Some relationship fundraisers dread using their customer relationship management system (CRM). Too complicated – too fussy – too many tabs – too many other things to do instead!
Raiser’s Edge is a great example of a very common CRM system that may cause you to break out in hives. Sure, the first tab looks easy with spots for name, address and contact information, but how does a good relationship fundraiser track the donor activity needed to drive dollars? And how do they do it without spending hours in the database that should be spent with donors instead?
Most Raiser’s Edge systems are set up with 13 tabs. 13! Focus on these 3 in your relationship building and major gifts work.
Use this tab for any communications with the person or organization: emails, phone calls, meetings, mail.
- Decide whether the action belongs to the individual or their organization and enter accordingly.
- Work with your team to determine what kinds of actions you should be entering. For example, don’t enter every email sent back and forth to set a meeting date. You may just want to enter an initial action for the meeting request, and populate it with significant details later.
- When completing the action notepad, include detailed info, paste in relevant emails or letter content. For signed letters and more formal or larger documents, use the media tab (see below).
- You can set an auto-reminder on any action for a follow-up task to pop up on your RE home page, in Outlook or both. (RE prompts you to create these after you save an action unless disabled.)
Use this tab to enter information about the constituent, not to enter interactions you have had with them (that’s an action). Examples: biographical information and other research, articles, awards, donations to other charities, strategy, etc. Related documents can be pasted straight in or attached to the media tab.
Use it to store key scanned documents like proposals, signed gift agreements and photos.
Original documents that are legal in nature (planned gifts like wills, real estate transfers, etc.) should also be stored in locked cabinets in the office.
Did you notice the emphasis on the actions tab? It is SO important to track your moves and be able to pull a list of them to see how your activity is generating donations. And if for some reason the money is coming in slowly, your activity will prove to your boss that you’re doing everything you can.
Interested in learning more? Check my online courses at BCIT: https://siobhanaspinall.com/fundraising-courses/