4 Examples of Effective Nonprofit Storytelling

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According to marketing experts, messages communicated using stories are 22 times more memorable than just facts, so becoming great at storytelling is important for any nonprofit!

Nonprofit Storytelling Examples

1. Season of Sharing Video Story

Video is one of the most effective tools for storytelling. With the right story angle, videos can evoke emotion, which often leads to viewers taking action. One great example is Season of Sharing. The organization offers grants to help individuals and families in crisis so they can pay for housing and other essential needs. One year, Season of Sharing produced a video that featured a woman telling her personal story of becoming homeless. The power of video comes through loud and clear here.

2.Mercy Ships Canada Web Story

Sharing personal stories is not easy, especially for those involved but Mercy Ships Canada does a wonderful job outlining the lives of those they serve. There is a section on the organization’s website dedicated to personal, heart-grabbing, real-life stories. An example is the story of Mercy who ironically shares the organization’s name. The woman from Guinea needed critical surgery for a tumour growing on her face and Mercy Ships shared a story about how they helped her get the surgery.

Mercy Ships Canada Nonprofit Storytelling

3. Generosity.org Social Story

Generosity.org helps people establish clean water in developing countries. They demonstrated with the tweet above that you don’t have to wait until a project is over, you can share stories while efforts to improve lives are still underway. This image shows potential supporters that Generosity.org is doing what they say they would do; work with locals to improve essential needs. Telling this specific story through social media allows an audience to make the connection between funding an important project and getting results from those funds.

4. Charity: Water Newsletter Story

Telling stories through your nonprofit’s newsletter can be effective when done right. Charity: Water is another non-profit that brings safe drinking water to developed countries. Their emailed newsletter tells stories about lives that have changed. Above you can see how simple, yet moving the copy is. It gives people the option of clicking and reading more, but the short explanation is powerful on its own.
Nonprofit storytelling charity: water

Takeaways

With just a bite of creativity and thought, your nonprofit can use storytelling to boost marketing efforts and develop great connections with supporters. By using various communications channels, including your own website, social media platforms, newsletters, eblasts, and video, you can prompt readers to take action.

About the Author: Sumac is part of the Silent Partner Software family, a company dedicated to providing exceptional software and services to nonprofits. With over 25 years of service, Silent Partner has helped organizations manage over 3 million donors and contacts across the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. Learn more.

 

 

Looking for a single CRM to manage your entire nonprofit?
Check out SUMAC:


 

How Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaigns Can Evolve

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Starting a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign is a big undertaking but not reaching your goals instantly doesn’t necessarily mean that your efforts were all for nothing. There are organizations that have demonstrated sticking with it and helping a campaign evolve is worth it.

cycle-for-survival-peer-to-peer-fundraising-campaign

A Small Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Campaign That Exploded

Back in 2004, New York State resident Jennifer Goodman Linn was diagnosed with a soft-tissue cancer called sarcoma. In 2007, she founded Cycle for Survival along with the gym she attended in order to raise money for the fight against rare cancers.

The grass-roots indoor cycling event involved mostly close friends and family- about 200 people. That first year certainly didn’t break any records. By year two of Cycle for Survival, Memorial Sloan Kettering took over the campaign and made Jennifer Goodman Linn’s gym, Equinox, the official founding partner.

Goodman Linn lost her battle with cancer in 2011 but her husband continued to support the peer-to-peer campaign by sharing his wife’s story. At the same time, Memorial Sloan Kettering got to work on marketing the cause. The little peer-to-peer campaign evolved into a national phenomenon.

In a news release dated February 7, 2019 Cycle for Survival announced that they had made history by raising just over 200 million dollars since being founded. More than 700,000 people in 50 states have taken part in the Cycle for Survival peer-to-peer initiative.

What Made Their Campaign So Successful?

In a 2018 online forum, officials from Memorial Sloan Kettering stated that the growth of Cycle for Survival is due to a combination of determined and passionate participants, a strong partnership with Equinox, and dedicated doctors at the cancer hospital. Meanwhile, fundraising experts say that Memorial Sloan Kettering has done an excellent job of building a brand and making participants and supporters feel like they really are making a difference in people’s lives.

evolving-peer-to-peer-fundraising-campaigns

Just as campaigns can evolve, ideas can evolve and thus serve as great peer-to-peer fundraising campaign concepts.

One example of this is walking and cycling for a cause. Instead of thinking about something similar, it can pay off to think of something that is the total opposite of what has been done in the past. Children’s Miracle Network HospitalsExtra Life program began with the evolution of the activity fundraiser. Instead of holding a peer-to-peer that required participants to be physically active, they decided to focus on something that called for inactivity – video gaming. This allowed the hospital to reach a normally elusive audience of supporters (millennial males).

Other Ways That Peer-To-Peer Fundraising Campaigns Can Evolve

evolving-peer-to-peer-fundraising-campaigns

Let’s say for instance that your organization has held a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign for several years and it centres around a run/walk. Rather than give up on peer-to-peer because participant numbers went down this year. Why not allow your initiative to evolve into an independent-style fundraising effort.

Also referred to as DIY fundraising, Panda Nation sets a good example. It is the World Wildlife Funds peer-to-peer campaign that allows participants to choose how they raise funds. The idea is to allow people to raise money to make a difference for wildlife in a way that is interesting, fun, and meaningful to them.

People can craft their personal fundraising page in one of a number of categories, including athletic event, community event, or honour/memorial. Offering choice can be motivating and is an approach that has been working for WWF since 2014.

Golf tournaments have always been a popular way to raise funds for organizations of all sizes. The traditional golf tourney turned into a peer-to-peer fundraiser but how about coming up with a way to keep it alive with a twist?

If your peer-to-peer golf fundraiser isn’t bringing in the funds it once did, you could make it all about mulligans. Yes, mulligans. You could sell mulligans to players who are participating in the event. A mulligan is a second chance at a golf shot. In most games, golfers are allowed one mulligan per nine holes. However, many would love to have more. These mulligans can be sold before and during the tournament.

Takeaway

These are a few examples of how peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns can evolve and there are many other examples that can inspire you to keep pushing forward with your fundraising efforts. The point is that a campaign doesn’t necessarily have to wear out if you are creative and open to tweaking your approach.

 

About the Author: Sumac is part of the Silent Partner Software family, a company dedicated to providing exceptional software and services to nonprofits. With over 25 years of experience, Sumac has built a CRM to manage your entire nonprofit, no matter what kind of work you do. Learn more.

Looking for a single CRM to manage your entire nonprofit?
Check out SUMAC:


 

50+ Donor Management Software Solutions for Nonprofits

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Finding the right donor management software for your nonprofit can be challenging, especially when there are so many options to choose from. We’ve put together a list of 50+ donor management software for nonprofits with brief descriptions of their features so you don’t have to!

1. Sumac

Company NameSumac
Logosumac-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality Highlights Donor Management, Basic CRM, Fundraising, Volunteer Management, Membership Management, Payment Processing, e-mail Marketing, Case Management, Website Management, Website Integration, Analytics, MailChimp Integration, QuickBooks Integration, Constant Contact Integration.
Training AvailableFree online training. In-person training available on a fee-basis. Sumac is well-known for our ease of use and excellent customer service.
Support Available Online knowledge-base, e-mail and web support for free Bronze tier. Phone and email support available for Silver paid tier and above
Pricing Model for NonprofitsFree for up to 500 contacts and one user, or unlimited users with Sumac Cloud. Subscription pricing for over 1,000 contacts starts at $45 per month. Pay for the functionality you need; most subscription tiers offer unlimited user access.
Technical consulting available? Customization consulting available, generally self-manageable without coding. Sumac also has consulting partners.

2. Wild Apricot

Company NameWild Apricot
Logowild-apricot-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality Highlights Donor Management, Contact Management, Fundraising, Volunteer Management, Membership Management, Payment Processing, e-mail Marketing, Case Management, Website Builder/Management, Analytics
Training AvailableOnline Webinar training publicly or for customer teams.
Support Available Email and online knowledgebase support for all, phone support for personal and above.
Pricing Model for NonprofitsFree for up to 50 contacts, starts at US $40 per month for 100 contacts and above.
Technical consulting available? Wild Apricot has global consulting business partners, mainly for website design and development.

3. Abila

Company NameAbila
Logoaliba-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality Highlights Accounting, Association Management, CRM, Fundraising, Web Hosting, Learning Management, Analytics
Training AvailableClassroom-based training, webinar training,
Support Available Online knowledgebase, phone support
Pricing Model for NonprofitsAbila does not publish their pricing online. You need to contact them for a custom subscription price quote.
Technical consulting available? Abila offers implementation and configuration services, classroom-based training, online training, customization services, and business alignment consulting services. They also have a partner channel for technical services.

4. Memberize

Company NameMemberize
Logomemberize-nonprofit-donor-management-software
nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry? Association
Functionality Highlights Event Management, Member Management, Event Calendar, Website Hosting, e-commerce, Website Content Modules
Training Online webinar training for customer teams.
Support E-mail support
Pricing Model for NonprofitsActivation fees start at $150, monthly hosting fees start at $50 per month.
Technical consulting available? Consulting services are available from Memberize.

5. Sage

Company NameSage
Logosage-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Sales, Marketing, Analytics, Customer Service. Can be configured for volunteers and donation management, but not available out of the box. Sage also offers accounting and HR functionality.
Training Recorded video training, partner-delivered training.
Support Online knowledgebase, documentation, community, e-mail support, web support
Pricing Model for NonprofitsSage CRM pricing is not available on their website. Contact Sage for pricing, or to discuss your eligibility for their subscription donation program.
Technical consulting available? Consulting is available through the Sage business partner community.

6. Salesforce

Company NameSalesforce
Logosalesforce-nonprofit-donor-management-software
nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry software, special program for nonprofits
Functionality Highlights Salesforce’s CRM platform is configurable and customizable for donor management, analytics, volunteer management, fundraising, marketing, community engagement, and event management. K-12 and Higher Education and Corporate Philanthropy service editions are available.
Training Online training (Trailhead) available.
Support Online knowledgebase, email support, phone support.
Pricing Model for Nonprofits10 user subscriptions free, US$36 per additional user subscription per month
Technical consulting available? Yes, directly from Salesforce.org and through their partners.

7. SignMeUp

Company NameSignMeUp
Logosign-me-up-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit, association
Functionality Highlights Event registration, donation collection management, membership management
Training Video training
Support E-mail Support, FAQs
Pricing Model for NonprofitsService Fee is 6.75% + $1.25 (minimum $3.25 per registration). Organizations can either have registrant pay the service charge, or have the fee taken out of proceeds of transaction.
Technical consulting available? No

8. Solve360

Company NameSolve360
Logosolve-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry?Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Service management, CRM, G Suite integration, project management. Integration with accounting apps like Xero, Freshbooks and Quickbooks.
Training Video training
Support Online self-service ticketing, knowledgebase.
Pricing Model for NonprofitsSubscription pricing starts at $25
Technical consulting available? Partner consulting available.

9. AddressTwo

Company NameAddressTwo
Logoaddress-two-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association, or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights CRM, Lead Generation, email and Direct Mail Marketing, Analytics
Training Video tutorials, individual team based training
Support Online knowledgebase, support plans available
Pricing Model for NonprofitsStarts at $14.95 per user per month
Technical consulting available? Yes

10. WebCRM

Company NameWebCRM
Logoweb-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Sales, constituent/customer service, marketing, analytics, lead generation. Accounting software integration.
Training AvailableOnline (from the UK), recorded video and product guides.
Support Available Online support knowledgebase, online ticketing.
Pricing Model for NonprofitsStarts at 42 GBP per month for 2 users with 5 GB of cloud data storage.
Technical consulting available? Yes

11. Zoho CRM

Company NameZoho CRM
Logozoho-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights CRM, Marketing, Analytics, Surveys, Add-Ons for Volunteer Portal, Event Management, Donor Management
Training AvailableVideo webinars, onsite classroom training available.
Support Available FAQs, Knowledgebase for Developers, ebooks, technical documentation, user community, online ticketing
Pricing Model for NonprofitsFree for Entrepreneur version for up to three users, or plans start at US $10 per user per month for Standard edition with 5 add-ons included.
Technical consulting available? Technical consulting is delivered through Zoho certified partners.

12. TimeLog

Company NameTimeLog
Logotime-log-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Time-Tracking, Project Management, CRM, Invoicing, Analytics, Resource Planning
Training AvailableOnline webinar training, live events
Support Available Online knowledgebase, phone, email and live chat support
PricingStarts at €5 for project management or €8 for project and customer/constituent management.
Technical consulting available? Timelog offers premium consulting services, and they have a partner community for services as well.

13. Insightly

Company NameInsightly
Logoinsightly-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Marketing, CRM, email integration, integration many software as a service apps including Quickbooks and Xero. Can be configured for Volunteer and Donor Management, but not available “out of the box”.
Training AvailableRecorded tutorial videos, live webinar training
Support Available Online knowledgebase, self-service support ticketing, success managers.
Pricing Pricing starts at US $29 per user/per month
Technical consulting available? Premium support plans start at $1,500 from Insightly, and they have a partner community for additional services.

14. CiviCRM

Company NameCiviCRM
Logocivicrm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits and associations
Functionality Highlights Contact Management, Membership Management, Case Management, Donation Management, Event Management, Email Marketing, Fundraising, Analytics, CMS integration with WordPress, Drupal, Backdrop and Joomla
Training AvailableCiviCRM is an open-source, self-hosted application. Training is primarily available through sponsors, partners, and contributors. Some partners offer hosting or CiviCRM as a SaaS model.
Support Available Support is available through the community of consultants, partners and other supporters. Documentation
Pricing Model for NonprofitsThere are no licensing or subscription fees, as CiviCRM is an open source service.
Technical consulting available? Yes, through CiviCRM partners and consultants.

15. Basecamp

Company NameBasecamp
Logobasecamp-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Project Management, collaboration, group chat, scheduling, file sharing.
Training AvailableVideo tutorials, user guides
Support Available Online tickets for questions beyond video tutorials and guides.
Pricing Model for NonprofitsAbout US $90 per month per instance after 10% discount off retail pricing. Includes 500 GB storage space, unlimited internal and external users.
Technical consulting available? Basecamp generally doesn’t require consulting services as it is very easy to use with help from the videos and other support provided.

16. Blackbaud

Company NameBlackbaud
Logoblackbaud-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Blackbaud has solutions for several industries, including education, healthcare organizations and nonprofits.
Functionality Highlights Payment and donation processing services, Financial Management, Grant Management, Program Management, Fundraising and Relationship Management, Marketing and Analytics.
Training AvailableOnline webinar training, webinar training and in-person training is available in public classrooms.
Support Available Online support portal with guides, knowledgebase, self-service ticketing and other documentation is available.
Pricing ModelBlackbaud does not offer pricing information, please contact their representatives for an estimate.
Technical consulting available? Blackbaud offers technical, implementation, digital marketing and managed services.

17. Snowball Fundraising

Company NameSnowball Fundraising
Logosnowball-fundraising-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality Highlights Event Management, Campaign Management, Fundraising, Ticketing, Website Donation Pages, CRM, Online payment processing, Text-to-Donate
Training AvailableYes, new account coaching is available.
Support Available Bilingual US based support (English and Spanish)
Pricing ModelNo subscription charge for CRM and one donation page. 2.9% and 30 cents per transaction for donations or event related payments.

Starts at $549 per month and 2.2% and 30 cents per donation and transaction for unlimited donation pages, text-to-give, campaigns and ticketing.

Technical consulting available? Yes, consulting services are available for customization and integration, but generally customers get up and running by themselves.

18. AmoCRM

Company NameAmoCRM
Logoamocrm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality Highlights Lead Capture, email integration, sales force automation, , targeted at businesses or organizations who use messaging apps on their website and on social media apps like Facebook and WhatsApp.
Training AvailableYes, primarily through business partners. Please note that AmoCRM is based in Russia, though they have a San Francisco office, 100,000 users and 10,000 partners worldwide.
Support Available Email Support, Knowledgebase, Partner Support.
Pricing ModelStarts at $15 per user, per month, paid on an annual basis. Pricing tiers primarily depend on user volume, storage space requirements, and integration needs.
Technical consulting available? Integration consulting is primarily available through partners, but they have many pre-built integration plugins live messaging services.

19. Kindful

Company NameKindful
Logokindful-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality Highlights Fundraising, donation pages, crowdfunding, registration forms, donor management, task management, email templates, activity tracking and reporting.
Training AvailableVideo tutorials and weekly webinars for live Q and A
Support Available Knowledge base, Kindful University webinars, phone and email support and ebook guides.
Pricing ModelPricing starts at $100 per month for 1,000 contacts. Kindful doesn’t charge extra for integration, transaction fees (beyond what Stripe, PayPal or Authorize.net charges).
Technical consulting available? Startup consulting services start at $199 for onboarding, training and customization.

20. DonorPerfect

Company NameDonorPerfect
Logodonor-perfect-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality Highlights Fundraising, donor relationship management, online forms, donation processing, donor engagement, event management, membership management, QuickBooks integration.
Training AvailableOnboarding webinars, in-class training, one-to-one personal training.
Support Available Support plans are available for online chat support, phone and email, or premium “Concierge support” if 24/7 support and a dedicated support team are required.
Pricing ModelPricing starts at $89 per month for 1,000 constituent records, additional record bundles can be purchased. Higher pricing tiers are for significantly more constituent records, integration and automated workflows.
Technical consulting available? DonorPerfect offers a number of consultation, advisory and health check services for new, growing, and mature implementations of their service. DonorPerfect also has a number of partners for add-ons, and consulting services.

21. Splash Nonprofit

Company NameSplash Nonprofit (by SplashDev)
Logosplashdev-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM, a cross-industry customizable platform.
Functionality Highlights Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an integrated solution including finance, operations, and CRM functionality. The SplashNonProfit solution provides donor and donation management functionality.
Training AvailableMicrosoft and their partners offer Dynamics 365 training. SplashDev says they are only releasing their solution to a “limited set of organizations which meet criteria which are in line with their company culture.”
Support Available Phone and email support.
Pricing ModelSome charities can qualify for deep discounts on Microsoft Dynamics 365 or Dynamics 365 CRM licenses. For SplashNonProfit costs, contact the vendor through their website
Technical consulting available? Yes, consulting is required for this custom solution.

22. Keela

Company NameKeela CRM
Logokeela-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits and Association
Functionality HighlightsDonor Management, memberships, volunteer management, donor communication, fundraising campaign management, website donor forms, email integration, Quickbooks integration, donation processing via Stripe and PayPal.
TrainingThe Keela Academy offers recorded training sessions.
Support Online ticket-based web support.
Pricing ModelStarts at $99 per month for up to 1000 contacts, or $74 per month if paid on a yearly basis.
Is technical consulting available?Keela has a Customer Success Management program to help with the onboarding process, contact Keela for details.

