How GDPR-led analysis should drive your CRM data migration plan

Last month I wrote a piece using the analogy of a house move for your organisation’s data migration. Whilst describing the expected migration stages it was admittedly a little light on GDPR factors.

At Hart Square, we continue to see great progress and much ongoing work on GDPR compliance. This is especially true where a project migration becomes another catalyst for increased compliance actions.

We find our discussions about “urgent GDPR action” have normalised into newer discussions on data strategy and governance: how best to plan and do the ongoing data “chores”.

Returning to the house analogy – as it has some depth – what happens when:

  • You sit down to sort through all those data drawers as part of a house move and realise there’s more sorting to be done than you thought,
  • You find several items stacked on shelves still reading: “why have you kept me?!”

The good news is that you can and must use all activity conducted before and after 25th May 2018 to double down on your GDPR efforts during a migration – it is the perfect time to take further action.

Quick tips for blending GDPR and migration approaches for best outcomes:

  1. Source data analysis/GDPR compliance checks
    • When identifying and analysing data for migration, you naturally go back to GDPR principles:
      • What have we got and where is it?
      • Upon what lawful bases do we hold it?
      • How well is it protected and what are its retention rules?
  2. Decision making
    • GDPR-led analysis is a perfect path to the right decisions about what to migrate or not.
    • Responsible proactivity like: “we do not run that function any more so let’s not keep the data”, or “we must migrate that data. We hold it under legitimate interests”.
  3. Exclusion/Inclusion rules
    • To help with the classic dilemma – “how far back should we keep?”
    • A clear set of GDPR retention rules sets certain migration rules for you, e.g. “seven years data back for contacts’ order records as we must retain an audit trail for HMRC”.
  4. Risk management
    • These processes help with the reality if certain data sets are being retained or processed in a way that presents risk to your organisation and data subjects.
    • You may simply enforce a GDPR recommendation previously made yet not fully actioned.
  5. Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIAs)
    • It is ICO guidance and music to Hart Square ears to hear clients are conducting DPIAs for all new projects now where personal data will be affected.
    • And remember, a migration itself can be subject to its own discrete DPIA.
  6. Consent opt ins, preferences
    • Lest we miss the startlingly obvious: your migration must assure how preference centre management continues GDPR compliance in the new system and how preference data is accordingly mapped, loaded, then managed day to day.
  7. Marketing tools
    • A lot of implementation projects we see “put in” a replacement marketing tool.
    • Become the expert on how your preference data securely flows to and from all new systems
    • Know the exact points where someone may update their preferences with you

Remember – data still exists even if held in archive so do consider what constitutes data deletion, or anonymisation where deletion is not an option in migrating your data.

There is a huge payoff here regarding investment value if you focus on aligning all decision makers on the true value of the data to your organisation and your data subjects.

You can achieve both goals: abide with ICO GDPR principles, and hold highly valuable data.

One last dig for victory into the analogy then:

Doing this work well, you should reach a point in your project where you pejoratively slam the doors shut on the data van and say, as you see it sweeping off to your new home.

“I’m glad we spent the time on that. We only packed what we really need in the new place!”


Successful implementation

To learn more about system implementation management, join our training programme “How to deliver successful projects“. The whole course is invaluable and module 5 focusses on “Delivering a Successful System Implementation” including Data Migration

12 reasons CRM projects succeed

There are studies, statistics, articles, reviews and infographics galore to tell us how many projects / IT projects / CRM projects fail every year.

They may not all have a shared definition of failure or agree on the actual numbers, but the accepted narrative is certainly that a large number of technology projects fail.

You’ve probably heard all this before, and, to be honest, these grim facts aren’t very inspiring or very helpful. So, let’s turn it on its head. Yes, many projects fail, but a whole heap of them succeed!

At Hart Square, we specialise in supporting non-profits adapt to the digital age, which will often involve the initiation of projects to implement new technology.

We want to share the knowledge and expertise gained through our involvement in numerous successful projects, to help others to succeed, so have put together our “12 Reasons CRM Projects Succeed” eBook.

Please complete the short form to receive a copy of the eBook.

For more insight into how to run successful projects, sign up for our free Training Programme on that very topic!

Has your faithful old CRM finally had its day? Part Three

In our previous articles on the subject we recommended now is the time for you to start to talk to your staff about the technology they need to support them for the future. We also explore some of the considerations you need to have in mind when planning next steps.

