Skip to main content

14 of the Best Nonprofit CRMs: Updated for 2024!

Thinking about a new CRM? Here's a list of companies to consider. This newly updated article will help you find the perfect technology for your nonprofit!

14 of the Best Nonprofit CRMs: Updated for 2024!

Looking for a new nonprofit CRM can be one of the most daunting tasks out there. Who has time to interview 20 companies and remember what each one promised? And how do you know what’s sales-speak and what things are really like under the hood?

In this guide, updated for 2024, we take a fresh look at the best nonprofit CRMs in the industry. As we did before, we will share some of the top nonprofit CRM features you might want to consider, and we’ll show you a list of the best nonprofit CRMs.

When you’re ready to take the next step, check out our free guide to selecting a nonprofit CRM and then follow that with our free no-stress guide to switching nonprofit CRMs. You'll see that implementation can be a breeze if you are prepared!

While CharityEngine is amazing software, there’s no one-size-fits-all with nonprofits and technology. Some of you are using Excel spreadsheets and want to move to a database. Some of you are curious about A/B testing and email automation. Some of you want to play with the big boys and explore direct-response TV.

There’s a solution for every one of you. We’ll help you find it.

Book a Demo

What Do I Need to Know Before Searching for a Fundraising CRM? 

Just as it’s wise to take stock of your kitchen and make a grocery list before you head to the market, it’s important to look at your organization and make a list of CRM features that will solve your most pressing problems. Here are some questions to consider before you read any further: 

  1. What are my biggest goals? Start with your mission statement and drill down into specific priorities until you have a clear list. 
  2. What does my nonprofit look like? How many contacts do I have, how many emails do I send, and what’s my revenue?  
  3. What are my most important upcoming initiatives? Will I need email automation, peer-to-peer fundraising tools, or advocacy software? 
  4. How many data sources will be involved in a migration? The more siloed your data, the more migration can cost.

Knowing the answers to these questions will frame your list and help you decide which CRMs check the right boxes.

Beige Minimalist Selfcare Affirmation Checklist (1)-1Let's cut to the chase and look at our list, then we will list key features you might want after you decide who to call.

14 Top Nonprofit CRMs to Explore

Without further ado, we'll help you explore options and find the right CRM for your nonprofit. Here are ten solutions to consider. After you get past number 1, they're in no particular order.

1. Best Nonprofit CRM: CharityEngine

CE screenhot
Okay, hear us out
. It's a long list, and we get that. And if you need to answer a phone call or the light is turning green, we don't want to be responsible for not telling you some important information.

This is why we are being rude and pushy and telling you up front that CharityEngine is a winner in the nonprofit CRM game, offering all the native tools a fundraiser needs. If we're not the perfect CRM for you, you can keep reading as time allows. (But we'd love a chance to tell you why it's highly likely we are, in fact, the perfect CRM for you.)

Why We Like It:

We like that this is the only truly all-in-one fundraising and donor management software offering. In contrast to most of the names on this list, CharityEngine was built with native tools, not buying other companies and technologies and gluing them together.

This means all the modules can talk to each other, and the advanced dashboards keep data at your fingertips. Open a contact record, and you’ll see every single interaction that donor has ever had with your nonprofit, from direct mail to email to events and campaigns. And all that data is in real time. No syncing or uploading needed to get accurate information!

CharityEngine was built in response to the needs of one of the 50 largest nonprofits in the U.S., way back when it was a team of three guys and some big dreams. Our robust APIs mean integrations are a snap, and our payment processing, email deliverability, and fraud protection are at the top of the industry.

But Watch Out For…

Nothing! It’s our article, so we can skip this section!

The bottom line: If you’re a growing nonprofit, there’s simply no better technology – and no better partner – for you than CharityEngine.

As you go through the rest of this list, you might wonder about the core differences in systems. As a reference, here are some popular articles that show you, at a glance, which features each provider has. It's another way to find a great match.

Keep those handy as you peruse the rest of the list. 

Book a Demo

2. Best Nonprofit CRM if You’ve Got a Huge Database: Blackbaud/Raiser’s Edge NXT

Blackbaud

Blackbaud is the grandpa of all nonprofit CRMs. It’s been around for about 40 years and offers a comprehensive CRM, Raiser’s Edge NXT, with high-level tracking, analysis, and pipeline movement. It puts a lot of data at your fingertips.

