top of page

3 Reasons Cookie Cutters are for Baking: Not CRM

Every person who makes a gift to a nonprofit does so for different reasons.  Some give to reduce their taxes and others for pure altruistic reasons.  None of them have a desire to be treated like a cookie cutter. Being unique, and doing more than churn out plain sugar cookies is prudent, don’t you agree? In this article, we discuss how CRM software for nonprofits can be the secret ingredient in making donors eat your message up.

Using CRM To Bake Up A Unique Donor Experience  

This past holiday, I was blessed to have the opportunity to spend some time with my children. During that time, we spent a lot of time eating. Yep, didn’t we all, right? During this, as a family we usually bake special cookies which tend to be a little different than your average one. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find all shapes sizes and ingredients. I would definitely say that they are usually quite unique. And, my children make one special cookie just for my wife and I to enjoy which is tailored for us.

It’s something about those cookies which despite their imperfections are the best. This experience is similar to what I believe that each nonprofit should try to achieve for their donors. Certainly, this is a lofty goal but each and every time you pick up the phone, accept of donation, or help a member the experience should be unique. It certainly should be different than the mundane “break and bake” cookies which are often bought at the grocery store. While that is ok for some situations, it doesn’t fire me up or get me excited. There is simply no emotion to the experience.

Well, to me those “break and bake” cookies aren’t what donors or members expect from a relationship with your nonprofit. Rather, today’s donors demand individualized desserts tailored to their tastes.  And, for most nonprofit executive’s today this unique experience can be enhanced by Customer Relationship Management Software and solid relationship driven processes to help set their experience apart from all the others.

The game has changed. No longer can any organization, including a nonprofit, maintain the status quo. With more than 1.5 million non-profits, you need a competitive edge. Philanthropists want to see a return on their investment.  No way can you send the same appeal to every investor in your database each and every year.

The goal is to encourage a person to move from a casual observer, to an engaged donor.  It takes work managing relationships.  Donors smell inauthenticity from miles away.  With the right approach and the help from the right technology, you can avoid cookie cutter methods and become a gourmet chef in three areas:

Meet Donor’s Expectations:

Contact Management components of CRM software can help you keep track of trends and predict what may be important to donors now and in the future. Everyone has some kind of an expectation when they enter into a relationship – including a donor.  You have to mind those details, or it will appear like you do not care.

I read an article online the other day which shed some light on this. The Luxury Daily is working with a software management system to meet, and even exceed, the expectations of a specific crowd.  Their plan is simple: Keep in mind future client expectations, understand the consumer journey and identifying opportunities for Chanel to strategically serve its consumers across target segments. The end goal was to identify key tactics needed to create “a personalized, yet consistent experience along the continuum of the lifetime customer journey. After studying expectations, they then began the use of technology to expand brand awareness, strategic partnerships and travel and hospitality experiences. Brand can be enhanced if you store pertinent information about your donors and use it to market appropriately.

Listen Closely to Donors

CRM Software for Nonprofits can help you be a better listener. It is amazing the kind of information people will share on social media channels today.  The good news is this: you can track it through many CRM tools.  Your non-profit can monitor your reputation and provide timely responses to criticism (fair or otherwise) through man CRM tools today.  Social listening is a key to understanding what your donors are interested in today. Also, it is important to track the kinds of events and charity events your donors engage with online.  It is amazing what you can learn, when you really listen.  Good listening is one crucial to relationship management. Store and record in your CRM so that it become the intellectual property of your nonprofit.

Maintain Transparency With Donors:

Nonprofit CRM can help you keep track of communications, activity history, & even financial data. Sometimes, a non-profit appears shady when numbers and reports are not readily available.  Or, if the non-profit is not accurate in reporting to donors in a year-end document.  In a world where fraud is rampant, accuracy is a must.  You will be grateful for a robust and powerful CRM if a major donor does not believe you are not transparent about how his or her money is spent.  It is not wise to skimp on a CRM with poor reporting features.

While we do not sell software, implement, or train on any particular CRM Software technology, we do believe in the value which they can afford almost any organization who has a sincere desire to do more with less and values the development of sincere relationships with their constituents.

I believe that CRM software along with the proper processes is critical to the success of any type of organization. In a non profit, it can make the difference in reaching a fundraising goal, membership campaign drive, and ultimately reaching your mission or not. There is no greater way to show someone that they are important than by treating them like they are unique. The cookie cutter approach to relationship development doesn’t work.

If you would like to explore CRM software for your Nonprofit or you’d like to place your order for a special cookie please Contact Us.

Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.


bottom of page