Do we really need a new CRM?

ChangeSearching for a new CRM is a complicated process. But, when done right, landing the perfect CRM is a great feeling and a wonderful accomplishment. Change is nice. But, remember the new car smell only lasts so long. Ask your organisation, do we really need a new CRM?

It is typical for organisation leaders to be convinced a new CRM is essential.  “If we only had Salesforce, The Raiser’s Edge, Microsoft Dynamics, Blackbaud CRM, or product X, we could…”. Staff leap to this conclusion without first analysing the current CRM and their functional requirements in order to first determine the existing CRM is incapable of meeting business requirements.


FundraisingForce receives one new lead for a CRM search every 7 business days. Step one for FundraisingForce is to explore with the non-profit organisation the why. Why is there a need to change? Are you seeking to use your CRM organisation-wide and your organisation adopted a fundraising CRM years ago? Have your fundraising requirements outgrown the existing CRM? Can you demonstrate the investment in a change will return dramatic financial results through increased revenue and improved efficiencies/time savings?

Perhaps staff require leadership to invest in training on the existing CRM. Maybe there are add on features your organisation needs to acquire in order to meet new business requirements which did not exist when you adopted the existing CRM 7-10 years ago.


Searching for and implementing a new CRM is an investment. The investment is not simply what you will pay in licensing and implementation/services costs to a supplier(s), but also the cost to engage your staff in the implementation. Additionally, there will be some loss of productivity as you ramp up the use of the new CRM and staff become used to new processes. The cost is never the cost presented when you sign the agreement to purchase. Study the true cost of ownership, which includes staffing resources and other costs.

The new car smell is gone in a month or two. Ensure the decision to leap to a CRM search is the right decision before you leap to a CRM search. Make sure you have done the analysis so you do not have buyers remorse after driving the car off the lot.