Advancing Philanthropy--CRM That Meets The Needs Of Today's Social Donor


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CRM That Meets The Needs Of Today's Social Donor

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Advancing Philanthropy--CRM That Meets The Needs Of Today's Social Donor

  1. 1. Advancing Philanthropy • May/June 2012 CRM That Meets The Needs Of Today’s Social Donor By Patrick Dorsey With Facebook on track to hit 1 billion members this summer, 100 million currently tweeting on Twitter, and LinkedIn connecting 150 million professionals, it should come as no surprise to nonprofit professionals that today’s new “social” landscape presents an equal amount of challenges and opportunities. It’s clear that a strong majority of people of all ages and backgrounds now interact with their personal connections and professional network through a variety of web-based and mobile social networks, as well as blogs, gaming platforms and community forums. The characteristics of today’s donor have not only evolved, but the individual is more involved. So what does that mean for nonprofits which want to stay engaged on many levels with today’s donors and potential donors? Social media certainly provides powerful opportunities to not only connect with and educate a potential donor, but send donor engagement soaring, thanks to the natural connections arising out of posting, sharing, linking and “liking.” But in order to best take advantage of these new ways to develop a two-way dialogue with donors and even increase their loyalty to the mission, organizations need to develop a strong, clear strategy. That strategy needs to help navigate this new social universe as well as integrate it into current customer (i.e. donor) relationship management efforts. That’s because the rules guiding the “relationship” part of CRM, or customer relationship management, have fundamentally changed — for good. And donors are the ones writing the new rules of this ever-evolving game. Developing Authentic Engagement to Drive Donations Nonprofits are changing — thanks, most of all, to the changing attitudes, needs and desires of their constituents, donors and/or patrons. Today’s active constituents want to engage with an organizations on their own terms, based on their needs at the moment, as opposed to the passive participants of the past, who simply opened their mailbox or email inbox to receive the latest message or request.
  2. 2. The rise of social media has put donors in the driver’s seat when it comes to engagement — they can speak up when they want, share thoughts with others, or opt-out of any connection. Traditional “push” and “pull” marketing and communications tactics are no longer enough to connect with donors, and simply measuring and analyzing engagement through their transactions will miss many valuable opportunities to gauge connections, encourage participation and build long-term relationships with the individuals and organizations that passionately support their mission. Instead, if organizations want more from donors, they must connect with them where they are and how they want — in a personalized, relevant way. Furthermore, donors may also want to be able to interact with others with similar interests within the communities and organizations in which they participate. They assume the leadership of the organization will be aware of the conversations happening about the organization and their cause in the social sphere, and that the organization will respond promptly to what is being said. Sounds like a whole lot of effort, right? However, if you invest the time, energy and expense to develop authentic, real-time interaction and engagement with donor through social media, you will get a significant return. First of all, your donor will be more likely to engage in various ways that count — including volunteering, attending events, spreading the word about important issues and contributing to your group’s overall mission. In addition, you’ll have the chance to build the kind of long-term loyalty that leads to organizational growth and boosts bottom-line results. That can make your efforts a worthwhile win-win. The Rise Of Social CRM All of the above leads to what has become an inarguable fact: Getting on the social media bandwagon is no longer a “maybe-we-should” option for organizations. Instead, it is a “must-do.” Simply put, those who don’t will be left behind by the progressive ones working to meet their donor’s current and future wants and needs. However, taking advantage of the potential of this new, “social” donor isn’t just about slapping a page up on Facebook or Twitter and posting daily missives. Over the past few years, organizations have experimented in
  3. 3. different social media environments; however now it’s clear that social media tools need to be used more thoughtfully and strategically, through the gathering, measurement and analysis of social data, in order to provide a clear view of the relationship with the donor that is useful and actionable. That has led to the rise of “social” CRM. How is Social CRM Different than Traditional Donor Management? Social CRM moves beyond the transactional focus by seamlessly incorporating the increasingly important social interactions of the relationship into an organization's fundraising and business strategies to help build long-term loyalty, trust, and mutual value -- one donor engagement at a time. And to realize these benefits and more, nonprofits recognize a comprehensive and integrated suite of donor management and social business functionality is required. Organizations looking to upgrade a traditional donor management solution may find a Social CRM suite with the following components better suited to the evolving needs of their constituents and improving the bottom line. • Donor Database—a flexible yet comprehensive database with the traditional modules and functionality historically associated with donor management solutions is the core of Social CRM. However, Social CRM will also include social features such as: o Social Profiles--data from a donor’s social media profile (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as part of a profile to allow the ability to map donor relationships, uncover valued social networks and increase personalized service and communication. o Social Events - leverage the power of integrated social media to promote the value of an event, create unique event profiles, and build communities around events so attendees can easily find and connect with one another before, during and after the event. • Community – a built-in online community is an organization’s own social professional networking website – organization’s control the look, content, advertising and access based on the donor data stored in the database. A private online community platform provides donors and potential donors a place to connect/collaborate with staff and with one another through groups, discussions, events, profiles and more.
  4. 4. • Social Media Management and Monitoring (SMMM)--Social CRM with SMMM functionality includes social media tools for listening, engaging, publishing, and scheduling with powerful analytics. The power of integrating the SMMM functionality with your donor database resides in the ability to save particular posts and messages to individual profiles in the donor database so important social information about a donor’s experience and preferences or posts from prospective-donors that mention the industry, cause or a particular keyword can be captured and analyzed. • Socialytics—measuring the growing stream of social media content as well as the engagement level of individuals and organizations on an ongoing basis to provide qualitative insight for calculating and measuring the health of constituents, services and the overall business is critical to the success of any Social CRM initiative. More than the ability to score donor engagement, a complete social analytics suite will include the ability to enhance, optimize and automate new and existing programs and services to encourage donor engagement and improve staff efficiency. The “socialization” of society represents a fundamental shift in the way fundraisers interact with their donors. The rise of the “social donor” makes Social CRM the future of donor management. Patrick Dorsey is vice president of marketing at Avectra, a developer of web-based member and donor-based software for associations and not-for-profits.