I was talking to my friend Evan Parker, Manager, Digital Membership for The Nature Conservancy yesterday and he raised an interesting question.
Should very small nonprofits, i.e. orgs with staffs of 1 -2 people and/or mostly volunteer-led use Facebook as their CRM?
In case you don't know this tech lingo, a CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system. For example, Salesforce is a CRM. So are Convio and Sphere. A CRM is a super-charged database. With a CRM you can manage your contacts, send email and raise money. Every organization needs one at some point.
Fact is you can do all these things right now via Facebook for FREE. Well, the technology and applications are free, the management of the tool is not.
Here's how it would work:
1. Your Facebook Page would serve as the home page of your website.
2. Facebook would also serve as your email services provider (ESP) since you can email your fans directly via your Page.
3. Causes would serve as your "Donate Now" button.
I've generally been opposed to this idea. You can read more here. My thinking is that there is a logical progression you should follow when wading in online - especially if your goal is to raise money - and moving into "social" is 3rd not 1st on the list. However, Evan reminded me that not everyone's goal is to raise money. You may be more interested in using your web presence to do programming and or raise awareness of your issue.
What do you think? Are you using Facebook as a total CRM solution for your organization? Would you? If not, why not?