So before we get to the WP Question of the Month, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone who hasn't yet had the opportunity to complete the community survey to please take a few moments to do so. Mark, Jason and I would like to make this community the best it can be, but with your guidance and desires in mind. It's only a good community if it works for its members!
Moving on...here's the WP Question of the Month!
I look forward to hearing the answers to this one!
I am in CRM hell and need a solution YESTERDAY. I've done a lot of research on CRM but haven't seen a lot on positive integration online. One of our Neighborks affiliates are using Salesforce as part of their platform but I think it might be too robust and complicated for us. Looking forward to hearing what people are using that is affordable, effective and easy to learn&muse.
As a consultant working primarily with non-profits the need for a powerful CRM is key. We decided awhile back to utilize CiviCRM as our primary CRM solution with our WordPress sites. CiviCRM is open source with no license fees. It is powerful system that handles memberships, fundraising, events, donations and mass emails. There is a powerful reporting system and the ability to create custom fields and profiles. CiviCRM works in conjunction with WordPress and the data is housed on the organization's website hosting service which does differ from a lot of other CRM solutions. CiviCRM does require some configuration beyond installing a plugin and there is a lot to the program but we have found that our clients pick up the system quite quickly. We are involved in the CiviCRM community and contribute as a partner organization so would be happy to answer any questions regarding CiviCRM.
This is a great question as most non-profits have a need for a CRM/data solution at some level!
I'm with an NFP-focused tech company and we use CiviCRM with a number of clients. Although it does work with WP we mostly install it on the Drupal CMS instead since that provides a stronger set of tools (there are a number of Drupal modules that provide integration into Civi and give you more ability to tailor things to the client's needs).
My experience has been that Civi has a lot it can do but that it requires a good partnership between the consultant and the NFP in order to really have it work well. Although people can muddle through with Civi and figure out about 60-80% of things, there tend to be a number of places where there are multiple ways to accomplish something, or where it's not entirely obvious how Civi works, or not clear if Civi can do what you're trying to do or not.
So generally, yes Civi can be a very helpful tool and can do a lot, but there's definitely a learning curve in understanding how to set it up and how the pieces fit together. Having the support of someone who's used it before can be very valuable.
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Tried and failed to implement CiviCRM. The problem wasn't installation as a WordPress plugin, which (provided your hosting meets all the requirements) is easy. It was trying to get a dozen staff and volunteers working on their own projects to agree to use common fields, the same terminology, and the similar work processes, then find the best way to set up Civi ready to import their various spreadsheets and databases, then train them. I simply didn't have the time and patience to tackle a task like that, or the budget to make it worthwhile learning, so asked the client to find someone with more CRM experience to plan it for them. Never underestimate what's involved!
For a smaller non-profit which didn't need a powerful, all bells and whistles feature set, I used a third party tool called High Rise. It's simple, not WordPress, not customisable, but ideal for their needs.
As a tiny nonprofit (= no employees, one volunteer that does all the admin and comms work), I am also interested in others' responses.
We use Action Network to do online petitions, but it actually includes a CRM and donation capabilities. I'm not thrilled with how their forms looks on our website, so we haven't the donations. The online actions play really well with WP though and they are very affordable (based on number of emails you send per month. We have less than a thousand emails and pay $10/month).
Since talking with a rep at the NTN and seeing this report, I've been thinking of switching to Every Action. They do everything I (think) we'd ever want and are priced at or below any other service I've been able to price. I don't know how well they integrate with WP, so I'd love to hear from anyone who has used them.
Sometimes integration can be minimal.
For example, Salesforce is one of those fully featured bells and whistles CRMS.
But maybe all the integration you require, is to send data from a form on your website to Salesforce; could be a membership sign-up for for example.
Well I've found that really easy to do, because they published a WordPress plugin. Many other CRM products have WordPress plugins these days.
I find it interesting how CiviCRM hasn't quite caught on with WordPress. I know it's extremely popular with Drupal. It seems to me that, ironically, the lack of plugins to integrate with CiviCRM may be part of what's holding it back. Generally speaking, the CRM integration plugins seem a little scary to rely on.
While I have little experience with it, I know some of my smaller clients have been really happy with Little Green Light. There are also CRMs built in WordPress like Presspoint, but I don't have experience with them and have never heard of others using them either!
As others have alluded to, it may be that organizations who are a good fit for WordPress aren't quite large enough to need (or afford!) advanced type CRM website integrations like profile management.
Jason, which plugin do you use for that type of Salesforce integration you mention? (That's the most-common type of request in my experience too.) I just used the Gravity Forms Salesforce plugin for the first time. I was happy with it (I love Gravity Forms and was doing lots of complicated things with it), though the GF Salesforce plugin seems a little unstable based on it's support forum history, I noticed last week that a new developer will be taking over.
Hastily googling Little Green Light, so many CRM solutions out there.
I've not used the Gravity Forms plugin's Salesforce add-on, but have connected Gravity Forms to Salesforce without a plugin.
Also used the WordPress-to-lead for Salesforce plugin which worked ok.
I'm a consultant in this space, and we've helped nonprofits overhaul their tech infrastructure, including CRM, CMS and more.
The real question when talking about Wordpress + CRM is what exactly do you mean by integration, and are you sure it's with your CRM? Common online actions like signing up for a newsletter or making a donation don't typically hit your CRM directly anyway. For example, your newsletter signups might happen through a Mailchimp widget, and your Mailchimp subscribers might then sync back to your CRM.
If you're looking for integrated plugins that bring CRM funcationality to your website, Neon CRM and Fundly CRM are the easiest to do without a lot of technical expertise. That said, if you're doing anything that's more unique to your use case, you're probably going to end up integrating through an API, which means choosing CRMs that have open APIs.