This year there are three major trends growing within the public sector. Non-profits should learn more about:

  • the integration of corporate channels
  • analyzing the big picture (with big data), and
  • increasing communication and cooperation with other public sector firms

Here are three key operational changes that will help your charity improve its branding, in-house management, and customer experience in 2015:

nonprofit crm

1. Integration of Corporate Channels

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an in-house system that helps to manage a company’s interactionswith current and future customers. It uses specific technology to organize and synchronize all aspects of customer communication: sales, customer service, marketing, and customer support.

As more and more non-profit organizations adopt a CRM system, they are starting to understand just how important interconnectedness between its different departments is.

In today’s world, all non-profits should work on creating an organization that has free flowing information and resources between departments. A non-profit’s budget should not be guided by one channel, but instead use an integrated campaign. Public sector organizations need to work towards serious cross-channel marketing and develop outcome-tracking systems.

Though CRM and channel integration are relatively new concepts, more and more non-profit organizations are adopting these approaches and discovering ways to improve them.

2. Analyzing the Big Picture

Organizations that integrate CRM systems into their business also work on analyzing the big picture and understanding the trends that dominate the public sector today.

Firms that analyze the bigger picture, or use ‘big data’, learn about consumer trends and what kind of projects can influence customer decisions. CRM models manage the organization and resources of a firm. Big data also helps to monitor and evaluate how channel integration (see #1) impacts consumer behaviour.

A lot of CRM models don’t just analyze past behavior, but also predict future actions. The models follow in-the-moment behavioral patterns of customers and can use that information to influence purchases, often by giving service/product incentives.

Non-profits using monitoring and evaluation tools to look at the big picture help themselves pick up on large-scale donor developments. This insight can assist a public sector organization by tapping into donor trends.

3. Communication and Cooperation of Non-Profit Firms

Non-profit organizations are becoming more and more interconnected as they focus on creating the best customer experience for affiliates and chapters. The organizations do this by facilitating success at the local level; sharing creative marketing materials, steering social media campaigns, or creating a joint financial pool support for common platforms.

This integration has grown as a result of three major motivators for non-profits in today’s world:

  1. First, globalization – how our world is more intertwined than every before – affects every individual. In today’s day and age, no charity is ever ‘out of the loop’, and no problem is isolated from the rest of the globe. Non-profits everywhere are finally recognizing the significance of globalization, and are forming worldwide partnerships to benefit donors, campaigns and recipients.
  2. Second, the ‘think global act local’ trend, where consumers want a local experience that reflects a global outlook, is taking the public sector by storm. As local partners become more collective, non-profits look to other non-profits for stories of development success and failure from around the world, as well as guidance/inspiration on how to provide a more unified brand to the public.
  3. The third motivator for public sector partnerships is leadership and global insight. Trailblazers in the non-profit world today are looking to better understand the most successful charitable operations around the world. Just as the CEO of a major company wants to understand how his or her company performs against the worldwide competition, a director of a non-profit wants to learn how his or her organization performs globally.