What is a CRM and Why Do You Need One?

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Tools can be really simple. They can be an easy to set-up and access shared and secure place for storing relevant information. Or they can be really complex, taking months to develop and linking in with multiple other tools and helping you administer every process in your organisation.

Smaller charities, or those starting out, can often feel intimidated by them. The cost, the time to set-up and maintain, the amount of training, the ongoing costs etc. can be daunting. And they do take a bit of effort to set up, and get used to. However, once you’ve done this, you end up with an efficient and secure way to manage and share your organisation’s information. And if you do it right, you also end up with a system that can evolve and grow as your organisation does.

Here are some of our top reasons why you should consider a CRM…

  1. It Reduces Your Risk – The age of GDPR has brought more obligations (and risk) to every organisation when it comes to handling data – whether staff and volunteer records or Special Category Data. A CRM can provide you with a secure, cloud based storage solution for this data that enables you to set different levels of access for different users. No more Excel files full of client contact details being stored on an unsecure PC, or having to remember who can access what folders. Your CRM can handle this and in doing so, reduce your risk.
  2. They Save Time – Yes it can take some time to get set-up, but once it’s done, it’s done. You’ll have all of your data in one format and in one place. Whether stakeholder contact details, staff records, board meeting minutes or client histories, you get to decide what data needs to be added, the format it should be in and then it is there and accessible, regardless of staff illness, holidays or changes. Adding data becomes second nature, and consistent data means your reports will start to become a lot more reliable, and can be automated!
  3. Easy Reporting – With a CRM, once you’ve got your data into it, you can view that data in all sorts of ways. Reports might show staff shift patterns, the number of clients seen in a given month or year, the amount of donations received as a result of particular campaign and more. The ability to integrate multiple tools into your CRM makes the possibilities endless – if that’s where you want to go.
  4. You Can Start Small – Don’t be put off by everything a CRM can do, instead focus on what you need it to do. What are the things that would make your life easier and your organisation run more efficiently? For some it might just be having a secure, shared and online way for your team to log contact information, inbound enquiries, manage diaries, sickness and annual leave or manage shared resources such as meeting rooms or equipment. Get the foundations right, and it will be easier to add other functionality as you grow – for example, recording service user data, case management plans, donations, fundraising campaigns, marketing campaigns, integrating online forms etc.
  5. It is Cost Effective – Our mission at Enclude is to help charities access technology solutions that can increase their impact, and be cost effective about it. Our eStart and eService packages are based upon a Salesforce* environment and pre-configured to help charities get going faster. They provide the benefits of a tailored and relevant Salesforce environment, without the price tag of a bespoke solution.

Get in touch with the Enclude Team here to find out more!

*The Salesforce Power of Us programme allows any eligible non-profit to apply for up to 10 donated full Salesforce licences.

Enclude Data Services – Basic Data Audit

When a data set grows over time, mistakes will occur, gaps will develop, consistency of formatting will be lost and requirements will change. This can have a major impact on the effectiveness of the data when you come to use it, whether for communications, reporting or segmentation of records.

  • Is the information stored in the right format?
  • Why are so many emails bouncing back?
  • Should a phone number be 0875550000 or +875550000
  • Why are certain fields empty in some records and not in others
  • Why did we start / stop collecting this data?
  • Why are we using this field? Do we still need this field?
  • Do we have an Eircode for this contact?

What is it?
Our experienced team will use a range of tools to review the contents of your Salesforce data fields looking for missing data, incorrect / non-standard formatting and duplicates. In addition, they’ll review the range and type of data you’re capturing and what fields are being used, not being used, which may be obsolete etc.

How much will it cost?
As a member of the Enclude CRM Membership Programme this service is available using your Support Hours. The length of time may vary depending on the volume of data you have and the complexity of your Salesforce org, but starts from 4 hours which includes the running of the Basic Data Audit, along with delivery of a status and recommendations report. We will also provide an estimate of effort to implement any changes and recommendations.

How to request a Basic Data Audit

  • Log into Member’s Corner
  • Raise a case requesting a Basic Data Audit
  • One of our team will be in touch to confirm the scope and timing of the audit

What happens next?
A report outlining findings, highlighting any data issues and recommending next steps that may be taken to improve / clean the data as well as any process improvement suggestions.

