The Right Fundraising Software
I need software. As a long-time tech guy, I have high standards. But I just can’t find what I’m looking for. I’m asking for your help.
Here are two “user stories” to consider how the software might be used.
User Story 1
A donor writes a check. We log the donation, making sure his contact info is up to date. A review of the donor’s giving history shows that the gift is a step up from previous gifts, prompting me to make an extra phone call to thank him.
User Story 2
We’re working on a new campaign and are identifying prospective major donors. We produce a report of all gifts in a certain time range, over a certain amount, and from certain segments of our people. The report reveals a prospect with close ties to one of our board members, who helps secure a significant lead gift.
The user stories help determine requirements, but I’ve also given a lot of thought to features. These are usually split into “Must Have” and “Nice to Have” lists.
- Web based – Our team is made up of volunteers all over the area
- Multi-user – We have several people who need access to the data
- Giving history – pull up all previous gifts from a donor
- Reporting – arbitrary reports such as gifts in a date range
- Restrictions – noting that gifts are restricted for a specific purpose
- Export – it’s our data, and if we need to use it outside the software we need to be able to export it
Nice to Have
- Campaigns – Indicate that gifts are part of a specific campaign
- Helpful reporting – some systems offer suggestions for donors who are more likely to give and why
- Accept online donations – we don’t have any online donation system yet but we plan to – some web-based systems actually handle this for you
- Integrate with online giving – at the very least, we’ll need to get that data into the system and it would be great if we could automate that
- Alerts – email alerts or reminders of certain things – hitting campaign milestones, major gift anniversaries, etc.
So, for a small non-profit with relatively small budget and no paid fundraising staff, what options would you recommend? What’s easy enough to learn and use, but powerful enough to provide value?