When an NGO experiences growth, one of the major changes they can expect is the need to take in software that will support their expanding network. For organizations of a certain size, buying their first dedicated management software marks a key stage in growth.
This kind of software also referred to as a constituent relationship manager (CRM), is a tool used by NGOs to store and organize information about their donors in order to adjust communication and outreach strategies to build stronger relationships.
What are the most important features?
When you conduct research on the different types of NGO management software, it’s important that you look for all of the important features your organization needs. However, there are some general features that any NGO will benefit from having as a part of their management software. They include:
- An interactive dashboard with an overview of the statistics important to your organization.
- A constituent timeline to show your donors’ engagement over time.
- List segmentation that allows you to write communications with a target audience in mind.
- Donor survey creation to measure your donors’ opinions about your organization.
- Letters and mailing, that make it easy to draft fundraising letter templates and send them to donor lists.
This takes us to the most important question.
How much does NGO software cost?
NGO management software has a range of potential price points depending on the number of features offered and the provider.
Free fundraising software can be a good introduction to a software solution, but you should never expect to remain at the free price point for long. Often, these solutions have a tiered pricing system based on the number of records you intend to keep in the system. This means that when you bypass the limits of the free solution, you need to scale up to the next level.
The other pricing model to look out for is based on functionality. Often times a vendor will look cheaper than others, but that pricing plan won’t include the full functionality of the system. You need to have a complete understanding of what software features you’ll get for the pricing plan you’re looking at. The worst thing that can happen is to go through all the trouble of switching only to find out that you aren’t getting something you thought you were.
Generally, before you make your final decision, you should feel comfortable and confident in your knowledge about the functions of the software and how your chosen software solution will impact your organization.