Home > Software Categories > What is nonprofit CRM software?
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Aron Vaughan, Staff Writer
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Written by
Aron Vaughan, Staff Writer
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Corey Noles Avatar

Reviewed by
Corey Noles, Managing Editor
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Nonprofit Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a tool that organizes, manages, and tracks a nonprofit organization’s contacts and any interactions the sales, marketing, and customer service teams may have with those contacts. A Nonprofit CRM may also have special features that manage volunteers, fundraising drives, and audits.

CRM software has proven useful to so many industries that it’s often perceived as a kind of universal business operating system. With cloud-based installations and feature integrations growing exponentially every year, there are few things left that CRM software can’t do. But bigger isn’t always better, especially for niche markets that require specialization rather than large feature sets. In this buyer’s guide, we take a detailed look at the best nonprofit CRM software on the market today.

According to our expert analysis, the best nonprofit CRM solutions for 2023 include: 

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Our picks for the best project management software

Salesforce: Best for scalability


  • Complete constituent view
  • Automates time-consuming tasks
  • Top-notch marketing communications and engagement tools
  • Ample training materials for new users


  • Additional modules required for full nonprofit functionality
  • Does not include queue for new donor and retention metric features out of the box
  • Program and benefit tracking: Centralize programs and benefits to fully align your team, automate aggregation of data, and make reporting easier.
  • Attendance and disbursement tracking: Capture benefit/service deliveries in bulk and enable field staff to track enrollment and participation on mobile devices.
  • Participant profile: Access information about services delivered, cases, and care plans rendered from a single console.
  • Referrals and guided intake: Process inbound client referrals and guided intake, with embedded assessments for deeper insights into clients.
  • Care plans and templates: Build personalized plans for clients and families, including goal tracking, benefit enrollment, and task management.

Contact Salesforce for specific pricing and tiers

We highlighted Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud for its comprehensive Program and Case Management features that offer streamlined scheduling, tracking, and personalized care plans. With the ability to integrate with thousands of apps and secure data, it offers both customizability and security. The platform’s dynamic assessments and insights enable a deeper understanding of clients, aligning with Salesforce’s promise to “nurture donor and program participant relationships” and “make data actionable.”

With this in mind, Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud might not be the best fit for smaller nonprofits with limited budgets or those without the technical expertise to navigate its complex features.

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud, launched by Salesforce.org, is a part of Salesforce’s commitment to the nonprofit sector. Salesforce.org was established as a social enterprise in 2000, with a model to provide Salesforce’s technology to nonprofits and educational institutions at a reduced cost or for free. Over the years, Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud has evolved, incorporating feedback from the nonprofit community, to become a comprehensive solution that addresses the unique needs of nonprofits, helping them manage donors, fundraising, programs, and volunteers.


Bloomerang: Best for donor retention


  • User-friendly interface
  • Easily extracts, analyzes data from constituent database
  • Responsive and helpful customer service
  • Continuous improvement of software based on customer feedback


  • Restrictive contractual terms reported
  • Limited customization for constituent homepage and online donation forms
  • Donor Management: Bloomerang allows you to create comprehensive donor profiles that include contact information, interaction history, and giving history.
  • Reporting and Dashboards: The platform offers robust reporting capabilities, including the ability to create custom reports. It also provides customizable dashboards that display the current status and historical trends of an organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Marketing Automation: Bloomerang provides tools for email marketing and lead management, allowing users to send emails in bulk and manage leads through a process.
  • Fundraising: The platform supports online donation and event registration processing and imports fundraising data into records. It also allows for the setup of recurring donations and peer-to-peer fundraising.
  • Task Management: Bloomerang supports task and deadline tracking for grant-related actions and allows role-based access to be established.
  • Integration and Interoperability: Bloomerang offers integration with accounting software for fund tracking and reconciliation. It also syncs with donor management tools to manage relationships and contact info for donors.

Pricing starts at $119/month for organizations that have annual revenue of more than $250,000.

Pricing starts at $79/month for organizations that have annual revenue of less than $250,000.

Data conversions start at $2,000.

Bloomerang made the cut due to its specific design for nonprofits, offering features like donor engagement evaluation and tracking, which are crucial for donor retention. Its intuitive interface, powerful dashboards, and seamless integration with tools like Gmail and Salesforce streamline operations. The automatic data backup provides peace of mind, while the ability to create custom fields offers flexibility. Despite its comprehensive features, Bloomerang remains affordable, making it an excellent choice for nonprofits of various sizes. Its continuous improvements based on user feedback further attest to its commitment to serving the nonprofit sector.

