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Best Nonprofit Software Categories and Our Recommendations for Each

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Published: Aug 27, 2021

Nonprofits have specific requirements for fundraising, governmental reporting, forming a community, and whatnot. A nonprofit software helps them meet these particular operational requirements.

Once you find the right set of software for your requirements, there’s no stopping you from busting through your goals.

In this guide, we discuss some of the best nonprofit software categories that help nonprofits in different areas, including accounting, board, donor and volunteer management, fundraising, and more. 

What software do nonprofits use?

Nonprofits may need different software to suit different needs. These categories and our recommended software for each can help you identify a set of the best software for your organization.

1. Best nonprofit software for online fundraising

best nonprofit fundraising software

With the overall online revenue of nonprofits increased by 23% over the past year, your nonprofit needs to have an online fundraising software. A fundraising software offers customizable donation pages to help your nonprofit raise money, making the donation process as smooth as possible. 

These software enable nonprofits to accept and process donations from multiple sources, using built-in payment processing. Most of them even let you set up recurring gifts. The analytics tools help monitor key fundraising metrics to improve future efforts by providing insights into what drives donations. 

All in all, with an easy-to-use online giving platform, your donors are more likely to return than ever. 

Key features include:

  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Crowdfundraising
  • Interactive dashboards
  • Custom donation forms
  • Mobile giving
  • Donation summaries
  • Comprehensive reports
  • Fundraising thermometer

Check out these 51 online fundraising software for nonprofits.

2. Best nonprofit software for accounting

best nonprofit software accounting

Nonprofits have complicated accounting requirements due to the multiple sources of donations and their expenditures. A nonprofit accounting software helps the organization track grants and donations, pay bills, and report expenses. 

These software provide transparency across teams and reduce manual processes, thereby improving data entry accuracy. It enables organizations to closely monitor key metrics such as income statements, program-to-expense ratios, balances, and more.

The ability to effectively monitor accounts and generate reports helps streamline budget management and keep you afloat. Most of these software help you report your funding sources and expenses for internal management and external auditing. 

With an accounting software, you will be able to manage and track all funding and budgeting activity, analyze all the financials and do much more.

Key features include:

  • Tracking finances
  • General ledger
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Document storage
  • Report writer
  • Customizable forms
  • Cash management
  • Fixed asset tracking

Our recommendations: Blackbaud, AccuFund, NonProfitPlus

3. Best nonprofit software for board management

best nonprofit software board management

Virtual communication has made its way to being a necessity today. A board management software helps you keep a tab on your members’ availability to find the best meeting time, store confidential information securely, and more. 

By streamlining all the operations, your board members can collaborate well and make time-sensitive decisions. 

Key features include:

  • Agenda creator
  • Polls
  • Task management
  • Goal tracking

Our recommendation: Boardable

4. Best nonprofit software for donor management

non profit donor management software

A nonprofit donor management software helps nonprofits manage donor data and develop strategic donor management processes and practices, resulting in improved donor retention. These software help you grow your donor community and thereby increase the fundraising capacity of your organization. 

The software enables nonprofits to manage donor records, find the best time to contact donors and measure their engagement level. They also help you build comprehensive donor profiles to help you better understand supporters.

The software can also help you invite donors to donate, add the donation details to their record and view the complete history of donations. 

With a powerful donor management software, you’ll eliminate data silos and run automated omnichannel campaigns. 

Key features include:

  • Data management
  • Customizable donor profiles
  • Social matching
  • List segmentation
  • Reporting
  • Activity tracking

Here’s a list of donor management software that we recommend. 

5. Best nonprofit CRM software

nonprofit crm software

Nonprofits use a CRM software to manage relationships with their constituents, such as supporters, donors, volunteers, etc. With a CRM, your team can skip the hassles of manual data entry and focus on effectively executing fundraising strategies

A nonprofit CRM software helps monitor interactions with its constituents, helping you discover the best outreach opportunities. The tools and insights a CRM provides help organizations operate efficiently and effectively. 

A CRM gives you a 360-degree view of your donors and supporters with effective segmentation abilities. 

