What is a CRM?
A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is an extremely useful software tool used to manage data. Many industries use a CRM to effectively manage the data they collect about their customers and contacts.
Essentially, a CRM is a piece of software that collates all the necessary information about a customer, such as their demographics, contact details and which platform they used to send their donation. CRMs, therefore, help charities interact with their customers and potential customers.
Why are CRMs important for charities?
Customer relationships are extremely important for charities and non-profit organisations, as they rely on people’s donations to keep going. Using a CRM helps charities provide the best possible supporter experience and maximise their fundraising potential.
Without a CRM, charities are left to sift through thousands of people’s contact details and information manually, which is very inefficient and time-consuming. That’s why almost all charities and non-profit organisations of a considerable size use a CRM to manage their customer data.
Top 10 best CRMs for charities
So, what are some of the best CRMs for charities? With a whole range of different platforms out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your organisation. Our guide to the best CRMs for charities is here to help you out with this decision. Let’s get right to it!
Another of the best CRMs for charities, Monday.com is a user-friendly platform with a simple traffic-light colour code system and handy drag-and-drop functionality to support the management of your customer relationships. These features also make this CRM platform perfect for organising and managing staff and volunteer profiles and availability.
You can customise existing templates and dashboards on Monday.com, making it a great tool for charities to tailor to their own specific needs. As well as managing all the important information about your donors and volunteers, Monday.com allows you to design an easily-understandable workflow structure to help boost productivity and save admin hours.
From £7 to £17 a month depending on your requirements, Monday.com offers a 14-day free trial for all of their plans, as well as a fully free plan for individuals.
Blackbaud Raiser's Edge NXT
Blackbaud claims to be the global leader in non-profit fundraising software. Offering customisable packages and features means that Raiser's Edge NXT can work for charities of all sizes. The Raiser's Edge community is a welcome touch, offering discussion on a variety of topics.
Tracking a range of fundraising metrics and a handy dashboard helps to guide decision making. Tech stack integrations are available for many common third party apps, as well as Gmail and Microsoft.
Blackbaud claims that Raiser's Edge can increase fundraising by over 44%. That's quite a claim. Raiser's Edge NXT, is not the lowest cost option in this list, but then Raiser's Edge NXT offers a more dedicated charity offering than most. Based on what we can see, you'll still need some way of importing all your charity platform fundraising data automatically.
Raiser's Edge NXT pricing is not shown on the website, instead you'll need to fill in a pricing form to receive a quotation.
Salesforce for Nonprofits
If you’re a larger charity, Salesforce for Nonprofits might be the CRM platform for you. With perhaps the biggest range of dashboards and reports available out of every platform on this list of the best CRMs for charities, Salesforce for Nonprofits is a highly sophisticated tool that’s best suited to charities and organisations with a large number of donors and trustees to manage.
Salesforce for Nonprofits helps you to gain important insights about your donors, including invaluable website analytics about user behaviour. You’ll also be able to design effective and personalised customer experiences for your donors using the AI-driven technology at the heart of Salesforce for Nonprofits.
The pricing structure of Salesforce for Nonprofits is fairly complex to understand and this CRM is definitely on the pricier side, reflecting its comprehensive functionality. Charities can, however, apply to Salesforces’s Power of Us Program, which offers discounted subscriptions for charities.
Simple and easy to use for those charities that are already familiar with Microsoft software, Microsoft Dynamics is a popular CRM platform with many useful capabilities, including its excellent reporting tools.
Some of the main advantages to using Microsoft Dynamics are that the interface of this CRM platform should be familiar to many who are used to using Microsoft Office and Outlook, plus it integrates seamlessly with these Microsoft tools. With easily customisable dashboards, AI features and all the necessary functionality to track and manage supporter data, Microsoft Dynamics is a brilliant CRM solution for charities.
You can find out more about the Microsoft Dynamics pricing structure here, including Microsoft Dynamics discounted pricing for nonprofits.
Capable of holding a huge range of data, Zoho offers a comprehensive system to manage all your documents and deadlines, allowing you to create a seamless supporter experience for your donors.
With Zoho, you can improve engagement, customer service and the effectiveness of your campaigns using the integrated tools and analytics, including customisable email templates, webforms and the individual donor portal feature. Zoho also integrates with crowdfunding sites to provide a secure and smooth donation experience.
Pricing plans for Zoho start at £12 a month and raise to £42, depending on the plan you choose. You can also sign up for a 15-day free trial to see if Zoho is right for you.
One of the best CRMs for charities due to its wide functionality covering many important areas of supporter experience, Freshsales offers an easy-to-use, customisable and comprehensive platform for expertly managing customer relationships.
With Freshsales, you can save time creating and sending emails for fundraising campaigns and events by using the integrated automated email feature. What particularly stands out about Freshsales is that it includes an AI tool that allocates a ‘lead score’ to each donor, so you can identify and retain your most important customer relationships. You’re also able to make low-cost phone calls to donors within Freshsales itself, which is pretty handy.
Ranging from £12 to £55 a month, Freshsales pricing plans cater for different charity and organisation needs. You can also use a free plan or try a 21-day free trial for any of the paid plans.
