I am on a number of LinkedIn groups that are primarily concerned with nonprofits and fundraising. Recently on one of the groups there was a lot of discussion about the selection of a fundraising/donor management software package. To be honest, I was amazed by the outpouring.
Because fundraising software is so integral to successful fundraising, I really should not have been surprised. However, the discussion of software and how to utilize it to manage your database often does not even get a spot on a conference agenda.
Paring the 1.5 million nonprofits in the United States down to about 800,000 by removing churches, associations, and really really small nonprofits, less than 10% of nonprofits have actual off-the-shelf fundraising software. The off-the-shelf applications include MatchMaker FundRaising Software, DonorPerfect, eTapestry, etc. The 10% was derived from a meeting of the donor software companies.
The reality is that a lot of nonprofits are attempting to manage a critical function, fundraising, using Excel or QuickBooks. Those methods are going to be less successful going forward. Competition for charitable dollars will be greater and require a higher level of attention to detail – the kind of detail that software like MatchMaker FundRaising Software can provide.
Nonprofits do have lots of fundraising software choices. Consideration needs to be made for features, functionality, and technical support and finally price. The bottom line is that nonprofits need to budget for fundraising software, look at their needs, and purchase software.