NCVO - The National Council for Voluntary Organisations
How NCVO successfully implemented a CRM system using a phased approach
Founded in 1919, NCVO is the largest umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in
NCVO’s goal is to support the voluntary and community sector by creating an environment in which organisations can flourish and develop.
In the context of this goal, NCVO was keen to explore ways in which they could communicate more effectively with their members, grow their membership base and support the wider sector
“We were keen to start the process of adopting a more effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) model at NCVO – designed to enable NCVO to better serve its members and customers through the introduction of reliable processes, procedures and tools for interacting with those customers,” said Richard Williams, Director of Enterprise at NCVO. After undertaking a formal selection process, we decided to select Purple Vision due to the rigour of their approach, their experience, their understanding of the third sector, and their knowledge of the technology solutions available to us”
“A key part of this process was identifying a partner who could provide us with the right skills and experience to help guide the direction, governance and implementation of our project – and who could help us specify and procure the right technology solution to meet our needs. said Richard Williams.
After undertaking a formal selection process, we decided to select Purple Vision due to the rigour of their approach, their experience, their understanding of the third sector, and their knowledge of the technology solutions available to us”
“NCVO’s initial ambitions were very bold,” said Keith Collins, Systems Director at Purple Vision, “we were impressed by their strategic vision.”
“But given the size and complexity of the organisation, and the relatively modest budgets and timeframes, it soon became apparent to the Project Steering Group that we needed a more pragmatic, agile approach to the project”
The factor that contributed most to the success of the project at NCVO was the prioritisation of project activity and introduction of a number of smaller project phases, each of which could be monitored, managed and – once implemented – celebrated.
“Rather than spending an enormous budget - which we didn’t have - on a large, complex project, we split the project into prioritised phases.” said Richard Williams, “Although we specified and elected a CRM solution that could deliver our longer-term objectives, we decided initially to implement it as a sort of data warehouse, bringing our disparate data sources together to enable the sort of analysis and cross-selling that had previously been impossible”
"At the same time,” he continued “we decided to start building the foundations for the cultural and business process changes that needed to take place – for example the idea of the NCVO ‘customer’ and the requirement to build our business processes around their needs, rather than our internal structures ”
Having selected the Care CRM solution from Iris, early 2008 saw the implementation of phase 1 of the NCVO project.
"Although we had stripped away much of the complexity associated with traditional non-profit CRM implementations – this project was still a major undertaking for NCVO”, said Richard Williams, “but the initial simplified project succeeded on a number of levels; it delivered the key short-term business objectives; increased marketing power, experience in implementing one of these projects that we could build on when it came to the much more complex second phase, and an opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of the investment in the project.”
“NCVO’s approach was pragmatic and focussed,” said Keith Collins, Systems Director at Purple Vision, “With clear immediate benefits it was much easier to make the case for subsequent investment in the Care solution to replace their existing databases.”