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Top 10 CRMs for charities and nonprofits

Guest Blogger | 16 January 2017 | Blogs

The Top 10 CRMs For Charities And Nonprofits

Learn which CRM systems work for charities and nonprofits. Download link.

Reference: You can download a full copy of this free report here

Table of Content:

  1. Introduction
  2. Customers vs. Constituents
  3. Features of a Nonprofit CRM Software
  4. Top 10 CRMs For Charities And Nonprofits 

1. Introduction

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has proved to be an extremely useful software tool across multiple industries. Due to its popularity and usefulness, CRM software is often perceived by the business world as an essential component of the business sales and marketing methodology. With the emergence of cloud computing and numerous cloud-based installations and with ever growing features and integrations, there is nothing that modern CRM software systems cannot do.

This is  a guide that takes a detailed look at some of the best performing CRM software for charities and nonprofits available in the market today.

Customer Relationship Management



Recruiting and managing millennials, a course by Bruce Tait.

2. Customers vs. Constituents

Customer Relationship Management is best for profit-model businesses where it focuses primarily on building and leveraging relationships to increase sales and revenue. Contacts, customers, leads are the subjects. When it comes to charities and nonprofits, these organisations have a rather diverse support base and maintain relationships with their subjects that are generally referred to as constituents. Therefore, the acronym, CRM in the nonprofit sector, means Constituent Relationship Management.

Constituents generally include the following:

Customer Relationship Management

Constituents are diverse in terms of the support they offer. Each constituent has a different role to play and their goals vary from other constituents depending on the relationship with the non profit organisation, but together they are vital to keep the organisation running smoothly. They want donors to keep donating; volunteers to lend a helping hand and contribute their time in numerous activities organised by the nonprofits; and you need media outlets to run encouraging and positive stories about your charity / nonprofit.

Nonprofits face unique challenges in the United Kingdom, such as, tight budgets and stringent regulatory constraints. Therefore, building long term relationship with your constituents is not only essential but necessary for achievement of your goals. Charities and nonprofits usually work on a predetermined front-end mission, for instance, community service, advocacy,  activism, religious beliefs, so on and so forth.

But in order to run the organisation, charities depend on donations or charitable contributions for financial support, which is why the operational mission of charities as well as nonprofits, usually revolves around the management of donors. CRM software for nonprofits, which is also called donor management software, is exclusively designed to help charities and nonprofits run operations smoothly.

Data Driven Technology


Social Media Engagement

With the advancement in data driven technology, it has become easier to manage constituents and also succeed as a nonprofit organisation without spending significant amount of money hiring staff / resources. It has been observed that charity and nonprofit organisations that used CRM technology noted an increase in the donor contribution growth by 20 percent and more. With the emergence of current donor management software, 70% of the organisations are satisfied with the CRM technology.

Donor attrition is one of the biggest challenges for nonprofits today. Attracting new donors requires involvement, marketing and word of mouth, but the retention of current donors is often an uphill battle. Unless the charity or nonprofit organisation continually courts them to support their worthy initiatives or renewed memberships, engage them in volunteer activities or additional pledges, they might lose their donors.

CRM software platforms for charities and non profits provide valuable and effective retention tools, such as, pledge management, marketing automation, as well as social media engagement. These three tools if used efficiently will give your charity organisation the right amount impact through your constituents.


3. Features of a Nonprofit CRM Software

CRM software have evolved and have given an upper hand to the non profits especially when it comes to improving retention, executing mission operations and boosting donations. If you are searching for a CRM system that would suit your charity or nonprofit organisation perfectly, you should start off by first familiarising yourself with some of the most important software features that your organisation needs. Once you begin your research, you will be able to decide which vendors offer precisely what you need, and then shortlist the best CRM software.

Below we have compiled some of the most essential and primary features that a CRM software must have:

Constituent Management

This is the most essential feature of CRM software. It is also the traditional CRM equivalent of customer / contact management. The only difference between the two is that constituent management includes donors, volunteers, vendors, students, alumni foundations and other groups. This type of CRM also includes tools that range from basic contact details to other types of classification, such as, memberships, donation history and social media engagement.

Constituent Management


Charity or a nonprofit organisation generally use marketing campaigns to promote themselves, attract new donors and keep its constituents informed about its activities. Campaigns are as important as sales are to a profit-model business, thus, fundraising campaigns are how charities and nonprofits raise funds from. Fortunately, in the digital age, charity owners do not need to spend long hours designing pamphlets to promote their campaign because most nonprofit CRMs have an extremely helpful marketing automation feature that launches email campaigns and sends it to all your constituents instantly.

