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Why Online CRM Software Can Be An Easy Solution For Non-Profits

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qnaSince 2009, Stacy heads a small nonprofit advocacy group based in Florida gathering funds to support education programs for underprivileged youth and women in developing countries worldwide. The group, composed of Stacy and 10 other full-time staff members plus a number of volunteers across the world, has been active in its operations and proficient in launching and supporting genuine education programs. However, as more funders this year keep coming in and increasing calls to launch education programs in more areas, Stacy is deciding whether her group should use an online CRM software to streamline operations and improve work efficiency.

“Hi there. I head a nonprofit group that supports education programs for children and women worldwide. This year, with more funding opportunities and more areas for operations around the world, should my group use an online CRM software? We are not a large group—we are just 11 full-time workers in our group plus some contact volunteers worldwide—and we really do not have the means to buy an expensive, top-of-the-line CRM application that top companies use?” – Stacy, FL

Thanks for asking, Stacy. By the way, since nonprofits need accounting of their funding and expenses, you may also want to see a side-by-side comparison page of accounting CRM applications that are good for nonprofits and charity organizations.

In essence, nonprofits, charity, or advocacy organizations generally have unique needs and goals when it comes to using a CRM solution. While for-profit companies, such as B2B and B2C businesses, may use online CRM software solutions to engage customers into buying services or products, nonprofits try to sell ideas and convince people to help cause change.

Here are three reasons why nonprofits should use an online CRM solution.

Reason No. 1: An online CRM solution is a good way to communicate ideas, convince support, and catalyze change

Nonprofits can generally to use a web-based or cloud-hosted CRM software to communicate with their funders, stakeholders, and supporters about a cause or an idea that needs their support. Selling an idea—whether it’s political, social, economic, environmental in nature—is more often than not a unique and particularly difficult challenge for advocates. With the help of a CRM software, nonprofits can easily access and manage information about their operations and updates, tap their database of possible donors and stakeholders anywhere in the world (even if you are doing mobile operations) and engage their support, and help catalyze societal change for the better.

Reason no. 2. Online CRM solutions are among the best—and often, inexpensive

Many nonprofits do not have the financial capability to buy the latest and earthshaking CRM applications out there. A quick review of the online CRM software applications today show they are cheaper than the other CRM solutions. Nonprofits also do not have to invest lots of money buying personal computers or servers to accommodate the CRM solution or get IT personnel to supervise and maintain the software’s operations. For your nonprofit enterprise, you may want to look online and search for a vendor that can give you an online software that is right within your budget.

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Reason No. 3. An online CRM solution can help streamline your operations faster and more efficiently

One common problem among nonprofits is the lack of personnel due to funds. Web-based CRM solutions can help you in various operational tasks, such as accounting, management, advocacy campaigns, and communications.

If you want to know more about good CRM tools for nonprofits that you can use, check out TechSoup Global’s “Few good CRM tools”. If you are interested in knowing the future prospects of the CRM industry for your nonprofit or even other businesses, visit our Benefits of CRM Guide.

For further reading on CRM basics check these helpful tips: how to choose the best CRM software vendors; who use CRM software applications; and when do you use CRM software programs?

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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