nonprofit crm management

How To Use A CRM For Nonprofits For Better Daily Management


One of the most important aspects of a nonprofit is the people involved! It takes a team to come together to pursue an idea, a project, or a passion.

As a nonprofit leader, it is important to foster communication with the people who share your vision and want to help your organization achieve its goals. Your contacts are a great source of support! 

This is where CRM software comes in. We believe it is one of the best nonprofit pro tools to help every organization succeed, as they can manage their members, donors, and volunteers in one place. We will dive into the details of nonprofit CRM software and how best to use it for your organization!

In this article we answer these questions:

Let's go!


What is a CRM?

CRM simply stands for "Customer Relationship Management." It refers to all the tools and techniques organizations generally use to monitor, manage, and improve their relationship with existing customers and potential ones. For nonprofits, it's online software that can do all the above, but for members, donors, and volunteers. 

To keep it short and sweet, it all boils down to good communication!


What is the Purpose of a CRM?

Businesses typically use a CRM to organize and analyze customer data. This is where they collect all of the data like names, emails, addresses, and phone numbers, but also things like purchase history. 

The most popular CRMs for businesses are Salesforce, Capsule, or HubSpot.

Businesses use their CRM databases to better target their customers, understand the best ways to communicate, and gain a deeper knowledge of their customers’ interactions with the business.

With a better understanding of their customer base, businesses can improve their relationships with customers and therefore maintain loyalty. 


Is a CRM Relevant for Nonprofits?

The short answer is: Absolutely!

This tool works incredibly well for businesses, even though nonprofits’ objectives are obviously very different, both businesses and nonprofits operate in similar ways.

For example, nonprofits need to communicate with their members and donors in the same way that businesses need to communicate with their customers.

Additionally, nonprofits need to find donors, volunteers, and so on, in the same way, that businesses need to find clients.

That is why using a CRM software can be very helpful to any nonprofit. By collecting information about your contacts through a CRM, you can have a complete overview of everyone your nonprofit interacts with. Essentially, it is a tool to help you manage your nonprofit's database.

Pro Tip: In order to get the most out of your CRM, we highly suggest choosing a CRM that is part of an all-in-one nonprofit software (like Springly!), like an ERP, or even a SaaS membership platform. These types of software are extremely useful for nonprofits as you have many different tools in one place (i.e. communication, online payment, accounting, event management, and more). 

As nonprofits face many challenges (increased competition with other nonprofits, decreasing public subsidies, recruiting volunteers, among others) the relationship with all stakeholders is becoming increasingly important. 

In fact, the power of the community has become so important that it has been turned into a new field of work: Community Relationship Manager.


How Does My Nonprofit Benefit?

As we now know, the basic functionality of CRM software is to gather data about the people an organization interacts with or wants to interact with. And these days with all of the different cloud hosting solutions and free cloud storage for nonprofits, there are hundreds of ways to improve data management. A CRM is just the tip of the iceberg! 

Pro Tip: It is always better to err on the side of caution and only collect the data you really need! 

Let's look at an example:

Traditionally, a member would register by filling out a registration form with a pen and paper. That information would likely be copied onto another paper document or into an Excel sheet. 

A CRM allows you to simplify this task (and saves you time!). How? 

Let’s say that at the beginning of the year, registration is done online, meaning that members register online from a device. The information they have filled out will automatically be registered into your CRM, without you having to copy and paste their information across different software. This is a real time saver. 

In addition to saving you time, you can also minimize the chance of recording the wrong information. No more lost papers, files, or illegible handwriting. Everything is safe and secure online. 

Another advantage of a CRM is that it automatically updates all information, including payments recorded, memberships status, and the list goes on!

For certain sectors, sometimes it is necessary to have a medical document, or any other document for that matter, uploaded at the time of registration. You can have your members upload this directly to your website! 

It is always a good idea to keep your data safe, secure, accurate, and accessible. A CRM software helps you do just that.


How to Use Your Data

Having access to the history of your members and donors is a very powerful tool. How can you best utilize this information? 

We’re glad you asked! Here are some examples:

  • Payment tracking: Having access to the history of membership payments allows you to track who paid, how, and when. You can also see if anyone is late? Having access to this information will give you a clear view of which members are up-to-date and who has not yet caught up.

  • Targeted emailing: With a CRM system, you can group your members and donors into categories however you see fit. Once your base is grouped up, you have the ability to send more personal and targeted emails. Springly is the perfect tool for this as it allows you to create groups, directly from your CRM, which you can send targeted emails to directly.

Use data to help you manage your nonprofit: As you probably know, the administrative side of running a nonprofit can be tricky. Have your CRM software help you with the workload! Having access to data like who donated, how much, how many people attended an event, and how many members you had last year, can be found in just a couple of clicks!

Thâo ready to use her CRM

Thâo is ready to make the most of her CRM!


Having clear and secure access to the data of your contacts can help you get to know the people who are a part of your nonprofit, and in turn, help you foster better relationships with them.

The business background of CRM software proves how efficiently you can manage your nonprofit by utilizing the same tool.  Now, coupled with efficient nonprofit software selection criteria, you will be able to use a CRM in the future to help you save time and focus on your mission!

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