Donation Management

A good CRM will help a charity or nonprofit to process the donations they receive. In order to reach out to all types of donors and give them a seamless and optimal customer experience, it is important to add flexible payment options so that you are able to collect donations from more than one channel. A CRM software that has an integrated payment processing system for credit/debit card, must be preferred over all others. There are advanced CRMs available that offer nonprofits with integrated accounting and budgeting features as well.

Event Manager

Event management is part of promotional activities that nonprofits usually devote their time to. If your organisation is likely to hold 5 to 6 events annually, you must use a CRM software that has an event planning and management tool because this software will enable you to schedule events, create seating charts, track RSVPs, send invitations and also let your team members access the data from their devices.

Event Management


Monthly Reports and Analytics

Traditional CRMs have always been known to collect huge amounts of data, but they are not well known for using that data efficiently, same is true for nonprofit  CRMs. So, when you are researching a suitable CRM software for your organisation, make sure you select one that is exclusive designed to make analysis easy and helps you segment your constituents as well. Easy analysis would enable you to plan ahead, and clarify your perspective as well in the form clean and customisation dashboards.

CRM software has become a fundamental part of majority of charities and nonprofits organisations today, because it helps in streamlining their operations and enable them to run smoothly in the long term. A nonprofit CRM is not just another contact management system, it is a software solution that consolidates vital information about constituent donations as well as their participation history so that the organisation can build upon the relationship they have with their donors, members, volunteers, corporate, sponsors, staff, alumni, etc.  An ideal nonprofit CRM is one that is full featured and affordable at the same time. Most of them are free and allow access to powerful reporting, as well as, communication tools that help nonprofits to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, analyse their outreach and measure results of their fundraising campaigns.

4. Top 10 CRMs For Charities And Nonprofits



Zoho ranks as one of the most popular CRM software for charities and nonprofits primarily due to its features and inexpensive pricing options. In addition to that, Zoho also has an entirely free version available for up to three users. The regular monthly starting rate is from $12 and $35 for an Enterprise version which specifically offers users more customisation, data storage and security controls.

Zoho CRM Software


The best thing about Zoho is that it offers discounts to nonprofit organisations, so that they can focus more on their initiatives. Nonprofits that are looking for a cost effective and economical CRM software can make full use of Zoho’s key CRM features and also avail their comprehensive support services.

Zoho CRM is efficiently designed to work smoothly on all types of devices. It is simple to use and has a user friendly interface. The reporting features are very easy to use and there are also a variety of prebuilt reports that users can run, or create their own custom reports if they like in the form graphical presentations that may include, pie charts, funnel, or line etc. Another great feature of Zoho is it’s built-in social CRM that allows your organisation to engage with users social networks, such as, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The software can be easily accessed on mobile devices access with an Internet connection.


Vtiger CRM Solution

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Vtiger is cost-effective CRM software for charity and nonprofit organisations because it offers all the basic features for free. To avail all the features, regular pricing rate is $12 per month, without limiting the number of users. Nonprofits can also avail a 15-day free trial and also a 30% discount for being a charity organisation.

This CRM solution is intuitive and has an easy to navigate user interface providing a reasonable customer support. These features make Vtiger the top choice for nonprofit and charity organisation that want a system that can help streamline their operations and get them up and running quickly without wasting any time. If you own a charity or nonprofit organisation, that wants to manage an inventory, Vtiger offers one of the most robust inventory management tools, where you can take orders and sell your products to fund your organisation.

Microsoft Dynamics


Microsoft Dynamics is considered by many charity and nonprofit organisations as the best CRM application because it is simple to use and users can easily download or customise their dashboards. If your nonprofit or charity organisation uses software from Microsoft Office, this interface of Microsoft Dynamics will also look familiar and make it an easy navigation.

Reporting is Microsoft Dynamic’s strongest feature. It’s seamless integration with Microsoft Excel makes reporting easier. The cutting edge technology used by Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows users to drill deep into their data and see it visualised in easy to understand charts and graphs. Microsoft Dynamics cost $65 a month, but qualified charity and nonprofit organisations can get this amazing Microsoft Dynamics CRM for only $9.99 a month. You can also avail a 30-day free trial in order to understand how the software works. The one thing that may limit the CRM’s power is that it can only run on Internet Explorer, which is Microsoft’s own Internet browser.