23. Causemo

Company NameCausemo
Logocausemo-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits and associations
Functionality HighlightsFundraising analytics, donor profiling, donor market intelligence, and sector benchmarking.
TrainingThere aren’t any training programs described on the Causemo.com website. Contact Causemo for details.
Support Online knowledge base and email support.
Pricing ModelStarts at $599 per user per month.
Is technical consulting available?There aren’t any consulting or onboarding programs described on the Causemo website, contact them for details.

24. Agilon

Company NameAgilon (One Donor CRM)
Logoagilon-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit, Higher Education, Associations
Business or Nonprofit FunctionsDonor CRM, Event Management, Fundraising Campaign Management, Membership Management, Donor Communications, Business Intelligence, AI for business process automation.
TrainingOnline recorded training, downloadable guides.
Support Online knowledge base, phone and email support.
Pricing ModelStarts at US $15,000 per year
Is technical consulting available?Yes. Both directly and through business partners.

25. Neon CRM

Company NameNeon CRM
Logoneon-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Business or Nonprofit FunctionsAccount and Donor Management, Grant Management, Volunteer Management, Online Forms, email marketing, secure constituent portal, QuickBooks integration, Online store, credit card and check processing.
TrainingRecorded training, scheduled custom training, scheduled webinars
Support Support is provided via email, phone, and live chat.
Pricing ModelStart at $49 per month for up to 500 contacts, doesn’t include payment processing costs.
Is technical consulting available?Yes, both directly from NeonCRM and through their consulting partners.

26. iMISCloud

Company NameiMISCloud by ASI
Logoimis-cloud-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits and associations.
FeaturesMembership management, contact management, engagement scoring, online store, online certification, advertising sales, online forms, payment processing, website management, process management, analytics.
TrainingRecorded video training and live webinar training.
Support Online documentation, articles, video tutorials, phone and web support for an additional service fee. iMIS was a desktop application and they have created a Software as a Service version which customers migrate to.
Pricing ModelContact ASI (Advanced Solutions International) for pricing information.
Is technical consulting available?Yes.

27. Tithe.ly

Company NameTithe.ly
Logotithe-ly-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Non-Profit for churches and ministries.
FeaturesChurch management, donation management, event management,
TrainingRecorded videos and launch kit.
Support Online knowledge base, email support, phone support.
Pricing ModelTransactional fees for collection of donations. Other plans for event and church management starts at US$50 plus $149 set up fee.
Is technical consulting available?Tithe.ly partners are the primary consulting resource for implementation of their church and event management applications.

28. Free Agent CRM

Company NameFree Agent CRM
Logofree-agent-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry, sales and business development focused.
FeaturesSales force automation, account management, opportunity management, email integration, analytics, Twilio integration for outbound call capture. AI for business process automation, sales performance tracking.
TrainingRecorded videos, onboarding guides
Support Knowledge base, phone and email support.
Pricing ModelStarts at $25 per user, per month, paid annually.
Is technical consulting available?Unclear. Contact Free Agent CRM to confirm.

29. Virtuous

Company NameVirtuous
Logovirtuous-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsDonation management, payment processing, volunteer management, event management, data import, fundraising, reporting and analytics, project/funds management, grant management, fundraising marketing automation, API for integration with apps like Mailchimp, Eventbrite, and WordPress.
TrainingLive and recorded webinars, live onboarding training.
Support Knowledge base, ticket-based support, phone calls from customer success team if required.
Pricing ModelStarts at $195 per month for up to 1,000 contacts and 5 users. Pro plan supports unlimited users and 5,000 contacts for $495 per month. Annual billing is default, monthly billing can be arranged.
Is technical consulting available?Yes, they provide consulting for data formatting, custom reports and integration with other cloud-based apps.

30. TNT Connect

Company NameTNT Connect by TntWare
Logotnt-ware-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit church ministries and missionary groups.
Functionality HighlightsTntConnect, when combined with other TNTWare products, DonorHub and DonorWise, the combined services manage church ministry partners, donors, members and donations. DonorHub is a cloud-based application, while the others are desktop apps. DonorHub is a connector between accounting/donation management applications like QuickBooks and other apps in this comparison guide, and ministry fundraising tools like Tntconnect.
TrainingContact Tntconnect to confirm.
Support Support for Tntconnect and DonorWise is offered via online forums, email support is available for DonorHub
Pricing ModelTntConnect and DonorWise are free, DonorHub starts at US$65 per month.
Is technical consulting available?Contact Tntconnect to confirm.

31. ResultsPlus

Company NameResultsPlus by Pearson
Logoresults-plus-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits, schools and students.
Functionality HighlightsPerformance tool for EdExcel and BTEC (Business and Technology Education Council) external exams in the UK. Helps to demonstrate the grade level students and school groups are performing at.
TrainingThere is live scheduled online training available.
Support There are several online guides, practice tests and other resources available.
Pricing ModelThere is no charge for this service from Pearson.
Is technical consulting available?No, since the service is more consumable content than an app for running your business.

32. GoKarma

Company NameGoKarma by Eternus Solutions
Logogokarma-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits, associations, and NGOs
Functionality HighlightsEvent, fundraising, campaign, beneficiary, donor, donation, and volunteer management. Social media insights, analytics, payment gateway integration.

GoKarma is another nonprofit CRM solution built on top of Dynamics CRM or 365. Enternus Solutions is based in India.

TrainingMicrosoft offers Dynamics 365 Online training through their online Academy. In person, live online training, documentation and regular webinars are available.
Support Online and phone support are available.
Pricing ModelThe GoKarma service is US $60 per user, billed annually with a 5-user minimum. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is available to qualifying charities at a discounted price.
Is technical consulting available?Yes.

33. Chariteer

Company NameChariteer
Logochariteer-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsManagement for donors, fundraising, communications, and projects. Chariteer is based in the UK.
TrainingTraining is available via regular webinars or onsite.
Support Business hours online ticketing and phone support.
Pricing ModelChariteer Lite, the entry level service is £129 per month.
Is technical consulting available?Contact Chariteer to confirm.

34. Funraise

Company NameFunraise
Logofunraise-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit and association
Functionality HighlightsFundraising web pages, donation forms, text engagement with donors, recurring donation management, donor CRM, membership management, fundraising campaign management, payment processing, pledge management, integration with Quickbooks, Salesforce.com, Shopify, and many payment service providers.
TrainingScheduled webinar training and online training.
Support Online ticketing-based support.
Pricing ModelStarts at US $349 per month, or Funraise can provide customized feature and volume pricing.
Is technical consulting available?Yes

35. StratusLive

Company NameStratusLive
Logostratus-live-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit or Cross-IndustryNonprofits and NGOs
Functionality HighlightsEvent, fundraising, campaign, beneficiary, donor, donation, grants and volunteer management. Social media insights, analytics, financial processing integration.

StratusLive nonprofit CRM solution built on top of Dynamics CRM or 365. StratusLive is based in the United States.

TrainingMicrosoft offers Dynamics 365 Online training through their online Academy. In person, live online training, documentation and regular webinars are available.
Support Online and phone support are available.
Pricing ModelMicrosoft Dynamics 365 is available to qualifying charities at a discounted price. Please contact StratusLive CRM for solution pricing.
Is technical consulting available?Yes.

36. Bitrix24

Company NameBitrix24
Logobitrix-24-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Cross-Industry
Functionality HighlightsCRM, Calendar, Contact Management, Social Intranet, Landing Pages, Online sales, group chat, contact center, analytics, integration with Quickbooks and Mailchimp.
TrainingRecorded online training and guides.
Support Knowledge base, videos,
Pricing ModelStarts at free for basic CRM for 12 users, then scales based on features, storage, and user needs.
Is technical consulting available?Through Bitrix 24 partners.

37. AidHound

Company NameAidHound
Logoaid-hound-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit “Social Economy” application in the cloud, based in Europe.
Functionality HighlightsData visualization, collection, case management, machine learning, analytics, volunteer management, route management.
TrainingContact AidHound by registering for a free trial.
Support Contact AidHound by registering for a free trial.
Pricing ModelContact AidHound by registering for a free trial.
Is technical consulting available?Contact AidHound by registering for a free trial.

38. Mission CRM

Company NameMission CRM
Logomission-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Non-profit (Microsoft Dynamics 365-based solution, based in Canada)
Functionality HighlightsConstituent management, donation management, fundraising, analytics
TrainingYes. Microsoft’s Virtual Academy provides Dynamics 365 training and Mission CRM provides training on their solution too.
Support Yes
Pricing Model$60 per user, per month, plus discounted Microsoft Dynamics 365 licensing through TechSoup or Microsoft Philanthropy, and Click Dimensions for email marketing.
Is technical consulting available?Yes.

39. Bantu Workspace

Company NameBantu Workspace
Logobantu-workspace-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits, associations, schools.

(Available in countries in the Asia Pacific region only)

Functionality HighlightsEvent management, volunteer management, project management, file management, targeted SMS and email messaging.
TrainingRecorded videos, webinars.
Support Self-service knowledge base, live agent support, email support.
Pricing ModelStarts at $98 Singapore dollars per month when paying annually. Additional fees for over 400 emails per month, or over 20 hosted projects.
Is technical consulting available?Contact Bantu for details.

40. Method.Donor

Company NameMethod.Donor
Logomethod-crm-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Non-profit version of a cross-industry SaaS CRM application. Requires Quickbooks.
Functionality HighlightsDonor management, custom fields, workflows, fundraising email campaigns, integrations with Outlook, Gmail and more apps.
TrainingRecorded videos
Support Knowledge base, support tickets, live agent support.
Pricing Model$25 per month when paid for on an annual basis.
Is technical consulting available?Yes.

41. Salsa CRM

Company NameSalsa CRM
Logosalsa-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsDonor/constituent management, donation management, fundraising campaign management, dashboard analytics, moves management, social media management, peer to peer fundraising
TrainingWebinars, recorded videos, test assignments, live training.
Support Knowledge base, support tickets, live agent chats.
Pricing ModelContact Salsa Labs for details.
Is technical consulting available?Through Salsa partners only.

42. Trail Blazer Nonprofit Manager

Company NameTrail Blazer Nonprofit Manager
Logotrailblazer-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsFundraising campaign management, donor management, wealth screening, donor targeting and email campaigns, event seating/ticketing, document management, reporting
TrainingVideo tutorials, live classes, personal training
Support Knowledge base, phone support, app downloads
Pricing ModelStarts at US $50 per month for under 500 contacts, setup fees range between $295 and $495.
Is technical consulting available?Contact Trail Blazer for details.

43. MobileCause

Company NameMobileCause
Logomobile-cause-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsFundraising campaign management, donor reporting, online payments, volunteer management, donor management, activist management, donation landing pages, outbound SMS text marketing
TrainingOnline webinars, recorded videos
Support 24/7 live agent phone, web and ticket-based support. Self-service knowledge base.
Pricing ModelContact MobileCause for details.
Is technical consulting available?Yes, consulting on technology and nonprofit marketing/fundraising practices.

44. Bloomerang

Company NameBloomerang
Logobloomerang-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsCRM, Online payments, email marketing, engagement reporting, fundraising campaigns, social listening, analytics, CMS integrations
TrainingOnline video tutorials, live webinars
Support Knowledge base, support ticketing
Pricing ModelFree version for up to 250 records, paid versions with email marketing starts at $19 per month for up to 500 records
Is technical consulting available?Consulting is available through consulting partners.

45. Sustain Software

Company NameSustain Software
Logosustain-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsFundraising campaign management, donor management, donation processing, analytics, grant management, volunteer management
TrainingVideo tutorials, on-site training, webinar training,
Support Phone support, email support, data conversion
Pricing ModelContact Sustain Software for pricing.
Is technical consulting available?Partner consulting available.

46. Donorbox Software

Company NameDonorbox Software
Logodonorbox-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofit
Functionality HighlightsDonor management, donation forms and landing pages, integration with Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe, PayPal Express, bank payments, integration with Salesforce.com, CMS platforms including WordPress, SquareSpace and Joomla and Mailchimp
TrainingVideo Tutorials
Support Phone and email support
Pricing ModelTransaction percentage fees (before Stripe or PayPal fees) are 1.5% of donation. Free for under $1,000 per month in donations.
Is technical consulting available?No.

