All events

CRM, Customer data and cake

Wednesday 25th September 2024 at 14:00 GMT

£0.00    45

Book Now

  • The Event
  • The Venue

Was CRM ever the final word on customer data? What is a customer data platform? How does it differ from a CRM and do you need one? What other options are there for integrating customer data, developing a single customer view, and ensuring that you engage with everyone in a modern, personal way that maximises the value of every relationship?

About this session

Customer Relationship management systems were often sold into third sector organisations as the customer database that could drive all relationship activity including fundraising. But in reality this didn’t exactly work out – marketing teams for example would often be using different “market automation” products that then needed to “stay in sync” with the CRM. For companies with large CRM databases and multiple campaigns on the go additional data tooling would be necessary to select targets for each campaign. Marketing teams would try and automate aspects of a campaign by putting these recipients into pre-orchestrated journeys but this caused further complications as the CRM didn’t know who was currently involved in what journeys. Further other supporters, members or beneficiaries might be signalling interest through channels like Facebook or the company website but neither the CRM or marketing automation tools would necessarily be aware of this unsolicited interest in your organisation. The martech industry would advocate the use such behavioural data to perform “event based” marketing activated in “near real time” by “AI next-best-step algorithms” driven by your “360 degree customer data”.

In world of diminishing attention spans, ad-blockers and the death of the cookie is this just hype or is something third sector organisations need to engage with? What happened to CRM? What customer data do we really need to achieve our marketing, fundraising and service goals? And what is a customer data platform exactly? How else can we bring all our data together?

In this session we will discuss customer relationship management as a business strategy and outline the underpinning data and technology capabilities you may need to realise such strategies. We will be talking about products that describe themselves as “CRMs” to products that describe themselves as “CDPs” and everything in between. Adapta will present this in a pragmatic, plain English overview of where we find ourselves today through our experience with numerous sector clients.

Additionally, we will hear from other third sector organisations about where they are on their technology journey to better find and engage their supporters, stakeholders or beneficiaries. been successful, where they’ve struggled and how they overcame some of the challenges they faced

What will attendees gain from attending this session?

Attendees should expect to:

  • Have an opportunity to learn from the experiences of their peers in other organisations
  • Find out more about customer data technologies that can be used by all parts of the organisation.
  • Learn about the different technology options non-profits have to support their customer data plans

The programme

14.00 - Arrival and welcome

Adapta Consulting

Welcome to the event, introductions and overview of the agenda for the afternoon.

14:10 - What are organisations really trying to achieve through “customer relationship management” and what technologies might you need to deliver this?

Adapta Consulting

An overview of the history of CRM, what it failed to deliver in support of wider customer relationship management needs, why CDPs entered the market and where this leaves charities today. Adapta will position CRM more as a business strategy and CDP more as the underpinning technologies.

14:30 - Case studies

Short stories from speakers

Sunil Mir, Deputy Director - IT, ActionAid UK

ActionAid have recently implemented their new CRM system. Sunil will share their experiences and valuable learning gained throughout the project, including the challenges they encountered, how these were resolved, and tips they picked up along the way.

TEA/COFFEE – opportunity to share learning with peers

Robert Parkin, CRM Manager and Paul Partridge, Head of Income & Engagement, North West Air Ambulance Charity

North West Air Ambulance Charity recently embarked on their CRM system project. Robert and Paul will talk us through their journey to system implementation, sharing learning - including the challenges they faced and how they overcame them.

Gary Seaman, Head of Performance and Reporting, Cranstoun

Details TBC

16:00 Discussion and feedback


A round table discussion and feedback.

16.30 - 17.00 Review and close

Adapta Consulting

 Who should attend this event?

The session will draw on case studies from the sector and the subsequent discussion will cross the traditional departmental boundaries; so senior managers have been invited from finance, HR, fundraising, marketing and communications disciplines as well as those with information systems responsibilities.

To make a booking

Attendance is free and only open to charities, memberships, trusts and other non-profit organisations. Complete the online booking form, here

File Name File Type File Size Download

What our clients say

, Rebecca Pritchard
Client Quote

Rebecca Pritchard
Former Director of Operations, Crisis

"Adapta have been honest and realistic with us throughout. They are clear where they can add value and where we can do things on our own – so it feels like a partnership..."

, James Kliffen
Client Quote

James Kliffen
Head of Fundraising, MSF UK

"You have had a huge influence in our fundraising, and I would enthusiastically recommend you to other charities (and often have)..."

, Phil Durbin
Client Quote

Phil Durbin
Former Head of Corporate Systems, Salvation Army

"Unlike many consultants, Adapta won’t tell you what you expect to hear. They will be very honest and challenging and, even if some of what they say is uncomfortable to hear, it means you end up getting better advice."

, Dawn Varley
Client Quote

Dawn Varley
Operations & Strategy Director, Badger Trust

"I knew I could task them with my problem, and leave them to undertake the work in a professional yet friendly way, bringing their expertise and experience to the project…"

, Iain McSeveney
Client Quote

Iain McSeveney
Finance Director, Medical Aid for Palestinians

"I’m very pleased with the professional way that Adapta managed the project for the selection of MAP’s new accounting software. It was obvious that they have great experience in the charity sector and on the range of suitable accounting software currently on the market..."

, Rachel Rand
Client Quote

Rachel Rand
Strategic Director - Finance and Corporate Services, NCB

"I would not embark on any IT project without first meeting with Adapta to understand how they feel they could support me. I have found their guidance and practical support invaluable…"

, Rosalba Leonelli
Client Quote

Rosalba Leonelli
Head of Finance, Client Earth

"Thank you to you and your team for developing and facilitating an excellent workshop. You fully understood our needs which were evident in the workshop structure and content…"


We strive to support a dynamic, impactful sector that leads through innovation and collaborative thinking. We are continually amazed by the incredible work the sector does and the support it gives to make a difference to millions of lives in the UK and across the world. View the organisations we work with here.

Badger Trust Logo
Asthma UK Logo
Battersea Logo
Centre Point Logo
Embrace The Middle East Logo
Christian Aid Logo
Stroke Association Logo
The Trussell Trust Logo

Case Studies

Our case studies provide real examples of the support and advice we give organisations, detailing the issues and challenges each faced and how, together, we were able to help them.