Constituent Relationship Management - CRM

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  • What's good, what's bad?
  • Learning more about Civi
  • How to chose the right CRM – needs assessment? ←- it would be really great to create a CRM needs assessment for nonprofits
  • Security
  • Personal CRM? Scanner business cards
    • evernote – take pictures of business cards
    • contact me
    • capsuleCRM – cool tagging tools
    • business card scanner that has its own internal CRM, but can export it
    • nimbleCRM
    • zappier is a free service/app that will migrate data from your smartphone to somewhere else
  • How do I manage contacts in many different places (eventbrite, meetups)
    • for eventbrite, you can export the contacts in a csv file and then import into civicrm or other CRMs
    • be cautious of using meetup b/c you can't export the data!! it's important to be in control of you data

CRM tools:

  • CiviCRM
    • steep learning curve, but it's intuitive when using it right out of the box
    • needs special hosting because it requires a lot
  • ActionKit
  • RedHen CRM
  • Salsa – used for advocacy
  • Salesforce
    • free for nonprofits, but they charge for API calls
  • Highrise
    • cloud based
    • interacts with basecamp
    • subscription-based, no training needed
    • you can organize contacts via tagging
    • not sure if you can use it to manage events
  • Luminate (Convio)
  • Dynamics CRM (Microsoft)
  • Zoho
  • Action Network –
    • you can't manage activities (notes),
    • but it helps you engage your audience for online organizing (as opposed to ongoing relationship management),
    • you can create groups within it so each field organizing has access to their own group,
    • you can't look at the entire list of who is in the database
    • very user friendly
  • Batchbook
    • not free
    • tagging
  • Nation Builder
    • integrates well with social media**
  • Attentively
    • integrates well with social media**


  • contacts
  • donor management
  • contracts

CRMs track engagement:

  • event participation
  • signing up for email lists
  • donating money

Benefits of CRMs:

  • allows you to customize and segment your communications for specific audiences
  • you can better understand how people engage with you over time, which can help with decision-making to help improve your engagement strategy
  • you can share and access the contact info of your team's networks
  • you can see the notes from meetings that your colleagues have had with contacts (helps you to understand organizational relationships), in other words, it's an internal communications tool to share contact-related info
  • allows you to streamline your fundraising efforts – helps you coordinate campaigns, integrates with paypal,, stripe, and other payment processing platforms. This approach is more affordable than using something like kickstarter.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising

CiviCRM resources:

  • – demo, case studies, webinars, newsletter
  • integrates with drupal, wordpress, joomla (works best with drupal)
  • (?)
  • good to work with a developer to make sure everything is configured correctly
  • make sure to stay up to date with updates. Ongoing maintenance is necessary. The platform is constantly being improved.
  • There are companies now that offer civicrm hosting (see civicrm partners) who will do the updates for you
  • cividesk

Before you select your tool:

  • think about your data strategy (Lisa Jervis can help with this)
    • create a monthly meeting when we look at the data in this platform
    • make it part of the organizational culture!
    • Understand the current workflow and find interventions that will be successful. Any new tool will massively change the org's workflow
    • if your engagement strategy requires data on current participants, a CRM is critical to understanding this database
    • Needs assessment!!
  • what is your content strategy? Where are the people that you want to communicate to? Where is the content?
  • this is what we want to know:
    • report of how many people signed up for our newsletter
  • think about training for your staff
  • how will you maintain the platform?

How to select a tool:

  • values: do you want to use an open source tool?


  • helping your team understand how important data is and that we need to invest in the management of it
  • hard to find incentives for staff to input data into the CRM, but I'm not savvy enough to configure CiviCRM to make their work processes easier or more effective

CRM tools that integrate with social media?

  • Nation builder and attentively integrates well
  • Keep security in mind – it might be better to not allow integrations in order to keep social media profiles seperate to protect the privacy of the contacts in your platform