Write a specification document for the CRM project of your non-profit organization

Write a specification document for the CRM project of your non-profit organization

You are a non-profit organization and you want to set up a CRM to efficiently  manage your community and activities? Writing a specification document is the first key step in your project. Indeed, this detailed and structured document will allow you to clearly define your needs and expectations regarding your future CRM.

In this article, our project managers have put their years of experience of implementing CRM projects for non-profit organizations to good use and explain step by step how to write an effective specification document for your non-profit organization CRM project!


Identify the needs of your non-profit organization

Before writing your specification document for your new CRM implementation project, it is essential to take stock. The objective is to identify your needs and internal processes in terms of community and activity management.

To do this, you can ask yourself the following questions and formulate precise answers in writing:

  • What are the objectives of our organization? Do you want to increase the number of members by 15% for example or sell more event tickets? Here is an example of an objective: "Our objective is to increase the number of donors by 20% during the current year, to help us finance new projects."
  • What functionalities do we need to achieve these objectives? Do you want, for example, to allow your members to renew their membership from a private space on your website? Or do you have the ambition to develop your non-profit organization's digital communication strategy? For example: "We need an online payment collection feature for our memberships and donations, as well as an event management feature to organize our annual events and member meetings."
  • What are the specific needs of our organization? For example, do you need to allow several users to use the software while limiting access to certain features for data security reasons? If so, this could be formalized as follows: "We need to allow access to our CRM software to several members of our team while limiting access to certain sensitive features to protect the confidentiality of our members' data."

By clearly identifying your objectives, required  functionalities, and specific needs, you will be able to write a complete and precise specification document for your non-profit organization's CRM project. We are now getting to  the heart of the matter!


Writing the specification document for your non-profit organization's CRM project

It's time to write the specification document! Always keep in mind that the purpose of the specification document is to allow any service provider to analyze your requirements  so that they can offer you the most suitable solution possible for your needs and expectations .

1. Present your non-profit organization and your mission

In this first part, you must present your non-profit organization and its environment. You can include information about your history, team, community, services and activities, or partners, etc. This will allow your service provider to better understand your specificities and challenges.

2. Detail your objectives and challenges

At this stage, you must explain why you want to set up a CRM and what you expect from it. You can mention the benefits you hope to obtain in terms of time savings, efficiency, member loyalty, etc. Be as precise as possible and above all, make sure that the objectives you have defined are realistic and achievable. Avoid excessive or unrealistic requests.

3. Describe the expected functionalities

You probably already have an idea of the different functionalities you expect from your future CRM. Describe each of them by classifying them by theme or importance if you can.

For example, you can specify that you want a membership management feature, an event tracking feature, a website and content management feature, etc. Don't forget to specify the conditions of use of these functionalities, particularly in terms of data security.

4. Identify the technical constraints of your organization

The objective of this fourth step is to specify the technical constraints related to the implementation of your CRM. For example, you can specify that your association uses another software or application and that the new CRM must be compatible with it. You can also specify requirements in terms of data security, hosting, backup, etc.

5. Define a timeline and budget

Implementing a new CRM is a full-blown  project. It is necessary to specify the timeline and budget that you wish to allocate to your CRM project.

You can define  the different phases of the project and the expected timelines for each of them. You can also specify the overall budget as well as payment terms. By the way , don't forget to take into account implementation costs, maintenance fees, hosting, system updates, etc.

6. Determine the evaluation criteria to choose the best provider

Evaluation criteria are very important. They are  what will allow you to select the best provider for your project. You can specify selection criteria in terms of capability , experience, or references.

By carefully drafting your specifications and taking into account all key elements, you can ensure that you find the provider that is best suited to your requirements. You can also ensure that the CRM project will be successfully completed within the allotted timeline and budget.


Tips for effective specification writing

First of all, make sure to always be clear and precise in what you write. The specifications should be easily understandable for all providers who read them. Therefore, avoid using overly technical terms or uncommon abbreviations. Use simple language and short sentences to facilitate reading and understanding.

The more precise and comprehensive you are, the easier it will be for providers to understand your needs and offer you tailored solutions. Don't forget to detail all the features you expect from your CRM, as well as all the technical constraints of your organization.

Finally, stay open to suggestions! Even if you have a clear idea of what you expect from your CRM, remain open to the providers' proposals. As experts, they may bring you innovative ideas or features that you had not necessarily considered but which could make a real difference!


Conclusion on specifications for your nonprofit organization

In summary, drafting effective specifications is an essential step in succeeding in your CRM project. By following our various tips, you can draft clear and precise specifications that meet your needs and expectations.

If you would like personalized assistance with drafting your specifications, I invite you to book  an appointment with the experts at Yapla's Professional Services. They are available  to guide you in your CRM project and help you make the best choices for your organization.



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Solène, marketing manager

Solène Beguin


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