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Businesses Software The Almighty Buck

Customer Resource Management For Non-Profits? 186

NoTerminal writes "My 60-person non-profit organization is looking for a tool or set of tools to keep track of our donors and contacts. A perfect solution will either replace or gracefully synchronize with Outlook's contacts module, as well as provide a powerful back-end that can handle donation tracking, grant reporting, and interaction tracking. What contact management system or customer relations management package is your non-profit using? How do you like it?"
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Customer Resource Management For Non-Profits?

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  • Blackbaud Products (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Specifically the Raiser's Edge. Seems to do most of what you need.

    • by Dadoo ( 899435 )

      I hope you have a lot of donors, because you'll need every one to pay for Raiser's Edge.

  • Use Salesforce.com (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:42PM (#28131455)

    I'm sure they've done this exact same thing on more than one occasion. You can probably get the foundation arm to give you the software for free.


    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by danomac ( 1032160 )
      I also work for a nonprofit organization, and TechSoup [techsoup.org] is an invaluable resource. They offer software and hardware that has been donated by various companies (such as Sage, Microsoft, Symantec, Cisco, Intuit, and many others) that is only available for nonprofits. They do have CRM software buried in there somewhere. I strongly suggest you check it out, especially for things such as antivirus, where it can save literally thousands off of existing charity pricing.
  • salesforce.com (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    salesforce provides free service to registered nonprofits. as you probably know, salesforce is an incredibly robust and extensible CRM system. it can be tweaked pretty easily. if anything, it might be too heavyweight. but it will certainly get the job done.

    • Re:salesforce.com (Score:4, Informative)

      by StJohnsWort ( 260566 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:02PM (#28131689) Homepage

      Yep. I work for a chain of not for profit hospitals and I know the folks who handle donor contributions use salesforce.com. Have been for years. Do not know what they like / dislike about it. But the years of use doe's say something. The only thing is it can be bandwidth intensive on your internet pipe.

    • Salesforce can connect with your Outlook and Excel applications to synch data. It supports CRM, contact management, and allows you to create custom data objects and reports for you to track your grants, interactions and donations.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It will even track your waste management.

  • by Underfoot ( 1344699 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:45PM (#28131505)

    I am not sure how big your budget is, but I've heard nothing but good things about Tessitura:
    http://www.tessituranetwork.com/Products.aspx [tessituranetwork.com]

    There is also Raiser's Edge - but their product (in my opinion) feels like it was put together by a programmer (i.e. - written to bad specs by someone whose job isn't fundraising), not by a user - and thus has lots of quirks that make it not as useful as it should be...
    http://www.blackbaud.com/products/fundraising/raisersedge.aspx [blackbaud.com]

    • Written by a programmer? Really? That's a first...
      Just kidding, hehehe....
      • That's funny but it made me wonder how many things written by users to make their life easier/better that were then open sourced, ended up as projects, and are now used by a lot of people. The Linux kernel is one.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I think the poster is looking at actual CRM packages for non-profits, which is pretty much limited to:

      -Convio (custom with salesforce hooks)

      -Salesforce (donated version with non-profit template)

      -Civicrm (with drupal/joomla/standalone)


      Democracy in action is the simplest for supporting advocacy and development. Civicrm does easy event management and donations but requires a programmer/consultant for most other things, Convio I haven't used, and Salesforce will do anything if you are willin

      • by gobbo ( 567674 ) <wrewrite@@@gmail...com> on Thursday May 28, 2009 @11:38PM (#28134415) Journal

        One of 'my' non-profits (~200mbrs) uses the software 'Donation' (softwarefornonprofits.com) but most of the users complain about the interface, and there are some problems keeping things in sync.

        So, since the website is running Drupal, I'm looking at civicrm as a way to incorporate a back-end. I like the idea of controlling backups remotely and things staying in sync. Not sure about methods of producing tax receipts, or its reliability as a data source for accounting software.

        Another possibility we were considering is eBase, a free FileMaker based CRM system for non-profits. I like the filemaker design environment for quick user interfaces, and custom reports etc. It's easy to teach a moderately skilled computer user to administer. But, eBase uses an antiquated file format, not even sure where to get FM v.5. Waiting on an update.

