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    Nonprofit customer relationship management software (CRM) is a business tool designed to help nonprofits manage and track their relationships with donors, volunteers, and other contacts.

    What Is Nonprofit CRM Software?

    Nonprofit CRM software is a centralized tool used to manage relationships and communication with donors, volunteers, and other nonprofit contacts. It also houses all critical information required to manage a nonprofit, including donation numbers, donor and volunteer contact information, and donor touchpoints.

    Just like a traditional business CRM, a nonprofit CRM can help nonprofits track their marketing campaigns, store critical contracts and documents, nurture their list of leads, and automate specific business tasks.

    Nonprofit CRMs are designed to address the specific needs of not-for-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). And whether for commercial or non-commercial use, CRM is a business essential.

    Why Does a Nonprofit Need CRM Software?

    Nonprofit organizations work with many moving parts. From wrangling volunteers for outreach events to following up with donors after they give, nonprofit operations are complex. Nonprofit CRM software streamlines these processes through built-in capabilities such as reporting, event management, and donation management.

    As a result, CRM software enables nonprofit organizations to:

    • Make data-driven decisions: The reporting features inside nonprofit CRMs enable organizations to visualize their data and make informed decisions. For example, organizations can quickly see data such as donor retention rates and donations raised in a certain time period.
    • Increase donations: Tracking and nurturing donor relationships keeps an organization’s present and potential donors engaged with the cause. And that engagement often leads to increased donations.
    • Engage with volunteers: Donations in the form of time are critical for nonprofits that require all hands on deck during outreach. Using a CRM, nonprofits can easily track volunteer contact information and reach out for help when needed.

    How Is a Nonprofit CRM Different from Other CRM Tools?

    Nonprofit CRM software is built specifically for nonprofit organizations. While traditional business CRM tools are built to manage customers, nonprofit CRMs are built to manage donors and volunteers, which are two very distinct groups.

    Other small differences apply to how tools in the different CRMs are used. For example, while all CRM software includes reporting functionality, for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations will use these tools differently. For-profit businesses may use the reporting features to track customer retention. Nonprofit organizations will use the reporting features to track donor retention.

    What Are the Main Functions of a Nonprofit CRM?

    Donor and volunteer management

    Also known as “constituent management,” this function enables organizations to track and nurture their relationships with donors and volunteers. Nonprofit CRMs offer tools for storing contact information, tracking donor and volunteer leads, and managing communications with constituents.

    Donation management

    Donation management functions enable organizations to quickly take, process, and track donations. Often, donation management is coupled with accounting tools built right into the CRM platform to assist nonprofits with managing their complex finances.


    Reporting helps organizations make sense of their data. Whether a nonprofit wants to know their annual donation goal progress or how many volunteers have signed up for a weekend volunteer event, the reporting function will deliver critical insights.

    Nonprofit CRM Features

    Top nonprofit CRMs offer advanced features such as:

    • Fundraising management
    • Marketing automation
    • Targeted communication
    • Customizable campaign builders
    • Grants management
    • Program and service delivery
    • Online petitions
    • Peer-to-peer fundraising and events
    • APIs and integrations

    Top Five Nonprofit CRM Platforms

    1. Bloomerang

    Bloomerang enables nonprofits to track and nurture their relationships with donors, volunteers, and partners. The software offers strong tools for online fundraising and reporting.

    2. DonorPerfect

    Through DonorPerfect, nonprofits can benefit from automated workflows, payment processing, and event management tools. Plus, DonorPerfect allows organizations to help their donors set up monthly donations to boost retention and growth.

    3. Kindful

    Kindful is a Bloomerang product that offers tools for fundraising, donor management, reporting, and donor communication. Kindful is built for data integration and enables nonprofits to connect Kindful to the tools they already use to improve efficiency.

    4. Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud

    Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud is a full-service nonprofit CRM. It includes solutions for fundraising, marketing, program management, grantmaking, and operations, all built on the comprehensive Salesforce CRM.

    5. Blackbaud CRM

    Blackbaud CRM is a robust constituent relationship management platform that offers fundraising team management and peer-to-peer fundraising support. Combined with Blackbaud’s ResearchPoint solution, organizations can uncover relationship insights quickly.

    Learn about other top nonprofit software solutions in this Nonprofit Software Buyer’s Guide from TechnologyAdvice.