Deep(er!) Dive

Let’s take a slightly more detailed look at a few of the specific areas in which your CRM supports your organisation and how they are impacted upon and potentially restricted by older technology.

Supporter and Member Communications

For most, if not all organisations, the ability to record and retrieve all communications with contacts is critical and any CRM system should support this as the most basic of functions as this is the core function of any CRM after all.

However, if the ability of your CRM is limited in this area due to its age and the technology on which it is built, this is an absolutely critical area to investigate further.

What is the usual means of communication and what interface is used? Does it integrate seamlessly with your email client of choice? Does it support communication via social media platforms? In what other ways do you communicate with your members, donors, volunteers etc? Can these various means of contact be seamlessly captured, stored and managed from within your CRM?

Transactional Processing

You may find that your current CRM is highly capable, robust and able to process high volumes of data. This is of course critical and alongside communication recording is the most basic of requirements.

It should not be overlooked that “older” CRMs have not fallen behind the newer offerings in this regard. High volume data processing is the bread and butter of such systems and they do it very, very well. In fact, some would argue that the newer model of cloud-based processing introduces risks and challenges that are not present with the older systems.

I tend to agree in all fairness and would strongly recommend that any potential replacement system proves itself capable of handling at least the same volume and complexity of transactional data that your current solution does. Do not assume it is a “given” that any replacement system will be able to process the volumes of data you currently do and in exactly the same way as your current system does.


Many organisations have highly complex requirements for handling their Membership offerings and the processing of data related to this area of the system.

Often Membership systems have functionality built upon over many years, providing a highly flexible and functionally capable membership solution. Any potential replacement should provide a similar level of functionality to match that currently available.

However, as is the case for most areas of operation, regardless of the power or functionality provided “behind the scenes”, many older systems will inevitably suffer from limitations of interface usability and flexibility as discussed earlier.

Event Processing

As for membership processing, many older systems have highly functional solutions to support the setup and management of events.

However often there is no standard integration with external Event processing services, such as Eventbrite for example and again due to the technology used, the solution may experience the same limitations of interface flexibility where customisation is required.

Process Automation & Work Flow

Many older systems have limited or no in-built support for Automation and Workflow.

This is now a key requirement for many organisations, allowing business logic to be defined based upon customised criteria which when met will automatically trigger specified actions. These could for example be displaying a form, sending a renewal email to a member or creating a task and assigning it to a colleague.

More modern solutions often have built-in support for automation or offer powerful integration with external cloud-based automation and work-flow processing solutions.


Here at Mast we have worked within the NFP Sector supporting organisations with their CRMs and related systems for many years, some of us going all the way back to the early 90s!

In that time we have seen many developments in both the requirements and expectations of NFP organisations and the technology available to support their needs.

There is no doubt that this is a very exciting time and that the level of technology options now available to NFP organisations are capable of transforming the way in which an organisation functions in a highly cost-effective manner.

Although your existing CRM may be robust, has been a reliable workhorse that has supported your organisation for a long time, it may be that the limitations of the product are now likely to hamper the ability of your organisation to adopt a programme of modernisation and digital transformation.

If your CRM is based upon old technology, if it is not cloud-based, if it is not easy to integrate and does not provide the ease and flexibility of use offered by many systems available today, I would suggest that you should be beginning to review your options, if indeed you already haven’t started this process.

For further information visit or contact me on

High-level CRM principles to adopt

We often get asked by clients for some high-level principles they need to adopt to ensure they get the most out of the new CRM solution they intend to implement.

The purpose of sharing them is usually to ensure that they can stay focused, maximise the benefit to be achieved from the product and solution, and keep within scope of the project.

