How We Chose the Best Donation Management Software
Whatever cause your organization believes in, you rely on donations to make it happen. Donation management software helps you through the entire process, from collecting and allocating funds to keeping your donor database up to date. We made our selections based on three criteria that the best donation management software should have: donation management features, integrations, and reporting tools.
Donation Management Features
We looked for software that offered a robust suite of tools including pledge and donation tracking, receipt management, and donor management. The ideal platform lets users create donor profiles and suggests actions based on their giving history.
Many organizations use third-party apps, such as QuickBooks for accounting or Mailchimp for email marketing campaigns. We prioritized software that supports integration with a variety of popular apps.
Good donation management platforms allow users to see important metrics at a glance. Our top picks have reporting tools for goal progress and fundraiser performance that tracks history and other need-to-know data. The best software displays it all on a customizable dashboard and lets users generate reports with a single click.
The 14 Best Donation Management Software Programs of 2021
Aplos Donor Management
More than 40,000 churches and nonprofit organizations use cloud-based Aplos to manage fundraising, connect with donors, and automate giving. Aplos features unlimited donation forms, plus a widget that lets donors give from an organization’s website.
With the Text-to-Give service, supporters can donate via text message. The software automatically tracks gifts and imports offline donations. Organizations can also keep track of pledges and build lists of recurring donors. Aplos includes an accounting system that allows users to create and send contribution statements for gifts. Statements can be sent to individuals or groups, and donation receipts get sent automatically.
With the built-in email builder, users can create custom templates for donation acknowledgment letters. The software includes an event manager for invites, registrations, ticket sales, and pledge collection. The software integrates with Gusto for payroll and taxes. Users who need more granular reporting can upgrade to Aplos Advanced Accounting.
|$1/month promotional pricing||15-day free trial||>Online giving
>More features at Aplos
Pros & Cons of Aplos Donor Management Donation Software
>Robust academy resources
|>Unclear pricing for add-on features|
Developed by Blackbaud, eTapestry cloud fundraising software features an analytics suite paired with intelligent data enrichment. Some of the largest nonprofit organizations in the United States have worked with eTapestry, including The Nature Conservancy, Feeding America, and the American Diabetes Association.
ETapestry’s email platform contains a variety of pre-built drag-and-drop templates, conversion rate reporting, and delivery scheduling. Nonprofits can send event invitations and sell tickets through the platform. The zero-click dashboard lets users view donor information, gifts, and goal progress at a glance.
For organizations with membership programs, the software supports sending renewal notices, performing upgrades, and creating member reports. Managed services are available for large organizations, including database and campaign management.
Customers can enroll in training with Blackbaud University, which hosts video lessons and provides instructor-led workshops. According to the company, users report a 9% increase in funds raised, as well as 17.5% donor retention, after attending the classes.
|Custom quote||30-day free trial||>Donation management
>More features at eTapestry
Pros & Cons of eTapestry Donation Management Software
|>No online giving or receipt management|
Bloomerang claims that thousands of nonprofits use its software for donor management, engagement, and retention. With this cloud-based solution, users can track donors, sponsors, and volunteers, as well as view constituent engagement levels in real time.
Bloomerang comes with a form builder for online giving that organizations can embed on their websites. The generosity score feature lets users identify top donation prospects, and organizations can also use the software to monitor their social media presence by matching tweets to donors in their database.
The software includes an email marketing system for sending donation appeals and acknowledgments. An interactive dashboard allows users to see at-a-glance performance metrics and create smart reports for sharing with team members. Bloomerang integrates with many third-party software solutions, such as Mailchimp, Eventbrite, Shopify, and QuickBooks Online.
|Up to 1,000 records: $99/month|
1,000-5,000 records: $199/month
5,000-15,000 records: $299/month
15,000-25,000 records: $399/month
25,000-40,000 records: $499/month
|Free demo||>Pledge and donor management
>More features at Bloomerang
Pros & Cons of Bloomerang Donation Management Software
>Social media monitoring
|>Unclear add-on prices
>Free plan lacks some features
Church MemberLink has received Capterra’s “Top 20 Most Affordable Church Management Software” award for four years in a row. This cloud-based software, developed by Church Administration Assistance (C.A.A.) Ministries, lets users manage donations, attendance, outreach events, and more.
The software includes ContributionLink for online and off-line giving, split donations, and reporting. Donations entered in ContributionLink sync automatically with the MemberLink platform, eliminating duplicate entries.