47. Aplos Accounting

Company NameAplos Accounting
Logoaplos-accounting-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits, associations, churches
Functionality HighlightsCRM, Donor Management, Fund accounting, fundraising tools, marketing and communication, online donation forms and payments, event registration, member portal, analytics.
TrainingLive/recorded tutorial videos and webinars.
Support Tutorial videos, support articles, phone support,
Pricing Model$55 per month with annual subscription, $59 per month paying monthly.
Is technical consulting available?Yes, through Aplos partners.

48. MemberLeap

Company NameMemberLeap
Logomember-leap-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Associations
Functionality HighlightsMember management, event management, email marketing, broadcast SMS texts, message boards, news article boards, website or use-your-own website integration.
TrainingLive/recorded tutorial videos and webinars.
Support Tutorial videos, support articles, phone support,
Pricing ModelStarts at US $50 per month, for up to 200 member records with entry level features.
Is technical consulting available?Yes.

49. ClubExpress

Company NameClubExpress
Logoclub-express-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Associations
Functionality HighlightsMember profile management, chapter management,
TrainingWebinar training and recorded tutorial videos.
Support Phone and email support.
Pricing ModelStarts at $24 per month
Is technical consulting available?Setup services are available.

50. Eleo Online

Company NameEleo Online
Logoeleo-nonprofit-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits
Functionality HighlightsDonor relationship management, donation payment processing, volunteer communications, event management, web forms. Integration with Quickbooks, Mailchimp, Constant Contact.
TrainingTraining video library, on-screen tool tips, onboarding sessions
Support Phone and email support
Pricing ModelUS $39 per month for up to 2,500 donor records
Is technical consulting available?Contact Eleo Online

51. Silent Partner DMS

Company NameSilent Partner Softwrae
Logosilent-partner-donor-management-software
Nonprofit, Association or Cross-Industry? Nonprofits
Functionality HighlightsRobust donor management, desktop and cloud portal, powerful graphical reporting tool, great for ministries and large nonprofits that process a lot of donations.
TrainingOnboarding sessions
Support Phone and email support
Pricing ModelContact them for a quote
Is technical consulting available?Contact Silent Partner Online

 

 

About the Author: Sumac is part of the Silent Partner Software family, a company dedicated to providing exceptional software and services to nonprofits. With over 25 years of experience, Sumac has built a CRM to manage your entire nonprofit, no matter what kind of work you do. Learn more.

Looking for a single CRM to manage your entire nonprofit?
Check out SUMAC:


 

Tried and True Nonprofit Marketing Tips To Grab Donor’s Attention

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Competition for donation dollars and donor attention is fierce. If you’re looking for inspiration to help your organization meet or exceed your Q1 fundraising goals, here are some tried and true nonprofit marketing tips to grab donor’s attention.

1. Nonprofit Storytelling and Emotional Appeal on Your Website Homepage

There are nearly 86 thousand charities in Canada, and 91% of them have ten or fewer full-time paid staff. That means a lot of outreach from competing causes like major television, magazine, and social media campaigns. How can you compete with the different environmental societies, hospitals, and international humanitarian groups that have a large budget to support their campaigns?

Well-timed stories that appeal to your donors hearts, minds, and budgets, can inspire them to want to be a part of accomplishing something meaningful.sick-children-nonprofit-marketing-tips

When it comes to storytelling, the best stories have a theme and characters donors can relate to. Nonprofits who present themselves, and their donors, as the heroes of their story have the best chance of success.

The Hospital for Sick Children’s VS campaign is an excellent example of the power of storytelling campaigns. The Sick Kids’ Hospital Foundation turns themselves and their patients into characters that donors can relate to and what to help.

It’s important to showcase how valuable donations are and the impact they have. There are many ways that organizations can do this on their website to entice feelings of empathy and gratitude.

Use a rotating carousel of stories as a banner on your website homepage or landing page. The website homepage/landing page is the first impression a website visitor gets when they visit your website. Rotating images with headlines like “learn about Charlie’s fight”, “how last years donations helped Ana finish Grade 10” or “how your holiday donation can help save the rainforest” are catchy and call on visitors to research more and hopefully donate too.

Implement donation shout outs. Recognition is one of the best ways to help tell stories. On your home page, consider a news feed sidebar or banner that highlights the effects of specific donations. For example, “Georgia from Tennessee just donated $20 which sends school supplies to 10 students in Burundi” – Recognition and marketing all in one!

Use pop-ups after 1 minute of exploring your website. Sometimes pop-ups can come off as annoying, but they do work to get your visitor’s attention. Whether it’s subtly on the side or floating over the center of the window, pop-ups are definitely a strategy worth testing.

2. Nurture Donor Relationships with Email Marketing

donation-button-tried-true-nonprofit-marketing-tips

Reduce clutter so that your donation button stands out. You want one call-to-action (learn more, donate) to stand out in your email. You can do this by creating contrast with color and using other words besides donate like “Save a koala now” or “Send a child school supplies now”. Always remember how powerful action words are.

Use powerful images that evoke emotion. Use images that show those who benefit from your cause to help encourage donors to give.

Track your open rates and other email metrics to improve them with every email blast. Understanding how much donors give throughout the year, and in previous years can help you better understand the sort of personalized campaign messaging to send their way in an email or in other communications. Donor Management Software can help your organization track your interactions throughout the year across email marketing campaigns, phone conversations, and in-person events.

3. Personalize Your Nonprofit Messaging by Making your Campaign Donor-Centric

Understanding your audience can help you identify the best channels for outreach, and a personalized appeal will make your messaging resonate better with potential donors. For example, when approaching a younger audience, you probably don’t want to ask for a large one-time donation, but rather smaller monthly donations. The Giving Report from CanadaHelps found that 35% of donors who made monthly donations continued to support a charity for between 3-5 years.

How to personalize your end-of year digital communication even more:suggested-donations-nonprofit-marketing-tips

  1. Ask for a specific amount, to minimize the amount of thinking a donor has to do ($5, $10, $20, $50, $100, custom).
  2. In all communications, including emails, websites, and social media, use conversational language. Conversational language, how you’d talk to a friend, always adds an extra touch to personalized communications that makes it more genuine.
  3. Appeal to last year’s end-of-year donors. Propose your donation as a tradition they stick to every year that bonds them with a cause, a reason for giving over the holidays.
  4. Keep your end-of-year message and call-to-actions short and sweet by linking to stories on your blog, videos and other content.