Please Note – The Basic Data Audit is just that, and doesn’t include the resolution of any issues, cleaning of data, merging of fields etc. If you’d like Enclude to support you in implementing any recommendations, or cleaning any data, this would likely need to be quoted for a separate piece of work. Please arrange a follow-up chat with our team to discuss this.

Enclude Data Services – System Health Check

System Health Check
When everything from service delivery to funding to strategy and staffing needs are defined by data, and everyone in the organisation has a role to play in storing it, using it and keeping it secure, it’s important to ensure your system is well maintained.

What is it?
A System Health Check helps you spot both actual and potential problems in your Salesforce system settings and standards. It is a process of evaluating the security, performance and scalability of your Salesforce org that reduces risk of data loss or breaches. It involves checking various aspects of your org such as security settings and policies, customisations and configurations.
Frequent running of a System Health Check allows you to ensure that your system and data are being managed in the best possible way.

How much will it cost?
As a member of the Enclude CRM Membership Programme this service is available using your Support Hours. The length of time may vary depending on the volume of data stored and the complexity of your Salesforce org, but starts from 2 hours which includes the running of the System Health Check along with delivery of a status and recommendations report.

How to request a System Health Check

  • Log into Member’s Corner
  • Raise a case requesting a System Health Check
  • One of our team will be in touch to confirm timings

What happens then
Enclude will run this System Health Check for you, and then provide you with a report flagging up any actual or potential issues with the health of your Salesforce security settings, along with recommendations for how these can be addressed. Recommendations are clear, actionable and prioritised.

Please Note – The System Health Check is just that, and doesn’t include the resolution of any issues. If you’d like Enclude to support you in resolving any issues flagged, or implementing any recommendations, please arrange a follow-up chat with our team to discuss whether this can also be done using Support Hours, or would need to be quoted for as a separate piece of work.

Purple House Cancer Support – Case Study

“Enclude are very helpful and very accommodating. They are a charity, with a charity focus and so understand the challenges that a charity faces… I feel like they’re one of us.”

The Challenge

Purple House have been an Enclude Salesforce client for several years. Installing a CRM provided security and consistency of data, automation of processes and made life generally a lot easier. However, the team were still telephoning clients to remind them about appointments, classes, transport arrangements etc. With 40 to 50 clients a day visiting the centre, this meant the team spending anything from 90 minutes a day, or 7.5 hours a week making these calls alone. This process was pricey in terms of resource and resultant phone bills. It wasn’t always successful either as people might be busy, or simply unwilling to answer the phone or check their voicemail.

The Solution

Enclude introduced their SMS Package. The package works as a “plug-in” to Purple House’s Salesforce instance. Taking the range of appointments and services delivered into account Enclude were able to configure the package so that clients could be sent SMS alerts quickly and easily, with little human intervention. Not only that, but the messages were also recorded against the “Contact” record, along with any response.

People don’t always want to check their emails. An SMS is short, informal, to the point, a quick reminder, it’s there.” Conor O’Leary, Purple House Cancer Support

The Result

Over a day a week was saved in terms of time. Time that could be spent focusing on direct service delivery, or priority matters such as planning services and the administration and client follow-up involved in maintaining clinical governance standards.

As well as saving a day a week in time resources, the solution also helped Purple House deliver a more meaningful, and responsive service to clients. Clients’ recorded responses, or lack of responses, could be used by the team to determine next steps with that client, or prioritise them for other interventions. This became particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic when the team were a lifeline to those in a highly vulnerable group. Conor O’Leary told us “when we started interacting with our clients in a more technical way, they adapted and responded in kind. This has had significant benefits to multiple areas of service from using SMS to quickly and easily confirm appointments to the ability to provide information resources digitally.”

About Purple House

Purple House Cancer Support (Purple House) provides professional Cancer Support & Psycho-Oncology services to people affected by Cancer. In 2022 they supported over 1,500 families across the nation. Their services range from non-medical supports such as counselling, complementary therapies and survivorship programmes, to practical supports such as transport, delivery of food hampers, advice on benefits and entitlements, as well as group classes focused on exercise and other pastimes.

eSAFE Case Study

eSAFE is a data management system created specifically for domestic violence services in Ireland. It was developed by Enclude in partnership with Quality Matters and Safe Ireland. The solution allows to capture all the details of client-related work and keeps the Clients’ data secure.  