While the software is affordable compared to competitors, Bloomerang may not be the right choice for organizations that do not have IT professionals as it takes technical expertise to fully leverage.

Launched in 2012 by Jay Love, a veteran in the nonprofit software industry, Bloomerang aims to improve donor retention and engagement. It offers features like donor management, fundraising, event planning, and reporting. Its user-friendly interface, robust data management, and seamless integration capabilities make it a popular choice among nonprofits.

Neon CRM: Best for comprehensive management


  • Comprehensive management features including management of donor systems, event registration, social fundraising, online donations, volunteer scheduling, and grant tracking
  • Highly customizable
  • Integrates well with third-party apps
  • Affordable


  • Complex user interface
  • Customer support issues reported
  • Engagement Timeline: This feature provides a comprehensive view of how your supporters interact with your organization, enabling you to personalize their experience and foster lifelong donors.
  • Powerful Reporting: With over 40 pre-built reports and the ability to create custom ones, Neon CRM allows nonprofits to make data-backed decisions, a crucial aspect of effective management.
  • Radius Search: This unique feature allows you to uncover niche donor segments within your community using precise location tools, enabling targeted outreach and engagement.
  • Workflow Automation: Neon CRM’s ability to automate repetitive tasks not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Connected Payments: The platform’s ability to seamlessly process online transactions, including credit/debit card, ACH, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, simplifies the donation process, encouraging more supporters to contribute.

Essentials: Starting at $99/month. Includes unlimited system users, mobile-responsive forms, standard branded forms, unlimited custom fields, customizable analytics dashboards, 50+ pre-built, one-click reports, custom report builder, constituent login portal, automated and mass emails and letters, activity tracking and prospecting, task management, automated receipting, prospect and grant tracking, event management and ticketing, volunteer management module, grant management tool, access to 25+ free certified integrations, open API and developer tools, data import tools, access to support and Neon Academy, and unlimited email support.

Impact: Starting at $199/month. Includes everything in Essentials, plus peer-to-peer fundraising, online store, file manager and storage, application and survey builder, 5 advanced automation workflows, Quickbooks integration, phone + LiveChat support, and unlimited records.

Empower: Starting at $399/month. Includes everything in Essentials and Impact, plus website matching forms and URL masking, zip code radius reporting, 15 advanced automation workflows.

Neon CRM offers a unique blend of features designed specifically for nonprofits, making it a must-have in our list. Its Engagement Timeline offers a holistic view of supporter interactions, fostering personalized experiences and lifelong relationships. The reporting capabilities enable data-driven decision-making, while the Radius Search uncovers niche donor segments for targeted outreach. Workflow automation enhances operational efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. Lastly, Connected Payments simplifies the donation process, encouraging more contributions.

Neon CRM is a product of Neon One, a company dedicated to providing technology solutions for nonprofits. Founded in 2004, Neon One’s stated objectiveis to help nonprofits fulfill their missions by providing them with comprehensive tools to manage their operations more effectively. Neon CRM, their flagship product, offers a suite of tools including donor management, fundraising, event planning, and reporting. It’s designed to be user-friendly and customizable, allowing nonprofits to tailor the platform to their specific needs.

DonorPerfect: Best for custom reporting


  • Extensive personalization including custom fields and parameters
  • Detailed and versatile reporting
  • Intuitive and logical interface
  • Seamless integration with Constant Contact and various accounting software


  • Complicated custom forms
  • Issues with Event Management tool reported by multiple users
  • Data Synchronization: Offers seamless integration with DonorPerfect Payment Services and DonorPerfect Online Forms, automating data entry and synchronizing payment processing.
  • Online Fundraising: Provides configurable, mobile-friendly forms that can be shared via email, social media, and websites. It also supports peer-to-peer fundraising.
  • Custom Reporting: Allows users to build custom reports or choose from over 70 standard nonprofit reports on donor retention and revenue analysis.
  • Donor Relationship Management: Offers tools for efficient task management, straightforward email marketing, and custom alerts for donor engagement.
  • Event Management: Simplifies the organization of fundraising events with integrated registration forms and a hub for managing RSVP status, seating arrangements, and event success metrics.

