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CharityEngine vs. Salesforce NPSP

When choosing fundraising software, it can be hard to know what’s on the other side of the door. We’re here to help!

CharityEngine vs. Salesforce NPSP

Looking for a CRM solution? Odds are, Salesforce has crossed your radar. In fact, nonprofits have likely seen the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP).

When weighing the options between Salesforce NPSP and CharityEngine for your fundraising CRM needs, there are some key considerations to keep in mind. 

CharityEngine is a complete fundraising platform with the most built-in fundraising tools out of any CRM in the industry. On the other hand, Salesforce NPSP is geared towards nonprofit management, with fundraising capability being one aspect of its broader functionality. 

Let's delve into the overarching advantages and drawbacks of Salesforce NPSP and how it stacks up against CharityEngine. 

Salesforce NPSP Pros 

  • Industry-Leading CRM: Salesforce is synonymous with CRM, known for its comprehensive features and market dominance. 
  • Highly Customizable: Offers extensive customization options to tailor the solution to specific organizational needs. 
  • Robust Program Management Capabilities: Provides ability to track any type of program or service, including individual service deliveries.  
  • Strong Major Gift Stewardship: Salesforce leverages its expertise in opportunity management, providing nonprofits with powerful tools for major gift cultivation. 
  • Native Volunteer Management: Includes built-in functionality for managing volunteer jobs and shifts, enhancing organizational efficiency.

Salesforce NPSP Cons 

  • Nonprofit Retrofit: As Salesforce was originally designed for for-profit organizations, NPSP was adapted for nonprofit fundraising needs, resulting in mismatched focus and terminology.  
  • Complex Customization: Customization often demands expertise, many times necessitating the involvement of Salesforce-certified administrators or third-party assistance. 
  • Cost Overruns: While the base price appears reasonable, additional features and integrations can significantly increase costs, likely straining nonprofit budgets. 
  • Lack of Built-in Payment Processing: Following the discontinuation of Elevate, nonprofits must seek third-party payment processing solutions, adding complexity to their tech stack.

Feature Highlights 





Nonprofit Success Pack

 Best For Sophisticated fundraisers who want a consolidated platform with all their fundraising tools.   Nonprofits who want to consolidate program management with fundraising software.  
 Pricing $$ to $$$  $ to $$$$ 
 Differentiators A complete fundraising platform that puts all your data in one place.  Nonprofit technology built on the world's #1 CRM 
CRM & Donor Management 
 Membership Management Yes  Yes 
 Major Gift Management   Yes  Yes 
 Sustainer Management &  Subscription Billing  Yes  Limited
(Does not including subscription billing)
 Custom Donation Forms  Yes  No
(Third-party integration)
 Payment Processing  Yes  No
(Third-party integration)
 Multichannel Marketing 
 Advanced Email   Automation  Yes  Yes 
 Text-to-Give  Yes  Yes 
 Direct Mail   Yes  No 
 Multichannel Attribution  Tracking (including DRTV)  Yes  Limited 
 CMS  Yes  Yes
Requires Salesforce CMS
 Event Management   Yes  No
(Third-party integration)
 Volunteer Management  Yes  Yes 
 Auctions  Yes  No
(Third-party integration)
 Peer-to-Peer Yes  No
(Third-party integration)
 Reporting & Analytics 
 Out-of-the-Box Reports  Yes (90+) Yes (70+)
 Custom Dashboards   Yes  Yes
 Enterprise Query Builder  Yes  Limited  
(Dependent on third-party integration data)  
 Multi-Organization &   Chapter Management   Yes  Yes 
 E-Commerce  Yes  No
 Grant Management   Yes  Yes
 Advocacy  Yes  No
 Open API  Yes  Yes 
 Customers Say*
 Pros “The ability to generate custom reports and create custom dashboards allows us to easily compile relevant data and reports to share with our staff in a way that is easy for them to access and understand. Overall, CharityEngine makes it easy to streamline our work and lightens the workload of both our frequent and in-frequent CharityEngine users.”  "Salesforce for Nonprofits provides a cohesive and all-encompassing tool to manage nonprofits. From donor relations to grant management to volunteer management to program and impact delivery, the Salesforce does this all seamlessly and with users in mind.” 
 Cons “As expected with a product as robust as CharityEngine, training new employees on the software can take some time. That said, their Client Services team is always available to help out when needed.”  “Salesforce is cumbersome and clunky. It wasn't built as a donor database, and that shows in its functionality. Although you can house your donor data within Salesforce, it doesn't have an intuitive feel and isn't helpful in tracking and alerting users to donor-centric metrics like donor retention, new donors, etc. The reporting functionality is also cumbersome.” 

*Customer quotes from G2

Ultimately, the choice between CharityEngine and Salesforce NPSP comes down to your nonprofit's specific needs and priorities.  

While Salesforce NPSP leverages the power of the industry-leading CRM platform, it may require significant customization and additional integrations to support comprehensive fundraising efforts, which can increase the cost substantially.  

CharityEngine, on the other hand, offers a purpose-built, unified fundraising platform with robust out-of-the-box capabilities tailored to nonprofit organizations' unique requirements. 

The decision should be guided by carefully evaluating your organization's goals, budget, and the level of customization required to achieve seamless, donor-centric fundraising operations. 

To learn more about CharityEngine, contact us for a personalized tour of our complete fundraising platform.