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Heller Consulting: Not-for-Profits Recognizing the Value of CRM

July 19, 2012

The past few years have been witness to 'battles royale' when the not-for-profits kicked up a lot of dust about the role of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), which is now fast becoming more than a mere buzzword and gaining ground as a means to reach strategic goals.

At least, this is what Heller Consulting revealed when it announced the findings of its recent study on 'how and why' not-for-profits are approaching CRM.

The report indicates that while the definition of CRM is undergoing a metamorphosis, it is very clear that many not-for-profits have some form of CRM in place to overcome challenges, improve processes, consolidate data and support strategic goals.

This consulting firm that helps not-for-profits streamline their operations and maximize their use of software for fundraising and mission management, compiled the report based on findings from in-depth interviews with executives at 30 large not-for-profits.

"As implementers of CRM systems and processes for nonprofits, it was important for us to find out more from top nonprofits about what challenges they're facing, and how they think CRM can help," said Keith Heller, CEO at Heller Consulting.

And, this was what the study found. Disparate systems and scattered data, the report said, are top challenges for not-for-profits and organizations are using CRM to play a role in helping to consolidate data, information and processes.

Given the paucity of time, the not-for-profit organizations are finding it tough to keep engaged with their constituents and provide top service. They feel that CRM may help to overcome this.

According to the report, the definition of CRM is being modified and broadened to include “everything from a database and related processes to a focused approach on delivering constituent service,” and participants regarded CRM as a proactive strategy to engage with constituents.

Almost all not-for-profits pointed to changes in technology being responsible for moving toward some form of CRM. Many of these organizations claim to have moved forward because of implementing some aspect of CRM. In essence, CRM appears to have willing takers with many not-for-profits veering round to planning to have one in place.

The F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College has recently chosen Enrollment Rx, an innovator of cloud-based CRM solutions for academic institutions, to unify recruitment and admissions in a single system.

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey