Crimson

Fundraising

Updated May 15, 2018

7 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

24/25

Cost

18/25

Differentiation

20/25

Effectiveness

24/25

Pros

  • Great customer service
  • Platform build ensures FEC compliance
  • Integration with 3rd party apps at market.getc.com
  • Fully documented API

Cons

  • Might not make sense for small organizations
  • Full web based dashboard is not accessible through app
  • The learning curve is somewhat steep, though free assistance is available

Crimson is the largest donation and CRM software platform for the GOP, launched in 2008; however CMDI itself has been around since 1981. In 2016 alone, Crimson oversaw $2.25 billion – handling 2 out of every 3 Republican donor dollars. Crimson’s flexible platform has already led to its extensive use on the state and national level, with past clients including 2016 GOP candidates like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush.

Overview

Crimson makes political fundraising easy by providing an all-in-one platform with CRM tools, fundraising features, and campaign management abilities. Though creating an account takes time – the app is reserved for GOP candidates and causes – once logged in, it is easy to access. Through its platform independent build, Crimson can be accessed by desktop or mobile device. Upon login, its dashboard immediately provides a campaign overview using financial figures, election countdowns, infographics, and other big picture analytics.

Combining Fundraising and CRM

As a political fundraising platform designed by and for Republicans, Crimson’s dual-CRM and fundraising features work together to optimize donor engagement. While large-scale engagement can occur through email blasts via API connection with common email marketing tools (pulling the data back to Crimson), the platform’s strengths lie in how well it can target individual contacts.

Each contact on a list has a corresponding profile, with photos automatically pulled and updated from social media profiles. All of this is searchable in the contact list via temporary keywords or permanent profile flags. Further, Crimson’s records of each contact’s past donations ensure past contribution patterns are used to improve fundraising strategy. If a key donor only contributes at events, Crimson can add them to the dinner invite list rather than sending an email. This personalized information directly helps improve donor engagement, retention, and stewardship.

Crimson’s fundraising capacity, like much of its interface, remains compatible with other apps and programs. Nonetheless, it does offer its own credit card processing and handling of donations. One particularly helpful feature is Crimson’s Joint Fundraising Committee module (which was unique to Crimson during the 2016 election), which divides large, lump-sum donations amongst multiple candidates/causes – automating previously agreed allocation and ensuring FEC compliance.

Campaign Management

Crimson’s campaign management features can be helpful for county level initiatives, but become necessary components for campaigns at the state or national level. Unlike other services, Crimson does not charge based on the number of users. Strict user access controls and unalterable user activity history make sure transparency and accountability remain despite any number of users.

Coordinating Crimson users on campaign work is simplified through the platform’s inclusion of ‘tasks.’ Assigning tasks online to users – be it calling a key donor, an email blast, doorknocking, or writing reports – keeps managing a campaign clear. The ‘tasks’ feature also lets campaign leadership operate directly from the campaign HQ.

To avoid legal headaches associated with campaign management, Crimson’s designers built financial compliance into the platform. A compliance overview feature lets campaigns examine concerns across the board, such as missing information or overlimit donors. During the data input process, Crimson requires that information needed for FEC reporting be inputted then and there.

Pricing

CMDI Crimson offers custom pricing for Republican campaigns that want to use its services. Rather than a single fixed rate based on users, Crimson presents each client a price after a consultation based on campaign scale. In this way, accurate prices can be given based on population regardless if it’s a voting district in Texas or one in Rhode Island.

Verdict

CMDI Crimson’s all-in-one platform remains widely used by the GOP due to its expansive features and flexibility with other programs. Due to pricing considerations, Crimson is more suited to state or national campaigns than smaller grassroots efforts, especially in light of its notable targeting features for political fundraising. Overall, CMDI Crimson is a good choice for traditional campaign fundraising despite its lack of features for political organizing.

If you have any feedback on this review or you would like to suggest an app for us to review, please drop us a note – telegraph@joinlincoln.org


Screenshots


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SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

24/25

Cost

18/25

Differentiation

20/25

Effectiveness

24/25

Get Crimson