If your organization is still using Luminate CRM (LCRM), Blackbaud’s recent LCRM end-of-life announcement has forced your hand. Ready or not, you’ll need to be on a new system by June 2022. As you start the process of selecting a new solution, avoid the temptation to choose a system that will simply replicate the functionality you’re using today.
Remember that your core CRM should support the needs your organization has today, not just those you had 5+ years ago when you started with LCRM. We've compiled some key questions that can help your organization understand and define your most critical CRM needs as you begin your LCRM migration.
1. Have there been any changes in your organization's mission?
Everything in your organization - the people, the processes, and the technology - is there to support your mission. Begin with the fundamental question of how your mission has changed since you started with Luminate CRM. Your new system must support your current mission and the people and processes you have today. As an example, we often see organizations incorporate advocacy as a part of their mission.
2. Have there been significant changes in your organization's structure?
Non-profits have been impacted by the pandemic in a variety of ways. For many, it has meant drastic staffing changes along with a greater need for the services they provide. Consequently, investments in technology need to be more strategic than ever. Do you have more or fewer users? How prepared are your teams to make the best possible use of automation and reporting? Have you created teams to deliver new programs or leverage new fundraising channels that your systems need to support?
3. What has your team liked about LCRM? What can they not live without?
If you ask your users which CRM features they can’t live without, you may be surprised. Sometimes, it’s seemingly minor details that can make a big difference in your team’s productivity. As you compile your “must-have” list, keep these smaller features in mind. Your migration may require multiple phases of implementation given the relatively short timeline imposed by LCRM’s pending end-of-life.
4. What does your data schema actually look like?
A data schema, much like your skeletal system, doesn't require in-depth knowledge to make good use of it, but you make better decisions when you take the time to grasp even its basics (if you've ever bought a wrong shoe size, you know what we mean!).
While it's good news that LCRM is built on the well-documented Salesforce schema, it also contains a set of eight custom objects that are proprietary to LCRM and will need to be addressed depending on how you've used them in the past. Your organization may also have taken advantage of the platform's ease of creating new objects for your own unique needs. Your data migration partner will need to know all about which data elements are important to you, so understanding your data schema will be critical.
5. How much data needs to be migrated?
Yes, it's a trick question: the emphasis is actually on the word "need". It will take some time and effort to arrive at a consensus on how far back your transactional data needs to go and also on which data points are worth retaining (see question #1 about potential changes to your mission). Also, consider whether your data needs cleanup and/or deduplication.
6. How well equipped are your teams to handle CRM downtime?
Ideally, there will be no downtime, but it's still better to draft a migration plan that addresses the possibility. Even if spreadsheets are the next best thing, plan for worksheets that lend themselves to seamless importation when your new donor system is back up and running. This is a general best practice for any system migration and is especially important given the pending end-of-life for LCRM.
7. How are you currently handling reporting and analytics?
Give some thought to which reports your team uses regularly; what will it take to recreate and/or improve them? Focus on the core of the reports, not their formatting. Understand how the data is sourced and where third-party add-ons might be doing the heavy lifting.
8. How will your current data integrations be impacted by your switch away from Luminate CRM?
Hidden behind any modern cloud-based solution is a cluster of "endpoints". External services make use of endpoints to read/write data from/to your database. As you retire your LCRM org you'll want to make sure that inbound services are aware of a change in existing endpoints. More importantly, you must ensure that they can easily speak to your new donor system.
Fortunately, LCRM is built on standard Salesforce objects like Opportunities, Campaign Members, and Contacts, making a switch to Salesforce's Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) a much easier proposition than other options.
As you can see these aren’t simple “yes or no” questions and their purpose is to stoke internal conversation and help you make the best decisions for your organization today. And if your question back to us is "when should we start?", that's an easy one: as soon as possible! KELL Partners has helped over 1,500 organizations move to Salesforce and we can help you, too. Contact us today.