A Beginner's Guide to CRM Software

CRM Software Defined

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and it’s digital technology for managing customer data and relationships. The goal of CRM is to improve your relationships with your customers or donors in the nonprofit world.

Once an organization starts getting donors, the need for a customer relationship management system grows exponentially in order to retain donors. The best CRM platforms will enhance donor interactions through a number of tools that will fit your organizational needs. Look for a flexible solution that automates transactions and interactions, improves your donor engagement and efficiently manages your marketing campaigns. 

The Benefits

Here are 5 benefits to implementing a CRM for your organization and team:

1. Easily capture, track, and report on donations

CRM Dashboard Mockup Crop

Without a CRM system, many organizations might have a marketing team, a development team, and a financial team with completely different sets of customer data.

If a nonprofit has too many disconnected systems and is too busy doing manual tasks because of the absence of a connected platform, it’s going to be very difficult to find the time to market to new donors and then retain them through lead nurturing.

With the added time and the valuable insights a CRM system will give you, you’ll have more time to connect one-on-one with donors.

2. Get real-time response data and segmentation

Using a CRM system, organizations can model and visualize live data in real-time, enabling your dashboards, charts, and reports to be fully interactive. Empower your team with intelligent management software that improves efficiencies, and automates processes. With a CRM system, data is accessible to everyone and can easily be updated by anyone in the organization.

3. Build a powerful understanding of your constituencies

Data is the life’s blood of the modern nonprofit, and with StratusLIVE, you can use constituent data to build meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships. Our CRM platform will allow you to enjoy a truly comprehensive picture of each and every donor including demographics, wealth profile, all forms of historical engagement with your organization, geolocation, relationships, interests, and much more. 

This data enables your organization to model future possibilities with these donors, recognize their engagement and support to date, and leverage those relationships in ways that meet the interests and needs of both sides of the constituent-non profit equation.

“StratusLIVE has helped us make a fundamental shift to a true CRM-based system and bring control back to our internal staff. We no longer need multiple systems, third-party data management, analysis and segmentation vendors.”

– Caroline Itoh, Associate Vice President of Strategic Business Operations
National Wildlife Federation

4. Easily create and manage multi-faceted marketing campaigns 

A CRM system enables organizations to segment their constituents according to a wide range of characteristics, such as demographics, email response rates, social media activity, and preferences. With real-time segmentation you can create customized communications to each person you contact allowing for a more personalized experience.  Donors feel more engaged and connected with your cause when they receive a personalized note from your organization.

5. Use analytics to uncover new relationships that can be used to better understand your supporters

CRM Analytics showing donor data

Imagine finding all your information in one place, easily creating and sharing reports with just a few clicks within your CRM and powerful BI (Business Intelligence) solution. Our powerful CRM and Business Intelligence platform will change the way you gather, shape, and analyze data across your entire organization, providing strategic insights to make smarter decisions faster and more accurately. Model and visualize live data in real-time, enabling your dashboards, charts, and reports to be fully interactive with your whole team.


Download our data sheet with questions to ask when considering a Nonprofit CRM Product versus a Starter Pack + Custom Development

Download Questionnaire


If your organization is interested in upgrading but don't know where to begin, StratusLIVE can help! 

StratusLIVE provides a solution on the Microsoft commercial platform that integrates Office 365 productivity applications with end-to-end business applications, so nonprofits can increase fundraising, have higher donor engagement and drive change. 


Posted by Lori Babyak

Lori Babyak is a former Digital Marketing Manager, Nonprofit Solutions at StratusLIVE. She has over ten years marketing and communications experience within the nonprofit sector.