How charities can create savings with low cost CRM

Male charity worker at desk

The Current Situation for charities

The Covid 19 Pandemic has had a devastating effect on the whole world’s economy and the charity sector is no exception. However, in this particular situation, charities are a bit of an anomaly. While the not for profit sector has been hit massively by a vastly depleted income stream, it is also having to cope with an increased demand for its services at the same time. This odd juxtaposition means that charities leaders are needing to be more on-the-ball than ever if they are to continue to deliver their much needed vital services with depleted resources and still manage to remain an ongoing concern at the end of it all.


We know from listening to our own clients in the charity sector how flexible they have had to be in order to adapt to the current situation.
Keeping costs to a bare minimum is essential but this isn’t the only option available. Enlightened charity leaders know when it is necessary to spend a little money (no matter how small) in order to create savings elsewhere.

Benefits of CRM for charities

When managing a team of largely remote workers, an astute charity leader will be aware of the importance of having a joined-up effort in delivering services to clients. Goodwill is certainly one thing there is no shortage of in this sector, but where efficiencies really lie is in ensuring that everyone is aligned when it comes to data and processes. And we’re not even talking about anything super advanced here. For example; when one team member updates an email address for a client, that change should immediately be viewable by everyone else in the team. Time saving efficiencies such as this, sound simple but are surprisingly lacking among some charity organisations. The only way to achieve this level of centralisation is to deploy a single client/customer database. In other words deploy a CRM (Contact Relationship Management) system. A well maintained CRM system will always empower a team to make better decisions due to having an increased confidence in the data at hand.

Replacing multiple spreadsheets, paper diaries and post it notes scattered around the virtual/separated organisation with an online CRM system that holds a single source of truth, instantly makes your organisation more compliant with data protection rules but also transforms the way people perform their roles.
Benefits that come from having a single source of data for your remote workforce include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced stress
  • Duplicate prevention
  • GDPR compliance is easier to manage
  • Lower turnover of volunteers and staff
  • Increased volunteer and staff engagement
  • Time saving efficiencies

Charity Workers in a meeting

Another compliancy related benefit of a CRM system over a spreadsheet is the granularity of security that is available to the administrator setting up the CRM. With well thought out security roles in place and assigned to each worker or volunteer, its possible to ensure that, even though the CRM system contains all of the data, each team member will only have access to the data that they need in order to perform their role.

We have written before about how important it is for charities to adopt a strategy for transforming their operations away from a disjointed paper and excel based approach in order to benefit from all the advantages that come with new technology. But this need for change is now becoming more and more urgent for those charities that have not yet taken the plunge. With stretched budgets and the need for urgency, a sensible first step for charities that don’t yet have a centralised CRM database is to talk to a Microsoft Partner like Rocket CRM.

How Rocket CRM can help charities

Rocket CRM is a small company with lots of CRM experience. We work with charities, membership organisations and other businesses to help them adopt CRM systems built on the Microsoft Power Platform.

Microsoft have committed to the charity sector in a big way by making a lot of CRM functionality available for a very low cost for not-for-profit organisations, in fact the ridiculously low price makes it almost a no-brainer to get on board with a basic CRM if you haven’t already. As a Microsoft partner, Rocket CRM can access and provide licensing for Office 365 (now known as Microsoft 365) as well as Microsoft CRM products like Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform.

Taking that first step into the unknown can seem daunting for some people, that’s why we are happy to take some time to have a chat with you about your own circumstances and show you what a CRM system might look like for you. Rocket CRM can offer all the support and expertise necessary to get you up and running with a CRM system.

We are aware that, in these very troubling times, decent project budgets are like unicorns and most charities don’t have the money for big roll out projects. We are increasingly approached by organisations who have a very limited budget but big ambitions. This is totally normal and it is good. It means that they are thinking about the “big picture” i.e. Where do they want to be 3 years from now when we are out of this dark place and into the light again.

Start basic

We work with these clients by setting them up first with a basic CRM system we call this the MVP (minimum viable product). Just enough functionality to get started and that fits with whatever budget is available at the start. Then, once the organisation starts to get used to this new efficient way of working, we encourage them to maintain a list of future requirements and improvements (we call this a backlog). The Backlog will continually be added to and the items will continually be prioritised as the CRM evolution cycle continues.

With the initial focus being on what is the minimum requirement that they need right now in order to start gaining some tangible benefits from the CRM system, leaders don’t end up worrying about being overwhelmed by attempting to manage a complex CRM project all at once. Often, just the fact that they’ve managed to get escape the nightmare of duplicated spreadsheet hell is enough to help them to sleep better at night.
With the added benefit that they then have the time to make well thought out incremental changes at a pace that is suitable for the organisation.

One way in which we help our clients is to charge a set monthly fee that suits their budget and that allows them to accrue hours to make CRM improvements. This way, they are not paying for CRM improvement work in lump sums, there is no set time limit and the hours can be rolled over or used on a monthly basis. We have found that his type of approach to implementing and managing CRM is generally very well received as it, not only delivers benefits from day one, it also allows the organisation to have a predicted monthly spend.

Talk to us

Implementing a charity CRM can be a challenge but so can choosing a partner to work with. Our customers trust us, they like our personable and hands on approach.
Here’s  a link to a case study from one of our recent charity customers; Suffolk Mind.


If you want to just get started with something very basic or have a fuller project in mind, please get in touch and let’s have a chat.



Rocket CRM is a Microsoft Dynamics 365, and a platinum ClickDimensions accredited partner, helping small to medium-sized businesses and charities harness the power of scalable CRM technology. Our mission is to make powerful CRM software simple with custom-built, user-focused solutions.


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