The Technology for Change blog is happy to announce our new contributor Alex Basalo. Alex started as the marketing intern in September, and will write a blog post every month during her internship.

I’ll admit it: as a senior in college, class is the last thing on my mind. I often find myself balancing between preparing for life after college and savoring the last few months I have of life as a student without “real world” responsibilities. With that in mind, when a class topic resonates with me, it’s because I truly see the value in it. Recently, in a class discussion the topic turned towards CRM and looking at it not just as technology, but also as a philosophy.

As a marketing intern at thedatabank, I have gotten the opportunity to see and use some powerful software for increasing the fundraising and donor relations capabilities of nonprofits. Having this kind of technology is an important step, but it’s just as important to know what your organization wants to do with this.

Before coming to thedatabank, my professional experience was entirely in nonprofits. I have worked with some incredible organizations that have a profound impact of the lives of the people they work to serve. Along with that has come the never ending challenge of dealing with various software programs and how to make use of them. The first step in developing a CRM philosophy is to understand how to use your software. Something as simple as an online training can showcase important features you were previously not utilizing. Your CRM technology should be more than an email or donation tracking tool, it should be an opportunity to grow your organization.

The second and most important step in creating a CRM philosophy is defining goals for what you want to do with your software. Having powerful software is of little use if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want it to achieve. Having these clear goals also provides you with the insight to have all the technology you want and not buy more technology than you need. Ideally your philosophy and technology should fit together. The whole purpose of CRM software is for it to execute the goals you set.

Technology is a great tool made more powerful by the people and organizations that use it. Already during my first month at thedatabank I have been able to see organizations use their Databank to meet their goals. These organizations had not only the technology, but also the philosophy required to achieve these goals.

What is your CRM philosophy and how do you use your fundraising software to work with your philosophy?