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Why the Right CRM Integration Is Critical to Connected Fundraising

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Published July 24, 2023 Reading Time: 3 minutes

The right technology can help tell nonprofits’ stories in impactful ways. Adopting a strategic tech stack is the first step in personalizing the donor experience at scale and inspiring donors to act.

A customer relationship management (CRM) platform can streamline this experience by integrating with your nonprofit’s most critical tools. This allows your team to get the full benefits of each best-in-class software solution rather than sacrificing quality for the presumed ease of an all-in-one solution.

The right CRM integration also brings critical customization to the data collection and reporting process, fueling the ability to achieve connected fundraising and enjoy the outcomes of a unified fundraising suite.

If you want to make your donor stewardship process more efficient and organized while also increasing personalization and meaningful interactions, a CRM integration can help. Below, we’ll cover what CRM integrations are, how these work, and some of the benefits these bring to nonprofits to help you build a case for making the investment.

What Is a CRM and How Is It Used?

Before we talk about what CRM integration is, let’s take a step back to discuss the role a CRM system plays in the first place.

CRM solutions help project management teams, sales teams, and other nonprofit teams store and manage donor or customer data. Some customer information teams may collect includes customer interactions with your organization, contact information, and donor preferences.

A nonprofit’s CRM system supports sales reps or gift officers in building strong relationships with their audience. These personalized, powerful connections drive donations and sales processes. Some examples of CRM solutions specifically designed for nonprofits include the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud and the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Fundraising and Engagement solution.

What Are CRM Integrations?

CRM platforms are the most useful when integrated with other apps and tools. Integrations allow for software and tools to automatically pull information into the CRM. Through these connections, small businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations can centralize data from various sources, such as:

  • Comprehensive fundraising platforms like Classy
  • E-commerce software like Shopify
  • Social media platforms like LinkedIn
  • Marketing automation tools like Mailchimp
  • Team communication channels like Slack
  • Enterprise resource planning systems like Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Email providers like Gmail
  • Customer support products like Zendesk

The right CRM allows access to clean, comprehensive data from all integrated sources. This provides a full picture of each of your supporters so your nonprofit can discover better ways to strengthen relationships with them.

How Does a CRM Integration Work?

There are a few ways to add CRM integrations. If you use services from the same provider, these integrations come built-in. For example, the HubSpot for Nonprofits CRM integration automatically connects with the company’s Marketing Hub and Service Hub tools.

Connector integrations are another option. These tools, such as Zapier or Make, are third-party applications that facilitate connections between your CRM and thousands of other products you may use. With them, you can create custom workflows for tasks like marketing automation.

A final way to incorporate CRM integrations is through a custom application programming interface (API). An API is a software interface that lets two programs talk to each other. If you have a capable IT department or dedicated software developers on your team, you can create an API to support integrations more specific to your nonprofit.

What Are the Benefits of a CRM Integration?

A CRM integration gives your nonprofit everything you need to support donor management efforts in one place. This functionality touches several critical parts of nonprofit development.

1. Enhanced Donor Outreach

CRM integrations can dramatically improve the customer experience. With automation software, you can send:

A CRM system ensures your team never misses an opportunity to connect with your donors in a timely, personalized way.

2. Meaningful Donor Segmentation

Marketing campaigns are most effective when reaching tailored audiences. CRM integrations provide robust data to segment email marketing and targeted social media advertising more thoughtfully. You can create custom contact lists of donors based on different demographics, interest areas, and giving capacity to get the most out of your email campaigns.

3. Improved Reporting Capabilities

CRM tools allow you to pull data to see which outreach strategies and campaigns have resulted in the greatest lead generation. You can review data based on new contacts or recurring donations. Many systems also come with built-in reporting templates that make data analysis easier and simplify sharing results with your team.

4. Greater Internal Organization and Efficiency

With automation capabilities, your nonprofit can streamline workflows, freeing up administrative time for your staff to focus on other mission-critical tasks. And since CRM platforms update in real-time with your integrations, all team members have access to the most current data whenever they need it.

Improve Connections With Donors Through an Effective CRM Integration

CRM software is available at various pricing with numerous features that nonprofits can leverage. The best CRM for your nonprofit will support integrations with the tools that empower your team to craft a connected fundraising experience.

Classy is committed to providing nonprofits with best-in-class tools that mobilize them to do the most good. We work across vendors to establish the integrations you need to amplify your mission and reach wider audiences. Request a demo today to see our commitment to industry-leading CRM, analytics, and marketing integrations.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

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