User profiles get updated with every interaction, and nonprofits can manage donor relationships using interaction and donation history. Storing all your supporter and campaign information in one place helps you analyze them better, which is essential to improve your outreach strategy.  

Key features include:

  • Workflow automation
  • Track donor data
  • Custom reporting
  • Email integration
  • Identifying key supporters
  • Donor cultivation
  • Task reminders
  • Detailed profiles

Here’s a list of the best nonprofit CRM software

6. Best nonprofit software to host auctions

non profit organization software auctions

A nonprofit auction software is specifically designed to help nonprofits set up and conduct different types of auctions to support their fundraising efforts. These software offer tools to procure items for the auction, build auction catalogs, and collect donations. The software even lets the audience bid for the items put up for auction.

Key features include:

  • Auction listings
  • Bid sheets
  • Payment collection

Here’s a list of 12 nonprofit auction software.  

7. Best nonprofit software for matching gifts

not for profit software matching gifts

These software help nonprofits maximize their donations through matching gifts. These programs are a form of corporate philanthropy which help nonprofits by contributing to their causes. 

In a matching gift program, companies make contributions to eligible nonprofits to match their employees’ donations. 

Matching gift software help you discover the matching eligibility for a donation. If you’re eligible, the software provides the details of the specific employer’s matching gift program. Then, you can request the donor to submit a request or reach out to the employers for collaboration. 

Key features include:

  • An extensive database of companies
  • Insights into matching gift opportunities
  • Track matching gift requests by donors
  • Dedicated matching gift pages
  • Online forms
  • Thank you letters

Our recommendations: Double The Donation, 360MatchPro 

8. Best nonprofit software for donor prospect research

donor tracking software for nonprofits

Donor prospect research or wealth screening software help you screen ideal prospects to find out their giving capacity. This is done by examining their interests, wealth status, and data-driven predictors of future giving. This helps nonprofits discover potential high-impact donors. 

Some software in this category also provide recommendations on approaching donors the right way. 

Key features include:

  • Prospect generator
  • Potential donor database
  • Prospect relationship mapping

Here is a list of 11 donor prospect research software

9. Best nonprofit software to improve donor relationship

fundraising software and tools for nonprofits donor relationships

These software help nonprofits build stronger relationships with their donors using donor information. The software help you verify donor contact information and easily communicate with them, both of which are essential to building a good relationship.  

This can help in increasing donor loyalty. 

Our recommendation: HEPdata

10. Best nonprofit software for learning management

software for non profit organizations learning management

Nonprofits use a learning management software to:

  1. Develop employee training
  2. Improve fundraising know-how
  3. Prepare leaders.

The platform is ideal for sharing educational resources with the appropriate stakeholders like your volunteers, staff, constituents, and other members. This helps you bring consistency to the training materials your audience consumes and keep them engaged while advancing your nonprofit’s mission.

Key features include:

  • Customized learning
  • Live streaming and downloading abilities
  • Permission-based accounts
  • Learning assistance

Our recommendation: Leaderosity

11. Best nonprofit software for membership management

non profit software membership management

A membership management software provides an overview of all members in a centralized location and helps create and manage memberships. 

The software offers an online application form to facilitate member signup and sync the data collected into the database. 

Key features include:

  • Member database
  • Membership levels
  • Members portal
  • Dues and renewal management
  • Online payment support
  • Reporting

Here’s a list of the 9 most popular membership management software

12. Best nonprofit payment gateways

best nonprofit software payment gateways

A payment gateway helps nonprofits secure payment processing during online transactions like collecting donations, membership fees, and more. These solutions help in securing donors’ financial details and detecting and preventing fraud. 

Here are a few payment gateways that are specifically designed for nonprofits. 

13. Best nonprofit software for volunteer management

nonprofit software volunteer management

A volunteer management software provides nonprofits the tools they need to manage every aspect of a volunteer’s journey. Since volunteers are crucial in executing a nonprofit’s mission, investing in a dedicated volunteer management software becomes essential.  

These software help nonprofits source the right person, manage volunteer engagement, organize them, and track their involvement. 

