When you started your nonprofit, a motivated team of volunteers, a list of donors, and a giant heart were all it took to start. With a small team and limited resources, you’ve expanded more.  But as your donors and funds grow, your spreadsheet is teeming with information. And this cluttered data may ultimately result in missed funds. You wish your data was more organized, right? The good news is you only need a nonprofit CRM to revolutionize your organization and not an army of robin hoods. 

The secret here is automation, which is one of the easiest ways to scale and reach more audiences. 

In fact, nearly 70% of routine work done by managers might be fully automated by 2024, cutting down on manual tasks like filling out forms and updating data. This proves a compelling case for nonprofits to take advantage of this automotive wave, improve capabilities and reduce manual reporting.

But first, let’s deep-dive into the main challenges organizations in this sector face.  

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Top 5 challenges faced by the nonprofit sector 

Raising funds

Most people are willing to contribute if they feel strongly about a cause. But the challenge is to reach these sets of people at the right time. Every nonprofit has to create opportunities for donors to give in ways that feel effortless, secure, and appreciated, and this can take up some time and effort on your part. 

Keeping track of donor information

Nonprofits may collect information at various donation drives and community events, but the challenge here is to maintain the data in a single database that volunteers can access at any time. 

Customizing campaign messages

Your end goal is always noble. But making people understand your mission and delivering it in an appealing format is a challenge for nonprofits. Especially when you have low budgets.

Tracking the impact of a campaign

You get your head down to organize donation drives, collect contacts, email them and organize funds for needy causes. But do you track crucial metrics such as message reach, potential donors, and those likely to contribute again? This  will help in future fundraisers. 

Reducing manual effort

People like to volunteer their time, but don’t enjoy the manual work involved. There is also a lack of transparency and compliance in funding events that can be hard to track. Automating manual tasks can incentivise volunteers, reduce workload and improve transparency in operations.

Why does a nonprofit need a CRM?


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All your data, in one place

Get more done in less time

Know what donors look for

Different volunteers help organize various fundraisers across the year. In this change of staff and numerous registries, valuable contact information such as generous past donors gets lost along the way.

A CRM helps centralize your contact data in one single location, including past donors, event attendees, and regular donors. So your volunteers don’t have to toggle multiple screens.

Running a nonprofit also means you have to build relationships with potential donors. But your team is stuck doing administrative tasks and does not have time to build new relationships. 

If you have a nonprofit CRM in place, it helps automate repetitive tasks and save time for your volunteers. 

The quintessential question facing every nonprofit is will people care enough to contribute? That's on every nonprofit owner's mind.

A CRM helps capture the intent of the donor — are they replying to your emails, are they visiting your website, or are they signing up for your events regularly?

These signals allow you to gauge a donor’s likelihood to contribute.

7 Features to look for in a Nonprofit CRM software 


Using a CRM, nonprofits can make sure a donor never slips through the cracks again and engages with customized email campaigns. 

There are many CRMs available for different industries, but choose one with features that match your needs and don't burn a hole in your pocket. 

The right nonprofit CRM will help you get a complete view of your contacts, understand who is interested in engaging with your organization and help suggest the next-best actions. 

Following are some features that a nonprofit like yours can look out for while shopping for a CRM.

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1. Single donor database with profile enrichment 


With a nonprofit CRM, you can manage not just donor information but also the details of your volunteers and other supporters.". It's a single location for your data that you can tap to improve and grow relationships with donors. 

A CRM for nonprofits will allow you to track where donors are in their journey and help you answer some questions like:

  • When did their journey start?
  • How many emails have they received from you?
  • How many fundraising events have they attended before?
  • How much have they contributed?

It should ideally auto-enrich donor profiles with all the information it can find, including:

  • Publicly available social profiles
  • Contact information
  • Past transactions

With a nonprofit CRM, you can streamline vital information and get full context on donor interactions to deliver personalized experiences. 

Learn how to manage donor once they get in touch with you

2. Donation management 


For nonprofits, your website is the face of your organization. People land on your website and want to contribute, but often the storefront is left unattended or is not reliable. Having a landing page with your logo and deploying a web form can encourage donors to fill out their contact information or securely make a donation. 