The Problem

There are 37 domestic violence (DV) services providing support to women and children across all counties in Ireland. Services are free, confidential and available to all women and their children.  They support over 13,500 women and children each year who are in violent and abusive relationships. 

DV services were using a variety of data collection systems, ranging from traditional paper-based filing, Excel spreadsheets or customised Access databases. They needed a better system to manage Clients’ data in order to inform service development, national policy and general funder compliance requirements.

The Solution

Initially 16 services committed to take part in the eSAFE project. Quality Matters with Safe Ireland’s support led the consultation phase which aimed to develop common protocols. The protocols detailed all processes and data-points that the CRM system should include. This step helped to maximise engagement and buy-in from services. It also ensured that the system would be fit for purpose.

These paper-based documents were used by Enclude to design the eSAFE package. eSAFE allows staff to record initial enquiries, Client details, Assessments, Referrals, Support Plans, Service Interventions and manage of Refuge occupancy. It also includes a suite of reports configured to meet the funder’s requirements.

The eSAFE prototype was thoroughly tested by a number of services and piloted in one. Following successful pilot, eSAFE was implemented in 21 services over 12 months. In the rollout phase Enclude trained over 250 end users, provided additional training for system administrators and ongoing support through eSAFE clinics.

The Result

Currently the eSAFE system is used in 25 services, which is more than a half of all DV services in Ireland. In 2022 nearly 7,000 new client files were set up using eSAFE.

eSAFE enables access to Clients’ history and support needs. It is easier for staff to hand over work after the end of their shift and retrieve the information they need. This leads to more efficient support offered to the service users and ensures that the tasks are followed up on as required.

Staff spend less time on administration and reporting. After the system is well bedded in, it can save up to 20% admin time.

Management of the services can easily oversee the work done with Clients and monitor Client’s progress. They can also identify red flags, trends and gaps, such as unmet refuge needs.

The system provides an evidence base to reflect the level of work carried out in support of victims of DV. This can be a potential driver for increased access to funding and support for the sector.

The data collected by different services is more standardised and will allow collecting statistics at a national level in the future.

What’s Next?

Enclude is providing ongoing training and support to the services as part of eSAFE Community of Practice. The system is continuously reviewed and improved based on the feedback collected from the users. eSAFE Membership is growing with a 26th implementation planned for 2024.

Enclude and Safe Ireland are planning to develop a module which will allow to collect key anonymised data from all the services using eSAFE. This will provide independent, timely and good quality data to the sector and wider audiences for awareness raising, research and service development.

Dublin Simon Outreach Team – Case Study

As part of an overall Salesforce Simon 360 CRM digital solution for Dublin Simon Community, Enclude developed an app in partnership with the Outreach team. This works in the office and on mobile phones, so can be used as the Outreach staff are on the streets or in the office.

Outreach staff can see where the rough sleeper is, respond to the alert and update the contact attempt status while they are out and about or in the office.


Dublin Simon Outreach Team – Case Study

The Problem

The Dublin Simon Community Outreach team work with people who are sleeping rough on the streets of Dublin. They receive emailed rough sleeper alerts via the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE) in two different formats.

The Outreach team alert must follow up within a certain timeframe and further follow up work is required depending on the context of each alert.

Tracking the alerts response times and contact attempts is complex and takes a lot of time. It is difficult for the Outreach Manager and staff to coordinate and check contact attempts and responses.

Training new staff on the Outreach team to track and respond to the alerts properly is difficult and time-consuming.

Staff spend a lot of time on administration which could be spent helping those sleeping rough.

Reporting to the DRHE takes a lot of time and effort for the Outreach Manager.

The Solution

As part of an overall Salesforce Simon 360 CRM digital solution for Dublin Simon Community, Enclude developed an app in partnership with the Outreach team. This works in the office and on mobile phones, so can be used as the Outreach staff are on the streets
or in the office.
All of the alerts from the DRHE come automatically into the Simon 360 CRM and can be viewed by the team on their mobile phones. A colour-coded traffic light system shows the status of each alert.

Outreach staff can see where the rough sleeper is, respond to the alert and update the contact attempt status while they are out and about or in the office.
The Outreach Manager is easily able to check that Dublin Simon Community have responded to all alerts.
The Outreach Manager can report easily on all alerts and contact attempts to the DRHE and on its work to Dublin Simon Community Management.