Salesforce for Nonprofits


Salesforce for Nonprofits is a dedicated CRM solution for charities and nonprofits which is developed by the world’s leading CRM software provider. The traditional Salesforce CRM offering is quite expensive as well as complicated, but this particular version designed for nonprofits is intended to bring a friendly user interface and best-in-class functionality. The software is free for first 10 users and there is discount for additional subscriptions as well which is as deep as 50% percent.

Salesforce for nonprofits


Nonprofit Salesforce CRM is innovative and comprehensive, it focuses on workplace collaboration, social media and mobile compatibility. Salesforce is a cloud-based solution that offers nonprofits and charities a host of fundraising tools, together with efficient management features for call centres, cases, social media engagement and hotlines.


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DonorPerfect is another cost effective, cloud-based CRM solution which is a great option for non profit organisations seeking growth through this robust donor management software. It offers impressive features for a fair price, for instance, predictive prospect analysis, built-in tools for planning and organising special events, reporting, etc.

DonorPerfect utilises Weblink platform to enable nonprofits to create online forms for a variety of uses such as membership forms, donation forms, gifts, volunteer forms, event sign-ups, information requests, etc. The best thing about DonorPerfect is its capability to integrate with Quickbooks and MS Office. DonorPerfect enables nonprofits to manage and strengthen their relationships with constituents including donors, volunteers, board members as well as event attendees through their database that is accessible on all mobile devices.

DonorPerfect Weblink Platform


Luminate CRM


Luminate CRM is a nonprofit software solution that is developed by Blackbaud. It is built on Salesforce platform which means it taps into the efficient and formidable power of world’s most popular CRM, which is the Salesforce. Luminate is a cloud-based CRM that focuses on innovative technology, unified data management and integrated marketing features. It has many great features and functions, which include, constituent metrics, email marketing, web forms, document sharing, market segmentation analytics and predesigned integrations for Microsoft Office, Outlook, and Google Apps.

DonorPro Suite


DonorPro is a cost effective and cloud based dynamic CRM that offers on-premise solutions for charities and nonprofits, including an integrated product suite to assist in fundraising, marketing automation, mobile and web functions. The CRM offers nonprofits a variety of features, including donor management, event planning, volunteer management, integrated marketing, analytics and inventory management. it’s fundraising feature is robust and supplies users with the capability to process payments securely and create online web forms and content, created emergency appeal, conduct fundraising events as well as host online auctions.

DonorPerfect Cloud-based CRM Solution




Insightly considers itself the number 1 online small business CRM. It does offer some basic and useful features that are vital to run any charity and nonprofit organisation, but what sets it apart from the rest of the products is that it is absolutely free. The CRM system is free for two users, and a 200 megabytes of storage is provided free with the membership. The feature that makes Insightly a worthy option is it’s in built email marketing system. This means that you don’t have to subscribe to Mailchimp or other automated software to run your email marketing campaigns. Insightly helps nonprofits save tons of money and utilise it where it is needed the most.



Bitrix24 is one of the most flexible CRM software available in the market. You can sign up for a free account which allows up to 12 users and up to five GB of storage data, with a great number of features. It covers all the essential features you need to run your nonprofit organisation efficiently.

Bitrix is a user friendly, very easy-to-use system. It is very well integrated with other programs and compatible with almost all mobile devices. This CRM is feature-rich and it is extremely useful when it comes to project management. It offers a built-in email marketing system, sales automation, invoicing, sales reporting, donor management and much more.

Hubspot CRM

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Hubspot CRM is by far the most comprehensive, feature-rich and easy to use CRM software compared to all the CRM products listed above. It is a 100% free, innovative CRM solution. Since Hubspot’s main product is its comprehensive marketing automation feature, this particular CRM that is designed for nonprofits is intended to serve as a gateway system for marketing automation.

Hubspot CRM Charities Nonprofits


Hubspot makes management easier for charities and nonprofits. The software has some really great data gathering abilities. With Hubspot, you are no more required to enter the data of your constituents manually because this robust software knows how to pull data about people efficiently. This is the feature that makes Hubspot the most intuitive marketing automation software. 

The best thing about Hubspot’s CRM solution is that it is extremely lightweight. It has all the features that are required by and essential for a charity and a nonprofit organisation. Being a free CRM, Hubspot seems to have become the best CRM software for charities and nonprofit organisation.

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This guide was written by Clwyd Probert, CEO of Whitehat (a certified Hubspot partner) who provide a SEO service to Charities and Non-profits.  Whitehat are London based inbound marketing agency. Their goal is the unification of sales and marketing efforts helping charities to drive better engagement, forge stronger relationships and accelerate fundraising results with a strong ROI.