Bring up customer relationship management (CRM) systems in a conversation, and watch how most faces go blank.
This is not very surprising. CRM systems are mostly utilised for backend operations and as such, are only known to a small pool of people. For the uninitiated, CRM technology is a big deal for large corporations, since it is used to analyse customer relationships and derive valuable data that can ultimately drive business growth.
The business focus on CRM systems presents a conundrum for many nonprofits. Very few solutions are created with them in mind, as nonprofits do not have customers per se, but instead, volunteers, beneficiaries and donors. However, without a sound CRM system, how else can they build long-term relationships with their own ‘customers’: volunteers, donors, beneficiaries and even stakeholders?
That is why Chia Boon Khiang, Senior Director of Fundraising at Singapore Children’s Society, looked to the Donor and Volunteer Engagement (DoVE) platform, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM-powered system designed especially for local welfare organisations. A common issue faced by many nonprofits such as the Singapore Children’s Society, is managing their often limited resources, be it donations or labour. With the bulk of their time channelled towards such efforts, it is tough to balance while taking bigger steps towards connecting with their various audiences.
“Asking for donations is very different from closing a sale. We always appeal to individuals and corporations for charitable gifts, but we have no control over the amount that they want to contribute, nor the time by which they will respond to our outreach,” said Boon Khiang. Dedicated to caring for the welfare of children, the nonprofit wants to make sure that every single cent goes into improving the plight of disadvantaged children.
Andrew Soh, Manager of the Down Syndrome Association (Singapore), echoed this sentiment.
“We became dependent on volunteers and staff being physically around to manually manage relationships with stakeholders,” explained Andrew. “With the organisation’s limited funds, we used to keep records and databases on rudimentary platforms, such as Microsoft Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. One can imagine that with ever increasing data, these documents will be much heftier to make sense of.”
This is where the DoVE platform steps in to help nonprofits refine their outreach programmes. For instance, the Community Justice Centre uses the platform to allocate its limited pool of volunteers in the best possible manner. With greater visibility over its resources, it is now free to direct its efforts into engaging more donors based on the insights it has garnered—and aid even more litigants who cannot afford to pay for legal representation.
At the end of the day, the Singapore Children’s Society, Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) and Community Justice Centre have one common goal: to offer their support to those living on the fringes of society. Though it only has a behind-the-scenes role in their endeavours, DoVE makes their resources easier to manage, which will go a long way in delivering life-changing assistance to their beneficiaries.
To read more about how the DoVE platform has improved the operations for these Singapore nonprofits, please follow these links to Singapore Children’s Society, Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) and the Community Justice Centre.