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3 Things We Learned While Road Tripping with the Unitarian Universalist Association

“Half the fun is getting there” is the perfect description of a good road trip. If you’re hitting the highways with the right people, road trips can be an incredible bonding experience. And FUN!

An RFP to select new donor CRM software is a lot like a road trip. You have a technology roadmap to guide you, and you generally know how long it will take. You just need to all pile into the car and get moving!

While life may be a journey and not a destination, choosing a new donor CRM means the destination is important. But today we’re going to talk about the journey, and three things we learned when Raise HECK went road tripping with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). 

    1. Get a Great Roadmap. Before we even thought about choosing possible destinations for our road trip, we made a great roadmap. That means that before we discussed possible donor CRM replacements, we dove deeply into UUA’s operations, goals, and processes. To understand where we wanted to go together, we needed to know where we were starting from.

      To get a great roadmap for nonprofit technology, you can’t just call up Triple-A or power up your phone’s Maps app. You need to build your own roadmap, and that starts by understanding your organization’s operations and growth plans. It also involves identifying what is holding you back. That can be technology, staffing, or process. Sometimes staffing or process problems are disguised as tech issues. And sometimes vice versa.

      Our 12-week technology assessment with UUA led to the creation of a technology roadmap to guide UUA’s short-term and longer-term decisions. Once we had our roadmap, we were ready to get in the car and go!

      2. Ask for Directions. If you get lost when you’re driving and you don’t have cell service, a tried and true method to figure out where you need to go is to ask for directions. Who here likes asking for directions? Not me, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do.

      In a software selection process, that means if there’s something you don’t understand about the company’s product or policies, you should ask about it. If there’s something you’d specifically like to see changed, then you should ask for that.

      You know why asking is important? Because sometimes the answer is yes. UUA asked for things during their buying process, and they got them. 

      3. Communication is the Scheduled Maintenance that Keeps Your Technology Car Moving. Choosing new software is exciting, but can also be stressful, boring, repetitive, and frustrating. The best software decisions are made with support and input from a group of people, which means there’s a lot of talking: talking to vendors, talking to consultants, and talking to each other.

      UUA and Raise HECK spent a lot of time talking to each other, and we developed a good rapport. That means we checked in with each other on what was going on with the project, and also about how we were all doing as people. We asked each other for feedback so we could improve our communication, and listened with open ears and open hearts.

      UUA also spent a lot of time talking to each other to identify and work through issues. The respect and learning that came out of this communication strengthened the bonds of the team and prepared them well for the next phase of their road trip: implementing a new donor CRM.

Raise HECK was proud to partner with the Unitarian Universalist Association to support their selection of a new donor CRM to power their mission to equip congregations for health and vitality, to support and train lay and professional leaders, and to advance Unitarian Universalist values in the world.​

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