Finding the Right Donor Database for Your Nonprofit (Updated)

Consider this—7 out of every 10 donors only donate once. Not enough to shock you? Let’s add to the mix. 77 percent of donors leave due to a lack of communication.

Those are downright terrifying numbers. But there’s some reassuring news. Those are numbers that you have the power to change.

With the right donor management tool to fit your organization’s needs, you have a better shot at communicating in the right way and building better relationships, so donors don’t leave your nonprofit behind and instead stick around to continue donating and engaging with your organization.

We’ve already covered how to find the right online donation platform to boost your fundraising potential. Now, we’ll walk through our favorite donor management tools to help you find one that can organize and centralize all the donor data you’re collecting!

To make it easy for you to navigate this article, we’ve broken our discussion into three helpful sections:

  1. Donor Databases for Small Nonprofits
  2. Donor Databases for Medium-Sized Nonprofits
  3. Donor Databases for Large Nonprofits

Let’s get started shopping for the perfect database!

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1. Donor Databases for Small Nonprofits

As a small nonprofit, your budget doesn’t have much room to, well… budge.

But just because money might be tight doesn’t mean you should sacrifice comprehensive donor management tools! Like their larger counterparts, smaller nonprofits should use a donor database that allows them to gain insight into their constituents to design more strategic donor engagements.

These software options are well-suited for nonprofits who don’t need an extensive array of fundraising tools, but who still require the functionality of a database that an Excel spreadsheet can’t provide.

Fundly CRM

Fundly CRM’s donor management features can help nonprofits better engage their current supporters while looking toward the future to grow their database and expand their fundraising strategies.

Not only does Fundly CRM provide your nonprofit with a robust donor database, but this software will also give you access to useful fundraising and marketing tools, including membership management, unlimited email communications and event fundraising features.

Best of all, Fundly CRM can grow with your nonprofit, so you won’t have to restart your search for a new CRM anytime soon. All of their software packages come with unlimited user access, but you can easily size up as your contact list expands.

Fundly CRM’s pricing starts at a manageable $60 per month (or $600 annually). Check out their price levels on their website or contact Fundly to learn about discounted or customized pricing.

Bonus: Fundly is also famous for their wealth of fundraising resources available for free on their website. Check out their guide to nonprofit CRMs as just one example (and learn more about the importance of a solid donor database).

BatchBook

The self-proclaimed “best small business CRM,” Batchbook can help your nonprofit organize your contacts, build better relationships with your donors and collaborate with your team members.

Their interface is designed to be accessible and user-friendly for even the least tech-savvy organizations, so you’ll never have to worry about losing your way while navigating your donor database.

Plus, Batchbook enables you to store your contacts in the cloud, so you’ll have total database access no matter where you are.

To get started with Batchbook, take a test drive with their 30-day free trial. If you decide to purchase the software, BatchBook starts at $35 per month for an unlimited number of users.

DonorSnap

In addition to their donor database, the multiple reporting tools offered by DonorSnap help make this donor management system unique.

From standard reporting to QuickBooks integration and more, up to five different reporting tools are offered.

You can also use DonorSnap to create custom goals based on metrics that matter to your nonprofit; then, track those goals within your database to see your progress in real time!

DonorSnap only costs $39 per month for up to a thousand contacts with a $200 one-time setup fee. And don’t forget: DonorSnap prides themselves on offering completely all-inclusive software packages, so even the smallest nonprofits can take advantage of all of their great features!

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2. Donor Databases for Medium-Sized Nonprofits

If your organization is smack dab in the middle, you’ve got a little bit of money to invest in donor management, and your number of constituents is growing.

Even if you’re quickly on the rise, your nonprofit probably doesn’t have the budget to spend an arm and a leg. You’ll need to find a donor database that can accommodate your ever-changing needs and afford you with the flexibility you need to grow your donor list.

These middle donor management systems are for you!

Salsa

Salsa understands that in order to be successful, your nonprofit has to prioritize donor retention. That’s why their donor management tools are built to help growing nonprofits strategically engage constituents and develop long-term supporter relationships.

Salsa can centralize all the disconnected pieces of information you need to operate efficiently and engage donors effectively.

With Salsa’s simple reporting features, automated communications, and intuitive donor cultivation tools, your nonprofit can keep track of all donor data in a streamlined manner.

But if you already feel overwhelmed with the idea of having such comprehensive knowledge available in one place, don’t fret! Salsa’s easy-to-use interface doesn’t require in-depth IT knowledge, and what’s more, Salsa’s support team is readily available to walk you through any hiccups along the way.

Salsa CRM begins at $249 per month and gives you access to a full suite of donor management tools as well as Salsa’s online fundraising, advocacy and marketing solutions.

Bloomerang

At Bloomerang, nonprofit success relies on donor engagement and satisfaction. With their database, your donor retention rates are up front and center on the dashboard so you know exactly how your organization is doing.

You’ll also get a view of each individual constituent’s giving history to track fundraising success on a macro or micro scale!

Bloomerang engagements are measured in “cold,” “warm,” “hot,” and “on fire!” Plus, you’ll get smart reports, a timeline of individual constituents, access to email distribution designed to increase retention and printed direct mail pieces.

The middle package offered by Bloomerang is for 5,001 to 15,000 records. Your organization will pay $299 per month for an unlimited number of users and free email and online support. Other packages start at $99 per month for up to 1,000 records or $499 per month for up to 40,000 records.

eTapestry

Blackbaud’s eTapestry donor management solution is fully cloud-based to give you the ability to access your unlimited contacts and unlimited users from anywhere. Within one database, your nonprofit will have access to all supporter relationships and their gifts, pledges and payments.

eTapestry’s multichannel fundraising tools are flexible enough to allow for a variety of fundraising campaigns, which you’ll be able to track and analyze using your database’s data enrichment tools.

The eTapestry middle package runs for $199 per month with up to 5,000 records.

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3. Donor Databases for Large Nonprofits

As a large nonprofit, you’ve got more constituents and a little bit more to spend. But, you’ll need a database that can accommodate a significant number of contacts and features without sacrificing usability.

If that sounds like the kind of database you’re in the market for, check out these donor management systems that were built to handle large amounts of donors.

Raiser’s Edge Fundraising Software

Raiser’s Edge, Blackbaud’s fundraising and relationship management solution, offers tons of different giving options all in one place—major giving, annual fund giving, planned giving and online giving.

Plus, you can build a 360-degree view of your supporters and host all of your management in the cloud. With such a strategic look at your constituents at your fingertips, you’ll have no problem retaining current donors and building upon your database through targeted marketing efforts.

And we love that there’s a mobile app so you can take Raiser’s Edge on the go.

Pricing for Raiser’s Edge is dependent upon your organization’s needs, so you’ll need to contact Blackbaud for a quote.

Salesforce

Well known in the for-profit space, Salesforce is also available for large nonprofits with complex fundraising and donor management needs.

Instead of sales, track donations and manage your donors like you would a sales contact. After all, nonprofits are in the business of sales.

Unique to the Salesforce system, you’ll have access to pre-integrated applications that can help you with events management, volunteer management, fundraising and more.

To learn more about their donor management solutions and request pricing information, contact Salesforce.

TrailBlazer Nonprofit Management

With TrailBlazer, you can track everything from finances to pledges, donor relationships, all donor touches and more.

Each nonprofit has a different set of needs and goals, so TrailBlazer adapts to work with your nonprofit in a customized way.

Their donor management tools can help you stay on top of virtually any type of data, including specialized tracking features for members, volunteers, donors, and event guests.

You’ll have access to free fundraising tools, cloud-based software and more.

Pricing for TrailBlazer is available upon request.

What has your experience been with these nonprofit donor management systems? What would you add to the list?

Originally posted 3.3.14 — Updated 7.12.17

  • GIIPUCSC

    Wow thanks for this!

  • Thanks, Lyndsey!

  • @littlecitizens

    @roundCause the only Enterprise Nonprofit CRM solution built 100% Native on the @Salesforce.com Platform.

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  • check out Little Green Light – http://www.littlegreenlight.com/ – very powerful for fundraising and starts at $39/month.
    otherwise, nice summary … but keep in mind that the first in the list – BatchBook – isn’t build with nonprofits and fundraising in mind, so it doesn’t really compare to the rest. (looks great for small-biz CRM, though)

  • Deborah Turner-Davis

    Did you review NeonCRM? We’re curious about it. Thanks for your opinion.

    • Hey Deborah – we haven’t, but we’ll try to put it on our list and let you know!

      Thanks for your comment!

      • Deborah Turner-Davis

        Thanks. Looking forward to it.

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  • Very useful piece. Am wondering which, if any, have fully integrated automated marketing solutions. A lot of the good solutions for marketing are out of reach for many nonprofits (and weren’t built with nonprofit needs in mind). Thanks!

    • Jenny

      Hi Claire, Sumac has bulk email marketing built right in, and doesn’t charge for sending email. Very affordable CRM solution with lots of perks! http://sumac.com/product/ Starts at $20/month!

  • Thanks for the shout out’s Lyndsey!!! 🙂

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  • ESwit

    we are currently using two databases –eTapestry to store donor information and Salsa/DIA to conduct advocacy. Therefore, we have to manually sync data weekly. Has anyone found a good mid-priced solution that does both good donor tracking and advocacy (contacting congress and CEOs, etc)?

    • Amanda

      The Databank is a CRM for nonprofits with a very robust advocacy tool that’s integrated. Full disclosure, I work at thedatabank, but it really is a great system with great tools. You can learn more about the advocacy package on the website: http://www.thedatabank.com/advocacy-software.aspx. I hope that helps!

