Interview: Jorge Astorga, Center for Nonprofit Advancement

In this interview, we talk to Jorge Astorga, Membership Manager, at the Center for Nonprofit Advancement.  I met Jorge at the DC CiviCRM Meetup earlier this year.  He did a presentation about how his organization uses CiviCRM and shared tips with organizations just getting started with CiviCRM.

Can you please tell us more about your organization?
The Center for Nonprofit Advancement strengthens the capacity of over 1,000 member organizations throughout Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. We provide our member nonprofits access to medical and non-medical insurances, professional development trainings, and networking opportunites.  Here's a link to all the benefits we provide to our members.

What is your role at the Center?
I am the Membership Manager, and my primary focus is membership recruitment and retention.  I am also engaged with the nonprofit community through various events and volunteer opportunities. 

How do you use CiviCRM at the Center?
The Center has been using CiviCRM for more than five years. We use it in conjunction with Drupal in order to manage our membership program, events and donations.  When someone fills out a form on our website, this information goes directly into CiviCRM, which saves us a lot of time!  It is so much more efficient to manage our data in CiviCRM, instead of using spreadsheets.  It is also great that we can access our data from anywhere since it's in the cloud.  We encourage our staff to use CiviCRM to help them in their daily work.  For example, if someone has a conversation with a staff person at a member organization, they create an Activity with the details, so other people at the Center can see what type of discussions have taken place with this contact. We also track which membership benefits our members are taking advantage of.    

What else would you like to use CiviCRM for in the future?
We want to use CiviCRM to its full potential.  We would like to create an interactive membership portal, where members can sign in to access information and connect with other members.  

Do you have any tips for organizations that are evaluating CiviCRM for their organization?
CiviCRM can help your organization be more efficient in terms of how it manages its data.  If you are considering CiviCRM, I recommend you participate in webinars, workshops and learn as much as you can about its strengths and weaknesses.  You can also look into what it will take to customize it to your organization's processes.  If you decide to use CiviCRM, make sure invest in staff training, so you can use it to its full potential.  I also recommend getting involved in the CiviCRM community, so you can learn about the latest features and how you can leverage them for your own work.