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Nonprofit Donor Management

Nonprofit Donor Management: More Than a Spreadsheet, Less Than Enterprise Planning

Nonprofit Donor Management: More Than a Spreadsheet, Less Than Enterprise Planning

Donor Management is the non-profits’ lifeline. It helps generate emails and newsletters to prospective donors or loyal followers; it manages finances and compiles analytics. At its core, Non-Profit Donor Management tracks donor relationships and optimizes fundraising strategies, ensuring your business thrives by moving as a unified organism powerfully toward a singular goal.

A business that relies on donations to carry out a mission requires software with fine-tuned tools specified for tracking donors. With non-profit donor management software, your organization can schmooze prospects, win contributions, and ensure long-term success.

More than a Spreadsheet, Less than Enterprise Planning

Since the stone age of business software, non-profits tracked donations through an archaic spreadsheet. But while tracking donors on a spreadsheet is possible, it doesn’t offer email marketing capabilities nor does it integrate with finances.

Other non-profits have the opposite problem: they purchase a new end-to-end solution for the business, designed to organize and clean every crevice of your business. But even with this supposed revolutionary fix, the solution fails. ERP solutions contain more modules than non-profits know what to do with. Non-profits have no need for warehouse management, product lifecycle management, manufacturing, and inventory management. Even with a CRM and powerful marketing tools, ERP doesn’t focus on the one thing non-profits care about: its donors.

Download the 2014 Top 10 Nonprofit Donor Management Report

Why Donor Management?

Non-profit donor management needs to track detail unique to the donor’s tendencies and level of loyalty in order to better understand a donor and more elegantly request feedback.  For instance, a donor management system may track when a donor last donated, how many events she attended, how long she has been a member, and in which form of communication she responds.

For these reasons, donor management software is more complicated than you might expect, combining tools like document management, accounting, CRM, project management, personalized emails and newsletters, event management, and online fundraising to create an engaged experience with donors.

Top 5 Non-Profit Donor Management

To make the selection process a little easier for your non-profit donor management system, here are five tried-and-true solutions to bring efficiency, consistency, and a steady flow of donations to your organization:

Neon CRM

Neon: Non-Profit Donor Management

Neon is a great all-around solution for SMBs who are looking for functionality in marketing, finance, and donor relationship management. It centrally stores information on everything — activities, communications, payments, relationships, and histories. And by tracking each donor interaction and processing all donations received, Neon brings the organization your non-profit craves. With build-in email marketing tools such as custom emails, templates, newsletters, campaigns, auto emails, and conditional email triggers, you can streamline messages and reach highly specific audiences. Neon CRM also integrates with solutions like MailChimp and Quickbooks. The solution includes custom API, a webform builder, and social management tools.


DonorPerfect: Non-Profit Donor ManagementDonorPerfect monitors fundraising through mailings, appointments, tasks, and grants. Unlike Neon, DonorPerfect allows crafting personalized emails and newsletters within the software. It handles events and processes a variety of donation types that funnel into an integrated accounting system. DonorPerfect offers detailed analytics to inform your campaigns. DonorPerfect’s strength is scale, providing the essentials and extra modules as you develop the need for them. It has managed non-profits as large as Girl Scouts and the Salvation Army. Its tools work toward being proactive and involved in attracting attention and winning support.

Blackbaud: Non-Profit Donor ManagementDesigned for both non-profits and schools, Blackbaud has been helping nonprofits like the YMCA, National Baseball Hall of Fame, and The Lexington School find and manage donations. It helps reach new members, donors, and volunteers, starting with a centralized database that houses detailed data on donor and prospect relationships. With this data, Blackbaud manages contacts and begins the outreach process. This software is savvy and elegant, taking campaigns to social media channels and issuing thank you notes after donations. With a clean, sleek interface and extensive tools in analytics, multi-channel fundraising, donor retention tools and more, Blackbaud is a luxury software that focuses on marketing as its main strength.

TowerCare DonorPro

towercare donorpro non-profit donor managementDonorPro is a web-based fundraising software that is singular in its goal to raise money through fundraising. The software offers unlimited storage for documents and donor data and promises to provide three key features to your non-profit: increase productivity through automation, get personal through relationship tracking, and raise revenue by streamlining fundraising efforts. All features revolve around these key areas, making the software simple and effective in its mission. DonorPro promises its software is usable and intuitive, with a scalable MySQL database and unlimited live support. This is the donor management tool for the minimalist who want essentials without fluff.

TrailBlazer NonProfit Manager

trailblazer-logo non-profit donor managementTrailBlazer, despite its name, is a sophisticated and elegant piece of software. This relationship manager tracks finances, pledges, and events with ease, managing every conversation, email, or letter you have ever exchanged with your donor. TrailBlazer claims to have the key to a long-term relationship with your donors. Like others before it, TrailBlazer is cloud-based and accessible from mobile devices. It has intuitive search, allowing you to navigate by an unlimited number of custom attributes. The software automatically logs donor information through online forms and streamlines personalized thank you letters. Donors are not the only thing TrailBlazer cares about. It caters to its own customers by providing free training and support, a month free with each year of purchase, and no additional cost for modules.

Selecting the Right Software

Selecting the best and most cost efficient donor management software is paramount to your organization’s survival. Without it, you may be wasting hours tracking who to contact rather than taking advantage of prime fundraising opportunities. Or you may be spending hundreds more on a fancy solution designed for a for-profit company. Using products like Neon, DonorPerfect, and Blackbaud will allow your non-profit to realize powers it never had before. Whether it be by gaining powerful donor insight via analytics or by customizing thank you letters after a donation, non-profit donor management software will bring elegance, efficiency, and class to your organization.

Compare our picks for the best Donor Management solutions in the Top 15 Donor Management and Fundraising comparison report.

  • Top Expert

Miranda Limonczenko
Miranda Limonczenko is a former member of the marketing team.