      • Zvik

        @Amanda – what would it cost to install the databank? Is it user friendly for both individual and institutional givers?

        • Amanda

          Hi Zvik,

          It is very user friendly! Each system varies in cost depending on the individual needs of the organizations. I encourage you to follow the link in my previous post and contact one of the sales reps for more detailed information. I don’t want to get too salesy all over someone else’s blog post 🙂

          Thanks for your interest in the system!

    • Karen Price

      You should also look into Powerbase, which was built for this sort of advocacy work and has built in fundraising.

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  • Josephine David

    Nice article Lyndsey. Interesting points. I think we’ve gone a bit overboard on the cloud hype and it worries and confuses many of us. Our non-profit has settled on just two that need to be offsite and on the internet: stakeholder collaboration and backup. From non-profit perspective the big benefits from cloud come from collaboration portals– communicating and sharing information with project members, board members, staff, etc. This means being able to have folks access and retrieve pertinent documents, cases, etc, without having to call and meet about every little thing. So of course that means it needs to easy and secure. If the collaboration portal isn’t easy, no one will use it and get confused. Consequently admin costs actually go up if it’s complicated. There are a ton of confusing collab portals out there. We tried a lot of them. Our pick here is Centroy. Easy and intuitive… for users. And make sure it’s encrypted and has archiving– showstoppers not be overlooked. Centroy again won there. The other important “cloud” thingy–perhaps more boring– is backup. If a drive failure hasn’t happened to you, it will someday and if you lose data, well…. Two things here to consider: easy to set up and automate. You don’t need to have a tech guy involved. The other thing is reliability and time retrieval. Here you should test them out with free trials. But also google “data loss” and pick the online backup vendor. There are complaints of all of them loosing data, although seems few and far between. We like Crashplan because we can backup the same data to the cloud as well as each other’s PC drives. Kind of double data insurance piece of mind. So far so good for us.

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  • I’ve heard positive things about BatchBook, but am skeptical as to whether the software is as suitable as it needs to be for a nonprofit? Would appreciate reviews 🙂

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  • I notice there is no discussion of Donor Perfect…any thoughts?

  • Jenny

    Don’t forget about Sumac! Starts at just $20 a month, and can do donor management, events, memberships, volunteers, grant management, case management, ticketing, course registration, and more. Also comes with built-in build email marketing, so you get a complete solution to manage your entire organization. Here’s a 2 minute overview video I think you’ll like: http://sumac.com/product/

  • Stephanie D’Amico

    Awesome piece, thanks! I’ve worked for both small non-profits, and larger corporations, and can say that while being very comprehensive, salesforce is typically a more expensive solution that can sometimes be out of reach for smaller non-profits. I’ve had great experience with Sumac both from an affordability and versatility standpoint. Sumac is a very powerful program with many functionalities, and the client support is great which means a lot when you’re a small organization with limited resources.

    • Thanks, Stephanie! Glad you liked it and thanks for the other suggestion.

  • Shelly Connor

    Anyone have experience with NationBuilder?

  • Beth Phillips

    Did you review Duplie.com? We reviewed a lot of systems for our blood center that manages hundreds of volunteers. We landed with Duplie and it’s been very nice/easy! It allows for growth too with fundraising, custom forms (with registration payments) and an online store. We’ve been very impressed so far, and they add new features almost weekly. Go Duplie!

  • Prasad Papudesi

    Very well written article. http://www.processdonation.org is one of the best in the market and its peer to peer fundraising and team fundraising features can significantly increase the funds raised by a nonprofit. I have used this extensively and it makes a lot of difference using such software.

  • Alex Hrm

    kindly help Syrian refugees in this cause
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-syrian-refugees-in-egypt–5/x/12638003#/
    Thanks in advance

  • My supervisor asked me to research what types of databases are out there for non-profits and this article was really helpful. Of course, even the “small non-profit” options are more than the director wants to spend (i.e. nothing).

    • Bryony Schwan

      Tell the director “Spent nothing, get nothing”

  • Mark

    I have been trying to get to grips with Salesforce but it is not the easiest to get your head around, although it is free for non-profits.

  • kimleonard

    Thanks for sharing!!

  • Ali

    You guys missed the best of fundraising software: DonorPerfect! It’s the complete fundraising and donor management solution. Check it out at https://www.DonorPerfect.com

  • Jeremy Otto

    Check out http://givinggateway.ca Amazing peer-to-peer software and 5% of their profits are donated back to charities each month.

  • Danielle Hickie

    Great overview. I just wanted to suggest http://www.evergiving.com. It is specifically designed for face to face fundraisers signing up regular donors either on the street, door to door, at a festival etc. Once you’ve captured the donor details, you can do instant payment processing and either keep the details in the system, or export the data for integration with your existing donor management software. 🙂

  • Cindy Solomon Gittleman

    So many other donor databases great for micro-small nonprofits. http://www.eleoonline.com