Top 7 Best CRM Systems for Nonprofits in 2020

Best CRM software for nonprofits

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | Updated: 10 August 2020

Engage your donors and boost your fundraising efforts with the right CRM for your charity


Short on time? Get acquainted with our top CRM picks for charities by diving into the table below. Click the name of a supplier to learn more about how it can help you boost donations, and stay on top of your client relations.

ProX ConBest forPrice (per user, per month)
Salesforce for NonprofitsDedicated project management toolExpensiveDonor retentionUp to £120
HubSpotFree version availableOnboarding fees applyRaising awareness of your causeFrom £16.80
Salsa CRMDrag-and-drop email marketing builderCan be tough to get the hang ofPeer-to-peer fundraisingBespoke
CiviCRMHighly customisable dashboardUnsuitable for small businessesEase of useFree
thankQ CRMExtremely user-friendlyClunky user experienceBespoke packagesBespoke
Microsoft Dynamics 365Integration with other Microsoft productsNo free plan or trialSynergy with other business softwareUp to £158.36
CharitylogSuperb analytics and reportingAverage customer supportData-crunching£3.30

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a vital tool in the arsenal of modern charities.

After all, the success of any nonprofit organisation hinges on its ability to build support, retain existing donors, and manage projects efficiently. And this, in a nutshell, is what a CRM system helps you do.

Below, we've broken down the top seven providers that specialise in CRM for charities. Whether you’re looking to expand your donor base, improve online engagement, or manage fundraising projects more effectively, these CRM software providers all have a solution to suit your charity.

Read on to learn more, or – if you're short on time, and just want to receive quotes tailored to the nonprofit you represent – try our free, quote-finding service on for size. Simply furnish us with some details about the CRM setup that you're looking to implement, and one or more of our CRM supplier partners will be in touch with bespoke offers.


Top 7 CRM systems for charities

We reviewed the top seven providers that specialise in CRM for charities in the UK. We looked at the specific features for nonprofits that each CRM provider offers, as well as the benefits, the pros, the cons, and (of course!) the price.

This is a list of the top CRM systems for nonprofits:

Let's find out why they're the best.


Salesforce for Nonprofits

Best for donor retention

Salesforce is one of the largest CRM providers globally, with big name clients including Aston Martin, AXA and Ocado. The company’s tailored CRM for charities, Salesforce for Nonprofits, promises to “connect everything that matters on a single platform”. Its range of industry-specific features is sure to help you retain existing donors, engage new ones, and monitor resources and fundraising.

Salesforce also claims that its software increases donor retention by 31%.

And, while self-reported figures should be taken with a (rather large) pinch of salt, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer number of dedicated tools on offer. With a handy, customisable dashboard for tracking donations, measuring the success of your email marketing efforts, and performing deep-dive analytics into donor engagement, Salesforce for Nonprofits does it all.

Pricing

Registered charities can apply for 10 free licenses through Salesforce’s ‘Power of Us' program. After that, licenses are charged at £120 per user, per month.

Pros:

  • Dedicated project management module
  • Strong integration with social media
  • Intuitive reporting and analytics

X Cons:

  • One of the more expensive options available

HubSpot

Best for raising awareness of your charity and cause

While HubSpot isn't built specifically for charities, it is built to get more eyes on the communications you're putting out – and to alert more ears (and, hopefully, wallets!) to the work your nonprofit is doing. With a huge cohort of social media monitoring, SEO (search engine optimisation), blogging, and content marketing tools at your disposal, HubSpot empowers you to deliver marketing and donor engagement campaigns that work.

HubSpot also allows you to see exactly who's connecting with your charity online, and learn more about where and how they're engaging with your nonprofit's messages.

This, in turn, enables you and your staff to reach out with more meaningful, tailored communications, converting your site's visitors into loyal donors or volunteers with personalised emails, delivered at just the right time.

Pricing

HubSpot's pricing starts at £16.80 per user, per month, for either its sales, marketing, or customer service bundle. More extensive features increase the price, though you can save by purchasing several modules in a single module – what HubSpot calls its ‘Growth Suite'.

