Donor management software: the basics
Donor management software is a type of program or app that assists nonprofits to be as efficient as possible when raising money. As a nonprofit, this technology is vital not only for general organization and efficient donation processing but also for taking advantage of data you have about your donors to make better decisions for future planning.
When looking for donor management software for your organization, you should consider the size of the company or organization the software can handle, the expense of the software, and the ease of use. These practical stipulations are basic in selecting the best software for your unique organization.
Next, choosing software should depend on the needs of your organization. Whether that’s categorizing and analyzing your donors or simply processing and recording donations, different software will offer different strengths and weaknesses.
Considerations for a donor management software’s basic functions:
- Usability & support: Is it easy to learn how to use or is there ample support (whether customer service/tech support or learning tutorials) for employees to learn and use the software?
- Integration: Does the software work or integrate with your organization’s other technology or software systems?
- Aesthetics: Is the user interface pleasant and easy to comprehend?
- Cost: Does the software offer enough features to make it worth the cost?
Donor management software key features
- Data collection
A good donor management software for nonprofits should track all donors and volunteers, organized by different events or campaigns in addition to the number of dollars, gifts or time contributed. It will also record and report on events and campaigns—how well they did, in donations and engagement with donors, and who has donated. All this data should be easy to understand and use for different goals your organization may have.
- Donation and donor processing
A proper donor management software for nonprofit organizations should also streamline donor processing, automate the information, and provide secure transactions for donors. Receipts, statements, personalized communication are all key features.. Having an online donation portal, including a way to set up recurring donations, is another way to help donors (and your organization) be consistent and continue to donate.
- Project management & marketing
If included in the software’s package, these features help your employees plan and execute campaigns all in the same place, from staying on your timeline and budget down to sending out marketing emails to donors.
Top 5 donor management software
Chosen for their user rating and offered features, these five donor/donation managements are among the best available for nonprofits. Every software listed includes donation tracking, donor management, event management, mobile giving, online giving, pledge management, and recurring giving.
Known for helping to grow nonprofits, DonorPerfect’s strengths are ease-of-use, categorizing donors, and communication with donors. However, it does offer less in the way of data and reporting than other software systems.
While Bloomerang helps nonprofits with donor retention, its greatest strengths are the aesthetic/user interface and customer support. Bloomerang offers less in customizing data reports.
Kindful is known for helping nonprofits with donor relations. Its strengths are managing donors, communication tools, and good customer support. Kindful is not as easy to use as other software systems for nonprofits and is more expensive than others.
4. Network for Good
Network for Good is an all-in-one software that is helpful for even small nonprofits, offering simple ways to donate and build donor relations. Network for Good boasts a no-frills, all-efficiency system. A few reviews online suggest that donors do not find it as user-friendly as other systems.
5. Salsa Labs
Salsa Labs offers a variety of unique features and is known for its event management assistance to help nonprofits. Its biggest strengths include its range of features, customer support, and ease of use. Two cons to Salsa Labs include specific issues users have had with email marketing setup and keeping track of contacts in the system.
For churches or other religious organizations, the top donor management apps available include easyTithe, Tithe.ly, Servant Keeper, ChurchTrac, Faithlife Giving, and One Church. Using a software system designed specifically for churches and religious organizations can be beneficial as your goals as a church are already closely aligned within the features and apps provided.
Which is best?
While we have listed the “top five” donor management software for nonprofits, selecting the right software depends on your unique needs as an organization and even includes your personal preference in terms of how you want to manage your donors and donations. For example, you might favor an easy-to-use system or one that works on mobile devices over other features. The size of your organization, donor growth goals, or outgrowing your current management package – these will all impact your decision on selecting the best donor management software.
There is also the consideration of basic vs. all-in-one. Perhaps you want a baseline software that strictly manages donor management, or you might be looking for an all-in-one software that handles project management and marketing as well. Our list of top-rated donor management software systems can be a good starting point for your research.
Our team is positioned to advise you as to what will work best for your diverse needs. , While this article has laid out key insights on considering and choosing an online tool, our firm has experience in a number of cloud-based technologies and the benefits they can bring to your organization.
And if this article made you also realize your organization needs more assistance than software to manage donors and donations, Temple Management is here for you! We have accounting services available to help make sense of all your financial questions. Call us at (770) 892-2087 for a consultation about how we can get your nonprofit on track!