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softwarereview-150NeonCRM by Z2 Systems, Inc. has been designed to empower organizations to enhance fundraising by managing day-to-day processes more efficiently. It’s an all-in-one database platform that puts a variety of information into a centralized location that is available via an internet connection.

The cloud-based aspect of the database allows for staff and constituents to access and update information from any number of devices ranging from Macs and PCs to smartphones and tablets. The system utilizes online forms that integrate easily with the organization’s website, auto feed information into the NeonCRM, and allow for real-time processing and recurring payment scheduling.

In Use

Z2 Systems, Inc. is working with the concept of helping constituents feel more connected to and invested in the organization they support, and the integration of this 360-degree level of involvement is an important step toward allowing for more personal and effective communication.

NeonCRM allows organizations to manage:

  • Donors
  • Fundraising
  • Membership Dues
  • Communciations
  • Events
  • Web Forms
  • Subscriptions
  • Product Sales
  • Volunteers
  • and more

The user should expect a very user-friendly, intuitive environment where staff can easily pick up how to use the system to manage what they need to do on a day-to-day basis. Staff users can also expect the online web forms to automatically feed information from the web directly into the NeonCRM, create accounts in the database, process payments in real-time, and send out customizable automated receipts via email.

Administrators can expect a streamlined reporting structure to easily query the system without complicated key commands to get the data they want. Also, administrators can expect to set up permission-based user groups to limit access to different functions of the system for security (and to keep the system simple for staff to focus on their departmental needs and not be crowded by other parts of the system they do not need to use). There are also high level overview dashboards for managers and administrators to view aggregate data for a "top-down" understanding.

Board members can expect to have any saved reports set up by staff to be pulled easily and dynamically for their use without ever having to touch the system. These saved reports can be accessed by web browser so board members can get the data they need without pulling the staff away from their day-to-day tasks.

Some of the types of transactions and activities Neon CRM can perform:

  • Online and offline fundraising
  • Online and offline membership and subscriptions
  • Online and offline event management
  • Online product and download purchases
  • Prospecting and tracking activities/reminders
  • Email blasts and tracking
  • Automated and series emails
  • Mailings and tracking
  • Document storage
  • Personal email tracking
  • Unlimited website forms, surveys, voting forms, petitions
  • Process and manage payments of any kind- credit card, online check, in-kind, cash, check, etc.
  • Volunteer management
Technology Employed

NeonCRM is cloud based and is hosted at Rackspace, a global leader in up-time and security. (Most Fortune 100 companies use this provider for their data storage.) Dedicated servers are offered at a premium cost for organizations with a need for this type of service. Upgrades, backups, programming, and server outages all dealt with through this system, meaning less worry and hassle for the end customer. The interface is through the organization’s web browser and can be used with the custom web form builder to create contact forms, petition, membership voting, survey, etc in addition to standard web forms included in the product’s modules.

Security is enhanced through a password-protected portal that allows individuals and organizations to update their own information, access receipts, renew memberships, schedule recurring donation, view the member directory, access restricted pages, and more. It also includes a built-in email communications module for capital campaigns, news updates, etc., that queries the database and sends communications directly from the system. The email system can be qutomated for reminders, renewals, and autoresponding.

Ease of Use

One of the keys to the product’s ease-of-use is that it is accessible anywhere with an internet connection. This allows for access from a desktop or a mobile device. Set-up is also considerably simple, and the timeframe to set up a system starts at less than a week for organizations with no date to transfer and extends up to 30 days for those with more complex data transfer needs. Z2 Systems, Inc. offers a self-import utility for data, as well as custom import services and consulting for moving more complex data sets from other systems. The company reports they can handle data imports from any system on the market and have experience with most.

Neon CMR is intended to provide a turn-key solution that enables organization to get up and running quickly with many configurations possible to adjust each system to the specific needs of each organization.

Recap NeonCRM by Z2 Systems, Inc. is a pretty comprehensive tool that strives to meet a wide variety of the database needs of nonprofit organizations. It provides a user-friendly, web-based environment that fits the way modern organizations work. Because it is cloud-based, there are less requirements for use than bringing a system completely in-house.

Pricing for the product ranges quite a bit and is determined by the number of constituents in the system. The standard CRM comes with the base package plus a choice of two modules and begins at $49/month for less than 1,000 constituents. Additional modules can be purchased a la carte. The all-in-one CRM comes with all available modules and begins at $99/month for the same level. Larger organizations that have customization needs or require dedicated servers and/or consultation have the opportunity for a more expensive premium service.

Advantages

  • Unlimited user licenses
  • Choice of many modules to create a product that fits the organization
  • Ease of access from a variety of devices
Disadvantages
  • Extra cost to allow more than ten concurrent users in the system simultaneously
  • Online support and video training are free, but other types of support add to monthly costs
My Opinion

The NeonCRM by Z2 Systems, Inc. seem s like a really great option because of the number and diversity of modules that are available. The product itself is focused on providing access to as much information as possible that is needed to further develop constituent relationships , which is an area that is getting more and more attention as people and organizations become more connected through social media and other avenues.

The system is not an accounting product per se, but it does integrate with QuickBooks, which many nonprofit organizations already have in use.

Last modified on Sunday, 19 May 2013
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