Donor Management Software: Top providers (& What to look for)

Maintaining effective relationships with donors is a key consideration for fundraising. Yet as your organization grows, it can be hard to continually keep track of each of your constituents.

At GivingMail, we work with all sorts of fundraising organizations and set them up to maximize success. One critical aspect of fundraising that we’ve noticed is the importance of effective donor management. That’s where donor management software comes in!

As such, we’ve put together this handy guide to help nonprofit professionals such as yourself explore the variety of donor management software providers available on the market. Specifically, we’ll cover the following:

Are you ready to dive in and learn more about what to look for in a donor management solution, as well as take a look at our top favorite providers? Let’s get started.

Donor Management Software: FAQ

Whether you’re looking to invest in your first-ever donor management solution or simply to upgrade your current software toolkit, you likely have a few questions. That’s why we’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions from professionals such as yourself.

What is donor management software?

Donor management software is a specific category of nonprofit fundraising tool that is designed to help organizations maximize their relationships with donors and other supporters. Perhaps you’ve heard this type of software go by other names such as:

  • CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) system
  • Nonprofit database software
  • Donor database
  • Donor relationship management system

More generally, you might also see this comprehensive tool referred to as ‘nonprofit software’ or ‘fundraising software.’ Regardless of the terminology used, donor management software has the power to completely transform new and existing donor relationships by giving nonprofits the information they need to build and cultivate deeper connections with individuals.

How does donor management software improve fundraising?

Donor management software can set you up for more targeted donation appeals and assist you in asking for donations in a strategic way. Specifically, these software solutions can help you:

  • Turn supporters into donors. You likely have a group of individuals who have shown interest in your organization in the past (perhaps by signing up for your newsletter or volunteering for a fundraising event) but have never made the leap to becoming donors themselves. With donor management software, you can record and analyze your interactions with them to thank them for their previous engagement and gently guide them towards giving for the first time.
  • Cultivate more and larger gifts. Once that donor has made their first gift, the information in your supporter management tools can help you cultivate that individual into a repeat donor. For example, you might ask for slightly larger donations than they’ve previously made. Or, you can even promote your automated recurring gift programs and encourage more donors to support your organization on a regular basis.
  • Track the success of previous campaigns. By keeping track of previous fundraising campaigns, you can celebrate key successes and note any areas with room for improvement. For example, if you see that your direct mail campaigns bring in twice the revenue of your digital marketing, you might decide to invest more in direct mail strategies going forward.

Without the right software in your fundraising toolkit, it would be nearly impossible to segment your audience, personalize your donation requests, and nurture supporter relationships in the long term. Yet with an effective donor management solution, it’s possible (and easy!) to do all of this and more—meaning more fundraising dollars end up with your organization in the end.

What is the best donor management software?

The best donor management software, in our humble opinion, is GivingMail CRM. Still, that honor is up for debate between hundreds of software providers all claiming to have the best-in-class solution. But no donor management software is a one-size-fits-all solution. So how can you choose?

We’ll discuss a few nonprofit-favorites in the sections below, as well as share some industry best practices for choosing the software that will meet your organization’s specific wants and needs.

Our Favorite Donor Management Software Providers

Since there are so many donor management software providers to pick from, we’ve selected our best fundraising platforms for non profits to highlight here. We’ll discuss some key benefits and drawbacks of each, as well as the starting price-points. And of course, we’ll kick it off with our top choice—GivingMail CRM.

1. GivingMail CRM

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

GivingMail CRM is our very own donor management software system, built to accommodate nonprofit users who seek a more comprehensive look at data management and top-tier fundraising strategies.

It effectively integrates with our direct mail fundraising platform as well, meaning you’ll be able to send top-notch direct mail appeals to your audience with ease. Then, you can continue to collect valuable insights into your fundraising strategy so that you’re constantly improving your efforts.

Donor Management Software Pricing

GivingMail CRM starts at only $75/month for up to 1,000 records. Plus, you can pay by the year and save.

2. Lumaverse

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

Lumaverse is a nonprofit technology company with a variety of useful products, including a crowdfunding platform, volunteer sign-up tools, and, of course, a comprehensive donor management software system. If you’re looking for a donor management solution with expansive integrations, Lumaverse would be a great pick.

Their donor management software was carefully crafted by nonprofits, for nonprofits, so that organizations of all shapes and sizes have the tools they need to inspire action.