Raiser’s Edge offers cultivation tools to find new supporters, analytics to offer donor insights and “smart” recommendations, and data enrichment services that help you complete missing donor data. Raiser’s Edge is a solid off-the-shelf CRM; they use significant integrations to offer extensive functionality, but the system isn’t highly customizable without technical expertise.

Why We Like It:

We love that Blackbaud is a workhorse and Raiser’s Edge is robust. It’s been around forever and is a powerful system that can house massive amounts of data, so nonprofits have a lot of information at their fingertips.

Like CharityEngine, Blackbaud was built for nonprofits and social good organizations. It’s one of the largest CRMs with tens of thousands of customers, mostly midsize to larger nonprofits, from more than 100 different countries. Bear in mind that, like many in the industry, Blackbaud's growth has come through the consolidation of smaller companies. It's not a unified system.

But Watch Out For…

Siloed data. Each module is built as a separate entity, so your data isn’t going to be able to talk to each other. The constituent record will be connected to each module but won’t be interconnected beyond that. And users consistently complain about the outdated UI.

The bottom line: If taming an enormous database is your primary concern, take a look at Blackbaud.

 

 

3. Best Nonprofit CRM if You’re Flexible: Bonterra (EveryAction/Salsa/Network for Good)

Bonterra

Bonterra is a newcomer to our list, and it requires some explanation. It’s a doozy.

A common growth strategy for for-profit CRM vendors is acquiring companies with desirable technology or client rosters. While this can lead to a “one-stop shop” for some nonprofits, there’s a dark side. The focus for these companies is to drive profits, which is different from independent vendors that focus on serving nonprofits.

And then, as many of our clients know, decisions can be rapidly made to sunset software, and customers are forced to a different platform. If they’re not completely kicked off, companies can allow nonprofits to stay with the software, but they will discontinue support.

A recent industry acquisition combined four smaller nonprofit CRM companies, most notably two that we’ve mentioned on our lists before: EveryAction, which previously purchased Salsa, and Network for Good.

Confused yet?

For this article, let’s look at EveryAction. Salsa was being sunset, and then wasn’t being sunset, and then Bonterra said they would discontinue support. (We’ve been talking to a lot of unhappy Salsa customers.)

Bonterra and EveryAction are, as you can imagine, some of the fastest-growing social good software companies out there.

Why We Like It:

EveryAction offers a comprehensive nonprofit CRM with a lot of bells and whistles. If a donor is already in your system, they enjoy one-click giving. You’ll find multichannel automation, moves management, optimized asks, and grants management.

This system offers nonprofits a lot of choice features and tools, making it helpful to nonprofits of all sizes.

But Watch Out For… 

Well, Bonterra. If you love EveryAction, be prepared for the Bonterra landscape of companies to shift, and you might not be able to stay on any one software. We’ve also heard from nonprofits that donations go into a Bonterra community foundation, not directly to the charity. It can take 30 days for the nonprofit to see the cash.

While EveryAction is known for having a solution for any size nonprofit, be aware that the company has been known to shy away from any clients that are conservative or right-leaning.

The bottom line: If your corporate politics don’t disqualify you and you anticipate needing more than just a CRM, EveryAction offers a veritable army of tools, people, and companies to help you succeed.

4. Best Nonprofit CRM if You Want Really Good Customer Service: DonorPerfect

DonorPerfect

DonorPerfect is one of three companies we will list that focuses on small to midsize nonprofits, making it a good option for those organizations. It’s been rated #1 for overall value in fundraising software, with prices starting at $99 a month.

Why We Like It:

This is a solid nonprofit CRM with good donor management functionality. It’s one of the most affordable solutions and is known for excellent customer service. It’s easy to learn and “gets the job done.”

DonorPerfect is a good choice for smaller nonprofits that just want an affordable, basic platform.

But Watch Out For…

It’s not going to have the extensive functionality you’ll find in slightly pricier options. Customization is limited, and reporting isn’t as robust as some nonprofits need. And we don’t love that the platform is integrated with Constant Contact rather than having native tools: this means an additional login for you.

Note that DonorPerfect does not offer prospect research and advocacy.

The bottom line: DonorPerfect is a good choice for smaller nonprofits.

5. Best Nonprofit CRM for Forward-Thinking Nonprofits: Virtuous

Virtuous-3Virtuous is another CRM that can serve nonprofits of any size, and they’re known for constantly evolving. They’ve adopted a methodology they call “Responsive Fundraising,” and they’ve published an impressive book outlining how it works.

