Your work is vital. We are raising funds to support it.
I'm now taking over a small arts non-profit's bookkeeping. (25k annual budget) I am an artist with the organization and have development and corporate finance experience and am looking forward to learning more on the accounting side. Historically they have always used Quickbooks, the regular edition, which isn't particularly good in tracking donations from my understanding as well as other areas specific to NPOs. Is there an affordable alternative for Macs that provides an all-in-one solution? It looks as if Quickbooks Non-Profit edition isn't made for Macs, which is unfortunate. I've uncovered a tool called Aplos during my research thst seems ideal, but it's rather expensive. I appreciate your suggestions, all!
Welcome to TechSoup!
I haven't seen an all-in-one fundraising/accounting solution for a small nonprofit (which doesn't mean one doesn't exist). Nearly every nonprofit I've ever worked for or with has used separate systems for Development and Accounting. The exceptions only used accounting software, which didn't work well for Development.
Development needs to track things that Accounting doesn't, like relationships, interactions, prospects, proposals, event attendance, stewardship reminders, etc. Also, Development values some kinds of gifts (like stock, real property, in-kind gifts, and some pledges) differently than Accounting. A separate fundraising system might address your concerns about the shortcomings of QuickBooks standard edition. Many fundraising systems come with pre-defined exports to QuickBooks.
BTW, would you mind filling out your TechSoup profile? That tells community members about you and your organization and gives us some context when you ask a question or offer advice.
RobertForum Moderator Robert L. Weiner ConsultingStrategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizationsrobert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] comwww.rlweiner.com
If there isn't a good all-in-one tool, what are the best, affordable separate tools for Mac for Accounting and Development? Is Quickbooks really the best since there isn't a Mac nonprofit edition? Thanks!
I'll let someone who knows the accounting side comment on whether you need to replace standard QuickBooks with the Nonprofit Edition.
Assuming you do need to switch, and that you like QuickBooks, you could look into running Windows on your accountant's Mac. That would let you run the Windows version of QuickBooks Nonprofit Edition.
Check out the article A Few Good Accounting Packages from Idealware. TechSoup offers discounts on a product that isn't mentioned in that report -- AccountEdge for Mac (as well as standard Quickbooks for Mac). I don't know how it compares to QB Nonprofit Edition.
I asked a friend who's a finance & accounting consultant to weigh in on QuickBooks Nonprofit vs. Standard versions. Here's her advice:
The non profit version isn't actually much different from the regular one--the main difference is that it provides a proposed chart of accounts (but I usually need to customize it), and it renames some of the reports (e.g., "Statement of financial position" vs "balance sheet". But, it doesn't really segregate fund balances the way a true non profit platform would, so it's a bit helpful but not really a game changer.
Generally I don't recommend QuickBooks for the Mac as it traditionally has been missing a lot of the features of the PC version, but I haven't used it in a while so it may have improved.
I can say that the online version has improved significantly from prior versions and we now use it at several clients (and word on the street is that this is the future).... It still has some quirks, but is generally easier to navigate than previously. And the benefit is that it doesn't matter if you are accessing from a Mac or a PC.
I hope that helps.
Hi Chicago Jen,
I agree with what Robert has said, and just want to chime in to add a few supporting details. Donor management software (used for fundraising) is different than accounting software and usually nonprofits have both. I work for a donor management software company whose software integrates with Quickbooks and our customers are about split 50- 50 on whether they use QuickBooks Standard or for NonProfits. There really doesn't seem to be a big advantage to the QB NonProfit version, especially if you are also using donor management software too, which as Robert said, is highly recommended.
As far as I know there is not any donor management software for Mac that integrates with Quickbooks. I believe your best option would be to choose fundraising software based on your fundraising needs and activities and then go with QuickBooks online. There are a few donor management systems that are Mac compatible, but if you also go with an online version of your donor management software (and there are many) then your options greatly increase.
Hope that helps,
www.FundRaiserBasic.comVolunteer TechSoup Moderator
I am glad you liked what you saw with Aplos! I work with Aplos and you are right, as far as I know there isn't another all-in-one solution made for the small nonprofits out there that easily does both fund accounting and donations for a Mac and is a lower price. That is one of the reasons why we made it! I hear you about the price though. There is a 10% discount if you are able to pay for a year at a time. We also offer discounts for nonprofits that were formed in the past year. In comparison, if you use Quickbooks Online and need to track income and expense for more than one fund, you will need upgrade to Quickbooks Online Plus which includes Classes, but it hasn't added the same level of functionality as their desktop version yet when it comes to donation tracking and creating contribution statements. I hope you sign up for a free trial of Aplos nonprofit accounting software and see if the time saved makes it worth your while. Never hesitate to ask our support team for help getting set up! Best of luck!
Ditto! We're currently experiencing this exact problem. I recently switched to a Mac and have not found an affordable, integrated option for accounting and donor management/CRM. As someone who's previously used "real" accounting programs, I won't use QB, as I've never found it sufficiently flexible, and at least several years ago, found several inherent problems, including poor agings. One thing the original poster might look at is the possibility of making donors "customers" in their new financial software, especially if it allows fund accounting. However, I still haven't found a good solution for tracking prospects, both customers and donors. It seems as much as I've resisted, I'll probably have to opt for cloud-based. I, too, have a very limited budget - but a complex situation demanding more than off the shelf solutions. My NFP does interest-free micro loans, with cosigners attached to each one, so I need to pull reports on both, in addition to donors! Any possible solutions I've seen, doing everything we need, have been cost-prohibitive. I'm wiling to self-implement to contain costs and realize I'll probably end up using the cloud. I'd greatly appreciate hearing from anyone with viable suggestions. Many thanks!
Fund accounting software that integrates with Quickbooks.
Washington Post review of Parallels, software that supports Windows on Macintosh: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2015/08/20/a-quick-review-of-the-software-that-puts-windows-on-your-mac/
We've just paid for Aplos and are finding out that the donor management is rather very restrictive and inadequate.
Why did you feel that APLOS was very restrictive and inadequate. We are a new 501c3 and are seriously looking at it.
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