The Right Tools Make all the Difference: Part 1

Raising money is hard. Really hard.

Not only do you have to identify donors who are passionate about the challenges your organization is committed to solving, but you have to break through the barrage of communication that competes for the attention of your donors.

On top of this, you have at least 83 tasks you perform on a daily basis that take WAY longer than they should – pulling those reports that your executive director NEEDS BY THE END OF THE DAY, sending receipts to thank givers for their support, running segmentation for next week’s email, and inviting a segment of donors from Tucson who have an average gift of at least $100 to your next event.

Trust me, I’ve been in your shoes and I feel your pain. I’ve been forced to use nonprofit CRM software that required me to jump through 26 hoops just to do the simplest task. I’ve also had the pleasure of using nonprofit CRM software that makes my life easy. By experiencing both, I’ve learned one really important lesson: the right tools make all the difference.

The fact of the matter is that no organization can be successful for very long without a nonprofit CRM solution that makes life easy (and makes showing up to work a little more enjoyable). But there are a number of common ways nonprofit leaders can get off track when selecting the best solution for their day-to-day operations.

There’s a LOT to bite off here…. so I’m going to break this up into several blog posts. Today we’ll focus on one key set of stakeholders who can easily be overlooked when it comes to choosing a CRM. In future posts, we’ll consider other mistakes you should be sure to avoid.

Don’t Overlook Everyday Users

As we’ve emphasized time and again, raising money is inherently relational. This means that those contributing to your cause shouldn’t be treated as nameless, faceless transactions. But neither should the needs and concerns of the people tasked with fundraising within your organization be ignored. After all, they’re the ones working tirelessly, day after day, to engage givers and ultimately drive your cause forward.

With that in mind, one of the worst mistakes you can possibly make is to overlook the concerns of the people actually using your CRM on a daily basis. Writing for Information Age, a monthly business technology magazine and website based in the UK, Ben Rossi outlines several key CRM mistakes to avoid, including the danger of overlooking your users:

The implementation of nonprofit CRM software, or indeed any new technology, can overlook the one person who’s going to make it work – the user. Never forget that the experienced sales executive can also be the jaded sales executive, whose reaction when there is a new system can be “oh, they’re revamping the IT system again, what a pain”. The IT professional is accustomed to communicating; explaining why there are benefits, what these benefits are and how the daily users’ lives will be made easier and more profitable with the new technology.

Many of us at Virtuous have been in your shoes. We’ve worked for a variety of nonprofits, tasked with raising money just like you. We know how clunky and frustrating many of the existing CRMs can be to use.

That’s why one of our non-negotiables from the very beginning of Virtuous was to create a CRM that we would actually enjoy using. And we think we’ve succeeded. Virtuous is not only easy on the eyes, it’s also a breeze to use when you need to get things done. That’s important, because the whole point of a modern CRM is to free you up to do what you do best – not to bog you down and leave you frustrated.

We’d love to show you why we love Virtuous. Schedule a live demo now to see how easy Virtuous is to use.

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