Choosing a Nonprofit CRM? This is the Most Important Consideration

Are you looking for a nonprofit CRM? Choosing a CRM for your nonprofit from the dozens of available options can be a daunting and confusing task. What makes each one different? Why do some cost way more than others?

The Most Important Consideration When Choosing a Nonprofit CRM

There are many ways to compare and evaluate nonprofit CRM systems – by price, by features, by brand repute, etc. But these considerations should be used only after you’ve created a shortlist of CRM systems which have first survived the most important consideration – Will we actually use it?

If you won’t actually use the CRM then it’s practically worthless. The most important aspect of a CRM is that it gets put to use and becomes a daily habit within your organization.

With this perspective in mind, the process of evaluating and choosing a CRM for your nonprofit changes quite dramatically. Most of the systems have a very similar set of features (that’s what makes them CRM systems) so you need not be concerned too much about if yours is the most capable. You just need to be sure that you’ll actually use it.

The only way to be certain that you’ll actually use the CRM system is to “try before you buy” and see how you and your staff feel using the software. If it doesn’t feel right – clunky, awkward, confusing – then there’s a high probability that it won’t be used and won’t become a daily habit in your organization.

Learning Curve Versus Difficulty Of Use

Of course, there will be somewhat of a learning curve depending on which CRM you’re trying to evaluate but this is to be expected. In order to not confuse the learning curve with difficulty of use, you’ll need to invest enough time into each CRM system you evaluate to give it a fair chance. And, it’s probably best to go through the same set of exercises with each CRM you consider to get an accurate benchmark across the board.

If you’re certain the CRM will be used, you must also be sure that you and your staff will be able to use it effectively. A tool is only useful when the one using it has adequate skill and knowledge to do so. This means you should also consider the learning curve involved and any investment in training that will need to be provided. Depending on the CRM system you choose this training may be free, it may be a paid offering, or you might have to find outside help to get the training you need.

Simply having a CRM system does nothing for your nonprofit. But if you actually use it, and do so effectively, you will see tremendous results for your organization.

Tim Parkin helps non-profits accelerate their impact by becoming dramatically more effective. Your organization can become exponentially more effective in record time without hiring additional staff, buying expensive software, or investing lots of time.

Are you an Executive Director looking to improve the effectiveness of your organization? Connect with Tim to discuss your organization or call 407-409-8464.