Latest News - Economic Change

Responsible Business Week – are you in?

Are you a Responsible Non-Profit or Business?

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As part of Responsible Business Week, we are championing that all organisations whether commercial or non-profit should take steps to measure their wider social, economic and environmental impact as part of their everyday operations and business practices. It’s often known as corporate social responsibility (CSR), but it’s not a practice that should be specific to just corporates. The principles apply to any organisation, and those that apply these practices are going to be more successful in the future. Here’s why.

  • There is increasing pressure to show transparency and ethics with finances.
  • Consumers are interested in purchasing from ethical organisations.
  • Non-profit organisations need to match the CSR practices of businesses in order to compete effectively and demonstrate the same level of social impact.
  • It helps apply best practice policy and principles as set out by quality kite marks and standards.
  • There is increasing emphasis on social value, where you should get more impact for your money than its core purpose. This is championed by the Social Value Act that is considered during procurement processes.

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Here’s an example of how a business or organisation can be responsible in its approach. So, imagine a business is tendering for a waste collection contract in Birmingham…

Alongside delivering this service they also promise to:

  1. Advertise and undertake job recruitment surgeries within deprived wards in Birmingham with a target to recruit 20% long term unemployed into roles.
  2. Create 10 new apprenticeship roles.
  3. Recycle processing to support environmental practices.
  4. Print waste collection and recycling information in multiple languages to increase uptake of recycling amongst residents in target communities.
  5. Deliver education workshops through an employee volunteering scheme in schools about waste and recycling to raise awareness amongst the younger generation
  6. Use local or non-profit suppliers in any procurement supply chains.
  7. Donate 10% of their profit from the contract into local community environmental projects.

All of these proposed activities align to ethical practices, processes or outcome measurement indicators that can be summarised into one of six different areas as defined by the principles set out by the ISO 26000 quality standard. 

canstockphoto10953563Any organisation can work  towards the IS026000 principles.

Considering social responsible IS026000 principles may help your organisation to decide on:

 

  • Better processes and practices for delivering and monitoring your service.

  • New outcome indicators within your theory of change.

  • Including a wider impact CSR statement within your impact framework

  • Working towards industry standard certifications to benchmark and validate your best practice.

For further guidance see the ISO 26000 on Social Responsibility 

This content is a snippet from our online training course in impact measurement. To learn more about best practice in impact management whether you are developing a theory of change or implementing a monitoring system for your CSR department, foundation or non-profit check out our services. 

We offer:

Virtual and face to face training courses on Measuring Impact

Monitoring Systems for Impact Measurement 

 

Responsible Business Week 2017 is a unique, high-profile platform to raise awareness of responsible business. It provides an opportunity for businesses to inspire each other to make a positive impact in society and turn aspiration into action.

Latest News - Economic Change

Championing Impact Management for 2017

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Championing Impact Management for 2017

Impact measurement is changing. Ahead-of-the curve organisations are embracing a more embedded approach to impact, and adopting a real-time approach. Here’s why.

Impact Management should:

  1. Prove value to funders and other stakeholders. It’s the most vital part of your brand promise.
  2. Understand beneficiary needs to innovate, evaluate and change.
  3. Evaluate performance as part of a continual improvement process.
  4. Give assurance you are achieving what you set out to do.

Demonstrating Impact can undoubtedly help with winning new contracts, donors, and sources of investment.

Not sure where to start? To step up your approach to impact management, think about:

Breadth of your organisational impact. Don’t just focus on measuring outcomes for commissioners or funders, but develop an organisational-wide impact strategy that enables you to assess your performance and impact against the organisation’s mission, quality standards, social responsibility and the breadth of services you offer. Why is this important, you ask? Well in a crowded market place, many organisations can claim standardised outcomes to funders, but it’s being able to demonstrate the quality and depth of the customer experience, and any added value impact that that makes your organisation unique and competitive.

Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Processes. Train staff and beneficiaries in monitoring and evaluation practices, and actively engage them in the ongoing evaluation and continual improvement process to help shape the project strategy, assess its performance and impact, provide accountability to stakeholders and to influence policy.

Monitoring impact real-time and understand individual beneficiary experience. Investing in a client relationship management system (CRM) will enable an organisation to monitor delivery, outcomes and feedback at the individual level to provide better more intuitive relationships with beneficiaries. A CRM however also allows for data within records to be aggregated within a dashboard to give a full picture about the extent and cost of intervention provided and the associated impact, to assess performance. It’s time to do away with using spreadsheets or stand-alone surveys that lose the personal history of interaction and are inefficient to maintain and manage as an organisation grows.

Managing change and improving outcomes. Efficient impact management often requires a change in daily processes with an increasing use of technology. This can require a cultural shift in working practices of staff which needs to be managed. Adopting new systems and digital processes aims to give staff more transparency and control over the journey of their client, and staff in the charitable sector are motivated by helping clients achieve positive outcomes. A change management strategy therefore needs to focus on involving and helping staff see the positive benefits this change in approach can bring, as opposed to it being an admin chore or compliance requirement.

Find out more about our Online Impact Measurement Training Course or attend our Impact Masterclass workshop here

 

HeathFundraising Convention 2017 blacker Black is presenting a summary session on Impact Measurement at the Institute of Fundraising Convention in July, find out more here.

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News - Economic Change

Charity Digital Skills Report

Charity Digital Skills Report, the EC take on things.

The newly launbuzzword_icons_finalsetv2-01ched charity digital skills report makes an interesting read, and many of the findings resonate with the day-to-day challenges we help our clients solve. Here, we look at how to use CRM to overcome some of the issues highlighted in this report around fundraising, contact management and data analytics.

#1. 67% of charities feel they don’t have the right resources in place to go digital

The best solutions should be those that can managed in-house by employees with some digital enthusiasm, but without the need for coding or technical skills. It’s really about choosing the right solution that can be implemented by experts and then self-managed. Our approach is to train and capacity-build internal resource in business analysis, Salesforce admin and change management. Very few of our clients have had prior Salesforce knowledge, and after our support approximately 90% can self-manage their Salesforce implementation.

#2. Charities are hungry for their boards and leadership teams to develop digital skills in order to seize opportunities in digital fundraising, develop competitive advantage, and stay relevant to their audience.

It is well known that executive sponsorship is essential for managing change and supporting digital adoption within an organisation to be successful. Ensuring the Directors are part of digital demo’s and actively using a CRM system for their own analytics is key. They should be aware of the possibilities and clear on how digital tools can help them achieve or measure their organisational strategy. Our previous webinar on CRM for Senior Management and Trustees gives some interesting insights into gaining buy-in from your SMT.

#3. 75% of charities think growing their digital skills would help them increase fundraising, whilst 71% see opportunities to grow its network and 69% to deliver its strategy more effectively.

We actively see charities adopt a CRM and integrated apps, to help them achieve all the above, whether they.. actively use online payment forms integrated with a CRM to make donor giving easier to process and manage; OR they introduce online communities to help volunteers network and support each other achieve outcomes for beneficiaries; OR they manage all of their data within a CRM to report on Management KPI’s.

Our clients adopt a ‘CRM’ as they want to improve client relationship management- it’s no longer a spreadsheet or a database, but about building a strategy and digital solutions for better engaging and managing their stakeholders,  and utilising these assets. They want to engage individual donors, and understand how to also engage them in events, services or volunteering. It’s about understanding who your stakeholders, are and being intuitive in your communications. And, importantly – measuring the level of engagement and outcomes achieved by your digital strategy.

#4. If charities want to generate more income they will need to raise their game in digital fundraising and digital business development skills, with the majority rating their skills in these areas as fair to low.

