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A place to share prose and photography not in a spirit of hubris or sense of it being worthy--but as a discipline to keep me constantly improving.

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Building the Ultimate CRM: Using Air Table as an Organizational CRM

Evan Baehr

I have been a “CRM” junkie since 6th grade — the year I got my first ‘PDA’ — a Palm Pilot on which I inputted all of my classmates’ mailing addresses. Lame, I know! Over the last 25 years I have used basically every popular website, app, and platform designed for ‘relationship management.’ I’m a junkie. Why? I could go on at length but I’ll share this: being on top of relationships means we are living with integrity because we do what we say we are going to do (e.g. to our cousin at a family meeting we say “‘I’ll ping you when I’m next in Detroit” and to a new business contact we say ‘I’d love to introduce you to my CPA’ — in both cases we’ve triggered action items that need follow up in order to preserve our relational integrity. That is why I care.

I write this blog post to share how I use Airtable — a hot Silicon Valley company that built a web application that a mix of Google Docs and Salesforce.com — as a relationship management tool. 

I’m writing this doc to collect and share in a more focused way how I use this platform for a handful of key workflows that are core to many organizations: raising money, building relationships, hosting events, etc. 

I have created two sets of resources below:

  1. shared AirTable base ‘views’ that let you access the tool directly and play around with the data.

  2. Videos of voice over screenshares that explain how I use each one.

For those wanting to dive in, here are the links to the shared views of the base:

My advice: I would suggest you spend 20 minutes watching these videos and playing around with these models in thin thinking in what ways it might be helpful for you and your organization. Please copy is much as possible out of these bases and in my workflows and then make sure to tell me how to do it even better.


CRM Basis + AirTable 101

In the following video, I do a brief overview of what your table is, the navigation of basic views, and the creation and use of new fields.

Using AirTable as a CRM - The Advanced Basics

In this video I will show you how I have replicated some common features of a CRM including tags, notes, and recency of contact.

Creation of Custom Views

In the following video I give an overview of how to use filters, groups, and how to create new views to get to groupings and filters.

Creating Targeting Lists for Events

A common use case is helping create prioritized lists to generate an invitation to something such as a gala. In the following video we create star ratings for records and then build a funnel to track invitation management.

Using Ratings and Formulas to Build Revenue Projection Models

When you’re trying to build revenue projections you are having to determine the target ask or contract price as well as the likelihood of closing that deal. Below I use air table to help build out a donor and donation pipeline to understand the overall size and health of the final as well as the projected revenue on a monthly basis.

Now: you tell me! What else would be interesting to learn about? How else have you used AirTable? What other key functions are you trying to build out over here?

Using AirTable as a CRM - The Advanced Basics

In this video I will show you how I have replicated some common features of a CRM including tags, notes, and recency of contact.