Lite: $99/month

Express: $179.00 per user/month

Essentials: $299/monthPremier: $499/month

DonorPerfect’s custom reporting tools empower decision-making while being straightforward, viewing, interpreting, analyzing, and automatically sharing reports and infographic widgets. The ability to create custom Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) allows for measuring and sharing what’s most important to the organization. The platform also enables the creation and editing of custom reports on any data, including custom fields. In addition, scheduled delivery of reports ensures stakeholders are always updated.

DonorPerfect pricing is steeper than some of its competitors, so smaller nonprofits should balance the features available with budget considerations.

DonorPerfect is a CRM solution developed by SofterWare, Inc. Designed specifically for nonprofits, it offers a suite of tools for donor management, fundraising, event planning, and custom reporting. Its reporting capabilities, in particular, stand out, allowing organizations to create custom reports and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). With its user-friendly interface and flexible features, DonorPerfect caters to the unique needs of nonprofits, helping them streamline their operations and maximize their fundraising efforts. 

DonorPerfect pricing is steeper than some of its competitors, so smaller nonprofits should balance the features available with budget considerations.

HubSpot: Best for marketing automation


  • Highly scalable due to modular design
  • Free version available
  • Internal chat integration
  • Quick setup
  • Free training and resource center


  • Not a dedicated nonprofit CRM
  • Lack of integration with donation platforms
  • Inbound Marketing Platform: Renowned for pioneering the inbound marketing approach, providing tools to “attract, engage, and delight customers” by creating content tailored to them.
  • 360-Degree Visibility of Marketing Campaigns: Offers a comprehensive view of marketing campaigns, tracking users, donors, and advocates, and providing detailed analytics on campaign performance.
  • Free CRM with Scalability: Offers free CRM, unlimited users, and up to one million contacts, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes.
  • Integration with E-commerce Platforms: Recently announced integrations with B2C e-commerce platforms like Shopify, indicating a move towards enhancing its capabilities in this space.
  • Content and Communications Management: Provides tools for email marketing, publishing, and analytics, along with content and communications management. This includes the ability to publish and measure marketing communications through social media, blogging, landing pages, email, and calls-to-action.

Free plan available

Paid plan starting at $45/user/month 

Choosing HubSpot as a nonprofit CRM for marketing automation was a strategic decision. HubSpot’s suite of tools empowers nonprofits to enhance their marketing, fundraising, and volunteer management efforts. Its marketing automation capabilities have proven to significantly increase website traffic and lead generation within a short period. The platform’s integration with other marketing tools, its free offering for nonprofits, and its ability to measure a nonprofit’s impact make it an ideal choice. The seamless blend of CRM, marketing, sales, and service hubs provides a comprehensive solution for nonprofits to manage donors’ data, create personalized campaigns, and track performance.

Founded in 2004 by MIT graduates Brian and Dharmesh, HubSpot is a pioneer in inbound marketing, a strategy based on the idea that customers prefer to be helped rather than interrupted or harassed. HubSpot offers a comprehensive suite of tools, including a CRM, marketing, sales, and customer service modules, designed to help businesses grow better. Its capabilities range from lead generation and management to analytics, email marketing, and automation.

Differences in for-profit and nonprofit CRM software

With for-profit business models, CRM focuses primarily on leveraging relationships to increase revenue (directly or indirectly). The subjects, typically, are thought of as leads, contacts, or customers. Nonprofits maintain relationships with a more diverse support base, referred to as “constituents.” This is why, in the nonprofit sector, CRM has come to mean “constituent relationship management.” Constituents typically include:

  • Donors
  • Volunteers
  • Members
  • Alumni
  • Vendors
  • Students
  • Partners
  • Media Outlets

The diversity of constituents means that goals vary greatly depending on the relationship – you want donors to continue donating; you want volunteers to give their time and be productive; and you want media outlets to run positive stories about your organization. That means a one-size-fits-all approach is destined to leave certain groups unserved or uncultivated.

Nonprofits also face unique challenges like stringent regulatory constraints and tight budgets. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are 817,379 nonprofits with less than $100,000 in total revenue. That’s a significant figure, because it accounts for more than half of the 1.4 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S.