A digital strategy and skill-set spans website, social media, e-newsletters, CRM and analytics  as well as other communications platforms. These digital tools need to be integrated and developed in synchronisation, to develop a joined up solution which achieves efficient results. Take the example of online payment forms for donations. This syncs customer and purchase data straight into the CRM  to either align the donation with an existing contact, or create a new contact. This keeps information real-time and all in one place. The traditional silos between IT, programme management and comms departments are breaking down, and a digital transformation team needs to be created in a charity that brings interested folk to work together. We like to talk about ‘programme management’, as many of the people we work with are fundraising managers, volunteer managers or project managers, who also become the Salesforce Administrator. They can learn to manage the CRM themselves – it doesn’t require the traditional tech support!

To find out more about Salesforce solutions, email heather@economicchange.co.uk 
To read the whole report click here.

 

Latest News - Economic Change

Choosing the right CRM system for your non-profit

buzzword_icons_finalsetv2-02Choosing the right CRM system for your non-profit can be a tricky process, so how do you decide? There is significant time and financial investment so you don’t want to risk getting it wrong.

We would suggest the first task is mapping out internally what a system would be used for and by whom, this process ideally would be accompanied by demos from system providers so the team understand what is possible and so can be thorough in their planning. Once you have your wish list you can then ask the right questions of system vendors.

Information to prepare about your organisation: 

  • What do you want to capture, manage and monitor with a new system?
  • What does your organisation do – what are it’s services and who are it’s customers?
  • Which systems do your business functions currently use and do they need a review or integration into a new system, or will there be a data transfer.
  • Why is there a need for a new system – what are the pain points and aspirations?
  • How many users will use the system now and in the future – staff, volunteers, customers and partners and what will they need to do in the system.
  • What is the geographical spread of team – is there a need for remote access, Multi-language, multi-currency.
  • Do you have an upfront implementation and annual allocated budget for systems amongst business departments
  • What are your security requirements for your beneficiaries/customers?
  • What will be your client volume and related data/documents – e.g. number of records, data storage etc.

Questions to ask system providers..

Costs 

  • What is the cost of purchasing the system is it one off, by user or by login?
  • What is the cost of customising the system and flexibility to self-customisation the system once the initial set up is complete?
  • Do you need to pay for software updates and what updates are in the pipeline?

System Capabilities

  • What is the ability of the system to grow with your organisation? E.g. extend its application, additional user access?
  • Are you able to customise the system to the extent required?
  • Can the system analyse the data that is stored within it? Can you customise this analysis?
  • What is the security and can different levels of access be set for different team members?
  • Does the system have virtual, mobile and off-line access?
  • Is the system user friendly and easy to navigate? Are you able to trial the system before you buy it?
  • Does the system integrate with other software solutions?

Data Storing

  • Can data be easily imported or exported out of the system for analysis or transfer between systems and in what formats?
  • Where is data stored? What is their commitment to security and back up? Can data be downloaded regularly to generate a backup?

Track Record /Reputation

  • What is the scale and sustainability of the company providing the software solution? Do you have confidence they will sustain their product offer?
  • Are similar clients in the industry using this type of system and what has been their experience to date?
  • What are the ethical credentials of the provider?

We actively support non-profits to plan and prepare their requirements gathering for systems in our CRM Planning Workshop – Join the workshop to learn more http://www.economicchange.co.uk/events/ 

Contact us to get a demo of Salesforce CRM for your non-profit or for further support at heather@economicchange.co.uk

Latest News - Economic Change

Digital Strategies for Community Businesses

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Digital Strategies for Community Businesses – Free Webinar

Join our free webinar to find out how to maximise your Community Engagement Strategy using Digital Tools

Date: 27th April 1pm – 2.30pm

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Our Economic Exchange events are free monthly online events set up to share specialist knowledge and insight of our team and selected partners, to support socially driven organisations to transform and improve the way they work.

During our next webinar we explore how digital skills and tools can play a key part in developing and managing relationships with a local community to generate volunteers, supporters, donors, and beneficiaries for a community business. Plus find out about the grants available through Power to Change.

