Happy New Year And Happy Future Thinking!

This is the beginning of a new fiscal year for a lot of you and at LimeRed Studio the first half of 2013 was really busy. Weve been working on refining our process and positioning, adding new staff as our workload continues to grow, and looking ahead to find new ways of helping our clients.

We have our heads down in the work a lot of the time so having at least one person on staff whos looking at the BIG vision is really important to the future of the studio, for us thats me (Emily) and Demetrio. We know a lot of you are spread thin and might not have someone to step back to get a sense of some big ideas on the horizon, so here are a few points we think will be important in the next year:

1. CRM

Having a decent Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System is just a no-brainer. Salesforce is the favorite, but there are lot of other options: SugarCRM, Highrise, Sage CRM, and CiviCRM. Each option has different strengths, Wikipedia has a great CRM comparison chart here. We have a relationship with a company that specializes in setting up, teaching, and training Salesforce for nonprofits so hit us up if you want a referral.

Just installing CRM software isnt going to solve any problems, in fact it might create some. Theres a bit of planning that needs to happen before you download that .dmg file.

CRM planning:

  • Have a well-defined donor and sales process
  • Understand what data you want to collect
  • Understand what you will measure

2. Fundraising + Marketing/Communications

In the corporate world sales and marketing used to exist as totally separate entities, now we are seeing that division disappear more and more.?? In the nonprofit and higher ed worlds fundraising and communications need to work more in tandem since they are both raising money and generating awareness.

3. Flat Design

Weve already posted a bit about flat design and where design is headed. Right now were seeing fewer rounded corners and button-y looking elements and couldnt be happier about it. Flat design is more about simplification and usability rather than making things flat and geometric, since testing and research is at the heart of what we do, were happy to see the web head in this direction.

Here are some posts we’ve recently written about flat design:??

New iOS7 design: Major fail or win?

Trendspotting: The one where I talk about Skeuomorphism & Flat Design

Is it a trend, or is it a movement?

4. Funder Collaboration

Recently weve helped organizations with upfront planning to secure project funding via workshops, focus groups, user interviews, and data analysis. We were able to more than quintuple a budget for an organization by assisting them in writing a comprehensive plan showing the rationale, future impact, and measurability of a project. These steps allowed them to illustrate the real value of the work and how exciting it could be to funders.

If youre interested in how this works, give us a call at 312-238-9070 or email us.

What do you think? What are some big issues and ideas youll be tackling this year?

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