Donor management with a nonprofit CRM

Nonprofits are organized around a variety of different front-end missions, such as service, activism, advocacy, religious beliefs, and so on. But since they rely on charitable contributions for funding, the operational mission of nonprofits revolves around managing donors. Nonprofit CRM software—sometimes called “donor management software”—are uniquely suited to help nonprofits run operations on both sides of the desk.

Successful organizations understand this.

There is a strong association between using data-driven technology to manage constituents and succeeding as a nonprofit organization. About a third of top performers reported last year that using CRM technology correlated with donor contribution growth of 20 percent or more. Seventy percent of those organizations (compared to only 48 percent of everyone else) reported they were “very or somewhat satisfied” with their current donor management technology.

One of the biggest hitches for nonprofits is dealing with donor attrition. Attracting new donors is an involved but established process. Retaining current donors and capitalizing on their relationships, on the other hand, can be an uphill battle. Your organization must continually court them for renewed memberships, additional pledges, event attendance, community advocacy, and volunteer activities.

Nonprofit CRM software platforms provide valuable retention tools such as marketing automation, pledge management, and social media engagement—which, if used correctly, will give your organization the right amount of influence on the right constituents.

What are nonprofit CRM software features?

Using CRM software gives every nonprofit an upper hand when it comes to boosting donations, improving retention, and executing mission operations. But if you’re in the market for a CRM system, you should familiarize yourself with some of the more specific software features. Start by deciding which vendors offer what you need, and build a shortlist of products. We’ve compiled some primary feature categories to get you started.

Constituent management is the traditional CRM equivalent of contact management. The difference, of course, is that constituent management can include donors, vendors, foundations, volunteers, alumni, students, and other groups. It also includes tools ranging from basic contact records to type classification, donation history, memberships, and social media engagement

Not all nonprofit CRMs offer event planning and management tools, but if your organization frequently plans charity dinners, auctions, conferences, etc., this feature is a must-have. The more competitive CRMs will let you schedule events, send invitations, track RSVPs, create seating charts, and let your team members check in and access this data from their mobile devices.

Marketing campaigns are the primary means for a nonprofit organization to keep its constituents informed and solicit donations from new prospects. As sales are to profit-model businesses, so fundraising campaigns are to nonprofits. Luckily, you don’t need to spend hours designing pamphlets in Microsoft Office or adding email recipients to a newsletter one-at-a-time. Most nonprofit CRMs have helpful marketing automation features for multiple types of campaigns (email, direct mail, SMS, etc.).

Getting down to the nuts and bolts of fundraising, you’ll need a way to process donations when they happen. In the interest of seamless customer experience, it’s important to keep your organization’s payment options flexible so you can take donations in more than one channel. Choose software with integrated payment processing (credit/debit card, ACH) and check-scanning to win here. Some CRMs also offer integrated accounting and budgeting features or the ability to export data to external accounting software.

Traditional CRMs are notorious for collecting vast amounts of data, but not as well known for making good use of it, and nonprofit CRMs are no less vulnerable to this pitfall. Make sure you choose a product designed to make analysis easy, which means a platform that helps you segment constituents and take a targeted approach to relationship management. Easy analysis means predictive intelligence that lets you plan ahead, and that clarifies your perspective by displaying data in clean, customizable dashboards.

Benefits of nonprofit CRM software

Nonprofit CRM software helps in managing your database of donors, volunteers and other stakeholders. It also allows you to track their activities and interactions they have with your organization over time. This way, you can identify which programs are most effective at engaging them and then replicate those that work well for future campaigns or events. Most of the data surrounding these key aspects can be neatly reported through easy-to-read dashboards and reports. This allows you to make quick, data-driven decisions.

The goal of this type of CRM software is to help nonprofits increase donations and volunteerism while improving the overall efficiency of their fundraising efforts. The following are some of the key benefits associated with using nonprofit CRM software that you won’t find with a standard CRM:

  • Manage donor interactions
  • Control fundraising campaigns
  • Monitor gifts from donors
  • Plan your organization’s events
  • Log volunteer activity
  • Some even provide accounting functionality

ALSO READ: Challenges of CRM

Choosing the best software for nonprofit CRM

Ready to start your nonprofit CRM software comparison? Our Technology Advisors are here to help you find the perfect tool for your company’s projects. Call for a free 5-minute consultation, or complete the form at the bottom of this page for fast, free recommendations based on your needs.

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