From the Community: Looking for a Scalable Solution for a Not-for-Profit?
Welcome to From the Community, where we highlight questions from our community members. Join us each Friday as we dive into the featured inquiry.
When it comes to managing a not-for-profit organization, the software you use can make or break your success, both in the short and long term. Our readers understand that as well, and we’re constantly receiving questions about software solutions specific to nonprofit needs. That’s why this week I hope to help all of our readers working in the nonprofit sector by answering one such question from Gianfranco C, who asks, “Looking for a scalable solution that could suit a not-for-profit. Any suggestions?”
Great question, Gianfranco! There a few directions your organization can take, depending on how important price is for your NPO and whether you require a dynamic, full-featured platform to manage all of your typical not-for-profit activities.
Nonprofit Software That Scales to Does-It-All Status
Perhaps the best part about operating a nonprofit these days is the flexibility you have when selecting a software program. Gone are the days where you must choose between ERP and CRM systems or create your own jerry-rigged version. Today’s NPOs have a range of options to consider when looking for a scalable software solution to better organize and streamline day-to-day tasks.
Choosing a vendor with a variety of nonprofit software applications is one option that can work well for an NPO seeking a product that can adapt as the organization expands. If you’re currently in startup mode, for example, but anticipate a fair amount of growth within the next few years, look at vendors who offer a few different products tailored toward nonprofit organizations. That way you’re able to pick and choose which solution or bundle of solutions is most time- and cost-effective at various points of your organization’s duration.
Abila offers a number of solutions built for nonprofits that simplify common tasks such as fundraising, financial management, donor management and more. Your organization could easily start off with a product like the company’s Abila Nonprofit Online offering and then transition to or supplement that platform with additional Abila solutions as the need arises.
Like Abila, Blackbaud also offers a handful of solutions to address a number of nonprofit management needs. The company’s accounting system, Financial Edge, enables organizations requiring software to assist with financial management to do so without prompting them to invest in a comprehensive NPO solution. The same goes for their fundraising and donor management platform Raiser’s Edge, which offers nonprofits the opportunity to target only the donor side of operations if their existing financial practices are adequate.
If Your NPO Has a Small Budget
If affordability is at the forefront of your must-have features checklist, I’d recommend an all-in-one budget-friendly product like DonorSnap that provides everything from contact and donation management to communication tools. This type of platform is a great fit for smaller not-for-profits who may not require the extensive functionality of an enterprise-grade organization but who still need to manage NPO-specific activities. Unlike a traditional CRM solution, these software solutions are designed specifically to help manage the activities unique to running a nonprofit.
In the case of DonorSnap, you’ll have the ability to do everything from collecting donations online and creating event registration forms to streamlining mass emails. And with a starting price of $39 per month (for unlimited users and up to 1,000 contacts), DonorSnap offers an attractive balance of features and pricing plans.
Little Green Light and DonorPerfect are two other vendors offering specialty software solutions for nonprofit organizations, each with cost-effective platforms for the budget conscious. If you’re interested in learning more about these budget nonprofit solutions, compare how the 3 platforms measure up in our post on the Best-Value Nonprofit Software.
If you’d like to learn more about DonorSnap or other nonprofit solutions, you can review a range of solutions in our free Top 15 Nonprofit Donor Management Software comparison report. The Nonprofit Software section of the Business-Software.com blog offers additional information and product reviews of top nonprofit solutions, or you can search our software product directory to browse our entire catalogue of software for nonprofits.
Have a question you’d like us to feature in our weekly blog post? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us at @BiznessSoftware with the hashtag #softwarequestion after you’ve posted your question to the Business-Software.com community and we’ll do our best to make it happen.