Click here to register to attend

Why is it important?

power to change‘The support of the community’ was the most important success factor for community businesses cited in the Power to Change State of the Market 2016 Research Report.  The community lies at the heart of a community business, and understanding how community businesses are using digital tools and practices to engage with their ‘local’ community, to engage, shape and market to them will hopefully help to empowers to develop their digital marketing strategy.

What is a Community Business

A Community Business is accountable to their local geographic community and that the profits they generate through trading deliver positive local impact. A community business could be a charity, social enterprise or trust, and actively trade to sustain their beneficiaries services.   Read more here

Community businesses have an important responsibility to manage communications effectively:

  • To engage their community – generate awareness, gather perspectives and evidence of market need and demand.
  • To be accountable to their community – to gather people’s views, analyse and communicate the response to be visible and transparent.
  • To market to their community – to showcase what’s on offer and generate sales with the public.

Our Speakers

During the event our speakers will share tips related to digital management strategies, processes and tools, to support the sustainability and growth of the sector, and sources of funding to implement these changes.

Heather Black, Managing Director, Economic Change

Heather will provide an overview of customer management strategies and digital tools they have provided to community business to help them improve engagement with their local community to create more visible, robust and intuitive relationships.

Economic Change is an approved support provider for Power to Change in the areas of business strategy.

Tahlia King, Marketing Manager and Consultant, Economic Change

Tahlia is a not-for-profit  and community business marketing specialist, supporting the sector with strategic marketing, digital and PR & Communications support. She currently supports a community business in Kent with their marketing and is a CIM Assignment Tutor at the Oxford College of Marketing. She has previously held senior marketing positions with Social Investment Business Group and Charities Aid Foundation where she actively supported community businesses. She holds a Degree in Marketing Management, and is also CIM qualified.

Charlotte Cassedane, Communications Manager, Power to Change

Charlotte will be speaking about the different grant programmes that Power to Change offers and their ability to support the launch or sustainability of community businesses.

Click here to register to attend

Latest News - Economic Change

Salesforce for Infrastructure Organisations and Foundations – Free Webinar

champions-groupSalesforce for Infrastructure Organisations and Foundations 

31st March – 1pm – 2pm

If your organisation is focused on capacity building and supporting other non-profit groups, organisations or businesses through the delivery of training, consultancy, grants or events , then join our next event to get inspired about how you can maximise the use of Salesforce to support your delivery, clients and evaluate what you achieve.

Join our free one hour webinar for an overview of how to manage communications, professional and financial support to your beneficiary organisations using Salesforce.

Our team have 17 years’ experience supporting infrastructure organisations to develop, manage and evaluate their support services to their clients. We combine this expertise with technology to help our clients redesign their client relationship management processes.

Our 1 hour webinar will give you an insight into the different ways for managing the delivery of your services and improving value for your members. It will give you insight on help to realise the benefits of Salesforce to help manage the wide range of functions you deliver including:

 

  • Training and Consultancy Services – Paid, Funded or Pro-bono Support

  • Grant Administration – Applications, Finance to Reporting

  • Network and Membership Management and Engagement

  • Asset Management – Venue Hire, Tenancy, and Maintenance

  • Impact Analysis – Ways to assess the impact of your support

Economic Change has worked with over 30 international, national and local infrastructure organisations and grant making foundations, including Ariadne, The Plunkett Foundation, Locality, Childhood Trust, Action Hants, Selby Trust, Co-operative College, The Bulldog Trust, Peter Cundill Foundation, International Centre of Social Franchising, Pure Leapfrog, Social Enterprise UK, Visionary plus  many others.

Register here to attend 

 

 

 

Latest News - Economic Change

Economic Exchange: Shaping Future Strategy for Youth Organisations

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Shaping Future Strategy for Youth Organisations

During our latest Economic Exchange webinar, we shared different approaches to shaping and realising a strategy for youth support organisations, to deliver their services whilst embracing digital technology.