Why We Like It:

We love the automation offered by Virtuous. It includes A/B email testing, workflows, and recommendations like which calls are the best to make on a certain day. Virtuous works hard to keep up with nonprofit needs and does it well.

The book is also pretty cool.

But Watch Out For…

The “all-in-one” name might impress you but know that Virtuous relies on a significant network of partners to provide full functionality, so not all the features are native to the system. The software tends to be on the more expensive side, and some functionality we’d consider to be basic (like automated email sequences with if/then logic) isn’t offered.

The bottom line: Virtuous is a solid choice if native functionality isn’t something you want.

6. Best Nonprofit CRM for an Easy UI: Bloomerang

Bloomerang-3

Billed as software nonprofits love to use, Bloomerang is visually pleasing and offers a straightforward user interface. Along with DonorPerfect, it’s one of the contenders that is geared toward smaller to medium-sized nonprofits.

Why We Like It:

Many nonprofits don’t have super tech-savvy people on staff, and you don’t need development skills to use Bloomerang. It has the tools most smaller and growing nonprofits need, and the customer service is noteworthy.

But Watch Out For…

Limited functionality. If you need robust events management, auctions, membership management, advocacy, or major gifts modules, you’re out of luck. It is geared toward smaller shops that don’t need a lot of advanced functionality or add-ons. The software doesn’t integrate with other platforms easily and has limited out-of-the-box reports.

The bottom line: Bloomerang is delightful software, but it’s a little limited in what it offers.

7. Best Nonprofit CRM for Tech-Savvy Organizations: Salesforce

Salesforce

Considered by many to be the most well-known CRM for sales, Salesforce integrates well with third-party systems but will need to obtain a variety of separate subscriptions to operate. Clients can use the Nonprofit Success Pack to customize Salesforce for nonprofits. Salesforce is relatively new to the nonprofit space (having launched this solution in 2018), but they’ve been an industry mainstay for more than 20 years. 

Why We Like It:

The Salesforce name carries a lot of weight in the software world, so it’s a reputable company with a massive network.

But Watch Out For…

Software-developer-level knowledge is required to make any adjustments or configurations to Salesforce, which is not always available for small and mid-size nonprofits. 

The bottom line: If you’ve got a large organization and you have in-house developers, you might want to consider Salesforce.

8. Best Non-Nonprofit CRM for Building Your Website: Classy

Classy-2

Classy, acquired by GoFundMe, calls itself a platform built for giving, and it does this through forms and payment processing. Classy is not a CRM but integrates with various systems, including Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce. The company offers several options for third-party payment processing so you can compare rates to find the lowest option.

Why We Like It:

It’s straightforward and easy to use. If you want forms and e-commerce on your website, it’s a good option.

But Watch Out For…

Classy won’t give you donor management. If that’s something you need, don’t mistake Classy for a full-service CRM on its own.

The bottom line: Classy might fit the bill if you’re looking for a la carte forms and a shopping cart.

9. Best Nonprofit CRM for Smaller Nonprofits: Neon One

Neon

This is the third solution that focuses on small to midsize nonprofits. Neon has a connected product ecosystem, offering robust functionality at an affordable price.

Why We Like It:

Neon is easy to use and offers a clean interface. The training videos and webinars are helpful as users are learning how to use the platform.

An extensive product suite is available through their ecosystem of integrated, separate systems, and you can match up with different products. For example, there’s a CRM, fundraising software, “giving days” technology, a membership management solution for both nonprofits and associations and software designed to support the impact of performing arts. They offer workflows for clients, meaning you can match the standard workflow with what you’re trying to do, such as welcoming a new donor. There are many options, but these aren’t customizable and might be limited to the number of workflows included in your subscription. 

But Watch Out For…

While Neon offers tons of flexibility and tools, most aren’t native to the platform. Users mention that customization is limited, and it can be hard to find data at times.

The bottom line: Neon is a large company with a lot of offerings, and it’s a good choice for small nonprofits.

10. Best Nonprofit CRM for Marketing, Sales, and a CMS: Hubspot

Hubspot

Hubspot was originally developed for for-profit companies and is a powerful marketing and sales tool. 

Why We Like It:

Hubspot is a potent CRM that can be used by any organization of any size that can afford it and wants a network of integrated systems. It's a great option for strong marketing, sales, and CMS functionality. Reporting and dashboards are a strength.

But Watch Out For...

The fact that it isn't built for nonprofits, and it doesn't offer traditional fundraising tools like donor management, moves management, major gifts, advocacy, event coordination, and volunteer management. None of those are standard features, and they're tools nonprofits need.

The bottom line: Hubspot might be a good choice if your nonprofit's operations closely resemble a for-profit company and fundraising isn't your primary focus.

11. Best Nonprofit CRM if You Don't Need Bells and Whistles: Keela

Keela

Keela is women-led and has a team of people from more than 17 countries. Based in Canada, it offers fundraising software, donor management, and email marketing for nonprofits.

Why We Like It:

It's a robust tool with an intuitive user interface, which is always good news for nonprofits. We also particularly like its cool Donor Pipeline tool! This feature enables effective moves management, particularly when dealing with major gifts.

But Watch Out For:

It is a Canadian-based company, so the laws around data sovereignty and compliance can vary from those in the U.S. There are also different currency exchange rates and limited local support. 

The bottom line: Keela is a solid option if you're willing to work with a foreign-based company.

12. Best Nonprofit CRM if You Still Use Excel: Little Green Light

Little Green LightLittle Green Light is a fundraising and donor management system designed to fit any nonprofit's needs, thanks to an extensive network of possible integrations. The company prides itself on a growing community of satisfied users—it even has its own Facebook page!

Why We Like It:

It's affordable, with packages starting at $45 a month. The company offers a free 30-day trial and, we've heard, integrates easily with QuickBooks.

But Watch Out For...

This is a basic system with basic features and functionality. There's limited opportunity for customizations. Customers must also migrate their data themselves, which can seem daunting.

The bottom line: If your nonprofit is just getting off the ground and you don't have many records to migrate, Little Green Light is an excellent starter tool.

13. Best Nonprofit CRM if You Don't Want a Contract: DonorDock

DonorDockDonorDock is another excellent option for smaller nonprofits that are upgrading from Excel spreadsheets. The platform offers donor management, giving pages, and email and text messaging.

Why We Like It: 

We like that a dropdown under "Getting Started" is a resource to help "Convince Your Team," as that's a valuable tool for nonprofits broaching software selections. DonorDock allows for unlimited contact records, which is rare, and doesn't require contracts. A standout feature is ActionBoard, a Kanban-style board system that enables effective activity management. We love their weekly training calls.

But Watch Out For...

While the app is slated for a new automation release, the current ability to create automation is limited. It may be a while before the capabilities catch up to what you can easily find in other systems. It's also worth noting that modules like peer-to-peer, auctions, and advocacy are only available through integrations.

The Bottom Line: If your nonprofit is focused on streamlining internal activity management, consider DonorDock.

14. GiveButter

Givebutter

Givebutter says it's the only platform that you can use for free, which gives you an indication of its creative approach to pricing. The platform provides donor management and a CRM, fundraising pages and events, payment processing, auctions, and more.

Why We Like It:

We love the Social Fundraising Tools, which enable users to easily share campaigns across various social media platforms. This means they can engage friends and supporters and spread the word about your nonprofit.

But Watch Out For...

The creative fee structure means users can choose between covering fees themselves or passing them on to donors (which is how you can use the system for free). If nonprofits decide to cover the platform fees to increase the amount earned for their mission, they can add up very quickly.

The Bottom Line: If your nonprofit wants to try out a creative payment structure, Givebutter is a great place to start.

Book a Demo

Key Nonprofit CRM Features 

While most CRMs come with basic data management and communication features, not every solution comes with the complete toolkit you need out of the box.

For most nonprofits, an all-in-one solution is a good starting point. You want to make sure the solution offers fundraising, payment processing, communication, major gift management, and more and can scale as your organization grows.

Let’s dive a little deeper into these key nonprofit CRM features.

Payment Processing

Do you really want to process donations externally? When your CRM features a built-in payment processor, you can ensure successful and secure processing and timely information updates.

An effective built-in payment processor will enable your organization to:

  • Automatically update credit card information. With a built-in payment processor, you can automatically update your donors’ credit card on file when it changes or expires. The CRM should recognize the same donor giving with a new card, enabling you to add that card to your existing records.
  • Securely process donations. When assessing security, be on the lookout for PCI-compliant and PCI-certified payment processors. Of the two, look for a provider with a PCI certification. This means a third party has evaluated and tested the provider to ensure their security meets the highest standard possible. In comparison, PCI-compliant testing is more frequently completed in-house.
  • Significantly reduce costs. A built-in processor can significantly reduce payment processing costs by cutting out third-party fees. 

