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PEAK Grantmaking

What is a Potent CRM System and the Top 3 Signs You Need It

Sponsored post from Bromelkamp

Ask foundations what the backbone of their organization and they’ll tell you – relationships. Foundations know that building relationships beyond the transactional can deepen stakeholder engagement while strengthening their impact. That’s why many foundations are now prioritizing Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) as a centerpoint of their foundations’ technology.

While CRM is not a new technology, it can be new to foundations. This can cause confusion and the assumption that all CRM systems are created equal. It’s important that foundations understand what a robust CRM system actually is and whether or not it makes sense for their foundation. In this post, we will be exploring both.

What makes a CRM system potent?

CRM is more than a rolodex of names, addresses, and giving history. A potent CRM system is one that weaves a total picture of people and their connections to organizations, grants, gifts, funds, loans, committees, events, and more. Imagine needing some quick insights on a recent grant. Instead of the conventional list of grantees, a potent CRM can provide you with a full picture of the grantee, collaborating organizations, consultants on the project, financial advisors, and more.

Another discerning factor that makes a CRM system potent, is its ability to track communication and provide highly-customized opportunities for further engagement. Take, for instance, a last-minute phone call with an important stakeholder – within seconds of typing their name into a database you know a total picture of giving history, the last event attended, committee status, and more. In an instant, you can see this individual never misses a fundraiser and that they have yet to open this year’s email invitation. This prompts you to mention the event and send a follow-up email to secure their attendance.

Now that you have a better idea of what makes for a potent CRM system, let’s explore 3 telltale signs your foundation needs one.

Top 3 Signs You May Need a More Potent CRM System:

  1. You’re typing the same data in multiple places Using spreadsheets, paper files, and personal email can result in duplicate and out-of-date records with limited accessibility by other staff members. Powerful CRM housed in an integrated software allows you to update a single contact across multiple platforms, resulting in universal access to contacts and no more duplication.
  1. You spend a lot of time copy-and-pasting. With a potent CRM solution, tracking communication such as email, phone, events, and appointments can be done with the click of a button, instead of time-intensive activity tracking.
  2. You’re only tracking grantees. Some foundations opt to use a grants management system, often leaving out other important contacts such as volunteers, policymakers, or influencers. A Constituent Relationship Management system should easily allow you to paint the full picture of your foundations’ stakeholders as well as their interactions with you and each other.

If any of these three signs sound familiar, your foundation can benefit from a potent CRM system.