The Result

Staff spend less time on administration and more time engaging with and supporting people sleeping rough.
It is quicker to teach new staff how to view and update the alerts.
It is easier for staff to see the status of an alert.
There is improved communication between team members on alerts.
The Outreach Manager spends less time checking staff have made contact attempts for all alerts.
The Outreach Manager can easily run reports for Dublin Simon Community and the DRHE.

What’s Next?

The Simon 360 system continues to be developed and rolled out to all services in the Dublin Simon Community including the Outreach team.
This will allow the Outreach team to make referrals and create support plans with service users.
The work done by Dublin Simon Community to help people experiencing homelessness and sleeping rough in Dublin will be recorded in a secure, consolidated environment that facilitates reporting for internal and external purposes.


Go to Dublin Simon to Find out more about the work of Dublin Simon Community 


Download Case Study PDF


Enclude Board Members

Mr. Ivo Meekel – Chairperson

Mr. Alan Sweeney

Mr. Graham Brocklesby

Mr. Tom Slevin

Ms. Kate Longmate

Ms. Colma Nic Lughadha


Enclude Adoption Tips

Enclude Adoption Tips

You want a CRM. You have seen the wonderful ones that other people have and now you see just how much it could help your organisation

But getting the system is only the first step – you have to make sure that your staff are happy to use it. Otherwise you have wasted time and money for your organisation – when we are all short of both.

Here are ENCLUDE’s top tips for user adoption

Include staff from the start

Let them know that your organisation is considering this.  Have a meeting and get their feedback on why they would or wouldn’t want a CRM.  Talk about the parts of their work it will help.  Perhaps it’s as simple as being able to book a meeting room on the system. Get them to help identify these so that everyone feels a winner in the early phases. They may have some great ideas that you have not even thought of!

Let them know what the CRM will not do – it’s not a magical cure for everything. Otherwise people may get disillusioned when it is put in and they realise that it won’t make the coffee!

ENCLUDE can help by running a workshop with your staff to identify their needs and explain what a CRM will or will not do!

Have value for people entering data

Let’s face it, entering data can be boring. It can be easy to lose motivation to enter the it promptly and fully.

Show staff how entering the data helps them in their work – producing the reports at the end of the month becomes easy and the report is reliable.  Entering all appointments and activities in their calendars lets them see how much time different projects are taking.

Have some dashboards up that everyone can see – how many new clients has your organisation helped this month?  How many cases have been closed? They will see the relevance of their work.

Appoint a Management Champion

Appoint someone as management champion at the highest level who is passionate about the system.  Get them to share this enthusiasm at staff meetings / in company newsletters and elsewhere.

Check the Login report

Keep an eye on the login report and see if someone is not using the system.  Perhaps they need encouragement and more training.  It’s better to do this from the start or people may get more and more nervous of the system and never want to use it.

Your ENCLUDE consultant can help set up a login report that is sent you each week.

Lots of Training

Keep emphasising that training will be provided for anyone who needs it.  It can be done in many ways.

  • Formal training sessions where an in-house staff expert takes the training role.  ENCLUDE can also help with this if you want an outside trainer.
  • Buddy systems where inexperienced users are paired with more experienced ones that they can turn to for help.
  • Mini videos/quick guides to answer common how do I questions.  Again, ENCLUDE can tailor these for your system.
  • If you have staff who are enthusiastic, suggest they do some of the Trailhead training provided by Salesforce. They may even want to do some of the Salesforce exams.  This is a good addition to their qualifications.

Keep an eye on data silos (aka spreadsheets)

Knowledge is power – and people can feel that letting go of their ‘special spreadsheets’ where they currently record information will reduce their value.  For example, if in the past, you always had to go to the office assistant to see if the overhead projector was booked, the office assistant may not be happy that the information is available to everyone and want to keep the spreadsheet going.  Encourage everyone to put all relevant information on the system.  If someone is using a spreadsheet for their work, ask why!


Have some fun rewards, especially over the first few months. Here are a few ideas.

  • Friday afternoon off for the staff member who used the system most over a month.
  • Cake or a fruit basket for the office when everyone has logged in every day for a week.
  • Management serve staff lunch with when the number of contacts on the system reaches a target number.