        Another non-profit I'm in the middle of setting up plans on having a much larger membership base, with many layers of privilege, and will center on a media-rich website, so we'll probably try CiviCRM.

    • by lionchild ( 581331 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @08:14PM (#28132559) Journal

      I've worked with a number of non-profit's as an IT-Consultant who are small enough that I *am* the IT-department. Some have used in house spreadsheets and file-maker databases, but both Tessitura and Raisers Edge are the two big products that I've seen and worked with. Both do what a non-profit needs to do. But, it's all about your budget.

      Currently, I have one non-profit who is splitting Tessitura between 2 other non-profits. Cost sharing it makes it something reasonable for all three. It's hosted at a central site for them and there's someone in charge of all three data sets. It's something I'd suggest considering if you are really interested in one of the better products.

      Good luck!

  • Raisers Edge (Score:5, Informative)

    by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:46PM (#28131519) Journal
    It's pretty much the industry standard. I work for a 501(c)3 non-profit with a $15 million a year budget. It's Windows only, but I'm not aware of any open source solution that includes all of the industry specific knowledge that Raisers Edge does.
    • Plus they will host it for you if need be. You access it via Citrix and it can tie back into your corporate Exchange (assuming you have Outlook Anywhere/RPC-HTTP configured) for Outlook integration. It is pretty simple to host our your own BUT not every company has a box available that they can put SQL on (plus Blackbaud releases a lot of patches).
      • by dave562 ( 969951 )
        The Outlook integration is a "must have" feature among the staff here. They really appreciate being able to have alerts setup within Raiser's Edge, and then have those alerts synced with Outlook (and the Blackberry). It really improves the quality of the development process, especially for the development staff who are handling dozens of prospective donors at any given point in time.
  • Raisers Edge (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tidewaterblues ( 784797 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:47PM (#28131539)
    It might be out of your price range, but the industry standard in your situation would be Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge solution.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Y_Slide ( 1564671 )
      I work in a public accounting firm and specialize in auditing non-profits. I agree with the above, Raiser's Edge is the standard for most medium to large non-profits. It does a good job tracking donors and information associated. It isn't perfect in all situations (i.e., it doesn't seem to track information to tie in with fund accounting very well.) However, I have quite a few clients who love it.
  • Whatever you do, don't follow the hype behind Salesforce. It's interface is lacking key features, in non-intuitive, and extremely extensive. I'm in the process of migrating my company off of it and onto either SugarCRM (open source) or a custom solution using Microsoft Sharepoint.
    • by Yankumi ( 807658 )
      Opps, that was supposed to say expensive, extensive is something that it certainly isn't.
      • Salesforce donates 10 user licenses for free to nonprofits and then offers extremely discounted pricing on licenses beyond that. I work for a non profit that does technology consulting for other non profits. We implement Salesforce and have found it to be very flexible and extendable.
        • by Yankumi ( 807658 )
          Well I guess some people like it. But I wouldn't choose to use it even if it was free. I could write a book on all it's shortcomings. There's just too many things to list in comments here. The biggest shortcoming is their support. They're slow to respond and not very helpful unless you want to pay thousands of dollars for a training seminar. Their data export feature is amazingly primitive as well. But I'll stop bashing them here and let people decide on their own.
          • Their data export feature is amazingly primitive as well.

            I'm not sure what you mean here. You can export all of the data from any Salesforce object to csv. From there you can do whatever you want with the data. If you wanted a list of accounts and their contacts, you could create a simple report (or use one of the built in reports) and export to Excel or csv. What else do you need?

            • by Yankumi ( 807658 )
              If you have attachments that you're storing in their system and you want them exported they come to you as randomly named files. There is also a text file that acts like a hash table. You have to look up the code, then rename the file with the appropriate name/extension. When you have thousands of files, this gets really really annoying. The fix is a simple script to write, I'm just confused why Salesforce doesn't do it automatically. I've asked their support and never got an answer better than "that's
              • OK, I'll give you that one, but honestly, how often does an org need to export all of the attachments in their CRM system? Why would this be of benefit when you can simply log in to look at any of the attachments that are stored there?
    • by Etrias ( 1121031 )
      FWIW, Salesforce supports non-profits with 501(c)3s for next to nothing. I know some businesses use Salesforce and it costs a lot, but they do offer a steep discount for non-profits.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cytos ( 605351 )
      I totally disagree.. To me it seems powerful, simple, and very flexible. Japan Post, Starbucks, Dell, all customers... Non-profits get 10 licenses and over 4,000 nonprofits use it. http://www.salesforce.com/foundation/ [salesforce.com] Worth a look at least.
    • by socsoc ( 1116769 )
      SugarCRM is nice and all but when are they gonna fix the damned calendar? You can't even set an event to repeat. My 10 year old GoldMine can do that...
  • I mean really, use the tool you have.

    • by Etrias ( 1121031 )
      No, sorry. Awful idea. Usually, a 60 person operation has a donor list in the thousands. Exchange is going to choke sending that out. It's just simply not designed for something like that. Believe me, I've had orgs who have tried it. A good CRM is nothing to sneeze at.
  • by dameron ( 307970 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:52PM (#28131597)

    It's not cheap by any stretch.

    If you want cheap then Orange Leap [orangeleap.com] has an open source "Community Edition" of their CRM that comes with no support.

  • by LordThyGod ( 1465887 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @06:55PM (#28131623)
    For anyone who has actually run both, I'd love to hear a comparison.
    • by oatworm ( 969674 )
      I'm getting ready to try out CiviCRM for a small non-profit - it definitely looks promising and the price is certainly right. That said, it's a smaller non-profit and our national office uses Raiser's Edge, so we'll see what happens.
  • Our nonprofit uses "Decapitated Poultry v0.01 beta".

    Seriously, in my experience, any nonprofit would be further ahead to use web-based systems hosted not on someone's personal pc. You will always have people coming and going, so you will need to be able to smoothly transition data into the hands of whomever is at the helm. Beware people who don't want things to go onto the web - they're usually information hoarders and don't share (but you will probably have other problems with them before you get to
    • Beware people who don't want things to go onto the web - they're usually information hoarders and don't share (but you will probably have other problems with them before you get to this point).

      Or they've been burnt by spotty web access too many times.

      Or they do not like the slowness of web systems (This is crucial to me. I hate working on intranets because everything is so damn slow -- though this maybe is due to poor setups, it's been common to the three ERP systems I've worked on, and the four non-ERP i

  • I work for a managed services firm here in southern california that focuses almost exclusively on serving Non Profit groups and after talking with our team a bit I would have to say at the top of the list would be: -Raisers Edge by BlackBaud if im not mistaken. It tends to be a bit more expensive but does a great job for the end user and is not a nightmare to manage. We have several clients using this platform and if the cost can be justified this is your best bet. -Giftworks -Donor Perfect -Sugar C
  • Hosted Microsoft CRM (Score:2, Informative)

    by pnetz ( 1564677 )
    You might want to try hosted Microsoft CRM [microsoft.com] which is available pretty cheap per seat.
    • by jesseck ( 942036 )
      If you want seamless Outlook integration, Microsoft is the way to go. And the hosted is a lot cheaper than the "full version that you host yourself".
    • by mspohr ( 589790 )
      Dynamics CRM is available to non-profits for a very small fee at techsoup.org
      • Having set up and administered a Dynamics CRM server, I think that's the last thing they want to do. The software might be cheap, the time to have someone unfamiliar with it set it up will likely be very, very costly.

  • you want Excel.
  • If you are up for doing some customizations, I would suggest using ADempiere. It is very robust and can be made to do just about anything. The nice thing about it is that when you are done, it becomes an asset for you, not an expense. (Speaking about the balance sheet.) It also can do quite a bit in scaling up to help with other business processes.

  • Sugar sugar (Score:3, Informative)

    by alexborges ( 313924 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:08PM (#28131771)

    Just sugarcrm.

    Its direct, integrates well with excel and outlook. I mean, im baffled that very few mentioned it here.

    Sugar is the way to go.

    I have to suffer salesforce and, FOR OUR NEEDS, it sucks infront of sugar. And thats that.

    • Mod parent up. Sugar has lots of deployment options to reflect different budgets and hosting scenarios.

