6 Ways Your Association Can Turn CiviCRM into a Powerful Member of Your Team

2021-08-17 08:01
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CiviCRM is an open-source customer relationship management (CRM) solution specifically designed to help non-profits, such as associations, track their relationships with their members and other stakeholders. There are many CRMs available and they all vary in their functionality and limitations. CiviCRM has the reputation of being one of the most robust CRMs available for associations because of its wealth of functionality, flexibility and ability to create any amount of content types and custom fields and tags.

CiviCRM Connects to Your Member Portal and Website

CiviCRM is your one-stop-shop to store all of your association’s information; your membership types, member info, prospects, board members, volunteers, events, payments — you name it, you can store it there.

The power of your CiviCRM is that it is interconnected with your website and member portal. This way your prospects can engage with lead magnets on your site and your members and engage with your member benefits on your portal and all data and activity is captured in CiviCRM.

This makes for detailed data that you can mine for powerful reports, impactful marketing and financial decisions.

CiviCRM Streamlines All Association Communication

Use CiviCRM to communicate with all your external stakeholders (such as members, prospects, partners, donors, etc). You can search your CiviCRM database with any number of detailed search criteria you want to send appropriate and relevant communication. Better yet, use CiviCRM for your association’s internal communications with your team as well. CiviCRM eliminates the need for other communication software and keeps everything centralized in one place.

CiviCRM At Work for Your Association

CiviCRM offers multilingual support; this is great for a multilingual team and membership. CiviCRM can manage fundraising campaigns and email marketing to manage your donations. Keeping track of members, events, contacts, cases (i.e., support requests), and all other data becomes easy.

Saving Time and Money with CiviCRM

Having CiviCRM a central hub for your association’s data enhances productivity, data accuracy and eliminates duplicate and outdated records. Being organized saves your association time and allows you to move faster with aggregated data.

Is CiviCRM Easy to Use?

This is a good question. Here is our answer: Is a car easy to use? Is a cell phone easy to use? Once you learn, it’s easy. For a newbie, a helpful hand goes a long way. Once your association’s team has been given some training and pointers, you will be able to perform the tasks you want — and even more tasks you didn’t even know you could do! At our company, we teach you how to use your CiviCRM as it relates to all the functionality you want to perform with your member portal.

More Functionality That You Realize!

In truth, there are so many ways that CiviCRM can customize and optimize your particular association’s data that it is possible your association’s team wouldn’t come across how to get maximum results without more detailed support and exploration. There are training programs out there to get the most out of the platform.

What Are the Main Features of CiviCRM that Help Associations?

  • Peer-to-peer fundraisers
  • Track donations to your association
  • Association events
  • Advocacy campaigns
  • Case management (i.e. a ticketing system to resolve issues)
  • Membership
  • Contact Management
  • Communications
  • Reports

Here are your Top 6 Benefits of CiviCRM for Associations

1. It is Highly Customizable

You can create as many content types, tags, groups, categories as you can think of. You will be able to search and sort your data into any number of specific subgroups. You can save those groups, and even create smart groups that auto-populate with new data that meets the criteria of the smart group. Learn more about the different ways you can tag, group and organize data with CiviCRM, with our CiviCRM Data Categories Best Uses: Dos and Don'ts Guide and Worksheet on our site.

2. Easy Centralized Data Storage

The main benefits of CiviCRM for associations are the easy data recording, centralized data storing, and multilingual support. This is super beneficial for an association that is looking to stay with their CRM software longterm and avoid making expensive and time-consuming system transitions.

3. Track Communication and Encourage Engagement

CiviCRM is a powerful web-hosted CRM so your team can safely store all your data in one place and easily access from anywhere. It is your association’s address book, event planner and communications record with your members, stakeholders and partnering organizations. You can use CiviCRM to send marketing emails and encourage your contacts to engage with your site, your benefits, and give donations. CiviCRM has a dedicated Activity feature that allows your association to track all the interaction and activities your association staff has with your members and stakeholders. It also allows you to create custom activity with custom data fields so you can collect the data that is specific to your association and relevant to your members.

4. It’s Free

CiviCRM is free! It is an open-source solution, which means there are no licensing costs or fees for downloading and installing the software. You may need to hire a consultant to teach you how to use it, integrate it with your customized member portal for easy data collection, or pay a hosting charge. The only ongoing cost for associations is a small monthly fee for managing the system, security measures and ongoing maintenance. CiviCRM comes with integration with Drupal and Joomla which saves development costs with other CRM products.

5. Internal Task Management for Your Team

CiviCRM can be used to assign and track work assigned to your team, like a ticketing project management system. Use the Activities feature to allocate a task to any teammate and you can monitor the progress of the task. Every member will have a customized dashboard which will include in the display a list of activities assigned to them.

6. Highly Secure

Even though web-based software may make some of us uneasy, worry not about CiviCRM. Security is a major concern for the sensitive data collected by associations. CiviCRM has builtin security features for securing the server to prevent unauthorized attempts to access your data. You have the ability to assign access roles to users and change file permission to provide limited access to confidential information. It is protected against a wide variety of hacking techniques.

CiviCRM Integrations for Data Sharing

The following CiviCRM integrations are currently offered:

  • Drupal
  • WordPress
  • JotForm
  • WhatsApp
  • Webform
  • JustGiving
  • Click & Pledge
  • MailChimp

In Summary

CiviCRM is free, powerful, versatile and boasts more features than high-cost CRM systems. It stores all your association’s data in one web-based place for your team to access from anywhere. You can use the data to create insightful reports such as creating targeted marketing campaigns, reach out to members at risk and track member benefit engagement. If your team is tired of spending time and money working on multiple software platforms and ready to centralize your work in one place, CiviCRM may be a good for for your association.


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