Setting up an easy-to-fill, customizable web form can help donors navigate easily on your website and share information about themselves. Automating this process also ensures you don't miss any information due to manual data entry. 

Set up webforms with ease for your nonprofit 

3. Improve fundraising outreach with contact management 


In a year, you hold multiple fundraisers. But do your volunteers always go door-to-door to reach out to donors? Do they send out emails and text messages too? 

Then a nonprofit CRM can help you manage outreach initiatives across different platforms. And all this data and follow-ups can be automatically set up and tracked within one single CRM tool — thereby improving your reach. 

A nonprofit CRM should enable you to communicate seamlessly with donors across multiple channels - phone, email, chat, and SMS. The best part? You can store all this information in one single location with the CRM; any volunteer can easily access that. 

Learn how to manage your contacts from your nonprofit CRM 


4. Track and analyze the success of fundraising events and campaigns 


As much effort goes into fundraising, it's equally important to track campaign metrics. You can understand the impact you created and make data-driven decisions in the future. Some CRMs use artificial intelligence to help you break down vast amounts of data. 

A nonprofit CRM should come with the ability to track key metrics like email clicks, reply rate, and bounce rate. Report dashboards within the CRM also ensure that all your data is readily available when needed. Using this data, you can tap into these donors and check if they are interested in donating for other related causes. 

Read more about tracking metrics within the CRM

5.  Make volunteers more efficient with automated workflows


Volunteers work for a few hours or over the weekends. They might be able to give their undivided attention to nonprofit work unless you have employees working for you. 

Automating manual tasks like sending out emails, scheduling follow-ups, and sending reminders can be handled by a nonprofit CRM, thereby reducing administrative tasks.

A nonprofit CRM even provides templates that add to the professional look and feel of the email. 

With automation, you can set up email workflows in the CRM and ensure the email reaches the suitable donor at the right time. Send follow-up emails at the right time to ensure donors keep you at the top of their minds. 

Learn how to set up workflows for your nonprofit

5. Enable volunteering on-the-go


A nonprofit that provides a desktop version and a mobile app is a bonus. With a mobile CRM app, volunteers can add contacts, manage the donor database, and campaign communication with their phones. 

You have all the data related to your NGO at your fingertips. Customize your CRM mobile app, collaborate with your volunteer team, and stay top of your game.

Connect on the go with Mobile CRM

6. Integrations with other websites 


A nonprofit by itself may solve many of your challenges. Additionally, it is also dynamic software that can integrate with multiple other business software you may use for your nonprofit. 

A nonprofit CRM can be integrated with chat, helpdesk, and e-signature software, making your operations robust and well-rounded.

See what integrations you can set up for your nonprofit

Case in Point: How Windmill Microlending Accelerated its Application Process With Freshsales

Windmill Microlending was founded to empower numerous skilled immigrants to achieve career success. One of their biggest challenges was to keep track of numerous applications they received and assign funds to the right applicant. Since the process was very manual, the applicants' information was strewn across their desk in spreadsheets and sticky notes. There was no visibility into where each applicant was in the pipeline. 

The nonprofit immediately saw the need for a CRM and looked out for a CRM that was easy to learn, use, and manage on their own. With Freshsales CRM for nonprofits, Windmill Microlending's intake team was able to:

  • Access all the applicant information on a single screen
  • Automate their follow-ups with applicants
  • Boost their intake cycle from an average of 30 days to 3 days

Some of the features that Windmill Microlending really found useful were: 

 Pick the right CRM for your nonprofit

Choosing the right CRM can be confusing as there are many options in the market. Freshsales CRM offers all of the features that matter for nonprofits: 

  • Maintain a single database for all donors and get their profiles automatically enriched with Freddy AI 

  • Streamline donor communication with email sequences, automated workflows, and text messaging from the CRM 

  • Plan your fundraiser campaigns, and track all data in report dashboards, and take data-driven divisions 

  • In addition to this, Freddy AI identifies donors who are likely to convert and suggests the next best actions

Freshsales has a free trial version that you can sign up for free and see if it works out well for you. It is also affordable, and has different plans for all pocket sizes. Check out the pricing now

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