Donor Management Systems: Are They Worth the Investment?

Donor management software, also known as a donor management platform or donor management system, can save your nonprofit clients time and help improve fundraising efforts. But how do these systems work and are they worth the expense?

What is donor management software?

Simply put, donor management software is a tool that allows nonprofits to better manage in one place donor data and donations. As a result, it makes it easier for organizations to better understand and maximize relationships with their donors by:

  • Tracking donations.
  • Identifying donor trends and giving habits.
  • Organizing donor data for specific fundraising events.
  • Identifying and marketing to donors who are the most likely to give larger donations.
  • Making recommendations for increasing the potential for future donations.
  • Organizing donations across social networking platforms, from various fundraising events, email campaigns, etc.
  • Using multichannel communications to maintain relationships between organizations and donors.

What should organizations look for in a donor management system?

There are several different donor management systems your nonprofit clients can explore, each with various options, features and tools. When considering a system, organizations need to think about solutions for specific problems. For example, has it become increasingly difficult to maintain communications with donors? Has the tracking, reporting and management of donor data become an ongoing challenge? Is the organization struggling with maximizing its fundraising efforts?

Other considerations when selecting a system should include:

  • Initial and ongoing costs.
  • Ease of implementation and use.
  • Integration with existing applications. 
  • Tracking (e.g., donor analytics and custom reports).
  • Customization (e.g., the ability to customize donation pages and registration forms).
  • Donor account self-management (e.g., give donors the ability to view and manage their giving history, tax receipts, recurring donations).
  • Size and capacity (e.g., whether the system has the ability to scale with the organization).
  • Options (e.g., whether additional tools and features can be added at a later date).
  • Fundraising tool integrations (e.g., payment processing for collection donations).

According to the website FinancesOnline, some of the more widely used and top-20-rated donor management software for nonprofit organizations in 2022 are Keela, NetSuite Grant Management, Sumac, Raiser’s Edge NXT, DonorPerfect, Bloomerang, Planning Center, eTapestry, MemberClicks, Salsa CRM, Qgiv, WizeHive, easyTithe, Network for Good, Wild Apricot, NeonCRM, Kindful, Donor Tools, Abila, and DonorView.


Eventually, many nonprofits conclude that managing donor data in the same way as they have for years won’t help them further their cause and that there must be a better way. Whatever the problem your nonprofit clients are looking to solve, the very best donor management system is the one that meets their individual needs.

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