Sometimes work is work, and other times, especially when speaking with supporters or meeting beneficiaries, it’s much more than that. It’s a vocation, a mission, a hope of making a positive difference. Whether our intentions for our work are philosophical, practical, or somewhere in between, relationships are undoubtedly the key to our success.
Depending on the charity, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software might be better known by the moniker: ‘The database’, or ‘the spreadsheet’, or even for larger charities, ‘our data team’.
Often, when I’m thinking about CRMs it’s in the context of the current challenge I’m facing in pulling a list of contacts for a marketing activity or mailing. It is too easy to confuse the ‘how do I?’ with the ‘why am I?’ when it comes to using the data on our CRMs and the intentions with which we use it.
In episode 79 of the Charity Chat Podcast, we spoke with acclaimed fundraiser and consultant, Giles Pegram CBE, about the importance of the donor experience.
In episode 84 of the podcast, we spoke with Nick Burne and again with Giles about the opportunity and urgency created by the COVID-19 pandemic to engage supporters in the work of the charities.
Right at the beginning of the pandemic, we spoke with Ilana Jackman, about the initial shock charities were feeling and how it was a time for charities to build closer bonds with their donors. CRMs are vital to ensuring that charities of all sizes are able to do this, and bring into their conversations with their donors the memories they share and the unique identity of both parties, which defines the relationship.
Understanding what moves your donors, and how your communication can best fit into their life is one of the questions arising in many of Charity Chat’s podcast episodes. In our interview with Matt Barnett, we spoke about how video messaging can be used to deliver quick, bespoke and engaging communications to supporters.
The Charity Chat podcast brings in a multitude of perspectives from across the charity sector, and one of the fundamental principles that keeps on coming through is building effective relationships and how, why, when, and where to do it. The good news is that we all have the skills to do this and learn how to do it better, and a CRM is a useful tool to help us.
Samuel Davies is a fundraising leader and trustee and Chair of Charity Chat and regularly produces their podcast episodes.
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