How to ensure your CRM is the right fit for your community center

Evaluating A CRM


Enhancing the online experience for your community members and staff has never been more important—the past two-plus years have reminded us all how important it is to feel a sense of belonging.

This time has given YMCA’s and JCC’s (or how we sometimes say it, Y’s and J’s) the opportunity to pause and reflect, asking themselves, “Is our technology serving our needs?”. If you’ve found yourself pondering this question recently, chances are it might be time for change —and we'll tell you why.

Here are three things you should ensure your CRM (and CRM partner) can do:
1. Your CRM should enable you, not limit you

Do you feel frustrated by your technology? Does managing your system (or systems) feel like a never ending challenge—taking up precious time and resources and it still doesn’t perform how you want it to? The last thing you want is to see growth within your community center, only to max out your platform’s capabilities. So, find a solution that lets you grow. One that has simple “click” not “code” capabilities, so you don’t need developers of an IT team to create reports and dashboards. One that will address and work with your technical needs while remaining flexible and evolving with you as your priorities shift or change.

With plenty of water and sun (updates and releases), your system should become the biggest and widest tree (CRM), rooted in a foundation that will support your current needs and grow with your future needs.

Technology shouldn’t be rigid. It should mold to your needs—be customizable based on your unique organization. For example, our friends over at JCC Houston partnered with Traction Rec, to create their own digital "Camp FastPass” solution. Together, we implemented a customized solution that turned a series of time consuming manual processes into a touchless digital experience. The result? A user-friendly self service experience that improved member relations and improved their customer service from a level 3 rating to a level 10!

‍2. You’re unique; your CRM should reflect that.

We know that Y’s and J’s across the globe are unique and a “One-Size-Fits-All” CRM won’t represent that. You wouldn’t fire up your new iPhone and use only the apps that came with it; you’d find the best apps that are useful and fun for you and only keep the ones you love. Your CRM should be the same. Make sure your system is based on what’s best for your Y or J, not based on what came out of the box or what was best for another user (community center).

“We spend time listening and go through a very detailed process to ensure we are building the platform together, so it works the way you want and expect it to.”

Thankfully, at Traction Rec we practice what we preach. “We spend time listening and go through a very detailed process to ensure we are building the platform together so it works the way you want and expect it to” notes Adam Hajsz, our Customer Success Lead at Traction Rec, and YMCA staff alumni. We take a collaborative approach to your CRM implementation by designing a platform solution that seamlessly connects your backend systems, staff, and members, with the apps/products that will help you...focus on your mission. Just like that custom suit you went and got measured for, Traction Rec helps you tailor your CRM system based on what’s best for your Y or J. And because we’ve partnered with a collective of almost 50 Y’s and J’s over the last 6 years, we may even have some unique ideas up our sleeve that will help you create an industry-leading member experience.

‍3. Access to resources, resources, and more resources

This might seem obvious, but your CRM platform should provide easy access to an abundance of resources that help you throughout your entire journey. No, this doesn’t just mean a “Get Started Guide”. We mean, pick a platform that comes with more than just a customer support hotline. We’re talking about a world of support and training (online courses, troubleshooting guides, ideation forums with other users, and more). Because when it comes to growing and scaling your CRM, we know firsthand how challenging it can feel.

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Rest assured, when you become a member of the Traction Rec community, you become connected to a network of Y’s and J’s who have walked this path before. Think peer groups, Customer Community conferences, online courses (Trailheads), global user groups, and world-class events—all catered to helping you get the most out of your technology investments.‍

Pick a partner who understands your needs—and actually finds a solution

At the end of the day, you should feel empowered in every way possible, and that means finding a partner that listens to your needs. Customer feedback should help drive an organization’s product roadmap and as multi-annual software upgrades happen, you want a partner who works to implement an upgrade seamlessly—this means it doesn’t impact your live system or involve additional costs.

Making a point to engage community partners ensures your Y or J is maximizing the potential of your system. It should never be a one-and-done implementation—and Traction Rec is here for the long run (much like the family member who always asks if you’re in a relationship)—but we’re ready to commit; no ghosting here. This means you’ll hear from us and we’ll check in on how everything’s working for you.‍

Meet some of our Y and J alumni

Our Customer Engagement Manager, Jason, worked for a combined 16 years in the YMCA and JCC movement. Having worked in Membership and Marketing at the Indianapolis YMCA, the Houston YMCA and as the Chief Marketing Officer at the Houston JCC, his background has equipped him with the ability to resonate with every community center he works with. He adds, “Shared resources, shared pain points, shared successes. When it comes to Traction Rec what has made us successful is the ability to build that community of users.”‍

Once you go Traction Rec, you won’t want another tech

If reading this has got you thinking that Traction Rec might be just what you need, we couldn’t agree more!  Built on top of Salesforce, you’ll be equipped with the backbone of a well-oiled machine, while leveraging the Traction Rec tools that are tailored to the needs of a Y or J. Long gone are the days of waiting for a new feature to be productized to improve your system (you can do it yourself), surprise platform upgrade expenses (ours are free), and siloed member, program and fundraising data.

With Traction Rec, you’re getting a secure, cloud-based solution that does everything you need at the click of a button. Salesforce is the platform to be on and stay on—add Traction Rec and you have an all-in-one solution you’ll love!

If you’re thinking, well “how much is it going to cost us to move to Salesforce?”, you’re in luck! Nonprofits get to use the same CRM system as top Fortune500 brands such as Adidas, Patagonia, and Boys and Girls Club of America, but at a fraction of the cost through their Power of Us program.

No matter what CRM platform and other supplementary tools you’re currently using, we’ll work with you to address your current state, listen to your future-state goals, and design solutions that fill your technical gaps and empower you to meet the full potential of your organization.

We know a system that is reliable during peak registration periods is important. As the world's top CRM, Salesforce is the platform to be on for nonprofit organizations and you can trust that your system isn’t going to crash or slow down when you need it most. In fact, 87% of Salesforce nonprofit customers say their information is more centralised, easier to access—increasing overall transparency for the organization. ‍

Strong customer relationships. That’s our thing.

If you're ready to say goodbye to your current CRM and make the move to a centralized and fully integrated platform like Traction Rec, let’s get building together! Check your calendar, and find a time to chat with us.

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