    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )

      Sugar CRM is free so it is worth trying.
      If you don't have a spare box to set it up on VurtualBox+Linux+Sugar it a free test system.
      For Linux distro tor run it on I would suggest CentOS or Ubuntu Server. To many people use Fedora or Ubuntu for stuff like this. The server distros have a much longer support life so you get the security updates without the hassle of doing a version update.

      Oh and Webmin makes linux pretty easy to admin.

  • I have a good friend that went to work for Convio (www.convio.com). From what I understand, they specialize in CRM for non-profits.

  • Salesforce.com (Score:3, Informative)

    by jdstahl ( 173821 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:12PM (#28131821)
    Salesforce.com is a pretty amazing platform for doing CRM that goes well beyond just donor management. As others have mentioned, the Salesforce Foundation makes it available from free-to-darn-cheap. It has good Outlook/Office integration, and unlike most other solutions Salesforce has an really solid Web Services API that makes it possible to integrate with all kinds of other systems [google.com], notably including Plone [plone.org], the open-source CMS system that many nonprofits use. ONE/Northwest [onenw.org], the nonprofit I work for, has done a ton of work in this area, and has had great success at delivering powerful, easy-to-use solutions to mid-sized environmental nonprofits.
  • Sugar (Score:3, Informative)

    by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:13PM (#28131833)
    www.sugarcrm.com or sugarforge.org - They offer commercial and free open source versions and there are a number of free & pay plugins. Works well on your server or theirs.
  • Not sure if you qualify but check out http://techsoup.org/ [techsoup.org] They are a clearing house for donated hardware & software to non-profits. The non-profit I have done some work for has used them for Microsoft and Cisco products.

    I have no experience with any of the Blackbaud products but it looks like they has something from them.
  • OpenERP (Score:2, Informative)

    by smoyer ( 108342 )

    OpenERP (http://openerp.com/) has an integrated CRM. I've had great success with this project and the database is completely accessible via XML-RPC if you need custom functions. I've also used SugarCRM, but am not nearly so enamored with that project.

  • NGO-in-a-Box (Score:3, Informative)

    by dominique_cimafranca ( 978645 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:26PM (#28131995) Homepage
    Try http://ngoinabox.org/ [ngoinabox.org], They offer four versions, but the most apropos is their Base Edition, with more detailed info here http://base.ngoinabox.org./ [base.ngoinabox.org] For donation tracking, the component they use is CiviCRM - http://civicrm.org/ [civicrm.org].
  • Check out Organizers Database http://organizersdb.org/ [organizersdb.org] . Windows only. Free.
  • You should check CiviCRM, http://civicrm.org/ [civicrm.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I work for a 45k-50k member non-profit. We have a staff of around 100 and a 4 person IT department. We use CiviCRM for event registrations. Our main member database is MS SQL with VB.NET apps and horrid Filemaker applications held over from when this was an all Apple shop. I've tried to push for migration to CiviCRM and making contributions to the project to get CiviCanvas. We currently use GetActive for email contact. We currently have our main website contracted out hosted with an ASP based CMS. Drupal w
  • http://www.nten.org/ [nten.org] has done reports comparing CMS for nonprofits, including a great comparison of drupal, joomla & plone. Beth's blog, techsoup and netsquared are great resources additionally, you could look into using another serive like donor's resource, firstgiving, givezooks, Mysamaris, and Razoo- most of which have a free option Raiser's Edge, like anything Blackbaud is really great if you can afford it. But I would start at the source of research and read the reviews- they are seriously helpf
  • My Job. (Score:5, Informative)

    by kbromer ( 1220380 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:30PM (#28132047)
    I work as a DB consultant for a non-profit that does CRM-Database and Web consulting for other non-profits. We've developed in a variety of platforms and have done everything from custom built solutions through Salesforce, so I'm pretty familiar with the turf. My tips:
    1. Raiser's Edge is a nice product with relatively easy entry, but its REALLY tough to master, and, as is true with most systems I've worked with, reporting is still more an art than a science. It's expensive, support is expensive, maintenance is expensive.
    2. Salesforce is our preferred platform at the moment. Low barrier to entry (10 seat license for free for 501c(3)), alot of training available free of charge, and with some tweaking, a good non-profit overlay for it's sales-centric backend. Their current NP Template is severely lacking (we have our own package we use) although they've got some momentum behind it lately, and I expect it to improve dramatically over the next few releases. We do alot of customization work on this platform, and its pretty flexible, nice API, great plug-in for Eclipse and the OO language (Apex) they use for the API layer is derived from Java. I wasn't sold at first, but its really grown on me as a platform. Reporting can still be rough though.
    3. Filemaker/eBase Not worth your time, money, or frustration.
    4. SugarCRM has been getting some mention in the community lately, and in my experience, may be a viable alternative, but I haven't had enough time to play with it.
    5. Custom solutions are always pricey, but you should (theoretically) get what you want. MS Access (please no), SQL Server, whatever the opensource flavor of the week is- if you have a really odd-duck funding or business model, it might be worth a look.
    The only reason I wouldn't recommend SF outright to you is that it's a bit finicky to setup the Outlook connector, I can't speak for the others around Outlook connectivity. OTOH, what is your CRM DB doing trying to replace your email system in the first place?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ScienceMan ( 636648 )

      I also do extensive technical support for a not-for-profit. We recently switched most of our communication including mail, documents, calendar, and other communications and a significant part of our web presence to the Google Apps for Domain suite. We are really happy with this solution and are saving a ton of money. As a 501(c)(3), we are eligible for and have received this at no cost.

      In terms of CRM, we see that Salesforce has what appears to be extremely good integration with Google Apps. We haven't t

    • My nonprofit is an accrediting association. We don't have to keep track of donors and grants, but we do have to track our member institutions and all of the reporting that they do. Our current database is the most user-unfriendly, arcane, bizarre piece of shit software I have ever seen. Seriously, this database is worse than IE.

      We've gotten quotes from a couple private developers on custom-made solutions, but they have all been prohibitively expensive, and several of our sister organizations have recently

  • I am not recommending it but you may want to take a look at it.

    It's huge, heavy, slow (vb.net) but it seems to get the job done.

  • It sounds like you have a good idea of what you want to do. That's great because most CRM implementations seems to die because they don't nail down the requirements of what they're trying to do very well.

    Anyway, I would recommend the Raisers Edge product only because anything else you buy might require extensive customization. Ultimately, in the end it's that kind of implementation that will kill you. For example, MS CRM is actually pretty good, but it's too generic out of the box for what you need.

  • Drupal + CiviCRM? (Score:4, Informative)

    by crivens ( 112213 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @07:53PM (#28132299)

    How about Drupal + this module: http://drupal.org/project/civicrm [drupal.org]

  • I think it may work - and it's from an awesome company. Hopefully it works for a non-profit, just as well with donors as with "customers". http://www.highrisehq.com/ [highrisehq.com]
  • I worked some years back for a non-profit organization that provided aspects of community support serices. I implemented a crm/database. I was with them for 3 years

    I left with some perspectives. Some broad ones were:

    - When managers apply for funding for projects, success is often based on the political points attached to the project.
    - Funding for cars for managers were approached with diligance while other applications stalled.
    - Managers use staff and volunteer time to promote the visibility of th
  • I was in the non-profit space about a year ago, and we were thinking of trying out "Metrix" http://metrix.fcny.org/index.html [fcny.org] . Developed by/for the Fund for the City of New York, it's a contact management / funding/donor tracking system built on top of MS Access, with integration into excel and word (mail merges). Since it builds on top of MS Office suite (ie word, outlook, excel, access, along with the free ms sql product), which most non-profits need to get licenses for anyways, it's a good fit if you're

  • Donor Perfect (Score:3, Informative)

    by DavidD_CA ( 750156 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:11PM (#28133689) Homepage

    Check out Donor Perfect, which for a very small organization can be licensed for like $50. It's amazingly powerful for such a small price.

    For larger organizations, the price goes up. It does everything you're asking for, except (perhaps) the Outlook sync. I don't know if it does that.

    And although I hate Intuit, check out Quickbooks for Non-Profits. The only reason I'm suggesting this is because love-them-or-hate-them, Quickbooks is the defacto account software for small organizations and their non-profit module ain't bad. Plus, if you're outsourcing your accounting, they'll appreciate that you're on QB.

