A guide to the top CRM systems for charities (PDF)
Choosing a CRM or donor management system? We’ve put together this handy PDF guide to some of the main CRM systems for charities and what to look for.
When looking at a CRM system for your organisation, there are a few things to bear in mind. First of all, your choice will depend on the functionality you need.
We’ve broken down our list of the top CRM systems for charities into two categories: CRMs and donor management systems.
In general, CRM systems like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics are built primarily for sales organisations and you will need to adapt it for your charity’s environment. These systems are often very powerful, customisable and scalable, but need some technical skills, a development partner or a special charity-specific template to get up and running.
Donor management systems are marketed specifically as CRM systems for charities, and come pre-loaded with the data fields that charities use such as donors, volunteers and fundraising campaigns. They work out of the box for charities, but are often more limited in functionality and are less customisable should your charity want to adapt it for new activities.
For a more detailed explanation about the differences and which to choose, go to our article ‘CRM vs donor management system: which one is right for you?’
Once you have decided if you need a CRM or donor management system, the key considerations for choosing include:
- Features: For ‘vanilla’ CRM systems, this will come down to whether they have templates made for non-profit organisations that fit your processes, or whether you are prepared to spend the time adapting it to your needs. For a donor management system, this will depend on how well its particular features fit your needs.
- Cost: This includes licensing, subscriptions and any third party set-up involved.
- Cloud vs. on premises: Most CRM systems are cloud-based, saving you money on hosting and maintaining your own servers. Security is also taken care of. A few can be hosted locally if your charity has concerns about where their data is being kept or whether a third party has access to it.
- Integration: Your organisation might have other software such as email applications or payment platforms. Your CRM system should be able to integrate these functions if you want to get the most out of it.
We’ve listed some of the top CRM systems that include donated licenses or special discounts for charities, alongside some of the top donor management systems by features and cost.