Make sure your payment processor offers advanced fraud protection! Whether your payment processor is built into your CRM or it's a third-party system, you'll want to take the utmost care to keep your donor data safe.

Marketing Automation

Your CRM should make it easy to segment your donors and communicate directly with them through multiple channels. When looking at a new nonprofit CRM platform, look for tools that allow your organization to leverage:

  • Email campaigns. Be sure you can personalize the emails by automatically populating your supporters’ names in the salutation based on their profile in the CRM. Ensure your CRM offers email customization to represent your organization's brand.
  • Direct mail marketing. Direct mail isn’t dead! A combination of both direct mail and digital strategies helps build multiple touchpoints with supporters, establishing brand recognition and allowing for more calls to action. 
  • Automated messages. Make sure you’re able to immediately thank donors for their contributions by sending a quick confirmation email right after they give.

Instead of transferring contacts and donor segments to a different software solution for effective communication, nonprofit CRMs with robust communication management tools can pull contact information directly from the supporter profiles and record their engagement.

Major Gift Management

Whether your nonprofit has one hundred or one hundred thousand supporters, you’ve likely noticed that the bulk of your funding comes from a handful of donors. In fact, most nonprofits receive approximately 80% of their funding from 20% of donors through major gifts.

With so much riding on your nonprofit receiving major gifts, your CRM should support your efforts with features that make it easy to track these gifts from beginning to end of the donor journey:

  1. Beginning of the engagement. Very few major gifts are given by an anonymous stranger. Most major donors start as average donors, contributing to a cause they believe in. 
  2. Prospect research. Your CRM should integrate with a prospect research database. This will help you identify supporters who have the potential to become major donors.
  3. Cultivation. Once you’ve discovered prospective major donors, begin stewarding a relationship with them. The cultivation phase is a direct attempt to build and steward a relationship with a major prospect. Your CRM will allow you to track each interaction with supporters, helping to build and document the relationship.
  4. The gift. Record mid-tier and major gifts in your CRM under the donors’ profiles. Be sure you thank them and determine the next best steps to continue furthering these relationships.

Major gift cultivation requires a human touch, but your CRM should help record and manage your efforts. While simple solutions with less functionality may appear less expensive upfront, the truth is that an all-in-one solution can earn your nonprofit more in the long run.

Online Forms

You're driving traffic to your website. That's great! And you have forms that will drive engagement and donations. Also great. But how good are your forms?

You want to look for a CRM that offers:

  • Customized landing pages so you can reinforce your brand and communicate your mission.
  • Optimized donation forms with features that make giving easy, like one-click giving or a credit card updater.
  • Embedded forms that can be dropped right on your website.
  • Maximum giving through AI-based suggestions and options for recurring gifts or covering processing fees.
  • Fraud protection to keep your donor data safe.

If your donation form is where decisions are made to support your nonprofit, it's worth making them as strong as possible.

Reporting and Analytics

Tracking all the data you can is critical to the health of your nonprofit - but what you do with that data is even more important.

Think of all the data you can collect with a nonprofit CRM. Whether it's about your donors (how often they give, how much, when, where giving is concentrated) or your growth (number of new members, number of new sustainers, revenue and expenses), reporting on and analyzing data can show you, at a glance, what's working and what needs a little attention.

Ensure your nonprofit CRM has plenty of out-of-the-box reports and dashboards so you can keep data at your fingertips, and make sure the analytics are robust enough to give you insights you might otherwise miss.

It's not unreasonable for you to ask about AI, or artificial intelligence. It can analyze patterns and predict giving so you can arm yourself with the tools you need to succeed.

That's a lot to consider. Is a nonprofit CRM worth it?

There’s no substitute for technology built for nonprofits. And the right technology can significantly impact your fundraising and donor management, so we would say it’s worth it. If you’re on the fence, here’s a great article about why cost isn’t the most important consideration when you’re shopping.

We’d recommend that you come up with a list of features you need, then shop around and ask everyone the same questions. Find the CRM that will suit you now and grow with you, as there’s comfort in knowing you’ll never outgrow your technology.

We’d love to have you as a client, but if we’re not the right fit, we’ll help you find the perfect partner!