Paypal vs Integrated Donation form

A Free Database May Sound Appealing, But Can You Afford It?

If your nonprofit organization is having trouble managing donor data or your current database is just not cutting it anymore, generally speaking you have two options:

  • get licensed ready made software, or
  • develop a custom system using OpenSource, Access, FileMaker, or open source components.

Let’s say you’re leaning towards a custom made system because resources are limited and a custom made system doesn’t cost anything upfront. The problem is: free up front will cost more in the long run.

Have you considered, for instance, who is going to develop the system for you? Hiring a consultant or developer will cost more than you think. They charge high hourly rates and who knows how long it will take until it’s completed and running smoothly. Maybe the organization’s Chairman has a nephew who is studying programming and will develop it for free. Sounds like a good deal, right? Well, not so fast. You still need to consider who will handle ongoing support.

Let’s face it, no matter how great the system seems when it is created, it is going to require ongoing maintenance and support. Consider, for instance:

  • How you will get your data from it’s current format into your new, custom system?
  • Who will iron out all of the glitches?
  • How you will update the system as technology evolves (e.g. email security becomes more restrictive, Internet protocols evolve, and operating systems change)?
  • How you will make necessary enhancements to the software?
  • How will you get your data out of the custom software if you decide to change systems?

With ready made systems, support is really a non-issue since glitches have already been ironed out, updates are done by the membership database software supplier, and support is included. With a custom database, however, the only support you have is the chairman’s nephew. How quickly do you think you will be able to get in touch with him when you need him? And what happens when he moves away or loses interest? In many cases, the support for custom made systems is insufficient, disappears over time or is completely non-existent. In the end, you will have to hire a consultant or developer to handle ongoing support.

Before you consider a custom made database, therefore, consider the cost of it’s creation, maintenance and support. In the end, “free” software is not really free. Unfortunately, some non-profits have had to learn that the hard way, but you don’t have to be one of them. Do your research and if you are concerned about maintenance and support, consider a ready made database system. You can easily find one that does everything your organization needs, saves you a lot of headaches and costs less in the long run.

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Included in the Premium Case Management Package:

All Basic features:

  • Phone & email support
  • Case management intake, screening, assessment
  • Service tracking
  • Workflows
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Cloud-based access
  • Reporting

All Standard features:

  • Specialized Case Management (pre-configured for Mental Health, Hospice, Shelter)
  • Webforms

PLUS:

  • Donations
  • Pledges

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Included in the Premium Memberships Package:

All Basic features:

  • Phone & email support
  • Member & membership tracking
  • Payment processing
  • Receipting
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Cloud-based access
  • Reporting

All Standard features:

  • Donation webforms

PLUS:

  • Donations
  • Pledges

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Included in the Standard Memberships Package:

All Basic features:

  • Phone & email support
  • Member & membership tracking
  • Payment processing
  • Receipting
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Cloud-based access
  • Reporting

PLUS:

  • Membership webforms

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Premium Donations Package

Manage complex donations for planned giving and larger gifts.

What's included:

All Basic features:

  • Donor & donation tracking
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Receipting
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Workflow management
  • Reporting
  • Quickbooks integration
  • Cloud-based access
  • Phone & email support

All Standard features:

  • Donation webforms

PLUS:

  • Grant Management
  • Proposals
  • Prospecting
  • Volunteer management

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Standard Donations Package

Donations flow from your website forms straight through payment processing and to your database, so there's less effort and less errors.

What's included:
All Basic features:
  • Donor & donation tracking
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Receipting
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Workflow management
  • Reporting
  • Quickbooks integration
  • Cloud-based access
  • Phone & email support
PLUS:
  • Donation webforms

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Included in the Basic Memberships Package:

  • Phone & email support
  • Payment processing
  • Donor & donation tracking
  • Receipting
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Cloud-based access
  • Reporting

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Basic Donations Package

Manage your donations and fundraising campaigns, engage donors, and increase revenue.

What's included:
  • Donor & donation tracking
  • Fundraising campaigns
  • Receipting
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Workflow management
  • Reporting
  • Quickbooks integration
  • Cloud-based access
  • Phone & email support

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Included in the Standard
Case Management Package:

All Basic features:

  • Phone & email support
  • Case management intake, screening, assessment
  • Service tracking
  • Workflows
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Cloud-based access
  • Reporting

PLUS:

  • Specialized Case Management (pre-configured for Mental Health, Hospice, Shelter)
  • Webforms

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

Included in the Basic Case Management Package:

  • Phone & email support
  • Case management intake, screening, assessment
  • Service tracking
  • Workflows
  • Email marketing
  • Event management
  • Cloud-based access
  • Reporting

Includes: Up to 750 contacts; Up to 5GB of storage capacity (cloud-based); Up to 3 concurrent users
Need more contacts, storage, or users? Just ask us!

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