Easing the burden of Admin for Community Workers – Enclude join in the debate

Easing the burden of Admin for Community Workers– Enclude join in the debate

Changing Ireland published a cartoon, on page 13, of recent edition, entitled ‘ Community Work sometimes involves a little admin’ .  The cartoon shows a worker spending years completing admin for the SICAP ( Social Inclusion and Activation Programme).

We in Enclude passionately believe it doesn’t have to be like that. Here is response, printed in subsequent edition, from Eamon Stack, CEO of Enclude

We in ‘Enclude’ were struck by the cartoon in the last edition of ‘Changing Ireland’ which showed a community worker toiling endlessly in front of a computer screen to address the reporting needs of funders. It doesn’t have to be so! ‘Enclude’ is currently working with partnership companies in Dublin to design an information management system that will remove some of the drudgery they are experiencing at present. The system will:

• Manage their interactions with people they serve through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP);

• Assist with reporting to IRIS (a system used by community workers nationwide involved in SICAP);

• Track interventions made that are not currently recognised by SICAP categories.

In the past we’ve done similar work in the addiction services area, working with the HSE and projects to develop custom-made client care and staff management system. A recent evaluation conducted with the addiction services shows that the system is helping them to generate savings in staff and management time – by cutting out duplication and reducing time spent on administration – worth almost €50,000 per year on average (or 285 working days per year). Addiction services reported that they also saved 89 working days of managers’ and administrators’ working time each year. There was also an annual saving of €18,000 on software licences.

The new system also helped to improve the quality of data available to manage interactions with clients as well as the data available to meet funders’ reporting requirements. Lisa Gavillet, Development Worker with the North Eastern Regional Drugs Task Force told us that: “Our eCASS system has given us a way to record and report on actual contact time, outcomes and progression of clients from a service perspective. This then feeds into a larger statistical gathering exercise providing timely and relevant information to funders and policy makers.”

Turas – Their experience with Enclude

The Canal Communities Training Programme, aka TURAS, is a rehabilitative education and training programme for stabilised drug users. Trevor Keogh, manager, said Enclude’s ‘eCASS’ system helped them support their people to engage more effectively with their care plans and with getting into, or back to, work. “This has really supported client engagement. For example, because of eCASS, clients can now move between addiction services with much greater ease, and staff changes in our own service generate much less disruption than they did previously,” said Trevor. There are benefits for staff too

who have less paperwork to do than before. TURAS operates as a Community Employment Scheme funded and supported by The Dept. of Social Protection, the HSE, the local Education & Training Board and the Canal Communities Local Drugs Task Force.

Is your charity missing out? Millions in savings for Irish Charities go untapped

4 out of 5 Irish charities not yet availing of donated technology which can save them over €20,000 per year on average

Many of the big global players in IT, such as Microsoft, Google and Adobe, make millions worth of software available to Irish charities each year, but many are not taking it up, simply because they are not aware of it. Last year alone, 20 Irish charities made average savings of €27,000 each by availing of software donations through our programme. 

Enclude are the sole Irish partner in Techsoup Global – a network which makes donated software available to eligible charities across the world. Since 2006, Enclude have made over €50million in donated technology available to Irish charities.

Over 1600 Irish charities, including Foroige, Pieta House, Focus Ireland and Peter McVerry Trust, as well as many smaller local charities have already registered with the Enclude Tech Donation Programme via their website http://enclude.ie/technology-donations. But 4 out of 5 charities are not yet signed up, which means they are missing out on these savings.

Savings available

A lot of the software available on the Enclude Tech Donations Programme is completely donated, which means charities only have to pay an admin fee of 10-20% So, for example, MS Office Standard, which would cost a business over €260, is available to charities for €27

Best-sellers include:

MS Office Standard – admin fee €27

Adobe Photo Shop Elements and Premiere Elements– admin fee €25

Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition – admin fee €4

The average saving on software by Irish charities participating in the programme was €4000 last year. However, there have been significant extra benefits to signing up to the Enclude Tech Donations programme since the launch of Google for Nonprofits. The bundle, which is free to all eligible non-profits and sports groups includes Google Apps, Google Maps, and Google Ads with grants of €10,000 per month to spend on adword campaigns on Google. Charities who get a lot of their clients from web searches, such as counselling or support services, are particularly well-placed to benefit from the adgrant offering.

We often have difficulty convincing people this is not a scam because it seems too good to be true!’

To find out more contact Marge on 01-6535099 or encludeit@enclude.ie