Non-Profits Benefit from Integrating CRM with Content


On Thanksgiving Day and then again in December, I shared with you the results of UK and U.S. surveys conducted by Harris Interactive for TeaLeaf, a company that specializes in customer experience management solutions. The gist was that customers got pretty darn upset when they experienced online shopping problems, but became absolutely livid when calling customer service didn't resolve the problem.


The point was that strong integration between the Web site and the customer call center can go a long way to improve customer service.


Well, it turns out, for-profit companies aren't the only ones that need to focus on integration between the Web content and customer relationship systems.


Michelle Murrain, a non-profit technology advisor, says non-profit organizations can also benefit from integrating their content management systems-particularly their Web content-with their Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) systems.


If you're used to the for-profit world, you, like me, may wonder how much Constituent Relationship Management has in common with Customer Relationship Management software. I e-mailed Murrain to ask and, as it turned out, it is the same basic software vertical. Murrain explained:

"Some folks in the nonprofit sector use tools that are designed for nonprofits (like CiviCRM, Convio, etc.) Others use tools like Salesforce.com and SugarCRM - tools designed for businesses. I would say though, that the majority of nonprofits use nonprofit-specific vendors for CRM. There is an increasing use of Salesforce.com in the nonprofit sector, but often customized for nonprofits."

Non-profits increasingly want to capture demographic information from visitors to their Web site and synchronize the data with CRM tools. They also are interested in sharing data from the CRM system to their content management system, Murrain wrote.


On her Zen and the Art of Nonprofit Technology blog, Murrain shares four strategies that non-profits can use to integrate these two systems. My guess is that her write-up on CRM/CMS integration, as well as her blog in general, could be useful to small government agencies and small businesses, as well as those in the non-profit sector. In other integration news: Take a survey, possibly win Flip camcorder. ZapThink offers SOA consultancy and educational services, as well as frequent commentary for this blog. I follow ZapThink Analyst Ronald Schmelzer on Twitter, and I happened to catch his tweet about a ZapThink survey on rich Internet applications. Anyone who finishes it can register for a chance to win a customized Mino Flip camcorder. You don't need to be an expert - ZapThink wants your feedback if you've either made or are planning to make investments in Internet applications with rich interface, Internet or client-side capabilities. The survey is eight pages and should take 15 minutes, according to the survey site.


By the way, I do tweet integration-related articles that I find, as well as when this site is updated, if you'd like to follow me.