Constituent Relationship Management with CoRM

Schools and universities have relationships with different categories of people. Like: Students, Professors, Teachers, Relatives, Potential Students, Candidates for Admission, Alumni, etc. I like to represent Constituent Relationship Management with CoRM and not simply with CRM.

This article reflects precisely on the difference in approach in relations with the Constituent (for example in non-profit organizations and in educational institutions) compared to the relationship with the Customer (in companies). For ease and clarity, I will represent Constituent Relationship Management with CoRM and Customer Relationship Management with CuRM.

Each of these categories has relations with the institution in an obviously different way. Because each of these categories has different needs. Furthermore, these categories often communicate with each other.

These interactions with the educational institution and inside the institution are fundamental, it is important that these interactions are carried out satisfactorily and that each “person” belonging to one of these groups is allowed to live a positive and useful contact experience.

All these communications today can/must be digital. These communications in the past lived in “parallel universes” were hardly shared and many of them were not digital. On a statistical level, it could then be analyzed whether these dropouts take place by students from a specific geographical area or who, for example, enrolled late compared to the average of the other students.

Constituent Relationship Management Introduction:

The overall vision was practically impossible. Also, constituent relationship management entrusted to several separate tools that did not have a connection between them. This absence of the overall view worsened after the experience of contact with the institution. It was almost impossible for the institutions to grasp and relate aspects that are very distant from an IT point of view, which instead, seen in an integrated way, allow us to grasp problems clearly.

For universities and educational institutions, the example that I always like to do concerns abandonment of studies by a student. A system that relates separate databases could reveal very important and useful statistical data on a predictive level. By linking the performance of the votes of the last session with the number of absences with the payment of the tuition, for example, one could discover the strong relationship and progression of these three phenomena which could result in abandonment.


The connection of the various databases, therefore, produces a much more dynamic and coherent vision and allows you to discover phenomena that were previously evaluated only with intuitions, experience and great efforts.

constituent relationship management

With these initial observations, I believe I have introduced the concept of CRM and I have given an example of its importance. The purpose of this article, however, is not to explain what a CRM is, rather I want to explain and deepen the differences between Constituent Relationship Management and Customer Relationship Management. In fact, these two expressions are represented with the same term: “CRM”.

Difference Between CuRM and CoRM:

When we talk about the difference between CoRM and CuRM we are talking about a difference in implementation and customization. The technical infrastructure of the CRM is declined differently depending on the sector where it is used and becomes CuRM or CoRM. One of the main characteristics of CRM concerns its ability to customize and adapt to different corporate and institutional realities.

We can therefore also say that in the beginning, we have a CRM and its implementation alternately produces a CuRM or a CoRM depending on the relativity in which it is implemented.

A good CRM is also chosen based on this customizability feature. The implementation process of CRM is long. It requires an accurate analysis of various information flows and of the different areas.

The goal is that every person who has contact with the institution can have a positive experience. The history of this subject is stored in the various “objects” of the CRM. For example, in the case of Educational Institutions, we talk about Admission, Requests for Information, Evaluation, School fees. The technology is practically the same, however, we are faced with different universes and the two words Constituent and Customer underline its importance.

Once the implementation of CoRM is completed we will have a Relationship Management with the Constituents.  It includes all the workflows and relationships that organization uses to carry out activities in order to achieve its mission. Educational institutions must be able to measure values and relations that are not only monetary.

Uses of Constituent Relationship Management (CRM):

Customer relationship management systems are used to improve sales and focus is placed on those who are likely to buy. CuRM is also used to improve customer satisfaction (Customer Care).

Whenever a customer touches the organization in any way, the interaction is recorded. This information is used to better understand the relationship with the customer and ensure that interactions are usually designed to maximize the customer’s long-term profitability with respect to the company.

To point out another difference, an Educational Institution could aim to improve relations with its students by CoRM system. The Academic Secretariat and the Student communicate and leave a trace of their dialogue in the CRM.

We do not speak of two completely different universes but speak only of a vision and adaptation to different realities. Also in educational institutions, it may be necessary for the relationship with a student to be mediated by the parents. Very often it is the parents who enroll their “kids”. These problems are rarely present in companies.

This is a summary of why I prefer to describe the Constituent Relationship Management with CoRM instead of CRM. A comment will be welcome.

To review other articles about this topic please visit also this article.

Alberto Cecchi

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Alberto Cecchi

Educational Consulting, international academic relations. Researcher in the new media, design and social media. Specialties: 15 years of experience as Lecturer at the Universities of Urbino and Perugia, Multimedia Design and Computer Science. Author of Books and Articles about Design, New Media, Internet Security Education (History of Cryptography).

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