In no particular order, some of the key points we make are

  • CRM is not a technology, it’s a strategy and a culture
  • Automate where appropriate, not just because you can
    • Prioritise standard processes where you’re looking to build in efficiency for staff and consistency for members / audiences
    • The biggest wins are the heavy lifting of base administration, with no real value add, examples being
      • Welcome letters
      • Renewal reminders
      • Nurture programmes
      • Event joining instructions
      • Surveys
  • Adopt best practice where possible, from the technologies and from the partners
    • There will be areas which are very specific to you, but not too many. You’re unique because of what you do and the cause you serve, not because of how you do it
  • Give everyone access to the system, it is not for the chosen few
    • Lead from the top, your CEO must have an account, use it and talk about it
  • Capture all interaction with all audiences
    • Categorise and classify as much as possible, minimise free text entry
  • Use Case Management to handle multiple scenarios, it’s a really powerful for collating tasks around processes where tracking and visibility are important and multiple people may be involved
    • Start with basic inbound enquiry management using task queues & workflows
  • Give suitable priority to search / query / find / reports / dashboards
    • Staff will value the system most if it’s easy to find the information they need to perform their jobs
  • You need Champions, ongoing beyond just the project
    • This is not a status or hierarchy role, you need influencers, a mix of supporters and doubters, who will be engaged
  • Set out to enhance incrementally but continually
    • With changes managed and gatekept
    • Suggestions sought, pipeline shared transparently
  • Training documents, user manuals are vital, written by the business teams, and maintained by them
    • Short videos are a great format for these
  • Data, data, data
    • Be strict on what you migrate, think GDPR minimalism
    • It is the first visible sign of success or failure for staff
    • It must be governed on an ongoing to maintain integrity, as an active activity with responsibilities across teams for the data they use

These have evolved over the years of course but our clients have found them useful, I hope you do too. Do use the Comments to add your thoughts, we’re always keen to hear from you!


Why you need a Data Strategy to power your CRM success

Back when Hart Square started out, data was largely seen as a by-product of a transaction, activity or process. Data collected during a process was stored in a CRM system (if not in Excel) and rarely used unless there was a need for a specific follow-up e.g. data collected during an event booking process was used to deliver the actual event to the delegate.

At that time the leading CRM solutions within the non-profit sector fulfilled that need, and reinforced that perception, by being very good “systems of record” while being poor at analytics or reporting, and often even making data access a specialist task. Reporting was widely provided to business teams by a technical department, often making them inflexible and out-of-date. Many of the charities we worked with had a data team in place to manage the datasets needed by the charity, for example to create data segments on demand when fundraising campaigns were being initiated.

More than a decade later and the digital age is fully upon us, systems and their capabilities are much enhanced. Better yet, engagement systems are more integrated so you can have your members, donors, supporters and all interested parties creating and updating their own details. All round then you’re now able to capture and store more data, and ideally have it updated more frequently.

New technology may provide that solution, but to really reap the benefits of your new technologies, you need an engagement strategy to justify the investment, and alongside that you need a data strategy to be able to execute your engagement strategy.

You need a data strategy to be able to execute your engagement strategy

Modern CRM technologies, and the low cost of storage, tempt and encourage us to capture – and create – more and more data, but this is a pursuit of a false God. We’re far better served by only capturing the data we need, and we have a use for.

If we reduce the range of data we capture we’ll have more capacity to steward and improve the data we do hold, to derive benefit from it. We can ensure it’s cleaner, more complete and more up-to-date. We can then also resource the effort required to acquire new data.

From there we’re in a position where our data can power our engagement programmes, whether that’s about fundraising, membership recruitment and retention, qualifications management, or training courses and event programme participation.

So you need to draw up a data strategy which focuses on your objectives – why you need this data, what you’re going to do with it – as opposed to starting from “this is the data we’ve got”. From the why, you can detail what data you need and how you can acquire it. From this process you can identify the core datasets you need, the use you’ll put them to, and then the technology, processes and resources you require to capture, maintain and execute it.

Drawing up a data strategy is no quick and easy undertaking, but once you have it agreed and in place, with the resources allocated to allow you to achieve its objectives, you can look forward to becoming a data-driven non-profit with an effective engagement programme, and to being significantly better placed to deliver on your mission.

Just remember that creating a data strategy isn’t a standalone activity; it must be driven by your overarching business strategy. Therefore, a critical starting point for any data strategy is the business’s strategic objectives. To put it another way, what is your non-profit trying to achieve and how can data help you get there?

After all, what’s the point of a data strategy – indeed, what’s the point of data in general – if it doesn’t help you achieve your non-profit’s goals? So before you charge ahead to your data strategy, review your business strategy first and then develop your data strategy.


Want to know more? Join our upcoming webinar event on 24 November ‘Get the most out of your data for engagement, recruitment and retention’

We’ll cover more about Data Strategy in future articles and our newsletters so subscribe now to be kept updated!

Has your faithful old CRM finally had its day? Part Two

In our previous article on the subject we recommended now is the time for you to start to talk to your staff about the technology they need to support them for the future. Here we cover off some of the considerations you need to have in mind when planning next steps.

