Best Software for New Nonprofits

Starting a nonprofit can be a lot of work, but if you have a great mission and want to take the leap there are many ways to get it done! Technology has come a long way and there are many tools available today that can help you get your organization up and running. 

A quick search on the internet can leave you feeling overwhelmed with choices. So we have broken it down to the necessities and offered our top choices in the following categories:

  • Nonprofit CRM
  • Accounting Software
  • Email Marketing 
  • Design

Keep reading to discover the best tools you can get started with today that will help launch your nonprofit.

Nonprofit CRM

Benefits of a CRM for New Nonprofits

If you are looking for scalability and growth, then you should invest in a CRM. Many new nonprofits will start tracking donations via spreadsheets. When this becomes unmanageable converting to a CRM can be messy and data could be compromised. It is best to start with good data practices off the bat and that means investing in a CRM. Luckily there are very affordable options available. 

In addition, a nonprofit CRM will help you build and maintain relationships, which is vital when you are first starting out. You can also stay in communication with your supporters via mass email or SMS campaigns. All in all, a CRM is one of the best and first tools a new nonprofit should invest in. 

If you are interested in learning more about using spreadsheets vs. a CRM, read 6 Reasons to Upgrade from Excel to a Nonprofit CRM here

Use Cases for a Nonprofit CRM

If you are a new nonprofit or just getting started, you might not be aware of everything a nonprofit CRM can do. Below are some of the most popular ways nonprofits use a CRM. 

  • Donor management
  • Create appeal and acknowledgment letters. 
  • Plan, execute, and track fundraising campaigns. 
  • Analyze campaign performance and identify areas for improvement.
  • Maintain a holistic view of each constituent’s interactions with the organization. 
  • Foster stronger relationships through personalized communication.
  • Collaboration and Team Coordination
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Grant tracking
  • Donor Stewardship and moves management

Best Nonprofit CRM for New Nonprofits 

DonorSnap is a great solution for new nonprofits with pricing starting at just $39 a month. As your organization grows, DonorSnap will grow with you. Learning new software can be intimidating, which is why DonorSnap offers comprehensive training and a 5 star support team. When you are first starting out as a new nonprofit you don’t have to go it alone. So when considering a new CRM ensure that they offer top tier training and support so you can get the most out of your investment. 

Accounting Software

Benefits of Accounting Software for New Nonprofits

Keeping your organization’s finances in order is crucial for your success. As a 501c3 you will have to file a 990 every year. Keeping your financial records such as accounts payable and budget tracking in accounting software will make things much easier at your annual audit. It is also important to make, and keep track of the budget in your organization. You need to show you are wisely spending your funds and accounting software will streamline budget tracking. 

Use Cases for Accounting Software

There are a number of ways accounting software like QuickBooks can help a nonprofit. Below are some of the most common uses for QuickBooks. 

  • Financial Tracking and Reporting
  • Budgeting and Planning
  • Payroll Processing
  • Vendor and Supplier Management
  • Bank Account Reconciliation
  • Fund Accounting
  • Reporting for Board Meetings
  • Tax Reporting
  • Asset and Depreciation Tracking
  • Event and Program Financial Management

Best Accounting Software for New Nonprofits 

QuickBooks is one of the most widely used accounting software by both nonprofits and small businesses. A new nonprofit will want to track its income and expenses and have a way to pay vendors if necessary. QuickBooks makes all of this possible. It also integrates with DonorSnap so you can send over your donation data in a few clicks. QuickBooks also works great for creating and keeping track of budgets, another must-have for nonprofits. 

Email Marketing

Benefits of Email Marketing for Nonprofits

Email is the most important communication channel for nonprofits according to Nonprofit Marketing Guide. Having a strong email marketing strategy in place can help grow your nonprofit quickly. Email marketing tools allow your nonprofit to easily manage and segment your mailing lists. This enables you to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. 

Use Cases for Email Marketing 

Email marketing software can help nonprofits build stronger relationships with their audience and drive their mission forward. The most effective emails nonprofits can send include: 

  • Fundraising Campaigns
  • Automated Donation Reminders to Previous Donors
  • Impact Reports/Storytelling
  • Volunteer Information
  • Newsletters
  • Promotion of nonprofit events
  • Advocacy and Awareness campaigns
  • Welcome emails

Best Email Marketing System for New Nonprofits

Many nonprofit CRMs like DonorSnap will have built in mass email tools. However, if you are looking for fancy templates and additional features such as A/B testing, there are other email marketing tools available. Constant Contact is our email marketing tool of choice. It is easy to use, with many features such as A/B testing, resending to non-openers, automated welcome email, and more. Learn more about Constant Contact here

Bonus! Constant Contact integrates with DonorSnap so you can manage your mailing lists in DonorSnap and easily send them over to Constant Contact. 

Design Tools

Benefits of Design Software for New Nonprofits

Design tools can help nonprofit organizations build a polished brand for themselves. Branding is the visual identity of an organization and if done well helps build trust among your supporters. When someone is looking to support an organization visual communication can guide them to give. Design software allows you to communicate with your supporters in an effective way that ultimately builds trust and a long-lasting relationship. 

Use Cases for Design Tools 

Design tools empower nonprofit organizations to visually communicate their mission, connect with their audience, and effectively convey the impact of their work. Below are some of the most popular things nonprofits create with design tools like Canva. 

  • Logo design/branding
  • Event flyers
  • Social media graphics
  • Presentations and reports
  • Impact or annual reports

Best Design Tools for New Nonprofits

Canva is a great entry-level design tool for new nonprofits. Most new nonprofits will want some sort of design tool to help them with branding, and creating communication pieces. If you have someone on your team and the resources, Adobe Creative Suite is a much more robust option, however, it is expensive and more difficult to learn. Canva is a great place to start, is easy to use, and free. Bonus: Nonprofits can sign up for a free pro account here. 

Final Thoughts

Starting a new nonprofit is a huge, but worthwhile undertaking. While getting started can be overwhelming, there are a number of affordable or free tools that can help nonprofits get off the ground. If just getting started, new nonprofits should consider investing in a CRM, accounting software, an email marketing system, and design software.

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