 

About the Author: Jenny Henry is the Director of Communication at Silent Partner Software. Her passion for helping nonprofits developed while working at Cygnus Applied Research with the mastermind behind Donor Centred Fundraising, and celebrated researcher, Penelope Burk. It was there she realized how much good you can do by helping just one nonprofit become more efficient and effective. That philosophy carried through to her role as the Director of Marketing & Communications at Silent Partner. Learn more.

 

Retention Strategies for Combating Nonprofit Turnover

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Research tells us that most nonprofit fundraisers leave after 16-18 months. Penelope Burk of Cygnus Applied Research, Inc. found that it costs nonprofits $127,650 every time a fundraiser needs to be replaced. Here are some retention and succession planning strategies for combating nonprofit turnover.

Nonprofit Retention Strategies

In 2019, 1000 nonprofit workers were questioned for a study done by Bloomerang and Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising. From the results of that study, we compiled a few basic strategies to help nonprofits retain more employees and volunteers.

1. Acknowledge That There is Life Outside of Work

The top two employee benefits that workers said were most important to them were paid time off and paid family leave. Coming in fifth was paid sick days. That means 3 out of 5 of the top benefits revolved around employees having time off from work. So, if your nonprofit wants to retain more employees and fundraisers, be sure to acknowledge that there is life outside of work, and provide a good work/life balance by providing plenty of paid time off.

2. Provide Fair Pay

fair-pay-bloomberg-nonprofit-retention-strategiesThe remaining 2 of the top 5 employee benefits were (unsurprisingly) an appropriate salary and being paid overtime.

You should evaluate your pay grades annually to compare your salaries to those offered at similar nonprofits. Also, consider annual raises to match the cost of living increases.

Offering competitive compensation can be a challenge for nonprofits, especially for smaller organizations on tight budgets. If this is the case, consider offering other benefits like flexible work hours. A study by Global Workplace Analytics found that over 35% of employees would choose flexible work hours over a pay raise and almost 10% were willing take a pay cut to get that flexibility.

workplace-benefits-nonprofit-retention-strategies

3. Offer a Supportive Work Environment

When asked what was important in terms of workplace qualities, among the top ten requests were a flexible work schedule, paid continuing education, supportive supervisor and board, top quality tools and software, and on-site childcare.

Consider these things when thinking about ways to improve the workplace to retain employees at your nonprofit.

 

motivate-employees-nonprofit-retention-strategies4. Offer Training and Development Opportunities

According to Penelope Burk, one of the top 3 reasons nonprofit professionals leave is lack of opportunity for advancement. Unfortunately, in many organizations, there are just one or two people making all the decisions, but a much larger number of staff on the front lines. Fundraisers quickly conclude that there isn’t any opportunity to build their careers, so they move on. According to her research: “37% of respondents left their last job for a more senior position; 23% left to work in a Development operation where they would learn a new skill.”

Her advice: Start giving less experienced staff more opportunity now. 50% of senior professional fundraisers Burk surveyed will retire within the next decade. When the baby boomers leave, the next generation of fundraisers has to be ready to take their place. Training less experienced staff to shoulder more responsibility now not only satisfies younger employees and persuades them to stay, but it also gives their bosses some much-needed relief right now.

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About the Author: PartnerHR is part of the Silent Partner Software family, a company dedicated to providing exceptional software and services to nonprofits. PartnerHR software is built by a team who is dedicated to help bridge the technology gaps in nonprofit human resources and management. With over 25 years of service, Silent Partner continues to help organizations streamline HR management with easy to use, cloud-based HR software designed and priced specifically for nonprofits. Learn more.

Looking for a single HR software to manage your entire nonprofit staff?
Check out PartnerHR.

8 Steps to Successfully Transition to a New Nonprofit CRM

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Choosing a CRM that best suits your nonprofit’s needs is already hard enough. Never mind figuring out how to transition from one CRM to another. We’ve put together 8 steps for a successful nonprofit CRM transition to help ease the process.

 

1. Plan using the RACI framework

The RACI framework is a responsibility assignment matrix that is used to assign roles and tasks during a project or a process. It defines responsibilities so that all deliverables in a project are checked off the list. Using this framework can help nonprofits ensure that everyone involved is on board with the transition.

  • Responsible: This person executes the tasks and provides feedback about how they should be executed. They will be the person that conducts initial research about CRM alternatives, exports the data and prepares the new CRM.
  • Accountable: This person approves and oversees everything the person responsible completes. They will sign off on all the work that needs to be done to accomplish the transition. Usually, this is an executive director, general manager or departmental head.
  • Consulted: This person is consulted when their team or organization needs guidance throughout the transition. This person can also be external.
  • Informed: These are the people that should know when tasks are completed. These people are often your front-line fundraisers, your sales team or the people that are directly affected by the change.

Pro Tip: Working with a consultant for the new CRM can be really helpful for the technical parts of the transition. The best software companies will have their own implementation department to walk you through every step of the process. If you’re leaving it to someone else, make sure they are trusted professionals who understand your data, like Sumac.

2. Set milestones

Setting milestones is a crucial aspect to all forms of project management. It serves as an organization and risk mitigation tool so you can monitor your progress.

For each of the roles mentioned above, set up a deliverables chart with deadlines. Each completed task should lead into the next. If one person is behind, it can throw off the rest of the team.

Pro Tip: To minimize the data loss during the transition, plan an export date and an import date (ideally, the same day or the next day). It’s not likely that both can occur on the same day depending on the complexity and volume of data being transitioned. It can definitely happen over a long weekend though. To avoid data loss, inform your CRM users of the date(s). They will have to stop entering data and track all activities for the short period outside the CRM.

3. Clean up your donor accounts and fundraising pipeline

Transitioning to a new CRM is a great opportunity to clean up the information in your current CRM. Closing old accounts, reassigning responsibilities and ownership, and bringing pipeline sales donors up to date will allow your organization to get a fresh start in the new system.

Pro Tip: Improve when you move! This is also your opportunity to review if your workflows and processes should be refined or completely changed. Again, a new CRM means starting fresh with your information and your operations.

4. Backup your nonprofit’s data

You can never be overly diligent about making sure that your data is not lost or changed during a CRM transition. After you’ve cleaned up your data, back it up in multiple file formats, in multiple places. Ideally, have a backup file of all your information in the format that your current CRM requires. If all goes wrong on with both systems (this guide will prevent that), you have a file you can reupload to your current system.

