Enthuse - Donor Pulse Summer Report is here. Get the report (on a blue button).

Recent developments in charity CRM systems

Melanie May | 20 January 2021 | News

The last 12 months have seen a number of developments in the world of charity CRM. Here’s a round up of some of the highlights.
In line with the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the increases in remote working and virtual fundraising, a common thread has been the introduction of more cloud-based functionality, as well as features enabling the integration of social media giving tools and fundraising platforms,
Other introductions include features to boost Gift Aid collection, data accuracy and security, and to provide support with supporter communications, grant applications, reporting, and more.

cloud computingNew cloud-based system for smaller charities from The Access Group

March 2020 saw The Access Group launch Access NFP CRM, a simplified and cloud-based CRM system to help small and medium-sized charities manage service delivery, fundraising and communications remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.
It enables users to quickly establish a database of supporters and to manage and track communications, process donations and Gift Aid, and produce activity reports. And, as a cloud-based system, it can be securely and remotely accessed at any time from anywhere.
The Access Group has also added a number of new features to its thankQ CRM over the last year, with more to come. This has included joining it with Access Workspace to enable insights from thankQ to be shared more widely across organisations, and integrations with Access’s own Rapidata direct debit processing, as well as the company’s finance tools and Access Website Suite to provide a robust view of the whole organisation and supporter journeys across multiple channels.
Additional functions extending thankQ’s analytics and reporting capabilities are also coming, while extended controls for data management and archiving have already been added.
Shaf Mansour, not for profit solutions specialist at The Access Group, explains:

“We know that built-for-purpose CRM systems are ideal to help fundraising teams manage relationships or gather insight into their members, but we wanted to ensure that this knowledge was shared and actionable across the entire organisation.
“By joining Access thankQ with the built-in Access Workspace solutions, senior teams, board members or trustees can easily access real-time information which will help them to make better strategic, and data-informed decisions.”


An introduction to AI for charity professionals by Ross Angus


Launch of Fundraising & Engagement for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales

In October, Microsoft announced the launch of Fundraising and Engagement for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales: a solution built with MISSION CRM and designed to provide a centralised home for all donor management and fundraising activities.
Built on the Microsoft non-profit Common Data Model, it enables organisations of all sizes to streamline everyday processes and get real-time insight of all fundraising and financial outcomes. It supports the most common fundraising scenarios across multiple donation types and channels, including major and annual giving, recurring gift and membership programmes.

Salesforce enhancements

Salesforce also announced some new innovations and enhancements in its Nonprofit Cloud’s Summer ’20 Release, aimed at helping non-profits navigate the new normal brought by Covid-19.
These included Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) free enhancements Gift Entry and Recurring Donations. The first helps users more quickly and accurately enter batch and single gifts into Salesforce, while Recurring Donations helps non-profits manage regular gifts and better forecast revenue.
Salesforce is also helping with the grant application process through other new features, including the Grantee Portal Template, which makes it easier to find and apply for funding and grants, view application status, and submit ongoing progress reports. Another new intro, Accounting Subledger, brings fundraising and finance together to ensure consistent revenue, payment and accounting data across fundraising and financial systems, with customised templates for over 20 different accounting systems.

magnifying glassFundraising platform integration, Gift Aid help, & more

Cloud-based Donorfy has added a raft of features over the past 12-18 months too. Like Salesforce, it has also introduced functionality to help with the grants process in the shape of major donor and trust & foundation fundraising tools. These help from the prospect research stage to pipeline management, with graphical tools to visualise and manage the asks and grant applications.
Donorfy CEO Robin Fisk comments:

“Charities want to professionalise their approach to grant applications, major gift fundraising and the like. With best-practice built in, these tools enable charities to manage and track the pipeline knowing they’re doing it properly.”

Other additions have included integrating with Facebook and Instagram giving tools, as well as JustGiving and VirginMoney Giving, bringing these donors and their donations into Donorfy, reclaiming the Gift Aid automatically, and with the fundraising platforms, bringing the pages into the Donorfy system too, to enable the charity to track fundraisers and their progress towards their goals.
Fisk says:

“Fundraising is increasingly peer-to-peer, and that information – whichever platform the fundraiser chooses – needs to flow into the CRM so that the charity has the full picture about who supports the charity, and how. Without the integration the data is held in separate silos, which makes it very hard to see the whole picture.”

In response to the number of organisations now using JustGiving to let donors sponsor their friends and family in challenge events, and to help charities gain a more accurate picture of how much is being raised, and where, Beacon CRM has also added JustGiving integration.
In addition, with a lot of Gift Aid still going uncollected in the sector, it has added Gift Aid declaration forms to ease the process.
Chris Houghton, Beacon CRM CEO explains:

“Collecting Gift Aid declarations can be quite labour-intensive. Many charities send out Gift Aid declaration forms via email, who then need to print, complete, scan and reply with them via email, which is a lengthy process for all involved. Beacon Gift Aid declaration forms automate this entire process, saving Gift Aid declarations into the database and surfacing the newly eligible donations.”

And finally, with data accuracy always a priority for charities, both Donorfy and Beacon CRM were among those to add features to their charity CRMs last year to help with the duplicate management process, with new functionality to detect, flag up and deal with potential duplicates.

Main image by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash