that could potentially be financially supportive of your nonprofit? Think about the individuals and companies who can help sustain your organization, and don’t be afraid to go outside of the box when searching for new supporters. Cold calling is often used in nonprofits, but is only one way of soliciting donations. Thank you, Internet. With your CRM you can identify your top donors, and potential donors, and start there.

2. Respect your volunteers: In many ways, this group is your nonprofit’s biggest supporters. They work for your organization without pay because they believe in your mission. Be sure to follow-up with an email or handwritten note to thank them for their time and dedication. Collect data and contact information about your volunteers so you can add it to your CRM. Then, all you’ll have to do is simply set up a workflow to send thank you notes. You can also use a CRM to send out email blasts to alert volunteers of new opportunities where you can use their help.

3. Thank your donors: This is crucial. Always, always, always thank your donors. Similar to volunteers, they, too, believe in your work. They want to help you out, but instead of giving you their time, they are donating their hard-earned money. Whether it is a big grant or a modest one-time donation, organizing your donor information is important in keeping the lights on and the electricity running in your building. A CRM for nonprofits can help you to keep an organized donor list, and automate thank-you notes when the time comes.

4. Treat your patrons like customers: When comparing a nonprofit to any other business, patrons are essentially your customers/clients. For example, a community theater or arts organization has people pay to see the shows or galleries. It’s important to collect their data and use them as your “customer” base. Remind the patrons that they are needed and wanted to your organization. One way to do this is by using your CRM to send out secret sales emails for future events that your patrons can use to get discounted tickets.

5. Keep your goal in sight: What is the purpose of your nonprofit organization? Where do you see it in the future? When reaching out to leads and other supporters, make sure you remind them of your organization’s purpose. You want to gain more of their support while keeping your values in mind. Be sure to share this information with your donors, volunteers and patrons so that they are on the same page as your nonprofit. This can be done by creating a quarterly newsletter that gets automatically sent to everyone signed up for it through your CRM.

From nurturing relationships to cultivating new ones, there are many ways to enhance financial support by using a CRM. When you automate the organization and follow-up of supporters, your paid employees can spend more time working on other urgent projects that can’t be automated.

Allow Blitz to help you build your donor contact base, automate your email campaigns, and thank your volunteers. Schedule a demonstration of our product so we can show you how we can work for you. Feeling confident we’re the right company for you? Great – we’ll give you 10% off a year’s contract with us.

What are some other ways nonprofit organizations can benefit from CRM? Tell us below in the comment section.