Donor Management Software Pricing

Lumaverse’s donor management solution starts at $100/month for up to 1,000 records. Plus, they offer discounts for K-12 schools.

3. Bloomerang

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

Bloomerang is a nonprofit technology platform that offers a nonprofit CRM and overall fundraising solution built to equip organizations with the tools they need to scale up their strategy. With comprehensive tools carefully crafted to emphasize donor engagement and retention, Bloomerang’s donor management software is trusted by thousands of nonprofits who have seen great success.

Plus, they offer top-notch integrations with wealth screening resources, peer-to-peer fundraising platforms, accounting software, and nonprofit CMS’s for an even more extensive solution.

Donor Management Software Pricing

Bloomerang’s donor management software starts at $99/month for up to 1,000 records, which is billed annually.

4. Snowball

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

Snowball Fundraising is an all-in-one fundraising solution for smaller and growing organizations. Their easy-to-use donation pages collect key donor information that is then automatically transferred to an intuitive CRM dashboard.

With Snowball’s donor management software, you can track individual donor and transaction histories with an easily navigable design. Although Snowball’s CRM-specific functionality is limited, you can’t beat the price—free!

Donor Management Software Pricing

Snowball offers a free Basic plan complete with an online donation page, event ticketing tools, and CRM dashboard. For more comprehensive functionality, their Premium plan starts at only $549/year.

5. CharityEngine

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

CharityEngine is a nonprofit fundraising platform with a variety of products, including an all-in-one donor management system, online fundraising tools, and monthly billing functionality.

This donor management software provider boasts its ability to track multi-channel campaigns, gathering real-time insights from email, direct mail, digital advertising, in-person, print, and even television appeals. After all, the more the merrier!

Donor Management Software Pricing

CharityEngine’s donor management software solution starts at $149/month.

6. Salsa

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

Salsa CRM by Salsa Labs is a comprehensive donor management solution built to assist organizations in improving their donor relations by offering streamlined management processes, easy-to-track donor interactions, and insightful fundraising data.

Salsa specifically focuses on maintaining effective donor relationships through each phase of the donor lifecycle—from identification and engagement to conversion, stewardship, and retention. With tools like these, you’ll be better able to guide donors through each stage and create lifelong supporters in the process.

Donor Management Software Pricing

Contact the Salsa team to get a personalized quote for your organization.

7. NeonCRM

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

NeonCRM is a nonprofit software solution built to improve all sorts of organization-wide workflows, including fundraising, donor management, event ticketing, communications, and automation. Specifically, their nonprofit CRM tools are made to effectively engage donors, plan events, track volunteers, and manage memberships.

With a software solution like NeonCRM, your team will be better equipped to save both time and money that can then be reallocated back to your mission.

Donor Management Software Pricing

NeonCRM offers an Essentials Light plan starting at $49/month, with more comprehensive plans for larger organizations scaling to more than $299/month.

8. Salesforce

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (also known as the NPSP) provides organizations with an extensive array of fundraising and donor management software used to optimize their strategic efforts.

The NPSP sits on top of the Salesforce Sales or Service Cloud Enterprise Editions and equips nonprofits with all the right tools to ensure successful fundraising—including out-of-the-box solutions for constituent relationship management right away.

Donor Management Software Pricing

Salesforce offers CRM plans which begin at $150/month for the Sales Cloud Enterprise Edition + Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), and $300/month for the Sales Cloud Unlimited Edition + Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP).

9. Raiser’s Edge

What Makes This Donor Management Software Stand Out

Raiser’s Edge NXT by Blackbaud is a comprehensive cloud-based donor management system and overall fundraising software solution. Built with Blackbaud CRM’s expansive fundraising infrastructure, Raiser’s Edge takes that software designed for the largest nonprofits and makes it accessible to mid-sized and growing organizations as well.

Plus, Raiser’s Edge doesn’t stop at donor management. Instead, this software solution incorporates important aspects of effective nonprofit operations, campaign management, and fundraiser marketing.

Donor Management Software Pricing

Contact the Blackbaud team for a detailed quote and get started with the plan that best fits your needs.

Features to Look for in Donor Management Software

With so many great donor management software providers to choose from, it’s important to know which are the most impactful features to prioritize in your search. Let’s discuss the following and see why they’re important to an effective nonprofit fundraising solution:

Automated Donor Outreach

Donor outreach is an important aspect of effective fundraising efforts. Yet if you had to message each donor manually, one at a time, you’d never have time to pursue your overall nonprofit mission. That’s where automated outreach comes in.

