September 10th, 2015
CRM in a Nutshell: Inform your Decision

What is a CRM anyway?

You may already know what a CRM is, but for those of you who are new to this whole thing, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. When we talk about CRMs, we’re referring to a kind of software that helps you… well, manage your customer relations. They’re almost all web-based applications, making them convenient and accessible.

Should I be using a CRM?

Do you have an audience? Members? Donors you need to keep track of? Then you should be using a CRM. Not only do they keep your data organized, but they can guide your engagement with your members, helping you to retain donors and build loyalty to your organization.

Possibly you have a system already in place. Maybe it looks like a spreadsheet. If this is the case, you’re losing valuable time and missing out on key data by not integrating your info in a CRM.

Collegiate integrates with your CRM

We pride ourselves on our ability to fit in with your system—and that includes your CRM. As long as the product you chose has a developer API (the backdoor that allows us access to the inner workings of your CRM) we can easily plug it into Collegiate, where it will function seamlessly with your payment system and our other site features.

What should I look for in a CRM?

Keep an eye out for CRMs which focus on non-profits, donors, and membership organizations, because they’ll be the ones most centered around your needs. You’ll also want one that can integrate your payment system and that supports developer API.

If you don’t already have a CRM, our preferred product is Bloomerang: it has the developer API we mentioned, and is focused specifically on donor management. However, if—like many of our clients—you’re using Little Green Light, don’t worry: although they don’t currently have a developer API, we’ve come up with a comfortable work-around.