How CRM can transform charity fundraising performance

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The key to successful fundraising is managing supporter relationships well

Central to charity fundraising is forging and maintaining successful relationships with supporters and volunteers. While charities are enthusiastic about letting supporters know what’s happening, many don’t leverage their digital tools to drive supporter engagement well enough with glaring holes in their communication touchpoints. However, with the right tech in place, charities can better communicate with supporters, volunteers, trustees and other audiences more meaningfully to sustain and build relationships for mutual gain. 

In a post-pandemic world, charities are still battling to recover from the loss of income during that difficult two-year period. Many traditional charities also struggled to maintain relationships due to the lack of face-to-face opportunities. Resulting in a huge transformation in how charities communicate with their supporters, and the pressure for them to digitally adapt has never been greater. 

This is where modern charity CRM can deliver huge value to charities’ fundraising capabilities. Where in the past, CRMs were little more than databases that held supporter and volunteer records, modern solutions take this data holding to new heights. The breadth and depth of data held are bountiful, and the tools and features in these systems enable fundraisers to leverage this data to their advantage in a whole host of ways. 

A new era for fundraisings communications 

In an ‘always on’ digital world, charities must appreciate that their audiences have greater expectations when interacting with their chosen charity. And unlike the business world, that relationship has a distinct emotional aspect throughout the whole supporter journey. When charities struggled to maintain that personal touch in a socially distant environment, the challenge was being able to translate their stories and mission through digital channels and continue communicating with supporters in a personal way. 

Even though we’re now able to mingle socially, this digital-first mindset should not be disregarded, as the ball has been set in motion, and there’s no going back from this digital frontier. And to be honest, who’d want to, as there are exciting opportunities within arm’s reach for those ready to level up their tech and marketing tools. 

Not only can a good charity CRM software increase fundraising income streams, but they have massive operational benefits too, streamlining administration, team collaboration, automation and standardisation. 

And although we are very aware that charities often work with very modest budgets, good CRM technology today is very affordable and accessible. Even the smallest or newly formed charities can start on the right foot by managing and utilising their data well. And by selecting a scalable and flexible solution, they can adapt the software as they grow and evolve. 

How modern CRM can transform a charity’s fundraising performance

Communicating with supporters effectively

Modern charity CRM will, without a doubt, tranform how a charity interacts with supporters, helping them maximise the opportunities to speak with them, helping them drive engagement and ultimately generate more fundraising revenue. And as they can log all supporter, volunteer and fundraising interactions in one place, a full 360 view of a charity’s fundraising activities is made possible. Critically, it is this 360 view of the donor journey that makes it a powerful tool for fundraisers. By understanding when and how donors interacts, from initial contact to first donation and their whole support journey, charities can tailor their interactions and communications accordingly, strengthening that relationship. 

Armed with supporter insight, charities can say goodbye to ineffective blanket letters or emails; instead, you can be hyper-personalised and automate communications with pre-set triggers and templates. Taking away some of the admin and communication burdens from the fundraising and comms team. Marketing automation software has revolusionised modern marketing, helping even the smallest and leanest of teams be more efficient and effective.

And by storing and managing data better the opportunities for segmentation are endless, and segmentation can be based on granular information on supporter behaviour. It’s this approach that facilitates a hyper-personalised approach.  

This intelligent approach to communication sends the right message to all supporters, giving them confidence in the charity’s ability to manage their donations well and potentially increasing the likelihood of larger or future donations. Even more important for corporate fundraising efforts. 


A central place to store all your fundraising data

Replacing clunky systems or even spreadsheets with a unified central CRM means information is easily and quickly accessed by those who need it. Reducing the chance of miscommunication, inaccurate information, or time spent digging around in various places for the correct information. 

And this central digital approach also offers a big tick in terms of compliance. Holding supporter data, declarations, and other paperwork securely and centrally ensures data protection law compliance and makes it easier for charities to claim gift aid. 

Keeping all supporter data, forms and declarations in one place and easily accessible is a significant advantage for ensuring data protection law compliance. And from a GDPR perspective, supporters can be assured their data is being held safely, and charities can also demonstrate that they know exactly where their supporter data is. It can be accessed quickly, securely and deleted easily on request. 

Opt-in and consent preferences are easily updated, viewed, and history logs mean for auditing purposes. There is accountability and security that protects the supporter even more. 

Event management software 

Most CRMS will offer events planning software are, at the very least, enable the integration of a third-party solution. And by integrating your event management activity into your CRM, charities can add further detail and powerful insight into their fundraising activities. And this approach means that managing, delivering and reporting on events becomes a simper task. Charities can quickly and accurately glance at event attendees, event communications, and donations received as a result of the event. 

The benefits of integration 

As alluded to earlier, the centralised approach to data storage and management is a huge help in terms of collaboration between departments and teams and even volunteers. With old systems, it was likely that there were giant gapping data silos, preventing data from being shared effectively and slowing down all sorts of administration activities, processes and communication. With modern cloud-based CRM technology, there is what is known as ‘one source of truth’. Accurate data holding and internal data sharing result in a better supporter journey. 

This integration drives efficiency, reducing administration and process times. In many cases, it helps streamline processes considerably, helping busy fundraising and administration teams win back time. 

As a charity grows, integration comes into its own, enabling data from other areas or systems to be pulled into one central space. 

Collaborating and managing volunteers 

CRM can be a powerful tool to keep volunteers engaged, informed and motivated to continue their support.  

Like supporters, donors and staff, fundraising CRM can manage volunteers effectively. From scheduling and logging activities to training and communications. It can all be taken care of in the same system, and they too can access donor and supporter information if and when required. And whilst it’s fair to say older volunteers in the past may have struggled with IT, most modern CRMs are delivered in intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces. Making it easier for the non-techy to adapt to and use accurately. 


All good modern CRMs offer reporting capabilities that inform teams, managers and senior managers of charity activities, as almost anything can be tracked and reported on. Charities will most certainly want to be able to view their income streams more accurately. This insight will offer control and help them plan better for future activities. Allowing them to quickly and easily report to trustees and stakeholders. Some other helpful reporting functions could be: 

  • Reporting on donor and donor value 
  • Supporter lifetime value 
  • total donations by fundraising activity 
  • insights to help you benchmark and optimise campaigns 
  • Fundraising income streams 
  • Volunteer hours 
  • Average gift size and frequency 
  • Preferred giving channel 
  • Event attendance 

Closing word 

CRMs are today an essential piece of the fundraising toolkit and should be a core component of an excellent digital fundraising strategy for any charity. Charities considering investing in a new CRM should consider scalability, flexibility, cost and security.  

For more information on CRMs for charities visit

A bit about Rocket CRM

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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