With the right donor management tools, you can set up donation appeals to a host of recipients simultaneously, send automated donor acknowledgments upon receiving online gifts, and even year-end thank-you messages and event invitations.

Even better, automation tools can plug in key donor information (such as preferred name and engagement history) so that each individual receives a customized message crafted just for them.

Detailed Donor Profiles

One of the most important features of any donor management solution is the donor profiles it creates. This information collected and stored in your database should go further than the individual’s legal name and email address. Try to gather information like the donor’s birthday, preferred name/nickname, family status, and even their pet’s name.

Here's an example of a detailed donor profile from your donor database software.

It’s also a good idea to invest in a solution that allows you to map relationships between donors. For example, you can make a note that Donor A (let’s call her “Jessica”) is Donor B’s mother. Even if they’re not in the same household, it can be useful to be aware of important interpersonal relationships like these. The more you know about your supporters, the more you can adjust your donation appeals to suit them personally.

Audience Segmentation

Sorting supporters by shared characteristics is another great way to create targeted donation appeals. Not to be confused with personalization (which is another fantastic strategy for building donor relationships by including specific details in your communications), audience segmentation describes categorizing individuals by overarching attributes.

When it comes to segmenting your fundraising efforts, most organizations group individuals based on the following:

  • Demographics: age, gender, race, ethnicity, location
  • Communication preference: text, phone, email, social media, direct mail
  • Giving method: online (credit/debit card, ACH payment), in-person or direct mail (check, cash)
  • Engagement history: volunteer, member, event attendee, donor, lapsed donor
  • Gift size and type: small, mid-sized, major, recurring, in-kind, planned
Donor management software makes audience segmentation easy.

This way, your fundraising appeals will be more specific to the types that a recipient is most likely to respond to. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a ton of email donation requests to an individual who clearly favors direct mail correspondence. Not only is that a waste of time and, by extension, money, but it can also cause the donor to become fed up with your organization as a whole.

Volunteer, Member, and Event Attendee Management

Although the name (donor management software) implies an emphasis on donors, it’s important to look for a system that allows you to track and manage your other supporters as well—including volunteers, members, and event attendees. That way, you can continually encourage your other supporters to begin their donor journey, and make sure to show sufficient appreciation to each one where they’re at.

Look for donor management software that can manage all of these key supporters.

Reporting Capabilities

It’s a good idea to look for a donor management solution with ready-made fundraising reports available to pull on demand. However, you’ll also want a platform that supports advanced report building and makes it easy for users to create custom reports to showcase exactly the information they want. Then, be sure your custom-built reports carry over from month to month to avoid having to start all over again.

Extensive Integrations

The right integrations can bring any individual software solution, such as your donor management solution, to the next level. Rather than creating a piecemeal combination of fundraising tools, automatic integrations allow for more streamlined processes and less room for error.

When it comes to a donor management platform, try to find one that comes with a host of integrations, including nonprofit software for wealth screening, accounting, email outreach, and digital marketing. Plus, you’ll want your management software to integrate with your other fundraising solutions—such as your direct mail platform.

Fundraising Appeals

Ultimately, one of the most prominent reasons behind your donor management software is strengthening your fundraising appeals. Whether that’s sending out optimized donation letters, strategic email appeals, or targeted event invitations, when you personalize your approach—as made possible by the right donor management system—you’re more likely to bring in significant fundraising revenue.

Affordable Price Tag

When it comes to pricing, new and smaller nonprofits might be on the lookout for a free or very low-cost donor management software provider, as they’re not yet in a position to shell out the big bucks for a comprehensive solution. However, these tools will be limited in functionality and in scope, and organizations must be willing to upgrade at some point in the growth process or else risk getting stuck where they are.

Large and mid-sized organizations, on the other hand, should be willing to invest in a CRM with more extensive features, even if it means a higher price tag. Still, you don’t want to spend too much on fundraising overhead, so it’s important to find a happy medium with a high ROI (or return on investment).

With the right donor management software, you can build lifelong relationships with supporters and maximize your fundraising efforts. Hopefully, this guide has provided you with some much-needed insights that will guide your software buying decisions going forward.

Regardless of the donor management solution you choose to adopt, the importance is the same. Your new (or improved) fundraising tools will help you raise more from your dedicated donors and set your organization up for long-term success.

For more information, be sure to check out our other educational resources:

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