Vtiger allows you to streamline your marketing, sales and customer service. The CRM is not designed specifically for charities, but is widely used by over 300,000 organisations worldwide. Vtiger claim to be the worlds most popular open source CRM, with over 5 million downloads to date.
Vtiger’s OneView feature lets you see a variety of social interactions each donor has had with your charity, making it a useful tool for tracking aspects of each donor’s experience with your marketing channels. This intuitive CRM platform is easy to navigate and set up, offering seamless integration with many widely-used applications, including WhatsApp, Google Workspace, Microsoft Teams, Mailchimp and others.
For fundraising platform integrations however, you will need to look elsewhere.
Take a look at Vtiger’s pricing structure to learn more about the plans they offer, including discounts for charities.
Another of the best CRMs for charities, Insightly actually has an in-built email marketing platform, meaning you can set up your email campaigns from within this CRM tool itself. This CRM platform offers scalable solutions for managing the income, opportunities and productivity of your charity.
You can build lasting donor relationships using the excellent ‘single source of truth’ generated by Insightly for each individual. Save money and web developer time using the customisable templates and systems that Insightly offers, including those for project management, workflow processes and performance reports.
You can learn more about the various plans on offer by reading through Insightly’s pricing plan structure.
This open-source CRM platform was specifically built by and for charities and nonprofits. If you’re looking to expand your customer base and audience, CiviCRM can help you with this using its massive range of supporter relationship and marketing tools, including email and text message fundraising.
With CiviCRM, you can create a holistic profile for each donor to optimise your communication with them, including the type and frequency of contact. CiviCRM is a highly-customisable CRM platform, but may need some specialist developer knowledge to build out the specific functionalities that your charity needs.
CiviCRM, as an open-source platform, is completely free for charities to use, but you may need to factor in the cost of a developer to allow you to use CiviCRM in the best way that works for your organisation.
Fundraising software, DonorPerfect helps you to raise money and inspire your donors with its expert engagement and AI-driven fundraising communication tools. You can deliver offer top-quality, personalised supporter experiences using the data-driven recommendations and systems of DonorPerfect.
Its easy setup process and ability to create donor profiles and customisable dashboards for quick data entry make DonorPerfect one of the best CRMs for charities. With this software, you’ll be able to use templates for donor communications and the in-built payment processing system, which allows donations to be managed directly by DonorPerfect.
Check out DonorPerfect’s pricing guide to see which plan is most suitable for your charity.
Benefits of using one of these CRMs for charities
We hope this carefully-curated list of the best CRMs for charities has helped you understand more about what each platform has to offer and evaluate which CRM might be best for you. If you’re still wondering why exactly using a CRM is beneficial for your charity, here are a few reasons to consider:
Save valuable time by reducing admin work – Using a CRM will allow your charity to save valuable time spent each week inputting supporter data and simply organising all the information you have about each of your donors. CRMs dramatically reduce the amount of admin work you need to do, freeing up time to spend on important projects, such as creating fundraising campaigns and reaching out to potential donors.
Create an optimal supporter experience – CRM platforms offer the extremely useful capability of tailoring your communications with each donor to their individual preferences, allowing you to learn from their past behaviour to optimise the supporter experience you offer. This also helps you maximise your fundraising potential, as you can easily identify your top supporters and recognise (and perhaps even reward) their generous donations.
Automate processes – Another time-saving benefit of CRMs is that you can automate certain processes, such as email marketing campaigns and workflow or project management processes. Many CRMs include customisable templates for emails and other content you may need to create, making your job that much easier.
Get insights to help grow your charity – The analytics you can see on many CRM platforms allow you to gain an invaluable insight into customer behaviour, both in terms of your website and individual customer communications. This helps you to identify areas for improvement and understand where your highest potential for growth lies.
Quickly create reports – By collating all the necessary data and storing it in one place, CRMs allow you to quickly create detailed reports to share with relevant stakeholders. Many CRMs automatically create these reports, complete with handy graphs and other visual aids to support your clear understanding of the presented data.
Charity CRM Round up
CRM systems are far more than simple repositories of information. Most offer additional functionality, such as the ability to store and retrieve correspondence and social content shared with supporters. Some, once configured, can offer useful automatic integration of a variety of communication channels, such as email, social, Microsoft & Google services.
Useful as these are for the supporter experience, the all important donation data is still missing. A fully integrated CRM which automatically integrates and includes all fundraising platform donations is still sadly on the charity wishlist.
That’s not to say we’ll have to wait indefinitely. CharityBI have developed a very useful single view platform which helps Charities understand their supporter data by importing fundraising platform insights. The team at CharityBI are developing many useful integrations with platforms such as JustGiving and Facebook fundraising. With many useful integrations to choose from it's clear that a fully integrated single view is now possible.
Solve your data woes: how CharityBI works
Ready to get started with your chosen CRM? You’ll need a list of your supporters and their associated insights first. That’s where CharityBI can help.
Your supporter data is seamlessly retrieved from your chosen fundraising platforms, sorted and consolidated by CharityBI, saving you hours of manual admin work. CharityBI organises all the necessary information to give you an invaluable overview of each of your supporters and provide you with all the details you need to work your magic! Learn more about how CharityBI works here.