6 ways a charity CRM database can transform your organisation

6 ways a charity CRM database can transform your organisation
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Getting your first charity CRM database can be a truly transformational step for your organisation. If you’re coming from the world of spreadsheets or less tailored, you’ve suddenly got so much potential to scale up that would otherwise be impossible. From new opportunities to the ability to better organise critical operational information, your charity’s new CRM database empowers you to grow.

There are way too many benefits to list, but let’s take a look at 6 of the main ways your CRM database can facilitate your charity’s digital transformation.

1. You can centralise your contacts

First and foremost a CRM should be your central address book. If you have a contact, they should be in there. Many young organisations (and some not so young!) have a very decentralised approach to data where different teams, and perhaps their members, have their own databases. Sometimes contacts only exist in the memories of staff members and are at risk of being forgotten if they leave.

Putting all your contacts in one place, which acts as a single source of truth, will help make sure your data remains consistent (e.g. if contacts change their contact details) and make it much easier to carry out data analysis and other functions from a centralised location. Speaking of which…

2. Use your charity CRM for mailing

Once you have all your contacts in a central location you can easily dynamically group them and send them relevant updates. Perhaps you want to communicate something to your pool of volunteers or there’s a key fundraising drive you want to push with previous donors. With a CRM, you can configure it so that new or altered contacts are automatically allocated to appropriate lists.

A CRM with a built-in email builder is also a massive benefit for charities with limited resources. Though there are some excellent third party email solutions out there, many of their free or cheaper CRM integrations have some severe limitations. Keeping it simple and having your database and mailing solution in the same place avoids these limitations and other issues like data not syncing properly. This means you can reliably send contacts the right content and not worry about communication preferences not being properly updated in all the necessary places. It also reduces the amount of places your data is stored, making it easier to keep secure.

3. Consistently record meetings

There are lots of very important meetings that you’re likely having as a charity. Whether it’s with a big prospective donor, volunteers, other advocacy groups, or more. Without a CRM it’s very easy for the results of these meetings to be lost in digital filing systems, or even on pieces of paper. This puts information at a real risk of being difficult or even impossible to find if a team member is away.

Having a place you can reliably store and find information about recent meetings is a game changer. From one timeline, you can look back at your previous interactions with contacts and what happened at each meeting, and see exactly who was the last person in your team to communicate with a contact. As usual with a database, your data is only as good as the information your team inputs, so be sure to have a good adoption strategy!

4. Record and take donations online

Ultimately one of the largest tasks facing any charity is attracting donations. While you’ll be tracking them in your accounts, giving your fundraisers visibility over when and how donations come in can help them see which of their actions are bearing fruit. Your database should absolutely be tracking donations against contacts too so you can see who your most valuable supporters are and which might be good targets for future campaigns.

With online fundraising up 12.1% over the past year, it’s also vital that you have a way to raise funds online. Even at  in person events, you’ll want to think about how to facilitate digital donations with physical cash usage having dramatically dropped in recent times. Thankfully, with a dedicated charity CRM you should expect integrated payment options that will let you take your supporters’ details and donations in an easy form you can send with a link. This is an enormously significant piece of functionality for the modern charity and you should look to have this as soon as you possibly can.

5. Manage your fundraising events

Event management is frequently stressful. It requires organising a great many things and then communicating them. You have to invite people, provide a registration form, send instructions on how to attend and organise the actual event. If it’s a paid event that’s a whole other level of complexity for how you take payments.

A reliable charity CRM can handle that for you. You can set up your event, easily customise which data your registration forms sends directly to your database and then it will be ready for launch! You can even create automated email reminders or post-event follow-ups. Plus payments can all be handled through the platform with options for discounts. Having a powerful solution like this at your fingertips saves you substantial time and stress. You can spend more time focusing on how to raise more money and make your event truly memorable for your attendees.

6. Your database is great for reporting

If there’s one enormous advantage a great CRM database will bring you, it’s that it will completely change how you analyse your activities. By bringing all of your data into one place, following the same data structure, you have the ability to find out precisely what is working and what’s not. 

You can compare the different fundraising campaigns you run  and see which raised more money. You can review if donations increase at certain points of the year with ease. You can also assess the impact of something like a newsletter on your contacts and if certain messages inspire more of a response. All of this lets you shift your behaviour, refocus your decisions and empowers you to make the most of your resources.


A new CRM database can transform your charity’s efforts. From organising your contacts better, to staying in touch with your supporters and attracting their donations, a good CRM will serve all these functions. All at the same time as giving you solid feedback so that you are empowered to know how best to take informed decisions to grow your organisation.

If you’re thinking about getting started with a new CRM, why not try CiviPlus? You can take a look at our demo site or get in touch! We’d be happy to give you a tour!

Howdy y’all,

We are delighted to announce a new integration of CiviCRM with Open Social, a community engagement platform.

CiviCRM is the number one open source CRM for not-for profits, used by more than 11,000 organisations worldwide, and Open Social is a leading community engagement platform, used by over 1000 organisations in a range of different industries from Charities to member organisations and companies also.

It’s exciting news for organisations using CiviCRM, who will now be able to combine the power of CiviCRM with the collaboration and community building that the Open Social platform provides.
If you’ve not heard of community platforms before, a community platform is a tool that allows your organisation to create your own branded and tailored social network. Users of the platform (normally your members or supporters) can interact, join groups to share knowledge and exchange ideas, publish and promote events and collaborate within a safe online curated space. With a community platform you can expand your digital offer and strengthen your relationship with your supporters.

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Open Social is open source (much like CiviCRM) and as such has no user licences fees. This means it can be deployed affordably to scale to even the largest of communities. It’s also flexible with a huge range of different add-on modules that can be integrated to enhance the platform.

Our new two-way integration between Open Social and CiviCRM syncs data between the two platforms allowing information about the groups and committees that members have joined to be seamlessly synced to CiviCRM. You can even create Open Social groups and manage their membership directly from within CiviCRM, which would be useful for managing private groups in the case of committees or working groups.

By combining the data of a community platform with that in your CiviCRM your organisation can obtain deep insights into your members' interests and behaviours. You can see which groups are popular and engage with your members on topical issues, automating communications and tailoring their experience.

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A great example is a recent implementation for the UN’s PRI (Principles of Responsible Investment). Their user community includes over 2,900 organisations with over 40,000 individuals spread across 6 continents. Their Community Platform now supports discussions between 24,000 users with over 750 online collaboration spaces. The data is seamlessly synced to their CRM allowing for deep insight guiding their policy engagements.

As Open Social partners, we would be delighted to help you start your journey with Open Social and help you build your online community. We can help you through both the implementation and the CiviCRM integration (or other CRM integration such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM).

Please contact us through our website https://www.compuco.io/ or by email at hello@compucorp.co.uk.

Further information about Open Social can be found at their website: https://www.getopensocial.com/

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