  • Quick summary -- (Score:3, Insightful)

    by check_one ( 664408 ) on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:27PM (#28133795)
    Generally you'll find a few options in the non-profit sector:
    Targeted, high priced systems
    Things like Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge have been around for years, are very full featured, and are often expensive. They run locally on Oracle or SQLServer (maybe others?) They make most of their money off of extensions, upgrades, and service contracts, so be aware that it's going to be well into the 6 figures before your done with them. Same downsides as other locally installed database systems (upgrades, etc).

    Targeted, Locally installable
    A number of products in the past 15 years have come out for non-profits to download, install locally, and use. Of note, eBase (based on FilemakerPro), and a few others. Recent ones are CiviCRM, and the downloadable SugarCRM. The biggest challenge with these is that you need a geek to install them (yes, you really do), AND a geek to upgrade it three years down the road after your last geek left. Upgrades generally make that harder. These are often free to obtain, but you need to pay someone to install them successfully, or pray that you can find volunteers who know what a command prompt is.

    Targeted SaaS systems
    More recently SaaS systems dedicated to the nonprofit and organizing community have started to become the norm. Generally cheaper in the end (as are most SaaS systems), most large and midsize groups are moving this way. Of note: DemocracyInAction, running on the Salsa platform -- ~$100/month +, depending on which pieces you want (I'm associated with DIA) Convio: Higher priced, but similar -- starts around $2,000/month Blackbaud new offering: Word is that Blackbaud has something else coming out, but the price will likely be along the same lines as their Raiser's Edge product

    Non targeted SaaS systems
    Some larger companies (Salesforce, Microsoft, etc) have a version of their software targeted at nonprofits. While capable of some basics, for real organizing and donor management they fall short, unless you pay for a significantly customized version of them. You get the advantage of a big name, but sacrifice lots of useful features. Prices vary -- usually depends on how much customization you want, and if you can find an implementor.
  • CiviCRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mathieu Lutfy ( 69 ) * on Thursday May 28, 2009 @10:52PM (#28134029) Homepage

    Try CiviCRM, http://civicrm.org./ [civicrm.org.] It's AGPL, good community, great devs. We've implemented it for a few medium-large organisations and it works nicely.

    Not sure it integrates with Outlook, but mailing contacts can be done directly from the software (so that it appears in the history of that contact). Allows to receive donations, event registration, grant management, case management, mail blasts, etc. If you have a large member community and website, it can integrate with Drupal and Joomla. For example, we often integrate it with Organic Groups, or grant special Drupal roles depending on the membership.

  • The FSF is also looking [fsf.org] for such a system (as long as it's Free Software [gnu.org]). I don't know if Affero GPL is required, although it is probably preferred.

    This excludes anything Outlook-touching, so that's an area of non-overlap. Solution is to wean the org off Outlook, if necessary. Not easy for some.

  • Hopefully your NP is using TechSoup for IT needs. Check it out and see if there is a CRM app on there. You will get it for less than pennies on the dollar. techsoup.org
  • 2 years ago, someone at my church's office asked me if i could write an app that would help them manage donors for their capital campaign. they had researched commercially available options and found they did about 90% (or less) of what they wanted. they were willing to spend a little $ to get that last 10%.

    the solution i wrote runs in a browser, uses postgres as the backend, and has features like email reminders, generates pdfs for mailings, and even allows the administrator to link donors based on their

  • I've worked with this software [rightnow.com] before, and it has the ability to sync contact information from Outlook. I'm not sure about pricing, but I know the company is very supportive of non-profits in general.
  • Get a cheap Fedora or Centos box, download SugarCRM v 5.x, and go to town. Salesforce has per-user fees, while SugarCRM does not; it also has a robust community for support and customizing.

    It runs using all free software - LAMP stack.

  • I did a contracting stint with Z2 Systems (z2systems.com), who have a web-based product called NEON.

    It's a small startup with a growing customer base. The company targets small-to-mid-sized nonprofits.

    Even though I no longer work there and do not get any kickbacks, tell 'em Grant sent you.

Disks travel in packs.