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In today’s business world, certain technology is commonplace. You may have heard the term “CRM,” or Customer Relationship Management, a software system to organize customers and generate sales leads. What does a CRM have to do with running a synagogue or a Jewish nonprofit organization?

In the nonprofit universe, you might use the term member relationship management instead. Synagogues and Jewish nonprofits benefit from using synagogue management software that helps you organize your congregation’s data, communicate with members and donors, and track your progress towards community building and your financial goals.

Choosing a CRM with full AR/AP accounting can streamline your organization’s workflow and increase financial health.

Curious about RakefetOnline-CRM?

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In This Post

The Benefits of Using a Synagogue CRM
Why Your Synagogue CRM Needs Full AR/AP Accounting Functionality
Which CRM is Right for Your Synagogue?
Getting Started with a Synagogue CRM
Final Thoughts on Why Your Synagogue Needs a CRM
Key Takeaways

The Benefits of Using a Synagogue CRM

Using the right customer relationship management system is crucial for the health of your organization. It makes the job of tracking and connecting with members and donors, and member families, manageable and scalable as your synagogue grows. A CRM helps you track member and donor giving, create lists and labels for specific campaigns and events, and track family history over time.

The great news is that a synagogue-specific CRM anticipates the needs of your Jewish organization.

Track family yahrzeits, create yizkor book mailings, plan High Holy Day events, convert Gregorian to Hebrew calendar dates

...the possibilities are endless!

Some of the many benefits of using a synagogue CRM include:

  • Improved communication: A CRM can help you stay in touch with your members through email, text, announcements, and accurate billing statements.
  • Increased engagement: Track your members' engagement with your synagogue, identify ways to get them more involved, and allow maximum member empowerment through secure member login tools.
  • Better stewardship: Track member and donor giving history, so you can thank them for their support and encourage them to continue giving, and automate these processes for office efficiency (and staff stress-reduction! 😅)
  • Stronger community: A CRM can help you build a stronger community by connecting members with each other and with synagogue staff and leadership.

Why Your Synagogue CRM Needs Full AR/AP Accounting Functionality

Combining your customer relationship management and accounting software on a single platform is essential. You'll have the power to streamline workflow and improve accuracy in synagogue bookkeeping, budgeting, and financial accountability. A lot of nonprofit organizations run multiple systems to track membership and accounting, leading to unnecessary, redundant, and often inaccurate data entry in two unconnected, parallel programs. Sound familiar?

Your CRM should be your single source of truth for your synagogue’s membership and financials.

The advantages of an integrated member relationship management system and accounting software are vast! Here are the most important: 

  • Improved data accuracy and consistency: By having all your membership and financial data in one place, you can ensure that it is accurate and consistent. This can enable better budget decisions and help you avoid costly accounting errors.
  • Increased efficiency: Automating tasks like billing, online payment processing, vendor payments, and member account management can free up your synagogue staff’s time to focus on other important tasks.
  • Better member relationships: By having all member and donor-related information in one place, you can provide better and more personalized attention, and understand more about member and donor giving history. This can lead to increased member involvement and good will.
  • Improved decision-making: Having a single source of truth for membership and financial data can help drive better decisions about outreach, event planning, and capital campaigns. 

In short, an integrated CRM and full accounting software can increase long-term sustainability and financial solvency for your organization.

Which CRM is Right for Your Synagogue?

There are many different synagogue CRMs on the market, so it's important to choose one that's right for your organization. Remember to consider these factors when choosing a synagogue CRM and accounting platform:

  • Features and functionality: Make a list of the features that are important to you in a synagogue CRM. Some common features include contact management, email communications, events and fundraiser planning, family relationship and yahrzeit tracking, Hebrew school and preschool tuitions. In addition, keep these questions in mind:

    • Do you want a CRM to handle full-charge accounting like member billing and payables tracking?

    • Is it important that your CRM and accounting software is secure and cloud-based, or do you need an on-premises member relationship solution?

  • Your organization’s budget: CRMs and accounting software can range in price from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per year. It's important to keep your budget  in mind before you start shopping for a CRM. An integrated CRM and accounting platform can also potentially save money by making a secondary financial app irrelevant!

  • Size of your congregation or organization: Does your congregation need to account for scaling the size of your community? Make sure the CRM and accounting platform you choose can handle the amount of data you’ll be processing, and that the cost of implementing it is right-sized for your congregation.

Learn more about RakefetOnline-CRM All In One Member Relationship Management and Full Accounting Suite.

Getting Started with a Synagogue CRM

Good data in, good data out is an important motto for starting with a CRM and accounting software. Any system you implement is only as good as the data that gets entered, and the consistency of using it. Once you've chosen a CRM, you'll need to get started. Here are some tips: 

  • Get buy-in from your leadership: It's important to get buy-in from your synagogue's leadership before you implement a CRM. Involve your clergy, your board, and your administrators in the process of adopting the software, and make sure everyone understands the benefits of an integrated CRM and accounting platform.
  • Train your staff: Your staff will need to be trained on how to use the CRM. Make sure they have the resources they need to be successful. Choose a relationship management and accounting software that offers great customer service and implementation resources!
  • Start small: Don't try to do too much at once. Start by using the CRM for a few key tasks, such as managing your contact list, communicating with members, and organizing your chart of accounts.

Final Thoughts on Why Your Synagogue Needs a CRM

A synagogue CRM and accounting software is a crucial tool for managing your congregation and growing your community. By following these tips, you can choose the right CRM for your organization and get started with it successfully.

Be patient! It takes time to get a CRM up and running smoothly. Don't get discouraged if you don't see results immediately. As your synagogue gets into a rhythm of using your new relationship management and accounting software, you’ll start seeing major improvements in efficiency, accounting accuracy, and community engagement.

Key Takeaways 

  1. A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system. Nonprofit organizations can use a CRM for member and donor relationship management.
  2. There are many synagogue-specific CRMs on the market, which can improve your congregation’s member relationships and engagement.
  3. The most effective CRMs also function as full-charge accounting platforms, increasing financial accountability, streamlining organizational workflow, and increasing organizational sustainability.
  4. Enlist the buy-in from your organization’s leadership to make the switch to a new CRM and accounting platform.
  5. Make sure your synagogue’s staff is trained in the software, and choose a product that offers personalized assistance in setup and implementation of your new CRM.

RakefetOnline-CRM: the best Full AR/AP Accounting Database in its class

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Post by The Rakefet Team
March 15, 2024