The best self-service HR software for charities

We’ve picked out some of the best in self-service HR platforms for charities to manage all their HR-related processes with ease.

Chloe Green | 4th Oct 19

We recently heard from conservation charity Dorset Wildlife Trust about how they’ve saved hours of time on lengthy manual HR processes by scrapping spreadsheets and automating a lot of their HR tasks with a self-service online portal.

Software can take the time and hassle out of lots of HR admin around managing staff and volunteers, including:

  • Absence, sickness and holiday management
  • Attendance tracking
  • Recruitment
  • Training and onboarding
  • Expenses and benefits
  • Performance reviews
  • Report on and analysing people-related data to help inform strategic decisions

We’ve picked out a few of the most cost-effective, useful HR self-service portals below.


People HR

People HR is a self-service HR management system designed to be affordable for small organisations. Manage leave and absences in one portal, along with a handy organisational chart. It also works well for training new staff and volunteers – you can also track key tasks to be completed and give people automatic access to the documents they need in a secure environment.

Plans start from £2 per employee per month, which includes a self-service login for every employee, reporting, mobile apps and built-in security.

Best for: Smaller organisations.



Breath offers a range of different features depending on your charity’s needs, going up to feature-rich premium plans, and it charges according to the number of users in your organisation. At its most basic, the platform offers self-service software for booking absences and holiday, to keep track of training records and manage payroll changes. Pro and premium plans allow you to set permissions for certain users to access finance data.

Eligible charities can get a 50% discount which they can access through the Charity Digital Exchange platform.

Best for: Analytics and data reporting. Charity discount.


Zoho People

You’ve probably heard of Zoho’s donor management platform. Zoho’s HR suite lets staff manage leave and absence in a simple to use portal, search employees, set favorites, view organisation trees, and analyse attrition reports.

Plans start at just 66p per user a month per user for basic HR self-service, but it goes up to £1.25 for attendance and time sheets. More expensive plans offer integration with Zoho’s data analytics platform, performance management such as appraisals and goal setting, and managing employee queries.

Best for: Small organisations that just need the basic leave and absence management.



Cezanne HR is aimed at midsize organisations who need a bit more from their platform. Features allow organisations to really focus on streamlining and improving their HR processes.

It’s great for growing charities as the platform is designed to level up as you go, with the ability to add new offices or even countries, change what employees can see, route approvals in different ways, and set up many different absence types, performance plans, time sheets, HR portals or vacancies as you need.

Its comprehensive feature set is designed to help you get into detail planning and reporting around talent development, performance and management of the recruitment lifecycle.

Plans are dependent on the number of employees you have and the feature modules you want to add.

Best for: Growing and larger organisations.


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