Best CRMs for Nonprofits

Contributor, Benzinga

A customer relationship management (CRM) system allows organizations to log information about customers, donors, prospects, vendors and more. 

A CRM for a nonprofit organization can help you organize donor information and stay in contact about important news and information to further solidify your relationships with constituents.

We’ll explain the most important aspects of searching for the best CRM for nonprofits and walk you through a few of the best products on the market.

What to Look for in a CRM for Nonprofits

Before you can start evaluating CRM systems, get a better grasp on the most important features and aspects of these systems:

  • Budget: Budget may be the biggest factor in choosing the best CRM software for your nonprofit. Nonprofits need to use resources wisely. Evaluate your budget for a CRM system. 
  • Training: Consider the training required for your team and look at the CRMs online training included in a subscription. You may need an easy-to-use platform due to volunteers using your CRM.
  • Automation: Automating recurring communication between your organization and its key stakeholders offers one of the greatest benefits of adding a CRM to your nonprofit. Make sure that your CRM enables such automation and that you know about what add-on services you need to start automating processes.
  • Software integrations: To make sure your CRM really works for you, it needs to connect to your accounting software where you keep donor information. This will tell you more about your contacts and allow you to personalize messages based on giving history or type of involvement with your organization. Look for a CRM that seamlessly connects to your existing software solutions.
  • Mobile compatibility and accessibility: Cloud-based CRMs are easy to access from any device with a browser, including mobile devices. Some CRMs provide a native mobile application that can provide alerts and simple login for fast access and regular use.
  • Ease of use: You want everyone on your team to use the CRM easily or your team might avoid it. Look for an attractive and simple user interface. 

The Best CRM for Nonprofits

Some CRMs are better for nonprofits than others. We’ve outlined a few of the best CRMs for nonprofits to guide you to find the right one for your organization.

1. Best Overall: HubSpot CRM

Running a nonprofit requires you to find savings in the margins and remain as efficient as possible. When you register for the HubSpot CRM, you get the program free for life. There’s no need to use a credit card, and you can set up the platform to suit the needs of your nonprofit.

Because all nonprofits are different, you can use one of several formats when you organize your CRM, including:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer service
  • Operations

Match what your nonprofit does to the HubSpot CRM. and you can handle sales or donations, operations (including pickups and deliveries) and donor management.

Pricing: Free

2. Best for More In-depth Donor Information: Kindful

Kindful, a CRM designed for nonprofit operations, offers a holistic view of donors, including online gifts, offline gifts, event participation and more. Never miss an opportunity to say thank you for a pledge with smooth integrations to your donation system. 

Pricing: Based on the number of contacts you’ll manage, subscriptions start at $100 a month for 1,000 contacts.

Bundles: Enable added services, such as text to give, with the Kindful Triple Play ($199 a month) or Donor Insights bundles ($299 a month). This bundling with the Kindful CRM makes these additional services a great deal for your nonprofit.

3. Best for Managing Relationships and Nonprofit Operations in 1 Place: Fundly CRM

Fundly has some great features that nonprofit managers will especially appreciate. While donors play a significant role in your finances, so do grants, corporate donations, matching gifts and more. Fundly gives you full insights into these other areas of your finances and operations. 

Pricing: Prices start at $100 a month for up to 1,000 contacts. 

Bundles: Organizations with large donor bases of 25,000 or more should contact Fundly for more information about discounted pricing. You can tap into many add-ons for the software to further enhance its functionality and usefulness. This can help you manage your donations all in one place for easier management.

4. Best for Engaging Stakeholders: Salsa

Salsa offers outstanding CRM software and marketing automation software that helps increase online giving and advocacy with key stakeholders. For organizations that interact with stakeholders outside of just donation confirmations and reminders, Salsa could offer a great option. 

Pricing: Salsa handles pricing in a somewhat peculiar way compared to other software systems. You have to reach out with details about your organization to get information on monthly subscription costs.

Bundles: Salsa offers options for a CRM and marketing automation software, standalone marketing automation software and marketing automation that connects to Salesforce. So many flexible options means you can find a program that’s great for your organization’s needs.

5. Best for Tight Budget Organizations: CiviCRM

CiviCRM is an open-source product, which means that it’s free. You can automatically store your donor information and update profiles as needed. With built-in reports and the ability to customize your own reporting, it might be the perfect option for helping you stay connected with stakeholders while meeting your budget.

Pricing: The free CRM might require you to add marketing automation software to make it more powerful and useful. Take some time to review the available integrations before choosing software to make sure it connects to CiviCRM.

Bundles: CiviCRM is free, but you can evaluate other software systems that integrates with the CRM, such as a CMS for your website, compatible accounting software, etc. CiviCRM lists its compatible extensions on its website to guide you in purchasing add-on software.

6. Best Free CRM: Bitrix24

Bitrix24, another free CRM for nonprofits, only lets you add 12 users for free, which makes it ideal for smaller organizations. From lead management to email marketing, Bitrix24 provides the tools and features you need to log donor information and encourage pledges. Set up group chats and instant messaging to connect with your team and volunteers seamlessly.

Pricing: For larger organizations or teams that need more features than what’s offered in the basic plan, prices start at $19 a month per user.

Bundles: You can add on project management software to get even more value from the software. Prices start at $55 a month per user for both the CRM and project management software.

7. Best for Lowering Donor Attrition Rates: Bloomerang

Bloomerang is designed to help nonprofits delight and retain donors. You’ll find helpful tools in locating new donors and nurturing prospective donors from the moment you meet them. With helpful analytics and reports, you can see relationships that need some added attention and those that excel. Plus, Bloomerang helps you understand how your donors feel about you with social monitoring and listening tools.

Pricing: Monthly subscriptions start at $99 for up to 1,000 contacts.

Bundles: Bloomerang does not offer any services outside of the CRM, so you can’t purchase any bundles. However, Bloomerang assists with moving from an existing CRM to help get you started with the software. 

Benefits of Using CRM for Nonprofits

A CRM can automate repetitive tasks and help you get to know the people you serve and your donors a bit better. Take a look at a few of the many benefits of implementing a CRM:

  • Centralized information: If your contact data is currently dispersed among different teams, this makes it challenging to stay in touch effectively. One department might have information about the people you serve while another has data on your donors. This isn’t an ideal way to manage your contact information. Centralizing it will make it more valuable to your organization.
  • List segmentation: Different types of people involved with your nonprofit might need different messages. A CRM allows you to segment your lists based on a variety of factors. Now your communication can bring greater value to your organization.
  • Analytics and audience insights: Get clear insights into who your contacts are and use analytics to guide interactions with them. You might have no idea about what makes donors repeat giving actions. Or you might wonder how often the average volunteer spends time giving back. You can learn more about your contacts through analytics.

Get the Best CRM for Your Nonprofit

A CRM for nonprofits can enhance your interactions with key stakeholders and provide better insights into your contacts and the role they play in your organization. For organizations on a budget, CiviCRM offers a free CRM for nonprofits. Organizations that need more robust tools and options should look to a more feature-rich option like Kindful or Salsa.