Sr. Content Marketing Manager
A strong relationship with your customer base is important to drive success for any commercial business, but for nonprofit organizations it’s even more critical. Where commercial businesses can rely heavily on the products they sell to build brand trust, nonprofit fundraising is a unique revenue stream that depends almost entirely on intangible assets; trust, hope and belief in a mission. Whether an organization is seeking funds from foundations, corporations or individuals, earning contributions often comes down to the personal connections you forge with people.
Building strong customer relationships is increasingly important today given our ever more virtualized world. Which means that robust digital tools are a must for nonprofits to stay consistent and timely in their communications with potential and existing donors. With its ease of use, collaboration features, and affordability, Google Workspace’s suite of productivity tools is becoming more and more popular for nonprofits, who have discovered how easy Google can integrate into their existing workflows.
While Google Workspace is powerful in its own right, it packs even more of a punch when you combine it with customer relationship management software (CRM). But it has historically been hard to find an elegant plug-and-play solution that delivers on nonprofit needs while seamlessly integrating with Google. Enter Copper, a CRM that solves both of these problems (but more on that later).
Wait, what’s Google Workspace?
An interconnected collection of collaboration and productivity tools used by over 6 million organizations worldwide, Google Workspace officially launched in October 2020, an evolution of its previous product, G Suite. And like G Suite, Google Workspace's subscription service features cloud-based applications (email, a calendar, document editing software and other applications) for businesses of all sizes.
Google Workspace is more than a rebranding of G Suite, though. It capitalizes on the trend of moving business operations into the cloud to capture greater agility and improve team collaboration. Familiar Google applications like Gmail, Google Sheets, Calendar and Drive are now accessible through a unified user interface (UI).
Other enhancements also helped supercharge these applications for collaboration. For instance, users can add smart chips to a document and pull up a recommended list of resources (people, files, templates and other assets) by typing the “@” symbol. Plus, with connected checklists in Docs team members can assign checklist items to others and see action items in Google Tasks.
Okay, then what’s Google Workspace for Nonprofits?
Aware of the unique challenges nonprofit organizations (NPOs) face compared to their commercial counterparts, Google actually offers Google Workspace for Nonprofits as a separate product to help them accomplish their missions more efficiently.
Google’s nonprofit offering makes all Google Workspace plans available to nonprofit organizations for free (Business Starter) or at a scaling discount, depending on which of the higher-priced plans the NPO chooses.
Over 150,000 nonprofits previously using G Suite have been upgraded to the Google Workspace environment. This productivity suite not only gives NPOs access to all of the same features as for-profit businesses, but to additional perks only offered to educational or charitable orgs. NPOs can also take advantage of the Google Ads grant valued at $10,000 a month and a collection of premium applications that would typically be too costly for these organizations to subscribe to.
Google Workspace for Nonprofits and other Google resources are successfully being used by well-known organizations like Kiva, the Jane Goodall Institute and the Special Olympics to improve team productivity, collaborate across the globe, communicate with donors, and track program outcomes.
What is CRM software and how can it help nonprofits?
When it comes to customer relationship management, nonprofit organizations can make the mistake of thinking they don't have “customers,” per se, but all NPOs are service providers; they extend charitable services to target users, and they help donors fulfill their philanthropic desires.
Both groups qualify as customers, in the relationship-management sense, and similar to any commercial business, an NPO must effectively manage the relationship with these vital customers to be successful.
In the past, CRM for nonprofits could have been as simple as keeping a Rolodex of customer contact details. Today, very few organizations could accomplish this task without the assistance of customer relationship management software due to the sheer volume of data management and data analysis required to manage teams, build networks and communicate with donors in a timely manner.
All CRM tools are not created equally, so an NPO team must know what goals it wants to achieve before making a commitment. Some platforms are purely focused on collecting and analyzing customer data. Others are designed to drive customers to convert on a transaction while being woefully absent of any customer relationship nurturing functionality. Still others can be so complicated that a consultant is needed just to use them.
The best CRM for nonprofits focuses on affordability, but not at the expense of effectiveness. It offers robust communication and collaboration tools combined with meaningful analytics that deliver actionable insights. With the right nonprofit CRM, an NPO can be empowered to reach out to donors at just the right time, gauge the impact of the services it provides, and generate hard proof of favorable outcomes that lead to more successful fundraising.
Copper CRM + Google Workspace for Nonprofits
With the number of NPOs that depend on Google Workspace for Nonprofits, it only makes sense that the best CRM for nonprofits is one that works seamlessly with the suite of Google tools. Copper is unique since it's the first real CRM software built from the ground up to integrate with Google Workspace.
A robust nonprofit CRM should support these six crucial functions:
- Organized communication: all communication with donors should be located in one central place and tracked and logged so that team members can completely understand where every donor is in a donation cycle.
- Donation tracking: a robust CRM tracks financial data for won opportunities so an organization can clearly see its sources of income, analyze the success of fundraising activities, and identify any new or missed opportunities.
- Data analytics: track key metrics around the health of your organization to enable reporting and strategizing for the future.
- Ease of use: for a nonprofit CRM to be truly useful, it must be simple to use. Since NPOs depend heavily on volunteers and tend to have high team member turnover, it's critical for everyone on a team to quickly understand how to use an NPO's CRM tool.
- Automated admin tasks: as many repetitive tasks as possible should be automated to streamline workflows so team members are free to concentrate on relationship building.
- Scalability: a nonprofit CRM needs to be agile and able to grow along with the NPO to accommodate evolving use cases.
Copper accomplishes all of these initiatives by enabling users to sync its powerful customer relationship management platform with the productivity apps in Google Workspace. NPOs can work from a single admin window to manage all aspects of a workflow or fundraising campaign, or from directly inside their Gmail inbox using the Copper Chrome extension.
Lastly, Copper CRM + Google Workspace for Nonprofits is endlessly extensible; workflows and fundraising pipelines can be customized to meet each NPO's specific needs.
Choosing the right nonprofit CRM is vital to the health and longevity of your organization, and it can help your NPO grow in so many different ways. Start building meaningful donor relationships by trying Copper free for 14 days.