#DSIR Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems

CRMs can be tricky and painful, but also have potential to streamline work processes, increase and diversify reach and encourage donations through better communication and engagement across all an organisation’s audiences/clients/customers.

As part of my, now third round of participation in Australia Council’s DSIR program, I’m having a little look at CRMs. yes, I do know that in the arts CRMs are somewhat vexed, being expensive, complicated to use, labour intensive, not necessarily fit-for-purpose, and the ROI may just not be worth it.

But I am persisting, for now…

So, advice I received is to FIRST ask:*

  • What are you using it for? Audience segmentation? Ticket sales? Communication? Seeking donations?
  • Are you starting from scratch or re-purposing / using what you have?
  • Think about who will be using the system and working arrangements, for example: Do you use shared workspaces? Are staff working from home? Hybrid? Part time? How easy is it to communicate between all those who need to be using the CRM? What about staff training (and buy-in!)?
  • Could you think about better utilising what you are already doing as it’s hard to move people to new tools and systems??

Some ideas:*

  • Notion: is cheap, good for setting up groups and multiple tagging, also good for CRM database for project-based work as it is between a more traditional CRM and a bit like Monday.com. At this stage is mostly used for project management. Notion has many uses, and is ‘on the rise’ so the developers are putting resources into better functionality, which means it is also sustainable (for the moment).
  • MailChimp – has a CRM function, can tag and group people and segment audiences. Can also be labour intensive, but good for newsletters if that’s what you want your CRM to do (personally I find it pretty clunky)
  • Monday.com has a CRM function
  • Asana as a CRM:

*courtesy of an interview with Sophie Penkethman-Young, Manager, Digital Culture Initiatives, Australia Council

CRM Implementation Quick Resource List (I’m sure there are many others but these came up on a quick Google):

Digital Culture Network (Arts Council UK):

The organisation I’m working with, Eastern Riverina Arts, are grappling with this very issue so we’ll keep you posted on our progress!

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