Why must CRM searches include requirements gathering?

FundraisingForce receives about one call every seven to ten days from nonprofits asking for assistance to search for a customer relationship management (CRM) system. These nonprofit organisations are typically seeking our expertise to find the best CRM available in the marketplace.

Some charitable organisations want to expedite the process, skip the homework and due diligence to be done, and simply want to have FundraisingForce tell them which CRM to purchase. As a firm, we decline to advise on a purchase until we gather the requirements of the charitable organisation and assist them to match those requirements to the available product in the market.

Why must CRM searches include requirements gathering?

Nonprofit organisations need to understand their own requirements. Your organisation’s requirements might be vastly different than those of another nonprofit organisation. Sure, some requirements will be the same across nonprofit organisations. Nonetheless, your organisation likely has a set of unique requirements which need to be addressed in any CRM solution. It is critical these requirements are understood, from within and by FundraisingForce, before we can take your organisation to market. The market needs to be able to respond to your requirements and state why their product(s) are a match for your organisation. To go to the market without a full understanding of your requirements is a little like looking for a spouse before you know the type of person you are interested in dating.

Many organisations have a difficult time expressing their own requirements. We believe this is because no one has ever taken the time to articulate the business requirements for the organisation and documented those requirements in a clear and cohesive manner.

Understanding yourselves before finding the CRM partner is the first step in a successful CRM marriage.