Churches with ministry programs can use the OutreachLink tool to coordinate team schedules and distribute prospect information. Users can also create a calendar of upcoming events at their church that includes registration and waiting list capabilities.
|$50/month||Free demo||>Event management
>More features at Church MemberLink
Pros & Cons of Church MemberLink Donation Management Software
|>Inexpensive plan with discount available|
>Training and conversion included
|>No free trial|
Cloud For Good Donation Split
Developed in 2011 by Cloud For Good, Donation Split is a tool that helps nonprofits organize and allocate funds. The application is built natively for the Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and is available via its AppExchange. The app itself is free but requires integration with Cloud For Good’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP).
The Nonprofit Success Pack is a Salesforce-based suite of solutions including fundraising tools, donor summaries, and event management. Users can track the results of social media and marketing campaigns via custom dashboards and reports. The integrated Donation Split app lets nonprofits record how funds should be spent according to a donor’s request.
|Custom quote||Free demo||>Donor management
>More features at Donation Split
Pros & Cons of Cloud For Good Donation Split
>Designed for nonprofits and educational institutions
|>No receipt management or online giving|
DonorSnap serves nonprofits of all sizes, from small and local to global organizations with multiple chapters. Its CRM software is an all-in-one solution for donor tracking, event management, donation requests, and more.
Users can make donation request forms and collect gifts with the goEmerchant service. The mass email tool allows nonprofits to send messages to any segment of their list, as well as view metrics such as the open rate and donation response rate.
DonorSnap runs on an automation platform, allowing for customized communication with donors and other supporters. The software automatically tracks information about membership management, site visits, and event attendance. Nonprofits with volunteer staff can create and manage schedules as well.
The software supports integration with QuickBooks and allows imports from Excel. The DonorSnap app, available for iPhone and iPad, lets users access their records from anywhere.
|Up to 1,000 contacts: $39/month|
Up to 2,500 contacts: $59/month
Up to 5,000 contacts: $79/month
Up to 10,000 contacts: $99/month
Up to 30,000 contacts: $199/month
|30-day free trial||>Event management
>More features at DonorSnap
Pros & Cons of DonorSnap Donation Management Software
>Data conversion and training available
|>$200 fee for setup
>No app for Android
FrontStream’s fundraising solutions have been used by more than 10,000 organizations, including the Avon Foundation for Women and Marriott International. It offers three products: Panorama, Workplace, and ApproveForGood.
All-in-one fundraising platform Panorama guides users through every step of the donation process. It features drag-and-drop templates for creating donor requests and thank-you emails. Native in-app coaching helps nonprofits deploy and promote their events. Organizations can collect donations, then measure campaign success with the integrated reporting and analytics tools.
Workplace is designed to collect recurring donations from employees. It features a campaign manager with real-time reporting, and allows companies to match donations, process funds, and distribute money to their nonprofit partners. With the included volunteer manager, employers can promote volunteerism and manage events.
ApproveForGood is a cloud-based donation and sponsorship management platform. With it, organizations can create branded donation request forms, automate data entry, and measure their corporate social responsibility (CSR) using real-time reports.
Enterprise: Custom quote
|Free version||>Online giving
>Donor and pledge management
>More features at FrontStream
Pros & Cons of FrontStream Donation Management Software
>Free training courses
>Unlimited branded donation pages
|>No event registration for Basic plan
>Phone/email support only for Pro and Enterprise
Kindful’s donation management software has been used by major nonprofits and organizations nationwide, some of which include Habitat for Humanity, NFL Alumni, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Kindful offers all the features most nonprofits will need, from fundraising tools to donor management and communications.
Subscribers get unlimited custom donation pages that can be added to their website, email marketing campaign, or social media. Users can track pledges, set up recurring giving, and view data about donor giving history.
Kindful supports crowdfunding and peer-to-peer fundraising, and the Text-to-Give function lets supporters donate via their mobile device. The software includes tools for event landing pages, ticket sales, and registration.
Kindful allows integration with many other donation applications, such as Handbid, DonorSearch, and Fundraise Up. Other popular integrations include Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Eventbrite, and QuickBooks.
|1,000 contacts: $100/month|
5,000 contacts: $200/month
15,000 contacts: $300/month
25,000 contacts: $400/month
40,000 contacts: $500/month
55,000 contacts: $600/month
70,000 contacts: $700/month
70,000+ contacts: Custom quote
|Free demo||>Event management
>More features at Kindful
Pros & Cons of Kindful Donation Management Software
|>Unlimited users and donation forms|
>Free email and phone support
|>Requires a setup fee|
Little Green Light
Little Green Light claims that 6,500 nonprofits use its cloud-based platform for their fundraising needs. The software is ideal for organizations of any size, whether they’re new to donor management or want to transition to a different donation system.
With Little Green Light’s productivity tools, users can make custom donation and acknowledgment forms, as well as receive donations online. The dashboard displays constituent data at a glance, including giving history, relationships, and contact information. Organizations can manage data for memberships and volunteers.
Analytics tools include tracking for pledges, gifts, and goal progress. Nonprofits can generate reports for their team with one of the included templates, or create their own custom reports. Integration support for PayPal, Stripe, and Propay lets users collect donations online. Email marketing integration includes Mailchimp and Constant Contact. DonorSearch, a prospect research tool, also connects with the software.
|Up to 2,500 constituents: $39/month|
Up to 5,000 constituents: $49/month
Up to 10,000 constituents: $59/month
Up to 20,000 constituents: $69/month
|30-day free trial||>Event management
>More features at Little Green Light
Pros & Cons of Little Green Light Donation Management Software
|>Annual billing discount|
>Good support with private Facebook community
|>Payment processing fee|
Organizations such as Family Focus, the Atlanta Audubon Society, and the Melanoma International Foundation use NeonCRM for their donation management needs. The company has helped thousands of associations with missions such as youth services, social justice, and environmental protection causes.
NeonCRM features relationship tracking, grant management, and a constituent log-in portal. Users get unlimited donation forms, as well as a survey builder and email marketing tools. The company also designs websites for nonprofits that seamlessly connect with the NeonCRM database.
The CRM includes a customizable Mission Control dashboard that shows KPIs and other important metrics at a glance. All plans receive unlimited event listings with online registration and attendee tracking. From the dashboard, users can send event reminders and confirmation emails to registrants.
Some of the integrations that NeonCRM supports include Eventbrite, Mailchimp, QuickBooks and DonorSearch.
|Essentials Light: $49/month|
|Free demo||>Event management
>More features at NeonCRM
Pros & Cons of NeonCRM Donation Management Software
|>Many support options|
>Web design available
|>Payment processing fee for donations|
With QuickBooks Non-Profit, organizations can accept donations online or in person via mobile devices. The software uses a fund accounting system, which automatically allocates donations to specific fundraising programs or administrative expense accounts.
Nonprofits can create custom reports for donors or colleagues with the templates included in QuickBooks. If users have donation transaction details from other apps, they can be imported into the software. QuickBooks also syncs with bank accounts, letting users see instant updates for cash flow and categorize expenses.
QuickBooks can be used to track volunteer time, vehicle mileage, inventory, and more. The software includes invoicing and receipt capture, as well as tools to help nonprofits handle taxes and maximize their deductions.
|30-day free trial||>Reports
>More features at QuickBooks Non-Profit
Pros & Cons of QuickBooks Non-Profit Donation Management Software
>Training and account manager for Advanced and above
|>No management for pledges or events|
More than 3,000 organizations use Salsa as their donation management software, including the Earth Day Network and ChildCare Aware of America. Salsa claims that their CRM will help nonprofits improve donor retention and build stronger supporter relationships.
One of the main features of the platform is the ability to create data-rich donor profiles. These profiles store contact information, demographics, donor interests, and social media accounts. The smart donation tracker allows users to group donors by relationship, household, or other custom parameters.
The company pairs its CRM with Salsa Engage, a tool for marketing and turning prospects into donors. The platform features drag-and-drop sign-up forms, email campaigns, and social media marketing. With the peer-to-peer function, organizations can enlist their supporters to help fundraise for them.
Salsa CRM integrates with DonorSearch for philanthropist prospecting, and WealthEngine for advanced donor analysis. Nonprofits that want to match donations can add the Double the Donation integration to their CRM.
|Custom quote||Free demo||>Reports
>More features at Salsa CRM
Pros & Cons of Salsa CRM Donation Management Software
|>No free trial
Some of the most prominent organizations in America use Virtuous CRM, including big names like Susan G. Komen, Habitat for Humanity, and the San Diego Comic Con. The company’s major focus is on helping nonprofits build stronger relationships with their donors.
Virtuous includes an integrated online giving platform, complete with donation request forms, donor portals, and credit card processing. Users can integrate a variety of tools and apps with the platform, such as Hubspot, Outlook, Mailchimp, and Eventbrite.
The Virtuous Automation tool allows users to create custom email campaigns with predesigned templates, then bulk send to an entire donor file. Actionable data is displayed on a customizable dashboard, which shows donor information and reveals how donors in the database are connected. The intelligent software suggests actions to take based on a donor’s gift history, demographics, social media trends, and other metrics.
>More features at Virtuous CRM
Pros & Cons of Virtuous CRM Donation Management Software
>Dedicated onboarding coach
|>No email support
>Fee for online giving
Wild Apricot is a member management platform used by nonprofits, clubs, and associations nationwide. The software includes custom application forms and automated membership renewal, plus a website builder for creating member-only private pages.
Users can create event announcements that automatically sync to their Wild Apricot site or another existing website. The event builder features custom options such as early-bird pricing, add-on costs, and coupon codes. Payments get recorded in the Wild Apricot database, and the included mobile app allows users to collect funds during events.
Wild Apricot uses AffiniPay to process payments, although users with a different payment processor can have it integrated for an additional fee. AffiniPay can be used to accept donations from multiple campaigns. Wild Apricot’s financial reports show data such as donations by payment type, income by source, and outstanding debts. Data can be exported to Excel or QuickBooks for more advanced accounting.
|50 contacts: Free|
|30-day free trial||>Online giving
>More features at Wild Apricot
Pros & Cons of Wild Apricot Donation Management Software
|>No receipt management
>No donation tracking
What Is Donation Management Software?
Donation management software is a valuable tool for any organization that relies on monetary gifts. It allows users to collect and record donations automatically, sparing them the hassle of manual data entry. Many programs include an online giving function, so supporters can donate via the software or user’s website. Some companies have mobile apps for iPhone and Android, which let users receive and organize donations no matter where they are.
Most donation management software includes reporting tools that display donations by source, providing trends and other vital financial information. Often, this data can be exported to third-party accounting applications, such as QuickBooks. Some programs use intelligent logic to build donor profiles, which can include their interests, relationships, social media activity, and donation history.
The best donation management software has event management capabilities with custom templates for invitations, as well as online registration, ticket sales, and attendance tracking. Some have tools for hosting live and virtual auctions.
Many donation platforms support integration with the most popular apps and tools, such as Mailchimp for email campaigns and Stripe for payment processing. A website builder is included with some software offerings, which users may appreciate if they don’t yet have their own site.
Benefits of Donation Management Software
All sorts of organizations, from small nonprofits to multi-chapter entities, can benefit from a donation management platform. The right software will help you:
- Get organized: Keeping track of multiple donations can be difficult without the right system. Donation software collects and reports gifts, saving your team hours of tedious work.
- Host better events: With tools like custom invitations, online registration, and event page builders, you’ll inspire higher attendance and participation rates, which can translate into more donations for your organization.
- Increase donations: Pre-built, drag-and-drop templates let you create professional-looking donation request forms for your website or email campaign. With online giving, you’ll be able to accept donations from anywhere in the world.
- Improve donor relationships: The best software uses intelligent logic to build profiles of your supporters, so you can get to know them on a personal level. You’ll see how donors are related or get notifications when they mention your organization on social media.
- See instant fundraising results: Real-time dashboards keep you up to date with donation amounts, fund sources, and progress toward your goal. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to create customized reports for sharing with your team, donors, or board members.
Must-Have Features of Donation Management Software
No matter your mission, you need a donation management platform that works as hard as you do. Features found in the best donation management software include:
- Donation tracking: See who donated and how much, then allocate gifts to the fund of your choice.
- Donor management: Your donors are more than just names on a list. When you have hundreds or thousands of them, though, keeping track of everyone can seem impossible. Donor management tools let you categorize supporters and check out their information at a glance.
- Event management: Fundraising events, such as concerts or charity auctions, can be a good way to collect donations. Event management tools simplify the process with templates for invitations, online ticket sales, and attendance trackers.
- Online giving: If your organization doesn’t accept gifts online, it could be missing out on a major source of funding. Online giving enables supporters to be a part of your mission no matter where they’re located.
- Integrations: The best donor management platforms support integration with your favorite third-party apps, including payment processors and email marketing software.
The Cost of Donation Management Software
Prices for donation management software are usually based on the number of contacts a subscriber has and can be billed monthly or annually. Some companies allow a certain number of contacts for free. For around 1,000 contacts, costs range between $39 and $200 per month. For a contact list of about 10,000, expect to pay between $59 and $400 per month.
Several software companies don’t charge per contact and offer flat-rate monthly plans instead. Prices range between $19 per month for basic donation management and $800 per month for the most features, dedicated support, and training courses. Many companies offer a discount, typically 10% off, for annual billing.
Most software providers offer a free trial period, and some have free or budget plans. These plans can be ideal for small nonprofits that don’t need a lot of advanced features. However, free or inexpensive plans may not include event management, detailed reporting, or a Text-to-Give function.