Congratulations on completing your CRM implementation! For all the work you've done to date, I have some perhaps sobering news: The work is just beginning. Such a statement may seem a bit daunting given all the work that you and your organization have done to date. You had to sift through the myriad of options and balance the interests of different stakeholders to select a new system. You implemented the new system migrating the constituent data, trained your staff on how to use the new system, and sent your first communications from the system.
I wrote my business school thesis on nonprofit technology adoption. My research compared the aggregate adoption of nonprofits between metro areas to identify the critical factors to adopting technology. The research led me to raise a red flag with the Boston nonprofit community to let folks know that we were actually significantly behind in our technology adoption.
If you have worked with a progressive activist organization over the last ten years, you have likely touched Salsa in some way. Salsa is a story like so many other tech firms before in which underinvestment diminishes the product over a period of time. I do not have the full story about the company dynamics, so I will not speculate as to the reasons why the product has been allowed to languish, but languish it has.
This is the first of a series on evaluating the various nonprofit Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) systems.
Salesforce is a major player in both the corporate and nonprofit CRM space. For over a decade, the Salesforce foundation donated their product to nonprofits and many organizations took them up on their offer to some degree. There are poorly implemented nonprofit Salesforce instances and absolutely game changing Saleforce implementations and everything in between. My evaluation is based on having implemented salesforce over a dozen times over the last decade.
Constituent engagement is the lifeblood of most nonprofit and civic organizations. Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) consists of the people, systems and processes that allow organizations to build growing networks of deeper relationships. Selecting the right CRM system (the database, communications tools, and analytical reporting capabilities) is a vital activity that many nonprofits go through every 4-5 years as the CRM market changes with new capabilities to engage constituents and track interactions.
Not a Post I Enjoy Writing
I closed my series comparing Office 365 and Google Apps for Nonprofits last week, but Microsoft had a banner week, introducing new innovations and options for nonprofits. Let's explore these developments.
This is the final installment (for now) of our Office 365 vs. Google Enterprise for Nonprofits. You may want to read the first blog in the series which provides overall context or the feature comparisons between products in the second installment.
In my first blog in the series, I noted how after years of little movement, Microsoft finally got its stuff together on moving software and services to the cloud. They are moving quickly to innovate the modern work environment. I also noted that in the last decade, the novelty of gmail and google docs waned and that Google offers seemingly little innovation to its Google Enterprise suite. This post compares features of both packages at a high level.
For the last decade, many nonprofits migrated off their local email servers to Google apps for nonprofits. These were the early cloud migrations. Google was making it easy with 50 free cloud-based accounts allowing branded, professional email without having the expense of managing an Exchange or other email server, the backups and other issues. The stripped down word processor Google Docs allowed for real-time co-editing, though its features were limited.