A Consumers Guide to Donor Management Systems

Donors are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. You need them to survive. But how do you manage all the details about their giving, along with all the personal details that are key to maintaining successful relationships, without breaking your bank? The answer, of course, is with a donor management system designed to do exactly that.
 
The marketplace is packed with viable options, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Finding the right one to meet the particular needs of your organization—as well as your budget—can be a challenge. Years ago, Idealware and NTEN came together to take on that challenge with the first Consumers Guide to Donor Management Systems, which reviewed a number of low-cost systems against a list of criteria and made direct apples-to-apples comparisons to help readers decide which could best help them meet their missions.
 
The marketplace evolved, with new systems appearing and existing systems introducing new features and pricing structures. So have we. We updated the report in 2011, and today we’re pleased to introduce a long-anticipated 2013 update, expanded to include nine new systems—36 in all.
 
We also improved our evaluation criteria by adding such considerations as mobile access, access for donors to update recurring payments online, reporting dashboards, tracking social media information, and much more. This 160-page guide provides an overview of what the systems do, recommendations based on particular needs, comparison charts, summaries of all 36 systems, and detailed reviews of our top 11 choices: CiviCRM, DonorPerfect Online, DonorPro, eTapestry, GiftWorks, Little Green Light, NeonCRM, The Raiser's Edge(i), Salesforce Nonprofit Starter Pack, SuiteDonor, and Talisma Fundraising.
 
New systems include Affinaquest, Akubo CRM, Sustain, Total Community Manager, Talisma, Causeview, FastFund Raising Online, NonProfitEasy, and The Raiser’s Edge(i).
 
As in past editions, the 2013 guide includes a directory of consultants with experience implementing these systems to help you put the one you choose to work for you.
 
Thanks to our partners at NTEN and NPower and all our sponsors, the report is free to download—just sign up below. Once you register, a link will appear that you can click to download the report.
 
Whether you’re new to the donor management landscape or a veteran, everyone can use a little help. To tie in with the report, we're excited to offer two training opportunities: The first, a 90-minute webinar called Choosing the Right Donor Management System, is available on demand, and was led by Elizabeth Pope, one of the report’s authors and Idealware's go-to donor management expert, and Idealware Expert Trainer Eric Leland of Five Paths. The second, The Complete Donor Management Series On Demand, is an entire on-demand course dedicated to understanding, choosing, and implementing donor management systems made up of two 90-minute classes focusing on the key considerations for choosing and using a new system. It includes demos of six systems: GiftWorks, Salesforce NPSP, DonorPerfect, NeonCRM, Little Green Light, and CiviCRM.