CRM – an expense or an investment?

Business Customer CRM Management Analysis Service Concept

Non profit organisations struggle financially. It seems there is never enough cash on hand to build the necessary infrastructure and to be an innovative organisation.  Maybe there is and maybe we need to think about things a little differently?

Rather than look at things, like your customer relationship management (CRM) system, as a major expense or a transaction, why not look at it as an investment no different than hiring a new major gift officer or a new direct marketing supplier. Those types of investments have income benefits and your CRM has income benefits tied to it.

How so?

  • Any improvement in business efficiencies improves the income line.
    • Think through and document all areas where your CRM will improve business processes, which are currently manual or redundant in nature.
  • The saving of time allows your staff to spend that time on other income generating measures.
    • Study and document all areas where time is wasted across your organisation due to process efficiencies, multiple spreadsheets and other factors.
  • Communicating with stakeholders in a more effective means will build on those relationships. Doing the opposite causes missed opportunity and income loss for your organisation.
    • Analyse and document the various ways comms with stakeholders will improve and project potential income growth.

Your CRM is likely the single largest expense investment your charity will make. The next time someone turns the acquisition of something like a CRM into simply an expense, change their mind around by putting together a business case to show the cost savings and income generation of such tools. It’s a different conversation.