How NFPs Can Avoid Online Distractions
by Mikel Lindsaar
Not-for-profits have a special place in my thoughts. Whilst commerce is a good thing, I reserve a fondness for those organizations that are set up to help solve a social issue or to bring attention to any group in society who needs help.
I spend most of my time thinking about how to make commercial transactions easier, more profitable and scalable. Yet, the solutions I develop have as much application in not-for-profit organizations.
Here the transaction is more about a flow of help – in the form of money (from donors) or time (from volunteers).
Unfortunately, in working with lots of not-for-profits in the last few years, I’ve found they are being distracted away from their primary mission by the same problems facing other SMBs around the world.
The boards of NFPs have to justify any expense they make to their stakeholders, and anyone seen to be wasting money will draw ire and unwanted attention from people wanting more of their money to go to those it is directed towards.
Yet, the integrated systems used by large organisations to manage their online transactions, and operations are out of the reach financially for NFPs.
As such, like SMBs, they often cobble together multiple cheaper yet disparate systems to handle various parts of their operations.
These disparate systems put pressure on human capital – which in most NFPs means ‘volunteers’.
Volunteers who end up spending time on admin tasks or wrangling computers, are likely to get frustrated because they are not getting to do what they wanted to do – which is volunteer for ‘the cause’.
NFPs end up in plug-in purgatory which means they keep adding functionality – all disparate, all disconnected – which keeps turning up the heat on volunteers to make these systems work and talk to each other.
To address these issues, NFPs should turn to an integrated platform that covers all the various functionalities they need. A single platform, with the integrated functionality of e-commerce, point-of-sale, content management, and CRM. This type of system is becoming available under the banner of Customer Commerce.
With an integrated system, NFPs will be able to enhance their relationships with donors and volunteers.
Donors will witness a more personal experience interacting with the organization, and they will see their funds being directed in a more streamlined manner to achieve the organizations philanthropic goals.
Volunteers, on the other hand, will be able to spend more time doing the things they wanted to help with in the first place.
Finally, the NFP will get a big tick from their board for their insight in procuring and implementing a single platform, single source of truth system.
NFPs can get back to their roots and make the difference they intended to make.
Mikel Lindsaar, CEO and founder of StoreConnect, is an experienced technology entrepreneur whose mission is to infuse small and medium-sized businesses with the power to implement a successful Customer Commerce strategy whilst scaling to meet growing demand.
Small businesses are often driven by a purpose to help their customers, and not just to make money. However, they can’t waste time and money setting up their business on a platform only to repeat the process by changing platforms when they want to scale, nor do they want to waste time figuring out how to integrate multiple platforms. They are seeking to provide a seamless experience for their customers, and this is possible using StoreConnect.
StoreConnect (built on the World’s Number 1 CRM, Salesforce) gives clients a complete, powerful, configurable Customer Commerce solution where they can manage their website, online and in-store sales, provide amazing customer service, run all their digital marketing campaigns, and have up-to-date detailed metrics, reporting and full understanding of their customer.
They were awarded Salesforce’s 2021 International Partner Innovation Award of the Year for the Retail sector and are changing the ease with which small businesses are run ─ with a manageable price tag. StoreConnect is Time. Well spent. Visit getStoreConnect.com.