If you missed the announcement, I’m giving a webinar titled “Preparing for Your New Database: Making the Transition as Painless as Possible” on Tuesday at 11:00 am Pacific time. Registration details are at http://nten.org/webinars (It’s not free). If you saw the announcement, note that Holly or someone at NTEN wrote all of that copy – shame on me for not getting them a description on time! But it’s pretty close. What it lacks is the specification that we are talking about Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) databases, not just any database.
I’ve managed CRM rollouts at two large companies: most recently, Salesforce at SF Goodwill; years earlier, an obscure but awesome CRM called Interaction at Lillick & Charles, a San Francisco law firm. My take on it is that CRM can be business-model altering software. Mind you, it doesn’t have to be — it can be a simple contact and/or donor management system — but maybe it should be. Because properly deployed CRM gives your organization the ability to operate in a relationship-centric fashion. Instead of having isolated departments and functions that, of course, are heavily involved in relationships with other people and organizations, CRM centralizes all of the information and history of your organizational contacts and allows you to far better understand and manage those relationships. Vendors can be donors. Donors can be volunteers. If you have that overlap occurring today, you might not even be aware of it.
Zooming down to earth, my experience is also very hands on when it comes to the actual technical work involved in moving to a centralized CRM platform. I can share a lot about the tools and methods available for integrating and migrating data from other systems.
The webinar will focus mostly on best practices for implementing CRM. But we’ll start with some of the high-level, what this means for your org; spend the bulk on the project planning and implementation practices; and, if there’s time and interest, dive into some of the techie stuff. My approach to these things is to have half the session prepared and half of it open to the group interests, and I think I’ll make it worth the $50 ($25 for NTEN members) if moving to new donor databases and CRM platforms is something you’re likely to be involved in.