Why CRM systems fail!!

Following on from my previous post about how to healthcheck a CRM system, I wanted to share with you why I think people either love or hate their CRM systems. In most cases its not because one system is better than the other, though there are some systems that don’t fit the not for profit market, it is because users have either bought into the system and can see the benefits or they can’t.

I tell this story a lot but it is one of my most vivid memories of when I started working in the sector. I remember a member of staff, who in the run up to the London Marathon was struggling under the burden of paper that was printed out and then manually entered into the CRM system. It was taking about 3 out of the 5 days in the week to process this data. Now, this wasn’t because the CRM system was rubbish or even that the person didn’t know better, but more because the person who was spending their day wrapped up in paper wasn’t aware of the different things that their CRM system could do.

It was a lack of training. Continue reading Why CRM systems fail!!

How to review your CRM System

Now you are back in the swing of things, the January blues have faded and you are looking forward to your new goals for 2015, it is the perfect time to think about checking that your CRM system is in good shape to help you achieve your targets.

CRM systems need love, care and attention, if you are going to get the best from them and keep them accurate. This is essential to make it easy for all your staff to use, update and understand the data.

databasecartoonWhen I visit charities as part of my consultancy work I often find that their CRM systems are organic beasts.  With changes in staff or business processes or sometimes both, over time, what used to be a lean and relevant system with clear procedures has become increasingly a long winded process that doesn’t easily meet the needs of the organisation’s current objectives.

Continue reading How to review your CRM System

What to ask yourself when choosing a charity CRM system

Anthony’s second guest post for JustGiving….

If your charity is considering implementing a new database or CRM system, here are six things to consider before giving it the green light.

1. To the cloud or not?

With today’s technology, you need to consider whether your system should be hosted internally or by the CRM vendor. In order to make a decision, you need to be able to answer these questions:

Read the whole post on the JustGiving blog.

The mythical world of the charity database

Anthony guest blogs for JustGiving……….

In this first post on CRM systems Anthony Fawkes, Founder of Actually Data, talks through the misconceptions of the charity database and offers some top tips on how to make the most of your CRM database.

Along with my work with JustGiving member charities and helping them to integrate their JustGiving data into their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, I get asked on a more frequent basis about CRM systems in general. CRM is sometimes swapped for other acronyms such as DRM (Donor Relationship Management system), SRM (Supporter or Stakeholder Relationship Management) and even MRM (Membership Relationship Management).

Read the whole post on JustGiving’s site

My Marathon Experience

The Team from SandsHaving worked in the sector now for over 8 years and first starting off in online fundraising I thought it was about time for me to do my bit and join a cheering squad, no I’m definitely not a runner, despite my personal trainer’s best efforts.

Back in October 2013 I was asked by one of my clients, Sands, if I would go down to the marathon to take some pictures of their runners that they could use on social media and marketing materials. Having an interest in photography and having never been to the marathon I accepted the challenge of trying to capture these amazing athletes at their final stage in a journey.

I turned up around 9 with chair and packed lunch in hand and headed to meet the team on Birdcage Walk. We were about 800 metres from the end. It was a great day for being a spectator, London in the sunshine is a truly magnificent city.

First off were children, I managed to test the settings and get in some training for what the day was going to hold and then I saw the first casualty, a child collapsed by the side of the road and police and medics turned up fairly swiftly and got him back up on his feet and with the roar of the crowd he continued on his merry way and this is what I have found so heartwarming. I work in the sector so I see all the great causes that people raise money for and admire some of them in the way that they support their fundraisers but being part of the cheer squad was a humbling and uplifting part of the day.

These runners who had been in training during the monsoon winter weather in the UK were doing their bit with their motivation keeping them moving forward.

I realised that the crowds along this part were helping motivate the people who really thought that they had had enough. I remember a guy sitting on the side of the pavement in front of where I was cheering and at least four runners stopped to try and get the guy moving, he took his breath and with an eruption from the crowd he continued on his way. I also remember someone else on the other side of the street getting a fireman’s lift for the last part of this gruelling 26.2miles and that is what it was about helping each other achieve something truly amazing.

The amazing costumes and the grimacing on the runners faces as they completed the challenge running in the heat and the euphoria of the crowd. I bow to each and everyone of them and say well done and thank you – you made it an amazing day for us the “not so fit” marathon supporters.

Here’s a selection of the pics I took, if anyone would like original copies, please get in touch and I’ll email them across to you.