It is no secret that higher education of any kind, public, private, for-profit or charity, is under financial pressure in the current economy. To deal with the problems associated with rising costs and declining profits, a greater number of educational institutions of all types are opting for software solutions Management of Customer Relationship (CRM), usually known as “Management relation to the Constituent “in higher education circles, in order to reduce expenses and increase revenue.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, expenditures for the 2007-2008 school year at four-year public universities totaled $ 133 billion, while income (mostly from foundations) fell from $ 182 billion in 2007 to $ 139 billion in 2008. Donations made to institutions of higher education in 2009 they decreased for the first time, according to the Chronicle of higher education (Chronicle of higher education). The trend to lower participation in fundraising campaigns continues, reports the Chronicle, with an average participation rate below 15.9% in 2008 to 12.4% in 2009, and the average gain per donor decreasing by 8%.
The conclusion of all this for higher education was that necessary and urgent was the need to streamline operations, reduce costs, increase income-generating activities and improve management. Colleges and universities are realizing that CRM software systems can help them do all that, and in particular to improve the management of its efforts to ensure financial contributions from donors, philanthropic organizations, alumni, government and even the general public.
Fortunately there are many CRM vendors willing to help schools and universities. Companies such as Blackbaud, Campus Management, Datatel, Hobsons EMT, Microsoft, Oracle Siebel, RightNow Technologies and SunGard, all offer solutions CRM software for higher education, specifically aimed at the special needs of industry and management processes education market.
Are there several options for High Schools?
CRM educational systems are also moving in ascending order offers only local model of software as a service. “The old systems prevent us to provide the same level of service and student support we used to give when we were younger,” explained Michael Statmore, Director of Informatics at the Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut.
The university chose Oracle OnDemand and implemented to manage information of their students. Statmore noted that when selecting a SaaS application, the investment cost was spared and was able to keep expenses computer on the floor. Horizontal traditional CRM providers such as Microsoft, Oracle, RightNow and Salesforce.com are all currently versions of higher education in SaaS CRM products.
On the eve of the current economic conditions, institutions use progressively Management Constituent Relationship to expand and manage their student base and potential donors. Regarding the latter, this includes highly defined planning fundraising campaigns, messaging application aimed at specific audiences, manage campaigns in real time and gradual development of methods to motivate recurrent and progressive donations.
The use of CRM systems, techniques and automation to increase revenue represents a significant change for many schools that are moving from traditional manual systems, or perhaps a spreadsheet Excel, an integrated database method and a measurement system.
Got big problems? Great solutions!
One of the main challenges that educational institutions face in adopting new systems is the same old problem related to the implementation of automation systems sales force, which is to implement and share developed a centralized system (or ” progress “) individually and rotating files chips officials. In relation to sales forces, much of the success in fundraising depends on the individual approach and careful attracting potential donors.
At first it may be difficult to convince fundraisers, as it is with the sales staff, they can be much more efficient and effective with the management system of the customer relationship. However, with automation Sales Force advantages of software strategies and relationship management with the Constituent they are staggering.
Donor information in a central data warehouse can be obtained accurately to achieve new insights about the donor base and potential new campaigns. It can be followed with greater consistency and efficiency to contacts, and staff time can be used more productively.
There are also other advantages, some of them related to changes in the profiles of the donee. One of the most important changes over the past five years has been the fact that donors tend to be more specific with their donations. Rather than simply making donations to the University, there is a tendency to wish to donate funds to specific programs.
To meet these types of donors, it is important that development officers give careful monitoring how the money is used, and regularly inform the donee on progress in the programs. This can be done through letters and emails where the donor is updated, or you could get even to mount a webcam in a new building under construction so that the done can see the progress in real time.
Another important use of CRM in higher education today is in monitoring the admission process and application, and communication with students arriving to enroll. The advantages here are: reduced cycle times, efficiency student and cost savings. Constituent management has the potential to streamline and automate much of the administrative work of tuition that takes any modern university.
For example, a system well managed student can easily keep a record of who have applied for registration, systematically forward their applications, and automatically coordinate with accommodation, financial aid, scholarships and other related programs. For most schools this may represent substantial savings in time and labor.
Another related uses CRM is to provide students with more capacity when grapple with self administration. With CRM applications and network software, schools can let students get the information they need online and handle routine work without help. This makes them life easier for students and takes away workload managers.
But the market for CRM in higher education is just beginning. While providers tend to talk about the extensive institutional programs with the aim of managing everything from applications to relationships alumni, most schools focus on the use of Relationship Management with constituent for stimulate their fundraising efforts. The fully integrated systems across the institution are still in the early stages of adoption. No clutch, there are significant advantages to systems throughout the institution that undoubtedly will encourage schools to move in that direction, as they feel more confident with the strategies and CRM software.