Comparing Four Common CRMs for Nonprofits

Illustration of a laptop screen with CRM icons, representing nonprofit CRM options.


Thinking about making the switch to a new customer relationship management (CRM) software? Or perhaps you’re just starting out and debating which one you should choose. 

The truth is that there are many factors that come into play when deciding which CRM is right for your nonprofit. With so many options available, you want to ensure the one you ultimately choose will best serve your organization’s unique needs. 

In today’s post we’d like to answer some basic questions about CRMs and compare a few that our clients love to use! While this is no exhaustive comparison between all the CRMs available to you, we hope it gets you thinking about what to look for and how to choose the right one for your nonprofit.

Let’s dive in!


Why are CRMs important?

A lot of times organizations lose sight of the big picture, overlooking how all their processes intertwine and depend on each other. Just as it’s not productive for departments to work in silos, it’s just as bad to keep all your processes in silos too. 

A good CRM can provide a one-stop shop for managing all your major processes, from taking payments to tracking gifts and donations, email automation and more. 

When these systems are siloed, teams can find themselves doing more manual work, and things don’t always run smoothly. This can also take up more time, something small nonprofit teams don’t always have. 

CRMs are vital to an organization’s success. They’ll keep your information and contacts organized, sort through donors to identify those most likely to give, increase engagement with personalized and automated emails, and give you a way to view the entire donor/customer journey. 

Put plainly, if you aren’t using a CRM you’re not seeing the full picture, and that could be hurting your nonprofit. CRMs exist to make things easier for organizations. So, why not take advantage of this incredible tool? 

It might seem like just another expense, but a CRM will more than likely be a great return on investment. Not only will it streamline your major processes, it’ll save your team time, which in our opinion, is a win-win!


What should I look for in a CRM?

According to CharityEngine, here are the major features you should seek out in your new CRM: 



We happen to agree that these are important key features to have in any CRM. If you’re just starting out, look for one that offers most of these features, while taking your own unique pain points into consideration. 


Four CRMs our nonprofit clients love.

To kickstart your search, we’re sharing a few of our client’s favorite nonprofit CRMs.


1. Salesforce


You’ve probably heard of this one and for good reason. Salesforce has a huge range, from fundraising and marketing to grantmaking and program management. This CRM also uses AI to foster donor and customer relationships and create personalized experiences. And they offer free training! 


2. Blackbaud 


Driven by social impact and committed to using AI for good, Blackbaud boasts a myriad of tools to connect all your important processes, from fundraising and marketing to financial management and analytics. Plus, they impressively claim that 80% of most influential nonprofits use their services. 


3. GiveSmart 


This one is more fundraiser-focused and is best suited for donor-driven organizations. GiveSmart is a great option for nonprofits that require ticketing and seating management, donor relationship management, help with mobile bidding and auctions, and campaign and event support. 


4. DonorPerfect


Similar to GiveSmart, DonorPerfect is a “one-stop-shop” that offers fundraising and donor solutions that save time and money, from branded donation forms to integrated payment processing, crowdfunding options, and more. Plus, they’ve got an app for management on-the-go! 


Which is right for me? 

Ultimately, your organization will have to be the one to answer this question. As we mentioned above, it will boil down to several factors, most importantly what you can afford and what CRM offers the best fit for your organization’s specific needs. 

You’ll need to identify the key pain points your nonprofit is experiencing and prioritize those that impact your organization the most. However, it is important to select a CRM that can scale and grow with your nonprofit, because migrating to another system down the line can be a huge undertaking. So, think carefully before selecting. 

Oh, and don’t forget to demo a few before committing! 

No matter which CRM you ultimately choose, you’ll have taken an important first step for your nonprofit. Your teams will thank you as they reclaim time to focus on other projects, and you’ll have greater insights into the habits of your donors and customers, which you can then use to inform your future fundraising campaigns and marketing efforts. 


If you would like some help selecting a CRM that best fits your nonprofit, our team of marketing experts will be more than happy to assist you! We have worked with many different CRMs over the years through our client work, so we can match you up with the right one after identifying your key needs. 

Ready to get started? We’d love to help your nonprofit get set up with a CRM! Get in touch with us today by filling out the form below.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today!

Padron & Co. is a leading creative, marketing, and digital communications agency that helps nonprofits and corporations make meaningful connections and further their missions.

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