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Selecting the Best Nonprofit CRM. Salesforce vs. Insightly vs. Infusionsoft vs. CiviCRM

Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) is a fancy, tech-ridden phrase that means something quite simple. It helps you organize your people and run a more-efficient organization.

It allows scenarios such as:

If one person attends a bunch of events, but doesn't give any donations, then you know to ask for donations to him differently.If someone clicks several of your emails, but doesn't come to any of your events, maybe you'll want call her with a personal invitation.Your Executive Director can log into a CRM and see a personalized dashboard of all of this week's donations versus to the same time last year.You can break down the "silos" - development, programs/services and volunteers - and better understand how an individual or family truly relates to your organization.You may want to automate your volunteer recruitment and scheduling.Or possibly manage your members better.

It ties your donors, volunteers, staff, board members and constituents under one roof.

CiviCRM

CiviCRM certainly has a polarizing set of pros and cons. CiviCRM is an add-on CRM that's available to organizations running their site on either Drupal or Joomla content management systems. It's community is tight-knit and there's an active forum around troubleshooting and issues. It now has a global community in 20+ languages with 15,000 users.The Pros

I love that CiviCRM is seamlessly integrated with an organization's website (assuming if they are on either Joomla and Drupal, and more recently; Wordpress). Tight integration with a CRM can be terribly time-consuming and pricing. CiviCRM is installed within a few seconds and configuration can start taking place.There are no licensing fees, so you can add users for no additional costs.Easy to customize. Since CiviCRM's code is open-source (e.g. not proprietary to the software company), it's really straightforward to customize to fit exactly how you want it to perform.Smart community of people. We've been on the Civi forums, and its members are usually quick and eager to respond and help an organization out. It's quite refreshing.The functionality, while may take a day or two learning curve, is fairly straightforward once you get the gist of things.

The Cons

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Get and Manage Grants Better with Salesforce.com

Though it can sometimes seem like a lot of work around soliciting an individual donation, they are typically quite informal acquisition processes, you:

• Approach the potential donor;• Engage in discussion/provide some information; and,• Ask!

You quickly know whether you've got the donation—and even if they say "no", you can sometimes win them back with additional conversation and/or data.

Wouldn't it be nice if getting and managing a grant was that easy?

Most foundations, corporations and government entities have imposed a rigid structure to their grant processes, which require a series of documents to be completed and submitted for approvals within a specific format, timeframe, and, in order. Even after winning a grant, there are typically narrowly defined reporting requirements. Many opportunities for things to go astray, missing a deadline—and losing out on the chance to gain that much needed money.

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