Keela: the new CRM and project management tool (Interview)
We recently caught up with Nejeed Kassam, one of the brains behind Keela, a new collaborative project management and CRM tool suite designed specifically for the social good sector.
We recently caught up with Nejeed Kassam, CEO of Networks for Change which has launched Keela.co, a new collaborative project management and CRM tool suite designed specifically for the social good sector.
How did Networks for Change come about?
I’m a big believer in social enterprise. In October 20013 a couple of us had this idea and built Networks for Change. Over the past 18 months it has grown into something that has become Keela.
Tell us about Keela, the new tech platform you launched in February?
We launched in limited-beta in February to let the market know we were coming out. It was also a learning exercise. The biggest thing about an early launch is what you learn from your members, and what you learn about your user interface. We got some great traction and learnt a lot about the product, which was the goal.
What makes Keela stand out from other CRM tools? How does it benefit the nonprofit sector?
CRM software is becoming increasingly popular in the nonprofit sector. The majority of organisations want to use a CRM yet only some do. It provides a brilliant marketing opportunity. But our product is not just a CRM; we strongly believe that project management and CRM go hand in hand.
The CRM part enables users to engage with organisations and track communication, but also we are building in analytics and metrics which are very unique and powerful , looking at how many people open emails, how many people click links, etc. These things will allow charities which rely on email engagement to figure out how they can become more effective. The other piece is project management. Charities lose billions of dollars a year through inefficient project management. We wanted to build a set of tools tailored to the sector.
Our product offers inter-organisational cooperation. For example, your team and my team work together on a joint project and both manage our own staff. Many charities partner with people all around the world. This tool facilitates that collaboration.
The second reason we have built this for the sector, is its simplicity. It is so easy to use. Charities historically have a very high turnover of staff and volunteers; the time and effort it takes to train staff up on complicated software is too long and the sector is on a budget.
They say the charity sector is lagging behind digitally, where does your product come in there?
We are hoping to change that. The hope is to say to charities and nonprofits, “before you get scared off, we have a really easy user interface, something that’s built for your needs and responds to your needs.” This is equally important. We want charity’s feedback because they are our clients.
Also what makes us unique is Match; a dating algorithm for stakeholders in the sector. If you are an organisation looking for another organisation it will match you up. The other is the online networking space.
What does Networks for Change have in store for the rest of 2015?
We are really focused on Keela. 2015 is going to be a fun year for us. In June I’m really excited to announce we are moving away from limited beta and on to proper beta. Match is coming out this summer. We are offering organisations the chance to trail the product. We have a few cool campaigns coming up. 2015 is going to be our big year of iteration. We’ve gone from big idea to beta, now we are at the point of responding to feedback most needed by the sector.
If charities adopt Keela software before September 2015, they get free access to the ‘middle package’ until January 2016.