Charities which have embraced CRM systems are likely to have an income that is ten times higher than those who have not, and can expect an average income of £5m a year, compared to £500,000 for the troglodytes.
So says the Status of UK Fundraising 2018 Benchmark Report, published by the software company Blackbaud with the Institute of Fundraising, which quizzed more than 800 fundraisers.
The report shows, unsurprisingly, that the use of CRM systems in the non-profit sector is directly linked to income. Where charities are not using a CRM platform, they are more likely to only have an income of less than £500,000 per year.
In contrast, the larger and more sophisticated charities using multiple CRM systems, for example donor management systems as well as a volunteer management system, can often bring in an annual income of over £5m. However, it must be factored in that these charities have far bigger technology budgets; the report does not compare the performance of charities of equal size.
When it comes to ownership, the report found that in half of all non-profits surveyed, CRM is run by the fundraising department. This is most common in organisations with an income greater than £1m.
In Higher Education, the IT department tends to own CRM, while in the Arts it is more likely to be the responsibility of the marketing team.
Institute of Fundraising chief executive Peter Lewis said: “Investment in fundraising works – and while some charities will have more resource than others, putting dedicated resource into growing fundraising will reap benefits for organisations in the future.”
Meanwhile, the study also showed that data-driven marketing is now a mainstay of the sector; nearly half (48%) of charities surveyed have dedicated data teams. And this portion of respondents were also more likely to have an income of over £1m.
The majority also claimed that they were ready for GDPR, which according to DMA head of preference services, compliance and legal John Mitchison was in part thanks to the stream of exposés about rogue fundraising practices in the Daily Mail.
He recently told delegates at a Third Sector Fundraising Conference: “I think all of that furore in the charity sector at the time, which was kicked off by the Daily Mail, actually gave a lot of charities and fundraisers a head start on preparing for the GDPR because they were already putting their processes in a better position before everybody else was.”
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