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Members and Donors and Contacts, Oh My!

Alliance for Biking & Walking Mutual Aid Call Wednesday, February 12, 2014
If youre fed up with keeping all your donations in spreadsheets, using outdated software to track volunteer hours, or trying to integrate multiple contact databases into a in a brand new system, it could be time for a good Constituent Relationship Management (CRM). On this webinar, Alliance staff and leaders from the biking & walking movement offered some advice for organizations looking to get their first CRM or replace their current system.


Megan Odett Alliance for Biking & Walking

Eric Rogers BikeWalkKC

Kevin Whited INDYCOG

Recap: Overview of CRMs

Levels of constituent management: Excel Spreadsheets (currently used by 70% of webinar participants) Contact management database (will manage contacts and let you have one-to-many relationships with organizations and contacts) Donor management system: will track everything in a contact management database, plus donations; will associate donations with either individuals or organizations CRM: will provide a comprehensive (360) view view of every instance when a constituent interacts with your organization: volunteers, donors, members, petition signers, e-mail subscribers, event attendees, etc. 500-1000 contacts is a good threshold to consider moving to a full CRM Fees for implementation will range from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on the complexity of your needs, the system you use, and the consultant you work with Popular CRM systems: Salesforce (plus apps) CiviCRM Salsa NationBuilder Wild Apricot eTapestry 1 Convio

Members and Donors and Contacts, Oh My! Alliance for Biking & Walking Mutual Aid Call Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Pros and Cons of Two CRMs

Salesforce: Pros: Flexible, free and open source (8 users or fewer), robust app exchange for better reporting / functions, includes many bike / ped orgs, national community of users and enthusiasts. Runs on Apex and VisualForce. Cons: Costs time and / or money to set up. Originally created for for-profit sales, but not as robust dedicated donor management or fundraising database without add-ons. CiviCRM: Pros: Standalone, web-based, open source system. Runs on MySQL, php. Donations, petitions, reporting, mass emailing, volunteer management functions. Modular and flexible system. One that balances power, complexity. Can integrate with 3 web platforms (Word Press, Joomla, Drupal) and sync with several mass mail programs, including Constant Contact and MailChimp. Can use tags to track very granular information about contacts. Cons: Requires lots of IT capacity in house or with a consultant. Beyond the capabilities of a volunteer with ongoing support and maintenance. Does not yet have a lot of social media integration (like Nation Builder pulling Facebook and Twitter accounts). No dedicated support unless you are working with a consultant.

Shopping for a CRM: Things to Consider

Be clear about your needs: For example, INDYCOG hired an intern to research CRMs. At the end of their process, they knew that their ideal CRM would track data on contacts, organizations, donations, volunteer history, events, political districts, and telephone conversations Settled originally on Salsa. Promised lots of things from Salsa several interviews. Implementation process went slowly and poorly, then INDYCOG found out 4 months into the implementation process that Salsa has no native function for renewing annual memberships Ask for help: INDYCOG was able to get volunteer help by putting the word out to their social media followers that they were looking for assistance with their CRM. There are many nonprofit tech consultants who specialize in designing, implementing and maintaining CRM systems. Popular systems, such as CiviCRM and Salesforce, will have many consultants available. 2

Members and Donors and Contacts, Oh My! Alliance for Biking & Walking Mutual Aid Call Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Additional Resources
Alliance for Biking & Walking - Members CRM spreadsheet INDYCOG - White paper on CRM systems (PDF) Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) and IdealWare - A Consumers Guide to Donor Management Systems TechSoup - A Few Good CRM Tools: Is a constituent relationship management system a good fit for your nonprofit or charity? NTEN - Selecting a Nonprofit CRM System? Start with the Strategy!