The nonprofit sector tends to get a bad rep for inefficiency, and there might be a grain of truth to it that can’t be helped. Nonprofits have had to make do with limited resources, most of which were allocated towards their programs.
Nowadays, nonprofits are increasingly taking their hints from the business world, which in turn is influenced by technology’s seemingly exponential evolution. There are a lot of applications and software available for businesses that would serve nonprofits really well. Here’s our list of top tech for nonprofits.
Bloomerang: Donor Relationship Management
Benefits: Bloomerang is a robust platform conceived and created just for nonprofits. The platform that offers a ton of metrics—timeline of touchpoints; level of engagement; social media engagement; donation history—all to prevent and reduce donor attrition. Getting started with Bloomerang is easy because transferring data to Bloomerang can happen in a variety of ways. Bloomerang also offers the ability to generate and download reports and get as granular as desired with the data. Combined with its easy-to-usability, Bloomerang is all that and a bag of potato chips.
Costs: Pricing starts at $99/month for 1,000 records and less, and reaches $499/month for 25,001 to 40,000 records. You’ll incur additional fees for customer support by phone, and for the ability to send emails beyond the limit set by your tier. For instance, for 1,000 records, the monthly fee allows you to send 5,000 emails; you’ll pay extra to send more than 5,000 emails.
Giftworks: Donor Relationship Management
Benefits: Giftworks is also a software platform designed specifically for nonprofits. And like Bloomerang, it offers robust features including: donation tracking & management; reporting; data entry management; communications & social media management; bookkeeping; and nonstandard features such as volunteer management, and event management.
Cost: Giftworks offers four editions of its software. The Standard package starts at $90/month, and costs $499 to set up. The price structure differs if you choose the Anywhere edition: $110/user/month, with a $75/user setup fee.
HootSuite: Social Media Management
Benefits: How do you manage your social media presence without actually spending too much time on social media? Dashboards like HootSuite help you do just that. You can track and manage content shared via various social media channels in one place; divvy up responsibility of social media management among a team; and generate reports on social media engagement.
HootSuite is also available as a mobile app (for iOS and Android), allowing you to monitor social media on the go. HootSuite offers Hootlet, a browser extension that allows you easily share webpages. Perhaps you come across an interesting news article relevant to your mission and would like to share it via social media – but not right away. You can select which social media channels to post to and schedule when it posts.
Costs: HootSuite is available at three price points: Free, Pro, and Enterprise. The Pro plan starts at $8.99/month. If you’re a small or start-up nonprofit, HootSuite Free will suffice, though it won’t offer all the capabilities that the paid plans
MailChimp: Email Marketing Platform
Benefits: Thanks to MailChimp, you can send well-designed email newsletters with hardly any HTML skills. MailChimp is user friendly for novices and veterans alike, also allowing you to upload your own email templates, and/or customize templates. MailChimp plays nice with others, too, offering integration capabilities with Salesforce, EventBrite, and other apps. You’ll be able to see how well your emails do with analytics, and optimize open rates with features like a/b testing before sending your email. MailChimp also allows you to schedule and automate sending emails.
Costs: Free accounts have a subscriber limit of 2,000 and 12,000 emails. MailChimp offers pay-as-you-go options. Monthly paid accounts can range depending on the number of subscribers, but there’s no limit to the number of emails you send. Paid versions of MailChimp offer a few more features, e.g., no cap on test/preview emails.
Salesforce: Customer Relationship Management
Benefits: Primarily an enterprise cloud-computing platform, large nonprofits like Teach for America, the American Red Cross, and Kiva, have relied on Salesforce to engage with their constituents and manage their fundraising efforts. Salesforce is like a Swiss Army knife in the way it offers a platform for building apps, and workflow & collaboration management capabilities. Salesforce also integrates with other apps, such as MailChimp.
Costs: Salesforce isn’t quite as intuitive to use, so training highly recommended. In-person, instructor-led training sessions vary: 3-day = $2,550, 4-day = $3,400, 5-day = $4,250. Online training sessions also available. Salesforce’s Service Cloud comes in in three price-tiers: $65/user/month, $135/user/month, or $300/user/month; the Sales Cloud comes in five price-tiers: $5/user/month, $25/user/month, $65/user/month, $125/user/month, $300/user/month.
Volunteer Matters: Volunteer Management
Benefits: Volunteer Matters is a platform that helps you and your volunteers manage and track their engagement. It offers a place where both your staff and your volunteers can sign up to volunteer, match their skills to your needs. Volunteer Matters will send reminder emails to your volunteers of the events they’ve signed up for, and makes their volunteer history available.
Costs: There’s a monthly fee to use Volunteer Matters: the Standard edition costs $29/month, which allows for one administrator and 500 contracts; the Pro edition costs $69/month, which allows for one administrator and 1,000 contracts. Their Enterprise edition includes features from the Pro edition, and quotes may vary.
Asana: Project Management
Benefits: Asana means “posture” in Sanskrit, referring mainly to yoga postures. And Asana is the name of a platform designed to help you get things done by significantly reducing the use of email to manage your organization’s workflow — which might have the same kind of results as yoga. With Asana, you can create, delegate, respond to, and track tasks and projects in one place; Asana will also keep pertinent team players in the loop. Thanks to its integration with a number of other applications, like Dropbox and Google Drive, you can keep relevant files and tasks together. Project deadlines can go into your online calendar (Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, to name a few) via Asana. Synchronization with apps like Evernote and Wufoo make it easier to keep work you do in one place.
Costs: Asana is free for teams comprised of 15 members or less; you can manage an unlimited number of projects & tasks in this version. The Premium version of Asana offers more features, such as guest access to third-parties (vendors, contractors, and clients); privacy settings for projects and teams; and an account manager assigned specifically for your organization. Premium plans cost $50/month for 15-29 members, $100/month for 30-49 members, $300/month for 50-74 members; $550/month for 75-99 members; and $800/month for 100 members.
The Right Technology Matters
Running your nonprofit like a corporation or company isn’t necessarily a bad thing: you’re in the business of doing good. You’ll have to crunch the numbers for yourself to determine the exact return on investment of these technologies for your organization, but we believe overall, investing in your operations ultimately benefits your programs.
If your organization uses technology that you believe is something to write home about, write to us instead! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.