CRMs (Customer Relationship Management)
Once your EA group has more than 15-20 regular members, it can be hard to remember important information about all of them. This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can come in. Many EA groups have a CRM to store data about their members.
Why have a CRM?
A CRM can help you:
Flag community members who have not been to an event for a while, so organisers can check in with them
Track how community members have engaged with the group, to evaluate different activities
Keep track of who to prioritise for one-on-one chats
Choose events based on member’s interests or needs
Notify members about opportunities based on their interests
Identify members that could help each other with their goals, and to make introductions
Our current CRM recommendation: Airtable
Airtable can be used to create databases and applications easily, such as a CRM, without knowledge of coding. It can also accept responses from participants via forms. It can take a bit of time to learn, but it is very flexible and allows you to organize data better than via Google Sheets.
Many EA groups use Airtable for various use cases and projects, such as tracking their members, running programs and reading groups, and more.
How to get started with Airtable for your group
The Global Challenges Project has a guide on how to create a "group dashboard" / CRM for your group here. You can duplicate their Airtable base as a template for your group. If you want another example of an EA group's Airtable base, you can look at or duplicate EA Philippines' sample Airtable base here.
Students can get 6-24 months of Airtable Pro for free (depending on when you graduate). Read more on that and how to get it here! If you need funding for Airtable for your group, CEA may be able to cover it for you via our group support funding.
Here is also a video of an Intro to Airtable workshop run by Adam Krivka (with this document to help you follow along) from Caltech EA to help you get started with Airtable. There is also this guide and template base to use Airtable for your fellowship application form and logistics.
If you need help in using Airtable for your EA group, there is a channel on the EA Groups Slack that you can join called #airtable-for-EA-groups for you to ask questions in. Other EA group organizers more familiar with Airtable may be able to help you if you ask questions there.
Sharing data/forms with CEA
Please add this question on your forms that you may want to share with CEA (i.e. fellowship data):
Question: Share response with the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA)?
Choices: Yes or No
Other options for your group's CRM
HubSpot - HubSpot is a free CRM software.
Google Sheets - Google Sheets can make a basic CRM, with rows being members and columns containing information about each member. There are some Google Sheets CRM templates available online (e.g. here).