Paypal vs Integrated Donation form

From Microsoft Access to Sumac: A TechSoup CRM Case Study

TechSoup has started a series of case studies that look at what CRM software different non-profits are using, and how they have benefitted. Recently, they asked the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank about their experience with moving from Microsoft Access to Sumac. Here are some highlights from that interview:

About The Cambridge Self Help Food Bank

The Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank is a charity that provides food, emergency services and support programs to help people become and remain self-reliant. The CSHFB distributes more than 950,000 pounds of food and grocery products annually. More than 4,000 children are fed each year through their programs.

Highlights From Interview

Why They Started looking for a New CRM

When our old Access database was getting too hard to maintain and scale with our operations, we started to look for a new CRM.

Why They Choose Sumac

Functionality/Customization – We chose Sumac because it offers a lot of modules, such as volunteer management and fundraising add-ons. They also offer a “grow your own module” option, where they develop custom modules to fit your needs. We had a hard time finding a standard module to adequately manage our Emergency Hamper and Food Co-op programs, so Sumac made custom modules just for us.

Affordability – Sumac stood out right away because it was so affordable. Through TechSoupCanada, we could get a one year subscription to Sumac for $80 (Gold) or $40 (Silver), and the ongoing monthly module fees were inexpensive. They also provide ongoing technical support at no extra cost, which made Sumac a very low-risk option for us.


Accurate data – I cleaned all of our historical data and use Sumac’s resolve duplicates tool to catch new duplicates. I run this deduping module every month to ensure our data is accurate and kept up-to-date. Sumac is also very proactive and frequently sends updates and releases to help us with data maintenance.

Simple reporting – When we used Access, Volunteer Works and Excel spreadsheets, it would take staff nearly a month to produce one report because manually cross-referencing spreadsheets and checking through records is very time-consuming. Now that we have Sumac as our CRM, it takes one hour to generate a report.

Improved Operations – Sumac is easy for staff to use and operations are more automated, so you can get more done.

Read the full case study by TechSoup here.

Want to apply for a donation of Sumac through TechSoup?

In Canada, apply here.

If you want to help us expand this donation program to other countries, tell TechSoup here.

Download Your Free Guide on Choosing CRM Software for Your Nonprofit!

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Sign up for our newsletter packed full of nonprofit help!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll to Top

Wait, don't go away empty handed.

Join 50,000 other nonprofits in getting the BEST nonprofit tips, tools, and how-to guides delivered right to your inbox!

Subscribe to our newsletter: