Nonprofit Marketing Software: An Ultimate Guide to CRMs for Nonprofits

By Ilia Jones | October 2021


Managing your relationships is an essential part of creating a vibrant community and gaining loyal donors. However, trying to keep track of site visits and conversions without the right tool is nearly impossible.

That's where CRMs come in.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. These tools help you to nurture and evolve your relationship to turn a first-time site visitor into a dependable donor over time. A CRM will track and manage customer data and analytics over time, helping your organization tailor and personalize messaging. 

A CRM will highlight potential conversion opportunities for your organization based on the behavior of potential customers or donors. This is made possible because information enters the CRM through your sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. Essentially, every touchpoint a prospective donor has with your nonprofit is tracked in the CRM. This gives you insight that would be nearly impossible to attain manually. 

And the CRM can tell you, through reporting and real-time dashboards, where prospective donors are being held up from becoming actual donors. 

What Does a CRM Do?

Customer Relationship Management software helps organizations connect different departments, such as marketing and sales so that they can work together to increase conversions.

Each department tracks metrics that are specific to them. But if you're not following the customer along the pipeline, you can't see the complete picture. For example, your marketing department might track social media metrics, but how can they connect those actions to donations?

The CRM puts all the pieces of the puzzle together for you. It will provide everyone in your organization access to customer data and analytics in real-time. And it allows you to personalize your marketing and sales efforts to specific segments or personas at each interval of their customer journey. With this information feeding your strategy, you can nudge them closer to becoming loyal community members and donors. 

Some CRMs can help you create better donation landing pages, host online fundraising events or online auctions. 

How Do You Choose the Right CRM for Your Nonprofit?

Selecting the right CRM for your nonprofit can be daunting. Still, with some thought and strategy, it doesn't have to be a barrier to improving your customer relationships. 

As you start to think about selecting a CRM, it can help to take a close look at your current marketing efforts, strategies, tools, and systems. By reviewing what you have and what you're already doing, you can better determine the right CRM for you. 

Things to Consider When Selecting a CRM

When selecting any new tool or software, many things need to be considered. Before you start to dig into the functionality of potential CRM software, there are a few things to take into account:

  • Budget - What is the budget for new software? 
  • Business Need - What are the things you are trying to streamline and automate?
  • Number of Users - How many people need access to the software?
  • Software Integration - Do you have existing software that needs to communicate with the CRM?
  • Business Goals - What are you trying to achieve with a new CRM?

Once you have asked yourselves these questions, it's time to move on to exploring the many CRM options available for nonprofit organizations. 

The Best CRMs for Nonprofits

To help you find the right CRM for your organization, we put together a shortlist. While this isn't an exhaustive list of all of the CRM software available, we selected software that specializes in serving nonprofits and understands their unique needs. 

HubSpot for Nonprofits

HubSpot has been building a reputation for being a one-stop-shop for marketing needs. And now they offer all of their functionality to nonprofit organizations at a 40% discount! They offer "Hubs" or prepackaged software for Marketing, Sales and CMS. Their Sales Hub includes a powerful CRM to help you cultivate donor pipelines. You can select just one Hub or combine them for the ultimate sales and marketing platform. HubSpot also integrates with over 500 other marketing systems, so you don't have to give up a tool you love to get started. 

Neon CRM

Neon CRM is a cloud-based solution that scales to handle the needs of nonprofit organizations of any size. Their suite of software includes fundraising and donor management, event registration, reporting, and more. Neon CRM automates touchpoints with prospective donors to accelerate conversion. And their fundraising tools include online donation forms, email blasts, automated tax receipts, and membership renewal management. 


DonorPerfect helps nonprofits of all sizes manage donations, donor contact information, receipts, email and fundraising, and reporting. Their analytics dashboard provides valuable insight into what drives donations so your nonprofit can focus on the marketing efforts that are working, not on those that aren't providing ROI. It integrates with Constant Contact for easy email campaigns and auction functionality for live, silent or mobile, or online auctions. 


Kindful was created just for growing nonprofit organizations. This solution focuses on three main pillars of fundraising, online donation management, building a donor database, and generating donor insights. One of the things that make Kindful unique is its donor page functionality. With Kindful, you can create an unlimited number of customized donation pages, so that you can tailor them for different campaigns, seasons, or other events. Their recurring donor functionality uses automation to make it easy to donate again and again. 


Perfect for small and growing nonprofits, Boomerang provides valuable insight into donor behavior. Track donor activity and engagement level and learn the best time to each contact donor, so you're reaching out when it matters most. Their Donor Retention Cockpit, an interactive dashboard, provides information on donors and their engagement, ranking it by cold, cool, warm and hot. With Boomerang, you know where you stand with each and every donor. 

CRMs for Better Donor Relationships

As you consider adding a CRM into your marketing toolkit, remember that the primary goal of any nonprofit marketing effort is to create strong relationships with your donors. After all, your donors are the lifeblood of your organization. No matter which CRM you select, as long as you operate with your donor community in mind, you can't go wrong.

Topics: Nonprofit Help