Modus was recently asked by a growing medium-sized charity to help them change their CRM system as their current system didn’t provide them with enough of the functionality they now require. We were ideally placed to advise on this as we had just finished a review of 19 different charity CRM systems.
Before we started the project, we discussed the charity’s strategic plan and how they intended to continue to grow the charity. This is vitally important as there is no benefit in bringing in a new system with all the bells and whistles if it isn’t consistent with the charity’s growth objectives.
Once we covered this, we got more into the weeds, and the project evolved as follows:
The primary objective was to identify the right CRM system for the charity within their budget.
Our client didn’t have a brief fully covering the criteria needed by all areas of the charity.
Furthermore, the data held within the current system was either incomplete or had various duplicate entries.
We worked with the client to develop a comprehensive brief and an objective scoring matrix to review the relevant options in detail. In this case, two solutions were reviewed – we always recommend a detailed assessment of no more than three systems. It is also important to make sure that all relevant stakeholders have input into the brief. A realistic budget must also be considered. We advise clients to think of the lifetime value of the system rather than the cost to assess whether the new system will give them the minimum return on investment needed.
There are too many potential criteria to list here in full. The five most common are:
- Customisable for the specific needs of the charity
- Contact management – how exactly is information recorded?
- Integration with other systems, e.g. website, finance software, online giving sites
- Gift Aid management
If you would like a copy of our full CRM criteria checklist, please email Tim Shaw at email@example.com.
Once the solution was chosen, we worked with the charity on implementation. There are always complexities around this part of a project, particularly with the structure of the data being input and integrations with other systems.
Different suppliers provide different solutions to help with this – some offer direct support, and others signpost you to specialists. Either way, you should seek professional help as there is nothing worse than investing in a new system and then quickly finding it can’t do everything you want and in the way you want it to do it.
Once the new system was ready to go live, we ensured that all users were properly trained. It sounds obvious, but all too often we see systems being used (or sometimes not used) to nowhere near their capability.
We always suggest you have at least one internal superuser. And finally, on this subject, you should embed CRM training into your induction process for new staff so that they too know the full capability and how the system should be used.
Finally, we helped our client write a “data entry” protocol so that anyone entering data into the system did it in a consistent way. Our client was also able to bring in a resource whose responsibility was to ensure that data on the system was consistent and being kept clean.
As a result of this project, the main benefits for the charity are that they now have:
- A CRM system set up in a way that they need to continue to grow their charity.
- A team that is engaged with the system and using it to its maximum potential.
- Clean and structured data.
- Automation – taking out previously time-consuming tasks.