Pros:

  • Free version available
  • Huge contact limit of 1,000,000
  • Sports a simple, intuitive, and aesthetically-pleasing interface

X Cons:

  • HubSpot levies a large onboarding fee

Salsa CRM

Best for peer-to-peer fundraising

Salsa CRM is a spicy selection for small charities. As a dedicated CRM platform for nonprofits, its functions span digital marketing, online fundraising, donor engagement, customer service automation, and peer-to-peer fundraising. Salsa CRM also offers tailored solutions for charities from all across the sector, too — from animal and wildlife trusts, to civil rights and social justice organisations.

The standout feature of Salsa CRM, though, is its innovative peer-to-peer fundraising module.

Engineered to leverage the 43% of millennials who donate via dedicated peer-to-peer platforms, it allows volunteers to set up a custom fundraising page and share it with their friends across social media. This feature alone makes Salsa one of the top CRM systems for charities — and that’s before you factor in all the other great tools it offers for charities.

Pricing

Salsa’s pricing is bespoke, so you’ll need to request a quote to get an accurate idea of cost.

Pros:

  • Provides a ‘drag-and-drop’ email marketing builder
  • Integrates with Facebook ads
  • Offers a free peer-to-peer fundraising app

X Cons:

  • The software's interface can be difficult to get to grips with initially
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CiviCRM

Best for ease of use

CiviCRM is a cloud-based, open source CRM solution. It’s also a superlative choice for medium-sized to large organisations that are looking for a fully customisable CRM for charities – and one that integrates with their existing content management system to boot. The software itself is completely free, too, with downloaders being encouraged to make a donation to help support the platform.

CiviCRM software also provides a fully integrated, easy-to-use interface through which you can manage all aspects of your charity’s day-to-day activities.

There are specific tools for monitoring both volunteer and donor engagement, and over 40 templated reports to ensure you're hitting pre-defined key performance indicators, and are on track to achieve your CRM goals.

Pricing

CiviCRM is free charity database software. Yes, that’s right: it’s completely free.

Pros:

  • Customisable dashboard
  • Smooth management of membership and volunteers
  • Identifies advocates and grantors
  • Manages pledges and contributions

X Cons:

  • Less suitable for smaller businesses

thankQ CRM

Best for bespoke packages

Trusted by over 1,200 charities in the UK alone, thankQ CRM is firmly established as one of the world’s leading membership and charity database software providers. The company offers a full suite of reporting and analytics tools, as well as a dedicated alumni development module to help you identify and engage potential donors with targeted marketing.

thankQ offers tailored packages for marketing, fundraising and membership management. And it’s modular – meaning you'll only ever pay for the features that your charity needs.

Pricing

Prices are bespoke, so you’ll need to request a quote for your business. Remember, to receive tailored quotes from one or more CRM systems for nonprofits, simply fill in our short questionnaire by hitting one of the buttons below. It's free, easy, and takes less than a minute.

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Pros:

  • User-friendly interface
  • Modular format tailored to your needs
  • Top-notch customer support

X Cons:

  • User experience can be clunky

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Best for integration

Serving over 40,000 companies and a whopping 4.4 million users worldwide, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a true giant of the industry. Microsoft users will be familiar with the intuitive layout of the CRM software, and programmes such as Outlook and Office 365 are easily integrated to help you streamline workflow processes, and execute a killer CRM strategy.

Pricing

Prices start at £86.70 per user, per month for Microsoft’s basic CRM for charities. Its mid-range price package comes in at £143.27 per user, per month, while an advanced system costs £158.36 per user, per month.

Pros:

  • Track fundraising goals with ease
  • Seamless integration with Microsoft programmes
  • Manage Gift Aid declarations and preferences

X Cons:

  • No free plan or trial available

Charitylog

Best for analysis and reporting

Charitylog is used by over 400 charities and not-for-profit organisations to integrate and analyse data, and monitor projects. With a strong emphasis on enabling collaboration, the company has built a range of reliable and easy-to-use cloud-based products, helping to establish Charitylog as a favourite CRM for small charities in the UK.

Charitylog's innovative collaborative features allow you to share data easily and securely with partner organisations.

Pricing

Charitylog’s pricing starts at £33 per month, for up to ten users. Modules for managing volunteers and members cost an additional £5 per month each.

Pros:

  • Boasts excellent analytics and reporting features
  • Provides secure data sharing tools for unfettered collaboration
  • Makes campaign tracking and project outcome reporting simple
  • Social media integration is top class

X Cons:

  • Its customer support isn't as strong as some other nonprofit CRM options
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Next steps

So, now you’ve read our reviews of the best CRM systems for nonprofit organisations, what next? Trawling through endless pages on the internet, looking for more information? Losing your sanity in a neverending sea of tabs, while struggling to extract accurate, meaningful quotes from charity CRM suppliers?

No thanks. Plus, there's a better way.

Simply provide us with a few details about your charity, along with your specific CRM requirements. We'll just need to know how many of your team the software will need to support, which CRM features you're most interested in, and whether or not you're already using some form of contact management software solution.

When you've provided us with that information (which you can do by taking 30 seconds to answer a few simple questions), we'll match you up with one or more leading CRM suppliers for nonprofits and charities. They'll soon be in touch with you directly, to offer quotes tailored to your charity and its requirements – so keep your phone handy!


FAQs

What is a CRM system for nonprofits?

A CRM system is software that helps you to manage client and donor relationships by tracking their interactions with your charity.

In its most basic form, CRM software is a database of up-to-date contact information. It's through leveraging this data in clever ways, though, that a CRM system becomes so much more.

What's the best cloud-based CRM for nonprofits?

Though ‘cloud-based' CRM is often treated as a completely separate entity from regular CRM, the fact is that most nonprofit CRM providers offer a software solution that is completely cloud-based already. 

If we had to choose, though, our top cloud-based CRM for nonprofits has to be Salesforce. It's just too powerful, too feature-rich, and those ten free licences are hard to resist!

Why use a CRM System?

Here are three ways that a CRM system will benefit your charity:

  1. Donor management: A dedicated CRM for nonprofits includes charity database software, to help you manage your existing donors more effectively. View giving history, monitor direct debits, and even track events attended — all from a single, handy dashboard.
  2. Grow your support: The right CRM for your charity will enable you to reach new audiences with targeted emails and marketing. Your CRM software will also become a central hub for contact information, allowing you to coordinate with both donors and volunteers to run fundraising campaigns more effectively.
  3. Big-picture insight: Through detailed reports and analytics, a nonprofit CRM system gives you a 360-degree view of your organisation and its performance – enabling greater productivity, and helping you to get the most out of donated money.

Which CRM system should I choose?

There’s no one-size-fits-all charity CRM system — which is why our top providers offer tiered pricing to cater for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes. Whether you're after software with advanced analytical CRM capabilities, or one better-suited to small businesses, we'll match you with a nonprofit CRM provider designed to help you scale.

How? Well, simply provide us with some details about the CRM system you're looking for. With your requirements down pat, we'll carefully select one or more leading CRM suppliers, who'll be in touch with you directly to offer tailored quotes. It takes just 30 seconds to answer a few short questions, and it's completely free of charge.

What features can I expect a CRM system to perform for my nonprofit?

Most CRM systems for charities in the UK will offer tools for basic functions, such as:

  • Donor management
  • Volunteer management
  • Project management
  • Online fundraising

For advanced nonprofit CRM reporting capabilities (such as those offered by Salesforce for Nonprofits), you can expect to pay a little more. Some providers offer dedicated fundraising databases for small charities, although these bespoke solutions often come at eyebrow-raising prices.

Is open source CRM software right for my charity?

If you have tech-savvy staff, it’s worth considering an open source CRM solution. Open source CRM software allows users to edit the computer code behind the programme, and customise it to meet their specific needs.

Open source CRM systems are a great choice for larger nonprofits with a dedicated tech team; smaller charities are usually better served with an out-of-the-box solution.

However, as resource tends to be a problem for almost all charitable organisations, we recommend against open source for nonprofits. You're out there trying to make the world a better place – so you’ve got more important things to do than spend all your time fiddling around with software programmes.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings to the table industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, business loans, fulfilment, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny (socially-distanced) corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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