Best CRM for nonprofits: 3 options and how to choose yours
How many months ago did you call your major donors? How many of your contacts have up-to-date phone numbers? Which of your supporters are most likely to give to your next fundraising campaign?
Nonprofit organizations have to manage hundreds and thousands of contacts and interactions, from new prospects to lifelong donors and volunteers. Without Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, staying organized can be a hectic mess of spreadsheets, emails, and notes.
Fortunately, modern nonprofit CRM software offers an easy-to-use database where nonprofits can see all their important contacts in one place. Donor profiles can include names, addresses, donation amounts, donation dates, preferences, and any other detail your organization wants to track. Some CRM platforms go even further, including tools for email marketing, gift predictions, event management, online fundraising, social media listening, and more.
In other words, a CRM is one of the best tools you have for understanding your supporters and building deep and meaningful relationships with them.
But with hundreds of CRMs for nonprofits, it can be tough to find the right one.
We’re here to help! Below, we’ll walk through three top-rated CRMs for nonprofits (and three honorable mentions) and how they can boost your donor retention rate. You’ll also learn four things to keep in mind when you’re making a decision.
Bloomerang is a cloud-based donor management software solution that’s designed specifically for nonprofits. The platform offers cutting edge CRM tools, like an interactive dashboard, donor histories, marketing automation, and in-depth reports. There are also handy, one-of-a-kind features like an “Engagement Meter” and “Generosity Score” that help you identify top prospects faster.
“Cloud-based” means you can update contacts, take care of tasks, and communicate with supporters anywhere you have an internet connection. Another standout element? Unlike many nonprofit CRM solutions, Bloomerang offers multiple free and low-cost plans.
Integrate Bloomerang with hundreds of convenient apps, including Givebutter’s free fundraising platform. In addition to no-stress contact management, your nonprofit gets access to powerful donation pages, events and tickets, and fundraising tools. Donors can even cover your payment processing costs, so you keep 100% of every Givebutter donation you earn.
Pricing: Bloomerang Lite is free; paid plans start at $19 per month
Kindful says they’re "built for relationships, not tasks,” and their CRM system reflects that mentality. The clean and user-friendly interface, intuitive features, and ample integrations have helped Kindful top the list of best nonprofit CRMs for several years.
Each plan includes unlimited donation forms and crowdfunding pages, donor lifecycle tracking, and unlimited report templates. There’s no extra charge for extra account users, and it’s easy to set and adjust permissions according to role. You can also take advantage of free phone and email support, which is often a paid feature on other CRM platforms.
Use it to track donor activities and simplify back-office work so you can spend more time engaging with donors. If you need help getting started, Kindful offers transition support for a $199 starting fee.
Pricing: Starts at $100 per month
Salesforce is one of the most well-known names in sales and CRM software, and they’ve expanded their reach into the nonprofit sector. Their Nonprofit Cloud is a complex CRM for nonprofits with a lot of functionality, so it’s mostly recommended for large organizations. Users note there is a steep learning curve, but it’s a top pick if you have a high volume of contacts and interactions.
The Nonprofit Cloud unites your fundraising efforts, marketing, leadership, and special programs in one central hub. Set up mobile-friendly forms, automate receipts, and keep your contacts neatly organized. Even better, the 360-degree view of prospects, donors, and volunteers helps you craft a more effective follow-up strategy.
Another benefit to working with Salesforce is that you get access to the Salesforce AppExchange, a powerful business marketplace with hundreds of apps you can use to build your ideal nonprofit management system. Even better, 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofits in the U.S. are eligible for up to 10 free licenses to the Nonprofit Success Pack.
Pricing: 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) nonprofits are eligible for free software; other nonprofits should contact Salesforce for a custom quote
Our honorable mentions for nonprofit CRMs are DonorPerfect, NeonCRM, and Salsa CRM. They aren't as feature-rich or easy to use, but they'll do in a pinch.
How to choose the right CRM for your nonprofit
Now that you’ve got three great CRM options, you’re probably wondering how to narrow down your options. Here’s what you need to consider any time you’re comparison shopping for CRM software:
- ❗ Your priorities: What is the number one reason you need CRM software? What are your short-term and long-term organizational goals? Define your needs and decide on your must-have features before you start hunting for software so you won’t be tempted by any bells and whistles you don’t need.
- 👋 Your users: Which team members will use your CRM the most? How much technical expertise do they have? Is there time for several months of training, or do you need to hit the ground running? What does the donor-facing side of the software look like? Consider everyone’s user experience and think about whether your team needs an out-of-the-box solution or has time to learn an advanced system.
- 💻 Your existing tools: What nonprofit management tools are you already using? How many can you integrate or replace with the CRM system you’re considering? For instance, can the CRM sync with your QuickBooks account? Can you post to all of your social network sites? Take a look at your current digital ecosystem and figure out which programs you need to keep.
- 💰 Your budget: What is your price range? Generally, the more contacts you need to store, the more expensive your plan will be. Many CRM plans are month-to-month and offer a 10-20% discount if you commit to an annual plan. Remember to account for any add-ons you may need.
Before you sign up for any nonprofit CRM, make sure you take it for a test drive. Most companies offer free demos or free trials so you can get a feel for the platform.
The perfect partner to your CRM software solution
With CRM software, you’ll never miss a chance to thank, engage, or recognize your donors. And with the right fundraising software, you’ll never miss an opportunity to raise money and spread awareness for your cause!
That’s where we come in.
Givebutter integrates with first-class CRMs like Bloomerang and Salesforce, so donor information automatically funnels into your database as soon as someone makes a gift or registers for an event. Here are a few more reasons over 15,000 organizations choose Givebutter:
- 😍 Customizable fundraising pages
- 📱 Easy offline and online donations
- 💸 Free plan options and honest pricing
- 🎫 Seamless events and tickets
- 👀 Trackable team progress and goals
- 💳 Popular payment methods: credit card, Venmo, and text-to-donate
It’s free to sign up — click here to create your account and experience better nonprofit fundraising.