The Cloud

It must be said that in my opinion, if your CRM isn’t sat happily within the cloud, then a large red buzzing alarm should be going off. If your system isn’t truly cloud based there will be a question mark over its ability to respond to and support the changing needs of your organisation.

The cloud is here now and it is the future.  If it is not already, it will certainly very soon be essential in the ability of systems to pass data between a host of different platforms, some of which haven’t even been invented yet!  The cloud is the backbone upon which your various solutions, systems and data sources will communicate freely and securely, enabling you to build a custom CRM eco-system designed and configured specifically to meet your organisation’s needs.

If not truly cloud-based, whilst integration will be possible with some effort, systems based upon “older” technology will remain limited by their inability to easily connect and move data between now commonly used services.

The good old database engine

Sure, your new system has a well organised and robust database engine.  That’s great and important as it is processing many thousands or hundreds of thousands of transactional entries from your lovely supporters every day. But if it isn’t able to communicate with other systems easily, if it can’t support the needs of your organisation either now or in the future, regardless of how robust it may be “behind the scenes” it will likely become a liability and a risk before too long.

Is it built upon rather “old” technology with a dated design? Many CRM database structures were created more than two decades ago and are now not ideally suited to support typical modern methods of communication and integration.  They have been extended but fundamentally changing a system from the ground up is a huge undertaking for a software company and a step they may be unwilling to take.

The user interface

Users now typically expect to work within a browser-based solution.  Most newer solutions offer this, however many “older” systems do not. But is it actually that important?

In my opinion, this is a critical issue and is absolutely not just an issue of aesthetics.

Modern interfaces are more familiar to users, helping faster adoption of solutions. They are also more flexible in terms of configuration, allowing your chosen processes to be mapped more easily, thereby giving your users a far better solution all-round.

Providing an easy to use, flexible point of access to your CRM for your users goes far beyond aesthetics, it is a key element of any solution and must be treated as an important element of any CRM review.  It is also directly related to ease of remote and mobile access as discussed below.

Remote and mobile device access

If your current CRM interface is limited in its ability to provide access to the system, if access remotely or via mobile devices is overly difficult or in some cases impossible to deliver, then this should be another big red alarm buzzing away right above your head!

Covid-19 has highlighted that secure but easy to deliver remote access to organisational data, including your CRM is essential.  Here at Mast we have definitely seen that those organisations who prior to lockdown had put in place an IT infrastructure that provides secure ease of access, had a smoother transition to getting their now remote workforce up and running and working effectively.

It should be made clear however that in our experience, implementing such a solution does not have to be large scale and is not necessarily related to an organisation’s size or available budget.

If your current system is desktop-based and has no browser interface, it is likely that remote desktop solutions are required to provide users with access. This often limits the use of mobile devices without the creation of specific solutions to act as a “gateway” to the back-end systems, which can be costly and time consuming to create, install and support.

Integration with cloud-based services

How “easy” is it to link your CRM with your web site?  How flexible is the solution?  Do highly skilled, high cost developers need to be employed to make this happen or is it available “out of the box” in some cases?

If not cloud-based, is it necessary to have a complex set of systems to ensure the data held on your internal network is at no stage compromised whilst giving access to the CRM database for your web site?

Unlike many more modern cloud-based solutions, integration options built into older CRM systems are limited.

They may have an API allowing for other systems to extract, update and add data.  However, in our experience, this can become a cumbersome method of integrating, often requiring software developers to bring their skills to bear.

How capable is your CRM of “talking” to commonly used cloud-based services?

Many organisations now use cloud-based services/specialist packages. Would it be possible for your CRM to link to the example services listed below without significant effort from a team of developers?:

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Office 365
  • Gmail
  • EventBrite
  • Justgiving
  • Virgin Money Giving
  • BTMyDonate
  • GoFundMe
  • MailChimp
  • DotMailer
  • Communicator Corp
  • Engaging Networks
  • Sage
  • Xero
  • Slack
  • Stripe
  • GoCardless
  • DocuSign

Many of the current cloud-based CRM solutions available have either built-in support or apps written specifically to allow easy integration with these services and many more.

If your current CRM does not provide built-in support for, or make it simple to integrate with the vast majority of these services, then yes you guessed it – it’s big red buzzer time again!

Integrations could be custom-built, however this can be a costly and time-consuming exercise and one that often requires regular development work to change and maintain this custom element of a CRM.