We reviewed the role of data, approaches to communications and how to empower and support your team of staff and volunteers to deliver using digital tools.
To help achieve these outcomes, we also looked at a range of funders who could support the implementation of these solutions, and had a guest speaker from the Paul Hamlyn foundation.

 

Here Paul Hamlynare a few of the ideas we discussed…

1. Analyse data to shape your strategy

During the webinar we covered the wide range of data metrics you could collect about young beneficiaries and volunteers to assess effectiveness of delivery and impact. We discussed how the data could inform your future strategy for delivery of services to review, improve and develop them.

  • Review beneficiary needs – Understand the baseline requirements of your beneficiaries to understand if your current services are meeting their needs, or whether you have evidence from your data to demonstrate a need to innovate and develop new services.
  • Review the ingredients of a successful outcome – analyse the data to find out which elements of your support is creating positive outcomes – is it the skills and contacts of an adviser or a volunteer, partners or the type of provision?
  • Review who your best partners are – analyse your data to find out who refers people to you and who helps you achieve your outcomes if you refer people on! Collaborate, engage and build on these successful partnerships.

2. Improve your communicacanstockphoto15034266tion strategy to engage beneficiaries and volunteers 

We discussed how you can utilise a range of digital tools to produce well-formatted, accessible, suitable and automated communications to engage young people and volunteers.

  • Make it easy – Make it accessible to complete an application form via online, mobiles, social media etc. Remember to cater for different needs – offer the application form in multiple formats.
  • Make it quick and manageable – People are busy, so break up the application form into short bits so it doesn’t take long. Automate the sending of the next parts as they submit previous parts and automate reminders reminding them to finish their applications.
  • Short but sweet – Layout is everything! People don’t read the entire email, so make it clear what they need to read.
  • Time it well (not when they’re asleep, not when they’re partying) .

3. Foster team collaboration to realise your strategy 

We discussed different ways to support and engage your team of employees and volunteers to improve team working and empowerment to help realise a strategy. Three ideas included:

  • Enable opportunities for your team of employees and volunteers to collaborate on an online forum to share their contacts and knowledge with each other to maximise support for beneficiaries.
  • Reduce the admin – through digital tools you can reduce administration of tasks for both internal staff and volunteers.
  • Create an Alumni network – look at different ways to engage  beneficiaries and volunteers beyond their services, so they can continue to be engaged and support in different ways via speaking, attending events or donating.
  • Build an engaged community – Create a shared online environment for all – which can highlight performance, share cases studies, news and resources, empower volunteers and staffs to input and share appropriate data.

To learn more about these techniques and hear client case studies, you can view the recorded webinar here

To discuss our digital solutions involving impact measurement and Salesforce CRM for non-profits, contact us at heather@economicchange.co.uk

 

Latest News - Economic Change

Top Tips: National and International CRM Roll-out

champions-groupTop Tips from our Webinar: National and International Salesforce CRM Roll-out

By guest bloggers, Sarah Ludbrook and Martin Brockwell – Project Managers at Economic Change CIC

 

“Our team has successfully helped both local and national charities roll out CRM across their offices. This is quite often a complex and time-consuming process, so we wanted to share a few tips with you from our recent Salesforce Champions Webinar.”

 Applying Business Analysis and Change Management Practices 

  1. Meet people – establish personal relationships, understand environment and their ‘day-jobs’.
  2. Undertake business analysis techniques and understand user issues, challenges and identify potential benefits. Understand the national and ‘localised’ benefits to engage stakeholders.
  3. In verbal and written communications, re-emphasise and stress the real and practical benefits for staff and other stakeholders: e.g. easier data entry, data recall and data storage or better communication and co-ordination.

A working example:

Aim: To replace paper based assessment exercise with engaging interactive electronic tool. 

SMART objective: To reduce data analysis time by 50%.

