The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

How To Evaluate A Donor Management System For Your Nonprofit

We’ve all been there: swimming in a sea of spreadsheets, climbing walls of sticky notes, and plowing through piles of note cards, all containing bits and pieces of valuable donor intel that we can never seem to find when we need it.

Or worse: Maybe your organization invested in a system that didn’t end up doing all the things you wanted it to or was way too complicated for the staff to use without calling on expensive, hard-to-reach technical help.

Happily, help is on the way.

Knowing it’s time for an upgrade, you followed our advice and convinced your executive board to approve funds for a new donor management system. Congratulations!

Now it’s time for the fun part: deciding which system is best for your nonprofit’s specific needs.

Lucky for you, we’ve put together a helpful brief that walks you through every step of evaluating a donor management system. It even includes a handy checklist of features that’ll ensure you get everything you need—and nothing you don’t.

Here are a few quick hits from the brief to get you started.

How do you begin whittling down the long list of potential donor management systems on the market? It all begins with your wish list. Gather the team over coffee and brainstorm all the things you would do if your donor data was easily accessible, sortable, and integrated with your other key systems. Now, prioritize your list with the absolute must-haves at the top. This is where that Donor Management Checklist included with the brief really comes in handy!

Once you have your wish list ready, it’s time to select a few DMS candidates and match your desired features to each system’s specs. Ask your nonprofit colleagues about the systems they use, what they like and dislike, and what they wish they had done when making their decision. Be sure to look for key features like responsive design and customer service reps who understand the specific needs of nonprofits.

Scheduling a demo is a great way to get your feet wet before taking the plunge into a new donor management system.

It’s a perfect opportunity to ask lots of questions and learn ways a DMS can help you meet and exceed the fundraising goals that you hadn’t even considered.

We feel confident that you’ll make the right choice for your nonprofit’s donor management system when you follow the steps and tips in our brief. Download “How to Evaluate a Donor Management System” right now—and get ready to hit your fundraising and donor engagement targets this year and beyond.

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About This Blog

Linda Lombardi
Content Manager

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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