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Inexpensive Non-Profit Donor Software

Inexpensive Non-Profit Donor Software

  • I am looking for suggestions for some inexpensive non-profit donor fundraising software on the market for an agency that is currently using Excel but has more than 2,000 records. Any ideas?
  • ebase file maker pro will probably work very well for your organization.

  • Hi Smiley,

    I would also recommend that you check out QMember as they are inexpensive and have exceptional customer service.
  • Hi.

    This is a great question and I'm really hoping a lot of people put in their expert knowlege.

    In 2005 grasroots groups have 2 choices to keep track of their members and donors and more.

    1) install programs on your local hard drives, some programs like ebase are windows/mac but have many issues.

    2) use a web based month service.
    see the article on tech soup...
    long link: ---> Tech Soup Article on software to manage donors, members, activists

    I'm currently experimenting with beta quality openspace: a tool used by the dean campaign. I also use a mature and wonderful tool called moodle to manage my students on our classroom website. Students, members, can add content.

    Ebase is rumored to have a web version out soon, but it will be pricey and propritary and hard for non profits who develop features to then upload and share that code.

    I dream of an open souce user and donor managment software for the web that will allow the more savvy non profits to develop features and then give that code easily back to the community. From simple look of members to broadcast email, donation acceptance and tracking etc..

    Does my dream exist? I'm looking for it.

  • Aside from ebase the other one I like is METRIX from the fund for the City of New York - This community software product is distributed free of cost and developed using Microsoft Access, and follows an open-source development model. Here's their site

    Ah ha - just seen that a couple of days ago tech soup published a featured article on ....

    Inexpensive Donor Databases

    here ...

  • Another choice for low cost software is Alpha 5. I have been using it to develop a grants management database. The only problem is the limited number of consultants on the West Coast who can trouble shoot problems that arise.

    Does anyone else use Alpha 5?
  • We use a program called "The Raisers Edge". My Funds Development Director swears by it, and I have never had a problem with it from the IT side.

    We are currently coding a new one by hand, however, in PHP using MySQL on a Linux sever. Talk to your local colleges, sometimes there are students needing to do a practicum and will do this for free! (I am not so lucky, I had to teach myself how to code PHP from scratch :) )

    Shawn Ayotte, NSSA
    Program Manager,
    Information Technology
    Boys' & Girls' Clubs of Edmonton
    Edmonton, Canada
    Shawn Shawn Ayotte, NSSA Program Manager, Information Technology Boys' & Girls' Clubs of Edmonton 9425 - 109A Avenue Edmonton, AB T5H 1G1 w.780-917-6651 f. 780-426-6216 p.419-4586 a positive place for kids Did you know that each year Boys' & Girls' Clubs of Edmonton provides 80,000 nutritious meals to kids who attend our Youth & Neighbourhood Centres?
  • Check out the article I recently wrote for TechSoup on inexpensive donor databases. It summarizes a previous discussion on this topic.



    Forum Moderator
    Robert L. Weiner Consulting
    Strategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizations
    robert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] com

  • One possible recommendation would be the 3.0 beta of SugarCRM... it's designed for Sales automation, but if development / grantmaking is the focus, it does amazingly well... it can manage marketing campaigns, follow-ups, income levels from specific accounts (grantors), etc. It takes some adjusting to the terminology, but hte installation and setup couldn't be easier from a technical perspective. I'm in the process of deploying it right now as a supplement to other reporting tools (anyone remember Campagne?) and so far the response has been wonderfully positive.

  • Raiser's Edge does not meet the 'Inexpensive' criterion. It costs thousands of dollars to license and additional thousands annually for 'maintenance' to make sure you get all the updates. It is a full-featured program that can probably do everything you need if you can afford it.

    - Tim O'Connor
  • Just out of curiosity; if RE is working for you, why are you compelled to write an entirely new system from scratch?
  • I'm a new fan of ebase pro.

    But it takes quite a bit of work to set up if you need it on a multi-user network.
  • Take a look at Microsoft's BCM or CRM and MS Small Business Server. (For a non-profit, prices range from free to affordable.)

    Unlike RE and the other programs which can require custom programming and training, it’s easy to find a good inexpensive programmer for any of these programs.

    MS is about to release a new version of their data base which is very easy for end users to manage. (You will no longer need an Admin to mange this software.) Before making any purchases, I would strongly recommend you contact a person who is has been working with the newest version of the software. (Make sure it is someone who knows the NEW software, otherwise they might be giving you incorrect information.)

    I’ve worked with several non-profits who dumped programs like RE in favor of MS Office Professional, MS SharePoint Server (free), BCM (free), and SBS. I have seen people who may only know Excel or Access to easily generate reports.

    The other advantage of using SharePoint is you don’t have to be an IT person to manage the data. This is just what non-profits need.
  • Hey, what about givengain? I'm the administrator and dog's body of a South African non-profit and our operations (shaky at the best of times) have been absolutely revolutionised by givengain. All other packages we looked at and used had major shortcomings, yet we've had most of our prayers answered in this one package. And, since we can now concentrate on communicating effectively with our donors, our income has increased threefold in less than one year. How about a review on TechSoup?
  • Thanks for mentioning givengain. They don't have much of a presence in the U.S. yet, but I know they want to change that.

    TechSoup doesn't review software products (at least, not as of now). You, and the rest of the TechSoup user community, are our reviewers.



    Forum Moderator
    Robert L. Weiner Consulting
    Strategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizations
    robert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] com