Reality check: the chances of your organization losing all your client information is extremely low but you’re always better safe than sorry!

Pro Tip: Keep your old CRM running until you’ve completely transitioned to the new CRM. While your CRM users may not be entering any information into the old system anymore, keep it running for a month as a backup plan!

5. Export, import and test

It is highly recommended not to import your data yourself. Working with someone will allow you to stay on track and avoid any setbacks or data import errors. You can use your new nonprofit CRM’s native import tool or use a third party tool but consulting an expert is always better. They’ll be able to tell you how your data needs to be exported and organized (likely in an .csv Excel file) to properly import. This becomes important when you’re importing data that is cross-linked with other fields or if your new CRM’s architecture is different. If you import contacts wrong, any lead or opportunity or account field they are linked to the contact will also import wrong and they won’t get associated together in the new system.

Setting the technical stuff aside (let’s leave it to the experts), continuously testing that your data is linking and doing spot checks is a best practice during a CRM transition.

Pro Tip: Something always goes wrong or takes a little longer. This is especially true if you’re doing the CRM import and export yourself. Don’t panic. Plan ahead and just make sure your vendor can walk you through the process or even better, do it for you.

6. Establish permissions

Establishing permissions will allow your organization to control who can and can’t do certain actions in your new system. Just like the RACI framework above, not everyone has the same roles and responsibilities.

By managing who has access to what information and who can perform what actions, management can better control the data and data flows. For example, HR only needs access to internal staff and volunteers while Fundraisers only need access to clients and donors.

An Event Coordinator may need access to both volunteers so they can schedule them for the next event and donors so they can invite them to the next event.

Additionally, let’s say all volunteers need to be approved by HR. If that’s the case, you don’t want the Event Coordinator creating new volunteer records in your system. So, you should set up a permission that allows the Event Coordinator to see the volunteers and their contact information, but not create new volunteer records.

Pro Tip: Consider the CRM as a project or a process. Using the RACI framework can help determine who is responsible for what actions so you can set up the software permissions accordingly.

7. Train your nonprofit’s users

Naturally, it’s hard to get employees to buy-in 100% if they haven’t seen or used the software yet. The final part of the buy-in process will be when your organization’s front-line users can finally interact with the software.

There are a couple of ways in which you can train your employees. Most vendors will train one or two master users in an organization who are then responsible for training all other users in their organization. In case of turnover, it’s in the organization’s best interest to have multiple “software experts/trainers” on their team. Above that, most nonprofit CRM vendors have training videos to help.

Depending on how open the vendor is or what’s included in your package, you may request a virtual group training. This is where a consultant or the implementation division of the company can customize a one-on-one training. Always remember that you’re the client (whether you’re a for profit or nonprofit organization) so you have the right to make reasonable requests to help your organization get up and running properly. An awesome support team should definitely be on your CRM requirements list. It’s not just about the features when choosing a CRM; it’s also about the value the vendor brings to the table.

Pro Tip: Requesting a demo or a trial period from your chosen vendor is a great way to help convince your team that this is the best alternative for your organization.

8. Stay open to feedback

Why should management ask for feedback?

Sometimes giving feedback can be complex and intimidating to employees and volunteers. If your organization just invested in a new CRM, employees can feel guilty telling management how they truly feel about it.

Feedback is healthy and will ensure two key things:

  • For the organization: their processes continue to improve and run more efficiently.
  • For you: a positive, comfortable and productive work environment.

When providing feedback, employees should be encouraged to provide feedback that is specific, timely (ideally before the transition), meaningful (why does what their saying matter), and candid.

Pro Tip: Refer below to the key questions you should be asking yourself before transitioning to a new CRM. If employees don’t buy-in from the beginning, the investment and process could be worthless. It’s management’s responsibility to get their team on board from the beginning and communicate how the transition will make their jobs easier in the long-run.

 

Are You Ready For A New CRM?

Before jumping into the steps to a successful nonprofit CRM transition, there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself.

Why are you transitioning CRMs?

This is the most important question. Organizations usually start looking for a CRM because they’ve outgrown the good-old spreadsheet. And others, just aren’t satisfied anymore. It’s important to keep in mind that a fancier software isn’t a great reason to transition to a new CRM unless it meets your operational needs. Depending on what those operational needs are, some reasons for changing nonprofit CRMs could include outgrowing the capacity or capabilities of your current CRM, user-friendliness integrations with other software necessary for your operations, or the vendor doesn’t or cannot support you.

How will the people affected by the change react?

Another common mistake organizations make is not taking into consideration that the new CRM is only going to be as good as the people using it. Whether your new CRM was well transitioned or not, there’s always a chance that it’s still too time consuming to use, difficult to learn, inflexible, or doesn’t integrate well with the team. When doing your research and comparing alternatives, a criteria that can help overcome this challenge is the system’s ability to automate and manage workflows to reduce the effort of users.

If you absolutely know that the individuals using the new software are not open to change or very flexible employees, you’ll have to consider if a new CRM will truly increase your organization’s efficiency. This is especially true for volunteers using or contributing information to the nonprofit CRM. Part of retaining your volunteers requires you to keep them fulfilled and comfortable in their working environment. Your employees and volunteers need to buy-in to this transition for it to be successful.

How does a new CRM affect your annual budget?

One criteria when you’re looking for alternative nonprofit CRMs is undoubtedly cost. Affordability is by far one of the most important factors that will affect whether an organization chooses one vendor over another. If you’re on the fence about whether the cost is worth it, ask for a demo. As previously mentioned in this article, demos allow you to better understand what you’re getting into and what your employees are getting into.

 

Key Takeaways

Whether you’re a small or large organization, there are some common takeaways from this CRM transition guide:

  • If your team doesn’t buy-in, your CRM transition will fail
  • Use the transition as an opportunity to improve
  • Using a consultant or a consultant-like company will help with the technical part of the transition
  • You can never be too safe with how often you backup your data

 

 

About the Author: Sumac is part of the Silent Partner Software family, a company dedicated to providing exceptional software and services to nonprofits. With over 25 years of experience, Sumac has built a CRM to manage your entire nonprofit, no matter what kind of work you do. Learn more.

Looking for a single CRM to manage your entire nonprofit?
Check out SUMAC: