The new era: Social CRM explained

Can you answer the following questions?

  • What is the online profile of your donorbase?
  • What is the ROI of your new media budget?
  • What are people tweeting about your organisation right now?
  • Have you considered using an iPhone app?
  • What % of internet statistics are made up?
  • How do you know what to believe?

Apparently, there’s another e-revolution going on!  Are you up to speed?  Ahead of the curve?  On the bandwagon?  It’s easy to feel alarmed by experts with sensational claims and exciting ideas that don’t seem to relate to the reality of your next newsletter or fundraising event.

But, despite the hype and fads, we believe that online social media does represent a profound change in the relationship between supporters and non-profit organisations.  This is not because the internet is cheaper or faster or funkier than the old methods; it’s because your supporters can get what they need without you!

Despite the theory, under the model of CRM in use by most fundraisers today, relationships are, in fact, geared around the cause and not the supporter.  Think about it; who decides what the key issues are, which people might be interested, and when to launch communications?  But with social networking tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, the balance of power has shifted to your supporters.

In the past, if your supporter wanted to find out about one of your fundraising events, they visited your web site.  If they wanted to complain about you, they wrote you a letter. If they wanted to find like-minded supporters, they phoned and you might direct them to a local volunteer branch. Now, they do all of these things without you even knowing!

Maybe you have already encountered social media and tried it out for yourself?  You probably have your own Facebook page or Twitter account? And perhaps you have identified ways to exploit it for your organisation?  But do you know how this affects all your other fundraising activities?  How does it relate to your events, your campaigns, your service delivery, and all that information in your CRM system?