Nonprofit organizations are establishments that are operated with the sole aim of meeting public or social needs with no intention of making a profit. Nonprofits are accountable to donors, volunteers, founders, recipients of the program, and the public community at large. As an organization whose finance comes solely from donations, public confidence is an essential factor in the amount of money it can raise, and of course, this requires a donor management software that works.

What Is a Nonprofit Software?

A nonprofit software is a program that helps nonprofits organize their everyday functions. Nonprofit software can assist organizations with a multitude of functions, including fundraising, marketing, administration, donor relation, and donor management among others.

Who Is a Nonprofit Donor?

A nonprofit donor is an individual or organization that provides financial support to a nonprofit. These donations are often sporadic, but with good management, they can be pretty consistent.

To foster a good relationship with nonprofit donors, donor management needs to be understood.

Donor Management

Donor management generally refers to organizing donor data, managing interactions with donors, and maintaining good relationships and communication with them. Building meaningful relationships with donors should be prioritized to keep them funding a nonprofit. Understanding donors’ needs and expectations are integral to a nonprofit’s success. The different ways of managing donors’ expectations, improving their experience with your nonprofit, and fostering a good relationship with those looking to support your mission are all under the umbrella of donor management.

Stages in Becoming a Donor

There are four major stages to a donor encountering your nonprofit, committing their resources and support, and advocating others on behalf of you and your mission. These stages are:


This is where the donor realizes they want to help a nonprofit meet its goal. It is influenced by public confidence in your nonprofit operations. Awareness is built by inbound or outbound marketing. Inbound marketing makes your nonprofit’s information accessible to donors when they are looking for causes related to yours. Outbound marketing, on the other hand, is the process of interrupting a potential donor with messages and advertisements.


In this stage, a donor picks a certain mission they want to support and research which nonprofit to give to. This stage is crucial as it’s where you get or lose a donor. You want to ensure that the potential donors have everything they need to encourage them to work alongside your nonprofit to achieve a common goal. This is the opportunity to display the emotional side of your impact.


Now that your donor is aware of your nonprofit and has considered ways in which they can get involved, the next stage is for them to decide to give to your nonprofit. By making the donation process seamless and intuitive, you can make sure the potential donor completes the process and trusts that their donation is in the right nonprofit.


After your donor has committed to your mission and organization, ask them to share with their friends. By maintaining a good relationship with your donors and keeping them informed of the success of your nonprofit, they can spread awareness so you have new potential donors. Therefore, by regularly engaging your current donors, you’ll pull a lot more people who are dedicated to funding the operations of your nonprofit. This way, your network will grow.

Growth Phases of a Donor

The growth of a donor is organized in three phases: acquisition, retention and upgrade.

Donor Acquisition

Donor acquisition is a consistent process, boiling down to marketing and advertising at its foundation. The best way to promote your nonprofit’s awareness is to ensure that it is accessible. Making your specific campaigns compelling, easy to understand, and personalized increases the likelihood that those with an emotional investment in your mission will count on you to enact it. Utilizing networks related to your mission also allows donors to have initial trust in your organization.

Donor Retention

This is mutually beneficial since donors will be engaged with causes that interest them and this ensures your nonprofit has a consistent stream of funds. A donor retention strategy is creating a lasting welcome experience and engaging with donors frequently. Lapsed donors (donors who haven’t contributed to your nonprofit for a significant period) can also be re-engaged by following them up and creating targeted educational and promotional materials.

Donor Upgrade

This is the process of increasing a donor’s funding from year to year. This ensures your nonprofit’s continued growth. The easiest way to achieve this is by segmentation. By segmenting donors into donation levels or the possibility of an upgrade, you can promote growth by targeting each segment with specified content.

Donor Database

To manage and organize a donor’s information, a donor database enables you to segment your contact to encourage donor upgrade, utilize search queries to manipulate a large amount of data at once, and focus on the most relevant donor data. This ensures your team makes the right decision with marketing and outreach initiatives. Implementing a donor database is best achieved by investing in donor management software.

Donor Management Software

Donor management software is a nonprofit software that helps nonprofits organize data of their donors and manage their relationships with their donors. It’s a tool that helps with donor relationship management. It can also use wealth screening to predict which donors are most likely to give larger donations, showing if and how they are connected and highlighting giving habits. It improves efficiency by organizing donations into giving levels and managing all donations in one location.

Donor management software works with other applications to provide services that are not already available on the software. In nonprofit technology terms, these are called integrations. Not all donor management software can process payments and send emails to their donors, so an app like Mailchimp is integrated to carry out this operation when required and generally create a more comprehensive platform. A data audit can be conducted to understand best what software is needed to be connected with your donor management software.

How to Pick a Donor Management Software

There are many options to choose from when looking for a donor management system and each has its own set of features. It is, therefore, important to consider which donor management features are most important for your nonprofit when evaluating solutions. When making a checklist, look for these features in your software under the following categories:

Fundraising Tools

  • Recurring giving that allows donors to make scheduled donations
  • Donation pages, which are usually landing pages where donations can be made
  • Donation forms on your website
  • Donation buttons that redirect to the donation page
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising tool that enables you to launch campaigns where supporters fundraise on your behalf
  • Crowdfunding tool which allows supporters to launch campaigns and fundraise on your behalf
  • Event registration tool that enables you to accept online event registrations and give out tickets
  • Wealth screening tool that uses public records to estimate the giving of potential donors
  • Matching gift tool that finds employee matching gift opportunities for your donors
  • Text to give where you collect donations over text
  • Payment processing where donations are received via credit card

Donor Communications

  • Email receipts for donations
  • Automatic tax summary generator that allows you to send your end of the year tax summaries to all donors
  • Email marketing
  • Communication history
  • Contact and donor segmentation that shows every interaction you’ve had with your contacts

Donor Management

  • Pledge tracking that tracks all donation pledges from donors
  • Contact profile
  • Donor accounts that allow donors to view and manage their donation history, recurring donation, and tax receipts.
  • Group segmentation that creates a contact list based on certain filters
  • Tasks and reminders
  • Household tracking that tracks relationships among donors
  • Donor tracking that tracks donations received through credit card, cash, or check.
  • A self-import tool that imports data from offline sources
  • Custom fields for your donation page and registration form
  • Contact duplicate finder which identifies data sources for a single contact and merges them
  • In-kind gift tracking.

Tracking and Reporting

  • Donor analytics that allow you to see high insights on your donors
  • Custom reports where you create your report based on different criteria
  • Scheduled reports
  • Donor and contact reports
  • Donor dashboard where the health of your nonprofit can be visualized

Apps and Integrations

  • Email marketing integrations like Mailchimp and Emma
  • Accounting integrations like QuickBooks
  • Fundraising tool integrations like GoFundMe, Charity, etc.
  • Event registration and auction integrations like Eventbrite.
  • Payment processing integrations like PayPal.

Here are some donor management software with free trial versions that can help nonprofit teams make better software choices:

  • Bloomberg
  • DonorDock
  • Network for Good
  • Giveffect
  • Breeze
  • NationBuilder
  • Neon CRM


Using donor management software makes it easy to follow up your nonprofit’s donor data and better communicate and relate with them. It provides a window to easily manage and impact the donors’ journey and lifestyle and thereby ensures your nonprofit’s growth and maximizes your fundraising efforts.