For further information visit or contact me on

Has your faithful old CRM finally had its day? Part One

So, of late have you been taking sideways, slightly furtive glances at your CRM? Maybe thinking that perhaps it isn’t quite up to the job any longer? Maybe this same software that has served you so well for so many years, the kit that was once so shiny and new and enabled you to change the way you work, just doesn’t provide your organisation with the solution it needs nowadays?

But hang on, there are lots of other more important things to do right now aren’t there? More pressing things? Yes and it does do a pretty good job on a day to day basis doesn’t it? I mean it handles your donations, processes your direct debits, claims your gift aid, manages your members, your events, records your communications with your contacts. So yes, all is fine really isn’t it? We can carry on for now can’t we? What more does a CRM need to do after all?

Your peers and competitors are moving on to modern tools with enhanced features

The thing is, your colleagues and contacts at other organisations are also making similar noises, thinking that maybe their CRM needs looking at too. Plus you’ve started to read about what some of these newer software solutions can do. Funnily enough, these are the very things that your users and department heads have started to say that they really need to be able to have access to if they are to achieve theirs, and the organisations, objectives that they have been tasked with helping to deliver.

So while yes, there may appear to be more pressing issues in the short term, things are moving inexorably forward and pretty quickly too!

Needs are changing and organisations need to adapt.

The way people communicate, consume information, ask for assistance – and offer theirs – has changed and will continue to do so. In order to support any response to this, the technology in use within any organisation needs to be appropriate and, critically, it should also be an enabler of change rather than a blocker to progress.

I would argue that even if your CRM appears to be doing what it needs to do on a daily basis, you should be looking beyond this, talking in detail with your users and senior staff, understanding where they have frustrations around being able to carry out their daily functions and also deliver upon agreed strategies, both now and in the future.

If you have an ageing CRM, I can almost guarantee that even if you don’t already have a wish list compiled by your key users, you will have one to be proud of very soon after speaking in detail to them!

I suggest you begin by speaking to the right people within your organisation. Both the people that use the software and the people that depend on the people that use the software! That’s a great place to start and will give you a clearer picture of what’s what and if you need to think about a more detailed investigation.

How do you determine if you need to start looking elsewhere?

As I suggest above, first of all you need to start asking questions. Lots of them. Speak to your colleagues, to heads of departments, to end users.
You also need to understand the longer term strategy of your organisation and how this is likely to impact on your CRM and broader IT systems. What will be asked of your CRM solution over say the next 5 years? Will your current solution be able to support those needs and does it even have the legs to still be around in 5 years time?!

Understand your users’ frustrations, what they would like to do that they currently can’t. Importantly dig into why they want to do the things they say they do, that can become quite an interesting discussion!

What we’re talking about is assessing the need or otherwise for a replacement CRM system, so it’s important that you don’t assume that just because your users can’t currently use the system to support their needs, that your existing CRM can’t be re-configured or integrated with or supported by another solution that will solve the problems and frustrations that they are experiencing.

So get cracking on that list of questions and planning a first round of meetings; in part two we’ll look into some of the key considerations you need to take with you when you embark on your assessment of the next steps for your organisation.

For further information visit or contact me on

What’s the ‘value’ of CRM – and how can it help your membership body

Membership organisations today have moved on dramatically from where they were just a few years ago. Specifically, their expectations from technology have increased, as have the expectations of their members. Today, members want to receive communications that are tailored to their specific interests and needs, and to what is going to help them to do their jobs better.

At the most basic level this personalisation of your engagement is where you can differentiate yourself from members using Google search instead of your extensive archive of knowledge.

The only way you can do that is to have a sophisticated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system that is fluid and flexible and can support the delivery of your objectives. And you also need a system that is useable – because it’s all very well being the ‘champion in a darkened room’, saying that you have a system that does this and that, but, if your policy, finance or events people can’t use the system – or can’t see the benefits of using it – then it’s never going to truly enable your organisation.

It’s important to have a system that is flexible and adaptable and can meet a multiplicity of needs.

Value statement

Keep at the forefront of your mind the ‘value’ of your organisation to your members. The concept of a ‘value statement’ is often talked about. I’ve never seen a perfect value statement – I’ve seen evolving versions of them, but I’ve never seen a perfect one which says exactly what benefits people derive from being a member of an organisation.

That’s about finding a system that every aspect of your organisation can contribute to, and which is integrated with all of your digital tools. The successful membership organisations will nail that down, or make it a core objective of every member of staff.

It’s important to find a CRM system that doesn’t take away from what staff are there to do. Whether they are in public affairs, or events management, or publishing, you need a system that helps them to do their jobs, and which reinforces why members want to be members.

