Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Seven Free Apps for CRM Systems

On the seventh day of Christmas, my truelove gave to me... 7 free apps/software which can be used with Charity CRM Systems

I am always cautious about saying that software is free, because so often there are some sort of costs associated with it, even if the price tag itself is zero. With that caveat in mind, here are some free apps/software which I hope could be useful for CRM and fundraising software implementations:

  • Power BI Publisher for Excel: Microsoft's Power BI is a great tool to enhance the visualisation of data. Using it, you can take snapshots of your most important data/insights in Excel, such as PivotTables, charts and ranges and pin them to dashboards in Power BI.
  • Free Raiser's Edge Plug-ins from Zeidman Development and SmartTHING: David Zeidman and Warren Sherliker are both fantastic developers of plug-ins and customisations for The Raiser's Edge. And although they charge for their developments, they also offer some apps and 'lite versions' for free. If you use Raiser's Edge then their websites are both well worth checking out.
  • Free Salesforce apps: The Salesforce AppExchange has lots of free apps, some definitely better and more useful than others, but it's a great resource for Salesforce users. There are email integration tools, dashboard apps, data management apps and more.
  • XrmToolbox for Dynamics CRM: If you already use Dynamics then you may know about this add-on already, but if you don't use it or if you are thinking of using Dynamics then this is a wonderful free tool to know about. As it says on the their website, "it is shipped with more than 30 plugins to make administration, customization or configuration tasks easier and less time consuming". Good stuff.
  • Gift Aid calculator for your website: This is a free piece of Javascript which I designed myself some years ago to show donors how much their donation would be worth with Gift Aid. Anyone is welcome to use, amend and incorporate it as they wish; it is probably used mostly by small-mid size charities who want a quick and easy (if not so beautiful!) solution.
  • Free CRM Software: CiviCRM and KindLink. CiviCRM is an open source CRM solution for NFPs and KindLink is a recent addition to the charity market for cloud CRM software. However, I urge you to remember that just because the software is free, it does not mean it is zero cost - read my specific blog post about this - it's old but still relevant.
  • Talend Data Integration software: Talend has an Open Source version (Open Studio) as well as a paid-for commercial version, but the open source version is still extremely powerful. It will help you integrate data between different sources and your CRM system. But be aware it is not simple software - you almost certainly will need a dedicated expert to use it.
If you want to recommend any other free software/apps etc then please do add them in the Comments below.

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