Firstly, establish a Project Management Team   

  • Executive Sponsor – Provides resources in financial and in-kind and communicates the vision to stakeholders.
  • Project Champion: A Senior Position who line manages the users of the system. They should be fully and enthusiastically behind the project to motivate and explain the benefits and rational for the project.
  • Project Manager: Holds sufficient time, authority and influence to co-ordinate all stakeholders and holds accountability for detailed project planning to ensure deliverables are actioned and met by internal and external stakeholders.
  • Project Administrator: A FT/PR post dedicated to Roll out and administration of CRM. Project. Participates in all meetings and ensures the history and understanding of the system processes are retained internally post implementation.

2. Ensure System Adaptability  

  • Ensure the WiFi / Internet and Computer facilities are good enough in field offices.
  • Check whether accessing data overseas affects your data protection policies.
  • Look into Apps that overseas staff can use to access data offline.
  • Set up Trusted IP Addresses.

3. Create Suitable Learning Resources

  • Develop Process Maps per user/team/department so people understand how the system fits into their everyday jobs.
  • Develop Central Training Library that everyone has access to and where the ‘latest’ version is stored of any training material.
  • Develop Training “Modules” using short videos for people to access as required.
  • Provide classroom training to support people through their first practice run with the system.
  • Provide Online Training using tools such as Go to Meeting,  WebEx.
  • Give users the chance to feedback or ask for further support to continue evolution of the system or identify further training needs.

Thinking of rolling out CRM for your organisation? The following workshops will be useful:

 CRM Planning Workshop: London, 28th March

Change Management Workshop: London, 6th March

Our contributors:

sarah-smallSarah Ludbrook, Project Manager and Senior Consultant

Sarah Ludbrook is an experienced and qualified Agile project manager, qualified business analyst and certified Salesforce professional. She joined Economic Change and is managing CRM implementation projects with the International Youth Foundation, Trailblazers, Shaw Trust and Visionary, amongst others.

She joined us following 5 years in-house experience developing and managing the administration of Salesforce CRM at International Services UK, VSO, Restless Development and Teach First.

She has specific expertise in using Salesforce to project manage governments funded contracts, volunteers, education programmes, deliver of front-line services, recruitment and HR on a UK and international scale. At VSO she was the sole Salesforce administrator for £60 million government contract (ICS) to recruit 14,0000 volunteers, with 245 users and 100 Chatter users across 12 charities and 27 countries.

EC_heads_028[1]Martin Brockwell, Project Manager and Senior Consultant

Martin specialises in large-scale Salesforce CRM implementation and roll-out with national & regional third sector organisations who support vulnerable groups, as well as grant-making and membership bodies. He previously worked on CRM implementations at NSPCC, De Paul Trust and Family Action supporting the team to measure their social impact and utilise Salesforce CRM at the latter two organisations before joining Economic Change.

At Economic Change he has supported teams from multiple office sites, with clients including Grace Eyre Foundation, Ashley Community Housing, The Refugee Council, The Bulldog Trust, Locality and Social Enterprise UK, amongst others.

As the project manager and experienced Business Analyst & Salesforce Consultant, he works alongside the client’s management team and co-ordinates efforts of the client & delivery team throughout the implementation period. Martin is qualified IT project manager with Prince 2 and has a substantial track record of successfully introducing IT systems to colleagues and clients.

 

Latest News - Economic Change

Economic Exchange Event – Future Strategies for Youth Support Organisations

economicexchangelogowebEconomic Exchange Event 

Youth Support Organisations –  Management Strategies for the Future

When: 2nd March – 10.30 am – 12 midday 

Online Webinar – Register Here 

During this event we will discussing digital tools, strategies and sources of funding to support youth organisations to manage, support and engage their stakeholders in the future.Paul Hamlyn

We will hearing about:

  • Strategies for engaging young people in volunteering
  • Strategies for supporting volunteers working with young people.
  • Tools to measure impact of youth work.
  • Digital tools and systems for managing your work and communicating with young people using Salesforce CRM and third party apps.
  • The Youth Fund managed by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and other sources of funding

Economic Exchange events are free monthly events set up to share specialist knowledge and insight of our team and selected partners, to support socially driven organisations to transform and improve the way they work. During the event our speakers will share tips related to management strategy, processes and tools, to support the sustainability and growth of the sector, and sources of funding to implement these changes.

