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Jan 12, 2016

Let’s Get Small?

getting smallAs we kick off 2016, I have a question for you. Let me set the context.

In the past decade, we’ve witnessed many of our clients migrate from micro-computer based fundraising databases to CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) cloud-based databases.

And for 10-years we’ve seen many of these organizations’ ability to leverage their data for insights decline. Rather than the CRM serving the nonprofit, it seems like the nonprofit now must serve the CRM.

I still find this so ironic and frustrating.

I know it’s not any one CRM or any one client. I think most every organization underestimates the commitment of undertaking migrating to a CRM. They also underestimate the cultural change required to harness the power of CRM – which includes adding highly trained (and highly salaried) fundraising professionals to run it. Most organizations understand the need for CRM and are willing to swallow the expense of the database infrastructure, but in my experience, too few organizations have been willing to cover the cost to train their people adequately or add CRM professionals who know fundraising to their payrolls.

It’s like building a fancy new library, filling the library with books, magazines and periodicals, and then not hiring any librarians.

OK, that’s my long-winded setting of the context. Here’s my question: Do you think organizations will one day abandon their failed CRM adventures and return to micro-computer fundraising databases?

Love to hear your thoughts.

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