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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

  • 1.  Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted Dec 13, 2019 12:13
    Hello there,

    Our association is expanding our sponsorship program and we have outgrown excel. I was wondering what you all use to manage your sponsors and sponsorships/partnerships year around and for specific events. We have heard good things about SalesForce but unsure about the fit, and implementation complexity and cost. I would love to hear what others have done in this area. Thank you in advance!

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    Zane Mullins
    Glen Allen, VA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted Dec 14, 2019 09:52
    Airtable.com is great for that point when you want to graduate from a spreadsheet.  Very intuitive and they have many great templates.  With a paid subscription you also get to integrate with other apps and summarize the data in more meaningful ways using what they call "blocks".  Salesforce is powerful and flexible, and there's a great non-profit support community--I'm sure others will chime in here--but depending on your size, budget, and technical ability, it might be too much.

    What do you use for email, file storage, etc.? If Microsoft you could look into Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but from what I can tell, the non-profit community generally goes with SF over MS for CRM.

    Do you do fundraising, too? If so, you might want to look into donor management tools. I'm sure others will chime in here about that too.  There are also useful posts on the topics in the communities here.

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    Lauren Feldman Hay (she/her/hers)
    Director of Informatics, Public Health Solutions
    New York, NY
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/lfeldmanhay/
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted Dec 16, 2019 16:52
    Echoing Lauren's point about size of your program and other revenue streams you might want to manage with your solution.

    In addition, I would look at the size of your program and it's relative complexity. SalesForce is a powerful tool but I am not personally 100% sold that it is a better solution than a well-run Excel spreadsheet for most charities for sponsorship.

    Good luck with your program.

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    Ann Rosenfield
    Toronto, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 4.  RE: Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted Dec 16, 2019 11:01
    Hi Zane -- There are options to meet your needs as stand-alone products and on both the Salesforce and Dynamics platforms. I'm currently working with three other associations on needs related to yours. If you'd like to have a chat with me about your particular situation, please let me know! At the least, I'll be able to talk with you about the pros and cons of Salesforce and Dynamics 365, and point you to some approaches and solution options you might consider. I could rattle off a number of AMS, CRM, and event management products you could consider, but I'd first like to hear more about your specific needs. -- Peter

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    Peter Mirus
    Partner
    Washington, DC
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted Dec 17, 2019 10:53
    Hi Zane,

    I see a couple different things related to managing sponsorships/partnerships year-round and for events:
    • collecting and recording financial contributions: perhaps a mix of manual entry and online payment
    • individual, small group, and bulk emails to sponsors/partners
    • ease of generating printed communications, such as letters with populated information, like name, contact information, and sponsorship level
    • public display and promotion of sponsors/partners

    If you're looking at switching from excel to a tool, I'd recommend considering all four of these things and how much of a priority, or not, they are to your organization now vs down the road. That way any investment you make will do more. Your money will always go farther if the tool you choose can adapt as your organization changes and has different needs.

    I've seen many organizations successfully use CiviCRM integrated with Drupal or Wordpress. It is open-source, rather than proprietary like Salesforce, which provides a different payment/support model, since there are a bunch of different agencies that support the organizations using the software. It meets the previous list of being able to manage and accept donations, handle email and printed communications, and directly integrate with a website to even dynamically display sponsors based on their donation level or when the donation was made.

    Here are a few examples of organizations who are using Drupal and CiviCRM and how they dynamically display their partners and supporters:


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    Gena Dellett
    Account Services Manager
    Lawrence, KS
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted Dec 17, 2019 12:45
    Edited by Medha Nanal Dec 17, 2019 12:47
    Echoing what has been said before : for this type of data management, Salesforce, Dynamics as well as another type of CRM platform is a good fit. As for your concerns relative to price/fit etc., costs for similar projects vary widely and a lot of your ROI and satisfaction depends on how the systems have been set up to address your needs, and also on the surrounding processes and capacity building.

    Dynamics was traditionally not very strong in the nonprofit market but lately, they have made some strides in this space. Two years back, I used to advise to not consider Dynamics, but I am now watching their moves and they do seem to be getting serious about nonprofit solutions.

    Also, as Lauren mentioned above, if you plan to fundraise or are already fundraising, then there could be an overlap among these two teams.

    The piece of disagreement I want to voice here: if you are on Excel and are finding it to be a limited solution, then chances are that Airtable will not serve you over the long term. It's a nifty tool for small teams who want to move fast and whose data is primarily transient, but for your purpose, if you plan to keep the information and build on it over time, then it needs to have a robust database support underneath. Just my 2c.

    It is certainly a complex decision. I am happy to connect to offer more insights into the specifics of selecting and setting up similar databases and how customizing as per the specific organization's needs and capacity can be achieved. Happy to share our success stories as well. Feel free to reach out using the information below.





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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 7.  RE: Sponsor and Sponsorship/Partnership management (CRM?)

    Posted 23 days ago
    Thank you everyone for your input! I will gather all the information and we will discus our potential options internally. I might send a follow up message to a few of you. I always appreciate this community! I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

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    Zane Mullins
    Glen Allen, VA
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline