Hi - We have used two popular donor management programs over the years and found them too expensive for us and too complicated. Can anyone please recommend a good system? Is there a free program available? For example - is there some sort of offer with Salesforce.com for nonprofits? OR - anything else. I would appreciate any thoughts or experience anyone can share regarding this topic please. Thank you.
Hi Merrill. Have you look at Idealware's Consumers Guide to Low-Cost Donor Management Systems? It reviews lots of free or inexpensive systems, including Salesforce's Nonprofit Success Pack. But keep in mind that even free software has costs: someone will need to set it up, migrate your data, train your staff, and document how to use the system at your organization. You can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars on something that's "free." See The True Costs of Free and Low-Cost Software and There Ain’t No Such Thing As a Free Software Package.
RobertForum Moderator Robert L. Weiner ConsultingStrategic Technology Advisors to Nonprofit and Educational Organizationsrobert [AT] rlweiner [DOT] comwww.rlweiner.com
Thank you Robert. - Merrill
hello Merrill ,
our nonprofit organization has a salesforce account. They do offer free accounts to nonprofit organizations. Robert is correct in stating that there is a cost of time/effort to use any application. What I find excellent about Salesforce is that there are many users. We have found that using the nonprofit success pack ( http://www.salesforce.org/nonprofit/nonprofit-success-pack/ ) is an excellent product with tremendous support. It is a separate installation for Salesforce that transforms the normal sales/lead oriented application to one specific to the nonprofit environment. This is also a free installation.
There is an organization called 'Power of Us' ( http://www.salesforce.org/nonprofit/power-of-us/ ) that provides a great deal of support. Sign up with this organization. They have many users that are willing to share their experiences. You can choose to receive daily emails from the members who provide assistance and ask other members for best practices - not just for using Salesforce but for help to manage their nonprofit organizations.
Bottom line, the nonprofit starter pack for Salesforce, along with free membership to the Power of Us group is an excellent way to manage your nonprofit donor programs and much more.
The number one open source and free CRM is CiviCRM (https://civicrm.org/) that is powerful software with a lot of functionality, although the program is free you will probably still need to pay for hosting. Is it complicated?.... well yes, the fact is that any CRM system which is simple will not be able to do all of the different things that users want it to. However, much of the complexity of a CRM can and should be hidden from the every day user when a particular implementation is set up.
Thank you so much Peter. I will certainly look into this.
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