Fundraising CRM to an Enterprise CRM – three key steps to consider

 In CRM (Constituent Relationship Management), Software Selections

Fundraising CRM to an Enterprise CRM – three key steps to consider

There are many reasons our clients consider when thinking about life after a fundraising CRM. These reasons include:

  • You are missing valuable information that is housed elsewhere in the data systems of your organization.
  • Your fundraising-focused CRM platform is no longer meeting or serving your organization’s business needs.
  • Your fundraising technology is outdated and can no longer meet your nonprofits requirements.
  • You are looking for something more customizable.

Whatever your motivation and reasoning, moving from a fundraising CRM to an enterprise CRM solution could be the right move to understand and serve your constituents more holistically.

Moving to an enterprise will ultimately increase the amount of data accessible to stakeholders across your organization. This can have many significant, positive impacts to your organization. For example, you may obtain the ability to communicate more effectively across teams within your CRM system. Or, you might be able to see extended email marketing data. Maybe you want to gain a clearer picture of the life cycle of a constituent at your organization. While these positive impacts can be extremely motivating to your organization, it is important to recognize that this increase in data visibility and users also creates space for operational and process issues, poor data hygiene, system misuse, and lower than hoped for adoption.

If your organization is considering moving on from your fundraising CRM to an enterprise CRM, consider the following areas that need organizational attention. This will set you up for a more successful transition, but also inform the journey ahead.

Identify Stakeholders

With any large-scale CRM, and especially one that combines teams across an organization, it is imperative that a representative stakeholder group is identified. This stakeholder group should be made up of at least one representative from each functional/departmental/team area. Stakeholders should be engaged to hold data governance discussions related to the overall organizational management of the CRM.

Gone are the days that only fundraising stakeholders would be suitable for making decisions around data clean-up, field definitions, and customizations. It would now be an important requirement to consider impacts to the marketing, membership, finance, and any other stakeholder teams impacted by a move.

Ensuring the success of this group should become an important business focus and include regular meetings, roadmaps, and back-up participants as well as support from leadership.

For larger organizations, this group could be used in a more technical capacity to review issues and make suggestions for improvements while a separate, higher-level group or steering committee makes overall business decisions that may impact revenue or operations.

Our Change Management Impact Catalog helps identify stakeholders and make sure they are supported through the change in CRM ahead.

CRM selection and implementation impacts different people in different ways. Whether the impacts are large or small, creating a catalog of the changes ahead gets your CRM implementation on the right track.

Document, Document, Document!

Extending a CRM’s use past the needs and goals of the fundraising team includes meeting the needs and goals of many other teams. Suddenly it becomes unclear what data entry options may mean to someone else, which teams need access to which features, or how to properly name a report to note its purpose to other users. Document, Document, Document.

Documenting these business decisions and definitions is monumentally helpful to all users. Collecting instructions, glossaries, definitions, naming convention guides, and other supporting documentation and keeping it in a centralized location will set your organization up for success when training new staff members, investigating data issues, making decisions about system changes, and recalling historic procedures.

For larger organizations, you may need documentation to inform which data points determine ownership of all, or part of, a constituent relationship.

For example, the marketing team may normally be approached with an issue about an email subscriber, but if that email subscriber were to have made a recent donation, “ownership” about any record changes or data decisions may now be moved to the fundraising team. A referenceable document that outlines these specific constituent markers can help to inform the best plan of action while considering the constituents’ relationship to the organization.

Prepare and Plan to Consolidate Constituent Records

In the world of your fundraising-focused CRM, deduping may be a nonissue or an ongoing data project as part of regular data hygiene. Prepare and plan to consolidate constituent records as part of the implementation of an enterprise CRM solution.

Moving to a holistic CRM and incorporating data from the systems of other teams may create or exacerbate existing duplicate constituent records. Duplicate records can pile up and cause a slew of additional data issues such as fundraising data being split across records, increased solicitation costs from sending duplicate communications, and accessibility issues for other stakeholders.

Establishing an organization-wide deduping plan can help you get ahead of the issue and continue to maintain it over time. Using your newly formed user group and centralized documentation process, a record dedupe guide should be created that includes a hierarchy of constituent data and their stakeholders, how-to guide to perform a record merge, and schedule for merging whether it is split by stakeholder or performed all together.

Moving from a Fundraising CRM to Enterprise CRM – Impact

Moving to a holistic CRM is an exciting opportunity for an organization to consolidate information, collaborate between teams, and see the many impacts your organization can make on a single constituent.

While there are many preparation tools and impact areas specific to your organization to consider when making this change, creating a representative stakeholder group, documenting procedures and guidelines, and making a constant effort to keep your CRM clear of duplicate records are universal areas that will need your attention.

When done well, moving from a fundraising CRM to an enterprise CRM unlocks enormous potential to understand all of your constituents, and better manage and engage with them.

Technology Roadmapart of technology selections