Nonprofits need a CRM. (Click here to find out why.) But which one? It all depends on your needs, goals, and budget. The list below comes from our own internal database of strong nonprofit CRMs. It is regularly updated. Check it out to get some ideas to help you orient yourself before doing further research.
Salesforce is arguably the industry leader in CRM services, and they have a nonprofit version of their tools for free. Free is hard to argue with, but free is also not always as free as it seems. There is a pretty steep learning curve to making the most of Salesforce, and you may incur development costs to customize it to meet your needs. In fact, Salesforce is so robust that small teams sometimes end up avoiding it, using spreadsheets and simpler systems where they can, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a single CRM in the first place.
Speaking of free, have you heard of CiviCRM? It was built for nonprofits and is completely free and open source, but free does not always mean free. Unless you are fairly tech savvy, expect to pay developer costs to set up and run the system. That system also is not going to be too modifiable. While you can create custom fields and expand functionality with plugins, you cannot create or modify tables, which is a nerd-speak way of saying that you cannot add components to the system that are truly unique to your programs. The aesthetics are also a bit 🤮 . People who find a system unpleasant to use will tend to avoid it, diminishing the return on your investment.
HubSpot is this is not one platform or application but several “hubs” that can be bundled together in different configurations. This level of customization makes it worth considering for nonprofits. In terms of costs, expect to pay more (sometimes quite a bit more). The Professional Plan, with 5 users (minimum) for ServiceHub and SalesHub runs $1,425 per month for 5,000 contacts, plus some additional, up front onboarding and training fees. You will need to contact sales to figure out what configuration will best suit you needs. Just keep in mind that sales is going to do its job and try to sell you as much as possible.
Some CRMs have lots of options and configurations. Others focus on doing one thing really well. Kindful is one of those. It is all about donor cultivation and has some pretty robust tools to help you do it, including crowdfunding, donor histories, and email marketing. Lots of integrations can help streamline your workflows. The cost is not bad either. They charge by database size, starting at $100 per month for 1,000 records, but only tripling that cost to $300 for 15,000 records.
SalsaCRM is a bit like Kindful, but with fists of outrage raised in the air. This CRM is definitely not opposed to cultivating donors, and indeed that is the core of what it does, but the platform also has strong features to support public activism. You can compile rich donor profiles, but it also uses demographic data to help you best drum up support for causes, track petitions, etc. You have to contact sales to get a price quote.
NeonCRM is pretty dang popular among nonprofits, and for good reason. It is super-robust and priced well for nonprofits just starting out. A base plan includes volunteer management, fundraising abilities, and email marketing, but spend a bit more, and you get unlimited event planning and constituent login portals. Keeping members engaged is a big part of small NPO success. Trying to cultivate “upper crust” donors? Some NeonCRM plans include radius searching and wealth screening.
Holy cow is Bloomerang robust! Features include email marketing, grant tracking, event management, social media tracking, and more. Their staff are super friendly and supportive. Dashboards and reports are easy to customize. Now, when it comes to cost, well that is going to depend on what you need. You are paying for a lot of features, but you may not use all of them, which may be a bit like buying a Ferrari just to take your kids to soccer practice.
Maybe Consider: Copper
Copper is not a nonprofit CRM; it is designed for sales, and its NPO discounts are meh. But a lot of NPOs use G-Suite for Nonprofits, and Copper claims to be a CRM built to integrate deeply into the G-Suite ecosystem. So, if none of the above seem like a good fit, and you are willing to deal with a hard sales pitch, Copper might be worth a look for your NPO. If you want a sense of their NPO discount options without dealing with sales, we have some intel and would be happy to pass it along if you contact us directly.
This list is regularly updated. So check back in and disseminate broadly.
But picking the right CRM is not enough. As we say in this post, the human element is key. (Pitch coming…) We have the expertise to help you select the right CRM and make the best use of it in your operations. Book a free discovery call to see if we can help.