Target Audience: Charities/Voluntary Organisations / Social Enterprises /Community Businesses

Our Speakers

Heather Black, Managing Director, Economic Change

Heather will provide a context and overview of the landscape, a summary of impact measurement strategies for young people and digital solutions that Economic Change are currently adopting with youth support clients to measure impact, engage, and manage data securely. She will also provide an overview of funding sources available.

Sarah Ludbrook, Senior Consultant, Economic Change

Sarah will be sharing top tips on how to effectively engage, communicate and manage 1) young people as volunteers and 2) adults as volunteers to support young people. Sarah has previously co-ordinated the management processes for the International Citizenship Service project involving 12 youth focussed charities and 14,000 young volunteers, and now works with a range of organisations at Economic Change to help improve their support and management of volunteers.

Ruth Pryce, Senior Grants Manager, Paul Hamlyn Foundation phf.org.uk

Ruth will be speaking about their Youth Fund and its focus on supporting the capacity and growth of youth organisations. She will run through their funding criteria and share tips on how to prepare your funding application.

Online Webinar – Register Here to Attend 

Latest News - Economic Change

Looking for Funding for your CRM Project

Looking for Funding for your Non-Profit CRM Project

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Over the last two years, we have helped several of our non-profit clients to secure over £350k of grant funding to cover costs of their CRM implementation projects. Here we’ve highlighted several commonly reoccurring questions that arise within these funding applications. So if you’re thinking about applying for funding, these may be a good starting point – you can relate them to your own organisation, and begin to think about your approach and estimate appropriate costs.

A quick point to note here: All Funders have their own guidelines, so please refer to these before answering any questions. The below pointers are just to help you anticipate some of the questions that might be asked. 

Funding for your CRM Project cloud-crm

Motivations: It is important to clarify your motivations for implementing a CRM and present a clear Business Case. For example: Is it going to make you compliant with data protection guidelines or procurement requirements? Is it going to help you manage business and team performance more easily, or enable you to measure your impact and report to Funders more readily? Funders often prioritise grant applications by need, so it may be valuable to articulate what could happen if you don’t invest in a system.

Return on Investment: It is useful to articulate a clear, tangible financial benefit from your investment in a CRM system, both in the short and long term. If you are going to invest £x into a system, how much do you envisage this saving you in reduced administration costs, leakage costs, or missed opportunities? How much do you envisage it helping you generate in terms of increased sales or funding?

Change Management: Funders love to see that change management has been considered, and that the organisation will properly plan and embed a change management strategy to ensure that the planning and adoption process is managed in the best way possible. Statistics show that over 60% of IT projects can fail due to underlying issues that can be prevented with a change management plan from the start. To learn more attend our Change Management workshop  or our Free webinar: Rolling out a CRM nationally and internationally.

Project Management: Ideally any CRM project should be led and managed by someone who is internal and permanent to the organisation and that they have sufficient skills, time and knowledge to lend to the preparation, review and adoption process of a new system and management of internal team members and external consultants. This ensures that the project is properly managed on all sides and will reduce risks related to costs and time slippage. Agile project management is a typical approach to managing IT project these days.

Business Analysis and Requirements Gathering: If an organisation can show it has already invested in a business analysis and scoping exercise (led by someone internally or with an external consultant) to document their requirements and receive quotes for the work, this can demonstrate that the organisation is committed to implementing a CRM. A scoping session can help the team to explore the benefits, the digital opportunities, explore requirements and create a consensus, which all helps to generate internal buy-in to a CRM. To learn how to do plan your requirements properly you may wish to attend our CRM Planning Workshop on the 24th February.

If you are interested in undertaking a scoping session with your team or applying for funding for a CRM implementation, please contact heather@economicchange.co.uk to find out more about grants and opportunities available.