Finding Software Solutions for Your Organization
You’re a small non-profit trying to navigate the vast array of options available to organize your events, improve your fundraising, and manage your constituents. Maybe you have a few small local events a year, or you’re looking to expand to new cities. You want to streamline your email communications, retain information for managing your current donors, increase the fundraising at your current events, and efficiently track new constituents. You know that you need to make a change in your software to help grow your organization but can’t find the right tools for your organization. Where do you start?
The good news is that with all the options out there, it’s more possible than ever to find a solution tailored to your needs. However, with all the software that’s out there, it can be daunting to sift through your software choices. This short guide should help you start the process, determine what’s important when evaluating your choices, and help narrow your search. To get started, the first thing you’ll want to do when searching for software solutions is identify and prioritize your organization’s needs.
What are Your Organization’s Needs?
You’ll first want to figure out what your organization really needs. Whether you want to start producing better events or collect more information on your donors, here are a couple of common needs that non-profits have when they approach Powered by Professionals:
- Increase the Funds Raised at Their Events
- Better Tracking of Donor Information
- Improve Email Communications to Cultivate Donors
- Better Organization of Their Tasks, Timelines, or Event Management
What Tools Will Help Your Organization Manage These Needs?
Identifying your needs will help determine what software you’re looking for. Prioritize your software search by making sure it suits your greatest needs. A shortlist of common software types includes:
- Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Platforms (for fundraising events)
- CRM Software, or “Customer/Constituent Relationship Management” software (for managing your donors)
- Email Marketing
- Project Management Software
What Information Do You Need to Determine Which Software Tools Your Organization Should Get?
Once you’ve laid out your priorities and identified what tools will help manage those priorities, you just have a few more questions to answer before you start really weighing out your options. Your priorities will guide you in deciding what type of tool you need to buy, but keep in mind there are so many competitive CRMs, peer-to-peer fundraising platforms, and email marketing tools out there. Here are two of the most important questions that will help refine your search:
- What’s your budget, and how much are you willing to spend on your new tools? Defining your budget will not only help identify which tool you should get, but also how many.
- What’s my organization’s capacity to use these tools? Certain tools are great if you have a large team, but if not, it can be best to look at other more manageable solutions that suit your team.
So… What Software Should You Get?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’re ready to explore the wide array of options available! One resource we’d recommend looking at is Capterra, which will provide you with in depth reviews of a wide variety of software to fit your needs. You can set filters with your search to narrow your options by pricing, user size (how many people will be using the software), and additional features.
However, if you’re looking for a more hands-on approach to finding your solution, you might want to ask for help. Powered by Professionals regularly works with small non-profits to find the solution that best fits their needs, and we can guide you throughout your search to find software that can truly improve your fundraising and event management systems.