A Brief History of Nonprofit CRM, Fundraising and How We Got to Analytics
Everyone who wants to change the world should have the tools and technology to do so. Technology is the most powerful equalizer of our time, providing access to data, knowledge, and connections. Additionally, an intelligence revolution is happening now – creating billions of interactions. No one should be left behind, and making a difference in people’s lives is hard work. I’m excited to share some ways you can do this.
Fundraising is changing almost as quickly as technology. Successful nonprofits (as well as for-profits) think about how gifts or deals happen in stages. This starts with identification/qualification stages that advance to opportunity development stages, all the way to closing the deal or receiving a donation. Related processes typically involve territory management, account-planning, pipeline-tracking, and reporting and forecasting, just to name a few. Salesforce.org Nonprofit Cloud provides a platform to manage all of these processes with efficiency and effectiveness. Nonprofits can benefit from the innovations that Salesforce creates in CRM and much more.
I always thought that the processes and work that major gift officers (MGO) perform is actually very close to what a sales representative does at a corporation. There are differences in terminology, of course, but as in moves management, an MGO advances the process from one stage to the next, similar to a sales rep selling products or services. While an MGO’s end goal is to raise funds by getting donations or pledges and the goal of a sales rep is to close a deal, both are all about relationship building. It’s essential to track each touch point and interaction with an individual, whether they’re a volunteer, donor, or constituent. As you may know, the Opportunity object in Salesforce is the same core object used to track donations and pledges by nonprofits and to track deals in a corporate setting.
More and more nonprofits are becoming data driven and data informed, and are looking for tools to be able to get value from CRM and other data sources. There is no shortage of point solutions for business intelligence and analytics. However, not many nonprofits have dedicated IT resources in-house to support these tools. Traditional BI tools are too complex for a typical business user to use and take substantial IT effort to implement. Business users need tools that are tightly coupled with their existing CRM system and have the ability to bring in data from external systems – and it shouldn’t take a month to implement as many traditional BI projects do.
The good news is, Einstein Analytics provides analytics built on the world’s #1 CRM. For nonprofits, it allows non-technical users to take advantage of NPSP extensions and unlock insights in fundraising data. Salesforce has templates that allow organizations to deploy specific use case analytics applications in minutes — rather then weeks or even months. With seamless integration to Salesforce CRM data, nonprofit professionals get insightful, actionable data visualizations right where they work.
One such template is Fundraising Analytics. Fundraising Analytics combines your data with dashboard templates to deliver best-practice KPIs that are customizable for the way you work. This can help you advance your impact strategy and more. The end result is an intelligent experience in one unified system.
Let’s now dive in and explore Fundraising Analytics in more detail.
How much time do you spend on a monthly basis to prepare for team meetings? Does it take you weeks or hours to consolidate your numbers? Do you need to make a request to your operations or IT to produce reports for you?
With Salesforce Fundraising Analytics, you gain visibility into your pipeline, forecast, and activities at a click of a button. You can review your forecast and goal attainment in a single dashboard. Everyone from individual contributors to managers to executives can be on the same page, because everyone is using the same tool to track key metrics. And unlike operational reports that give you a snapshot in time when you run your reports, Einstein Analytics gives an additional level of insight by tracking historical changes and surfacing trends and patterns. You can start answering questions such as: What is Quarter over Quarter and Year over Year growth? How are donors contributing differently by region?
Fundraising analytics with top donations by stage, top donations and top fundraisers
To support nonprofit programs, fundraising teams need easy reporting to know the health of their donor pipeline, and what they can expect for the quarter. Fundraisers need to know which gifts they can count on, and direction on which opportunities to prioritize. Managers need to know how the team is performing across different geographies and regions, how productive their fundraisers are, and which gift officers need extra coaching. And they all need these answers fast if they have any chance of acting on those insights. Because acting on insights is the whole point. Fundraisers can only improve and achieve outstanding results if they’re able to track progress and know where to focus.
Donation Summary dashboard in Salesforce
Fundraising Analytics: Faster Time to Value
Just like NPSP has given nonprofits a great foundation for their fundraising and program management operations, Fundraising Analytics is paving the way for faster time to value with analytics. Your data should tell a story; analytics allows you to unlock that data in order for you to gain valuable insights and make better decisions.
About the Author
Alex Kruglyak is a Sales Engineer for Salesforce.org based in the Toronto, Canada area. A member of the Koa Club (employees who have been at Salesforce over 10 years), Alex has been at Salesforce since 2007. Prior to Salesforce, he worked at multiple technology companies in sales and solution engineer roles. He has also volunteered his Salesforce skills pro bono for nonprofits including the Furniture Bank, the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary, the Ecologos Institute and Connected in Motion. Alex holds a B.S. in Computer Science from York University.