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PEAK Grantmaking

What is Robust CRM and the Top 3 Signs You Need It

Sponsored by Bromelkamp 

Ask foundations what the backbone of their organization is 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 center point 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 is and whether it makes sense for their foundation. Here, we will be exploring both.

What makes CRM Robust?

CRM is more than a rolodex of names, addresses, and giving history. A robust CRM 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 or searching multiple databases for the answer a robust 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 robust 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 robust CRM system, let’s explore three telltale signs that your foundation needs one.

Top 3 signs you may need a more robust CRM system:
  1. You deal with duplicate entries. Using spreadsheets, paper files, and personal email can result in duplicate and out-of-date records with limited accessibility by other staff members. CRM is 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.
  2. You spend a lot of time copy-and-pasting. With robust CRM, tracking communication such as email, phone, events, and appointments can be done with the click of a button, instead of time-intensive activity tracking.
  3. 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 robust CRM system. Interested in learning more about CRM and how your current technology stacks up? Learn more in our free resource, Foundation Technology Shop Guide: 12 CRM Features That Radically Improve Your Foundation Technology.

Using Akoya Go’s CRM has made all the difference to our organization. During the pandemic and in our new remote working environment, it supported our collaborative grantmaking efforts in a way that we never could have expected! It allowed us to share information easily across departments and directly impacted our ability and agility in providing immediate funding to those in need.

- Kelly Matti, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust

At Bromelkamp, our akoyaGO product includes a robust CRM that is tailored for the way you work. During COVID when akoyaGO users headed to home offices, not only were contacts, phone numbers, and addresses accessible, users were fully functional in our cloud-based management software. akoyaGO works on all your mobile devices through Microsoft Dynamics 365 and automated workflows. Rely on us for flexible, comprehensive, and integrated software that works the way you do.