If you work in a nonprofit and know you need software but don’t have the time to do the research, then look no further. Our Top 7 guide gives you the research digested and presented in the simplest way possible.
We have pulled out the best softwares for fundraising, membership management, volunteer management, organizing, advocacy, peer-to-peer and offline engagement. Accepting that no one nonprofit software can do everything within your budget we will get you to the right software for you. Whether you are looking for beautiful digital campaigns or looking to build relationships face-to-face the following list will tell you what you need to get the job done.
One of the biggest nonprofit software providers and from the people who bring you NGPVan. It does pretty much everything from reporting, donor management, email marketing, social matching, grants management, texting, virtual meetings, events and supporter management.
What we think? It is big enterprise software so expect a heavy price tag and the need for specialized job roles or consultants to manage the software. Highly rated by progressives in the US but may not be available to conservative organizations and outside of the US would not have access to the same comprehensive database that would be available there.
Verdict If you are a large organization that wants everything in one platform this is a good first option.
Ecanvasser is a community software designed for nonprofits to manage their members and engage their communities. Ecanvasser is a platform for organizing, mobilizing and campaigning in the real world. If you are tired of your community and supporters being faceless names in your database and you want to start building real relationships in your community then Ecanvasser is the only solution. It is the real-world organizing platform as opposed to the digital organizing tools that many nonprofits use to reach people online.
Functionality includes supporter auto-mapping, mobile apps for peer-to-peer fundraising, field tools and CRM mapping, supporter activity tracking and reporting.
What we think? We are biased but we see Ecanvasser as the real-world organizing platform for nonprofits that want to build on the real-world activities that are taking place in their communities. Events, personal relationships and so much more can be leveraged to create a strong organization. Prices start from $99 per month.
Verdict Great for nonprofits who want to organize their supporters in the real world and manage campaigning with mobile apps for supporters.
NationBuilder is one of the largest nonprofit softwares internationally and in North America. It is comprised of readymade website templates, a fully-integrated supporter database, petitioning, streamlined fundraising and donor management, and advanced email and texting. It is a great system for managing supporter databases and reaching wider communities.
It is used across partisan lines and, like many of the larger software systems, requires a specific skillset internally to manage its implementation. It also has a network of consultancies worldwide that service NationBuilder customers providing the technical know how to implement it.
What we think? NationBuilder is integrated with many other softwares to allow organizations to do anything they want including text, events, field and payment processing. If you want a website connected to your people operations and database this is a very strong offering but you will need technical expertise to manage this platform effectively. Pricing starts at $29 per month but increases quickly depending on usage and scale.
Verdict If you want to run a very detailed supporter management system with integrated websites and donations then NationBuilder is a good fit once you have the budget.
Salesforce Nonprofit is one of the world’s most used nonprofit softwares because it is so inexpensive to get started with and it has a huge array of functionality addressing:
- Communications and Engagement
- Powerful CRM
What we think? If you want an inexpensive CRM system and some basic training Salesforce Nonprofit is a great choice. However, once you need to customize it to your specific needs it can get expensive very quickly as you will need to bring in tech expertise to implement. Also, you will find that Salesforce is fine for digital communications but tracking anything in the real world will be very difficult without additional integrations to the software.
Verdict Use Salesforce Nonprofit if you are starting out with a CRM and want to simply send email and manage your database of contacts.
Salsa Labs is a leading provider of CRM, marketing automation, fundraising, and advocacy software for the nonprofit community.
Salsa CRM, part of Salsa's SmartEngagement Technology, delivers strong constituent management functionality, rich donor profiles, sophisticated campaign dashboards and more. Salsa CRM is used to track online and offline donations, manage direct mail campaigns, and identify potential major donors. Used with Salsa Engage, organizations have access to a complete marketing automation, fundraising, and advocacy platform.
What we think? This is a big software again with lots of functionality to manage donors and do marketing automation. It can be confusing to use in terms of terminology and legacy elements to the product. The two products of CRM and Engage seems an unnecessary separation and most nonprofits would need both elements.
Verdict Great customer service and a very robust fundraising-first nonprofit software but can be expensive.
Neon CRM is a cloud-based donor database designed to build and support lasting relationships. Neon CRM streamlines and automates manual efforts, allowing you to focus on your organization’s impact. Built-in event & volunteer management, online store capabilities, donor communication, one-click reports, automated receipts — with Neon CRM, you get all-in-one and then some.
What we think? Neon offers a clean interface to manage fundraising, website and forms, plus volunteers and team members. It is simple but slightly outdated customer facing elements and is set up for the US market only.
Verdict Use if you want to run straightforward forms, fundraising and volunteer management. If you want a very modern campaign then maybe best to look at alternatives.
Blackbaud CRM is a cloud fundraising and relationship management solution built on Microsoft Azure specifically for enterprise-level fundraising and marketing needs. Its advanced technology will streamline your data and reporting processes increasing operational efficiency and provide insight to every stage of the constituent lifecycle, helping you attract new supporters, engage them with the right communications according to their unique preferences, and grow their impact on your mission.
What we think? This is a market-leading enterprise software for managing donor relationships and fundraising.
Verdict Only if you are a very large nonprofit looking to change CRM and software systems.