A volunteer management software lets volunteers specify their interests while signing up and receive recommendations accordingly. 

Key features include:

  • Comprehensive profiles
  • Calendar management
  • Volunteer tracking and reporting
  • Reminders
  • Shift-based scheduling
  • Assigning duties
  • Volunteer portal

Here’s a list of the 23 best volunteer management software for organizations. 

14. Best nonprofit software to send direct mails

software for non profits direct mails

Creating quality fundraising letters is a significant task on its own. With a direct mail software, you won’t have to worry about the personalizing, printing, and mailing part. 

Key features include:

  • Multiple formats
  • Package design and editor
  • Printing and mailing capabilities
  • Customizable templates
  • Design tips

Our recommendation: GivingMail

15. Best nonprofit software for event fundraising

software for non-profits event fundraising

We all know hosting an event requires plenty of time, resources, and careful planning, and events are one of the main revenue streams for nonprofits. An event fundraising software lets you control all your event campaigns and activities from a single place, starting from collecting registrations to collecting donations.  

Key features include:

  • Customizable event pages
  • Event RSVP and registration tracking
  • Promotion tools
  • Seating arrangements
  • Sponsorship forms

Here’s a list of 6 event fundraising software for nonprofits. 

16. Best nonprofit ticketing software

non-profit software ticketing

A ticketing software, as the name suggests, helps with event ticketing for nonprofits. These software usually let you customize your tickets in line with your nonprofit’s branding

The tickets are of different levels to suit your event needs. 

Here are a few event ticketing software

17. Best nonprofit software for communication

best nonprofit software communication

Optimizing your communication strategies is key to building donor relationships and increasing donor retention. 

A nonprofit communication software is designed for nonprofits to interact with their donors and improve their fundraising efforts. With a wide range of tools, these software usually can manage and track all communication in one place. 

Nonprofits use a communication tool to reach, engage and retain their donors and supporters. All the data you have on your audience syncs with these software, helping you personalize your communication. 

Key features include:

  • Marketing tools
  • Detailed communication histories
  • Audience segmentation for targeted communication
  • Personalized communication
  • Collecting donations
  • Tracking and reporting

Here are our recommendations for voice text message marketing and email marketing

18. Best nonprofit CMS 

best nonprofit software CMS

Having a web presence in today’s digital world is essential to engaging your audience. A CMS is primarily used to set up websites and blogs. 

Key features include:

  • Visual builders
  • Plugin support

Our recommendation: WordPress

19. Best nonprofit software for online shopping

best nonprofit software online shopping

An online shopping software for nonprofits is partnered with many retailers, and when your supporters shop on the platform, your nonprofit earns a certain percentage as a donation. 

Key features include:

  • Marketing materials
  • Branding tools

Our recommendation: ShopRaise

20. Best nonprofit software for advocacy

best nonprofit software advocacy

An advocacy software helps advocacy leaders design and organize outreach programs through different communication channels. 

Here’s a list of the top 10 advocacy software for nonprofits. 

21. Best nonprofit software for grant management

software nonprofit grant management

Grant management software help nonprofits manage grant data and process from the applicant to the reviewer. All the grant requests are available to view and track to see the progress. 

Key features include:

  • Online grant agreements and follow-ups
  • Impact measurement
  • Reporting and analytics

Our recommendation: Grant Lifecycle Manager

22. Best nonprofit software for mobile donations

software for nonprofit organizations mobile donations

Mobile donation software help nonprofits and donors simplify and speed up the giving process. These are typically executed using texts. The steps a donor has to go through to make a contribution are very minimal, making it convenient for both parties.  

Donors only have to text the amount they want to donate, and the payment is added to their carrier bill. This is called a text-to-give solution. 

Here are a few best text-to-give platforms

Get started!

Now that you know how to pick the best nonprofit software, your organization can make its way to running the operations smoother than ever!

Finally, a nurtured community is an essential factor in creating considerable impact. With some of these best software for nonprofits, organizations can improve all parts of their journey, including donor experience, community engagement, and more.

Featured image: Photo by XPS on Unsplash

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