Editor’s note: A few weeks back we led a panel discussion on how to choose a donor management system with Eric Leland, Robert Weiner, and our own Karen Graham. The webinar was so popular and the questions so good that we couldn’t get to everything in the hour. But we didn’t want your questions to go unanswered. Our panelists split up the remaining questions and offer their answers.
Our second installation comes from Robert Weiner, a longtime nonprofit technology consultant and a good friend of Idealware’s since the the beginning. He has worked with hundreds of clients to set up donor management systems and is deeply involved in numerous organizations that help nonprofits manage their data and technology more effectively.
If your organization hasn’t done much fundraising in the past, is it prudent to start with a donor management system or better to start with spreadsheets and such?
For very small NPOs (500 – 1000 members), can a DMS also function as a membership database if you are moving from a spreadsheet-based approach to tracking members and donors?
For a tiny organization with a budget of $25,000, the rule of thumb would indicate that we should plan to spend $100 a year on a DMS, which would mean we shouldn’t get anything, even if it is warranted by our needs. Correct?