There are clearly sophisticated systems available now that can do that. Using such a system, your membership organisation will thrive and grow and be stable and confident, in a way that perhaps in the past you did not.

But unless you have a sophisticated, flexible and future-proofed CRM system in place to help you communicate with your members on their terms, you’re never going to meet their needs, or achieve your goals as an organisation.

Why we created our Definitive Guide to Salesforce for non-profits

At Hart Square we offer a wealth of services exclusively to non-profit clients and central among these is guidance and support if any are considering changing their technology. This covers a range of digital solutions, not the least of which is their CRM system.

Hart Square’s advice is completely technology-agnostic

We’re completely agnostic when it comes to the choices our clients make, but it is important for us to be fully conversant with the options available to them, so we spend a lot of time and effort researching the market and keeping in close touch with the many agencies who offer solutions to the non-profit sector.

The research we do obviously includes monitoring trends as reported or suggested, but also involves our own discussions with clients past and present, and across our extensive network of contacts within the sector.

We research solutions across an extensive network within the sector

As most people will be aware, since the early 2010’s the so-called platform solutions have competed with specialist proprietary providers to deliver systems to the sector, and the most well-known of those are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. Looking across the piece we see the strengths, and weaknesses, of platforms and proprietary offerings, and we work hard to help clients choose the right solution model so we delve quite deep into most of them.

What we’ve found over recent years is that whilst we’ve learnt and understood a lot about how approach the sector, and we consider it to be a strong proposition for non-profits, this isn’t something which the sector as a whole has embraced to the extent we might expect.

The non-profit sector hasn’t necessarily embraced Salesforce to the extent we would expect

We decided to dig a little further, really to sense-check our own perceptions, and to make sure we’re able to give our clients best advice. That’s really the genesis of the idea for the Definitive Guide, which is our overview of the proposition and is intended to help the sector make good decisions and achieve the best outcomes.

Whilst we’re completely technology agnostic, and frankly ambivalent, about the decisions clients make, we do focus on our ability to provide thorough and up-to-date information about the options they have, and that they make decisions based on fact rather than perception.

The guide covers the Nonprofit Cloud and is backed up by client case studies and partner profiles

So centrally the Guide itself covers the core Salesforce technology, the specific proposition for non-profits, the partner network and how it operates, and the AppExchange. Together these form what is referred to as the Nonprofit Cloud, and this is opportunity which is available to non-profits who do evaluate Salesforce,org as their CRM provider.

This is then supported by a series of case studies, membership body showcases and partner profiles

Really then what we’ve sought to do is to evaluate some of the perceptions and comments we’ve been given by our networks, specifically or primarily the more negative of them, to assess them against what we’ve experienced and what we understand about, and to try to shine a light on the reality of the proposition.

On the back of that we still consider Salesforce to be a really strong offering for the sector, and we’ve challenged ourselves to explain how the model works so that non-profits have a better chance of understanding what the opportunity is and how they might get the best out of it. has a really strong offering for the non-profit sector; we’ve set out to explain it in the Guide

Hart Square’s Definitive Guide to Salesforce for non-profits was launched at our own chase.livestream conference, and is freely available to everyone within the sector who might have an interest in it.

You can download it from our website at Hart Square’s Definitive Guide to Salesforce for non-profits


Hart Square’s Definitive Guide to Salesforce for Non-Profits

At Hart Square we’re completely agnostic when it comes to the technology choices our non-profit clients make, but we’re deeply familiar with the options available to them. We spend a lot of time and effort researching the market and keeping in close touch with the many agencies who offer solutions to the sector. The research we do includes monitoring trends as reported (or suggested) but also involves our own discussions with clients past and present, and across our extensive network of contacts within the sector.

Since the early 2010’s the so-called platform solutions have competed with specialist proprietary providers to deliver systems to the sector, and the most well-known of those are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. Looking across the piece we see the strengths, and weaknesses, of platforms and proprietary offerings, and we work hard to help clients choose the right solution model for their needs, so we deep-dive most of them.

What we’ve found over recent years is that whilst we’ve learnt and understood a lot about how approach the sector, and we consider it to be a strong proposition for non-profits, this isn’t something which the sector as a whole has embraced to the extent we might expect.

We decided to dig a little further to make sure we’re able to give our clients best advice. That’s the genesis of the idea for this Definitive Guide, which is our overview of the proposition in 2020.