How to Pick the Right Nonprofit CRM Software



As the leader of a nonprofit organization, you recognize the importance of ditching spreadsheets and switching to a constituent relationship management (CRM) system for nonprofits. With a nonprofit CRM, you can decrease security risks, reduce costs, save time, and engage with donors and other constituents more effectively.

A good CRM for nonprofits will allow you to improve your key relationships with the following constituents:

  • Founders
  • Donors
  • Clients
  • Volunteers
  • Customers
  • And other constituents

Although there are many advantages to switching to a nonprofit CRM, picking the right one can be challenging. A quick online search will probably show dozens of highly rated CRM tools. So, how do you pick the right one? Here are a few questions you should as yourself before picking a CRM:

What are your needs?

Your first step should be to consider your needs. Nonprofit CRMs come in different flavors. You need a tool that matches the requirements of your organization.

It’s helpful to compile a list of features you require from a CRM. Use this list to finetune your options and pick the best CRM for your nonprofit.

Here is a list of features that a good nonprofit CRM should have:

  • In-depth profiles
  • Outcome-based reporting
  • List segmentation
  • Email marketing and receipting
  • Customization
  • Add-on functionality
  • Webforms

Do you require customization?

Experts recommend that you select customizable CRM software for nonprofits because you will almost certainly want to modify your software as you grow more familiar with it. With modifications, your CRM can better suit your needs. Niche nonprofits such as hospices, palliative care organizations, shelters, and social services benefit from customizable CRM that can be easily molded to their unique workflows.

What is your budget?

Like most products, CRM solutions are available at various price points. Before shopping for your nonprofit CRM, calculate your budget. After considering how much you can spend, look for software that fits your budget. Many nonprofits aren’t afraid to spend on sophisticated CRM technology because the improvement in workflow results in lower long-term operational costs.

To reduce costs, only select features that your organization needs from the CRM.

How is the demo?

So, you’ve finally compiled a shortlist of CRM solutions. You also have a budget in mind. Now, it’s time to try before you buy.

The best nonprofit CRM vendors offer free trials and demo versions of their software. Test out all the features to see if this is the right technology for your organization. Please also pay attention to the interface. The best CRM tools are robust but easy to learn.

Consult Your Team

Of course, you’re not the only one who will be using the new CRM. Consult all the key members of your organization. Ask your team what features are essential for them and what workflows they wish to automate. Their input will help make the right decision when selecting a CRM.

Nonprofit CRM is an important long-term investment. Take the time to pick the right technology for your organization. Don’t hesitate to consult your team or try different CRMs before settling on the best one for your nonprofit.