Nonprofit software consists of applications intended to help automate day to day processes in a nonprofit setting. This includes tasks such as accounting, donor management and fundraising, volunteer management, and membership management.
For NPOs, using an industry-specific solution to account for donors and donations, fundraising operations, gifts, membership and other sources of funding is crucial to staying organized. It also lets you keep track on any and all personnel involved with your organization, whether it be members, volunteers, donors, or your own employees.
|Fundraising||Keep track of donations, connect with donors, and maximize outreach and marketing campaigns.|
|Campaign management||Execute highly targeted digital marketing plans. Enables the creation of custom campaigns to link together online donations and physical donations in a single system.|
|Campaign reporting||Put together custom reports to account for donations, grants, pledges and other sources of funding. Includes data-driven analysis to measure fundraising performance, donor retention, and historical fundraising campaign success.|
|Donation management||Tracks donations and pledges from donors and fundraising campaigns. Anticipate inbound donations, process recurring donations with ACH or credit card payments, organize corporate donations, matched gifts, and any other source of contributions.|
Accounting software that is used in a nonprofit is used to manage funds and grants received by tracking how much money has been received and where that money needs to be allocated. It can also be used to help allocate donations received from fundraising campaigns.
Most nonprofit accounting software is created with the purpose of being easy to use, as many nonprofits may not have a full-time accounting department on hand. Most don’t have the time or the luxury to be trained in a very complex system. Fund accounting software options exist with the purpose of furthering your organization’s mission by properly using available funds.
Nonprofit organizations will try to reduce or eliminate any business expenses, with the goal of spending more of their limited funds on the mission itself.
Realistically, you’ll be hard pressed to find free nonprofit software that provides proper donation tracking or membership/volunteer management without downsides. Most “free” options that exist are just trials or basic versions of paid options, meant to bring customers in. However, a combination of these tools could let a nonprofit decide which tools are worth their paid counterparts.
To learn more, here are just a few free nonprofit software options we’ve found:
Fundraising software tracks the acquisition of donor contributions and can be used for facilitating related communication and data management tasks.
In 2014 our Fundraising Technology Trends Survey found that 4 in 5 nonprofits knew technology was the key to success but only 1 in 3 had the tools needed to be effective. Flash forward to today, and Gen Z makes up over a quarter of the population and is expected to account for 40% of all consumers by 2020. This is a generation that prefers to consume online activity almost exclusively on mobile devices. Grabbing their attention will require engaging content through the social channels they are already using, such as Instagram. Your organization should also ensure you have an appropriate mobile platform for donations.
Anything that helps your organization stay organized when it comes to people to people relationships will fall under a nonprofit database and membership software. One could think of these solutions as being CRMs specific to the nonprofit industry. That’s because nonprofits are primarily looking to track information on 3 distinct types of people:
Donors will need to be tracked in a database to analyze which campaigns they give to, manage communications between them and the organization, and provide the appropriate tax forms to them at year end.
Member databases act as a way to grow your membership programs. Similar to how memberships are managed in a professional association, membership databases track member information, communication efforts with members, help keep members engaged, and give members access to their account. Fees can be managed in a straight-forward manner and members can sign up for in-demand volunteer spots or help organize fundraising campaigns.
Volunteer databases should store information such as contact info, release forms, hours worked, availability, and past experiences. The goal of storing all this needed information will be to provide reports to see which individuals are having the most level of success, or perhaps look at which events have drawn the most interest from volunteers, donors, or members.
A recent survey of nonprofit organizations in the market for software found the following bits of information pertaining to deployment preferences: