In today’s fast and highly competitive digital world, online tools are essential if you want to stay ahead of the game. In fact, 55% of nonprofits feel their organization needs to invest in better technology to boost fundraising.
But in a sea of cool online tools & software, it can be hard to choose the right one for your nonprofit. Many of them seem to offer similar benefits, and many are expensive for a vast majority of nonprofits. So, how can you discover the best online tools and software for your nonprofits, when all of them are promising great results?
We’re here to help!
Our Top Picks for 8 Essential Online Tools & Software for Nonprofits 
1. The All-in-One Donation Software – Donorbox
Online fundraising is a must-have for nonprofit organizations around the world. It lets donors give easily and frequently and it keeps their information secure. It also lets nonprofits collect donations from anywhere, capture more donor information, increase their brand awareness, and raise funds cost-effectively. Simply put, it’s the most important tool for helping nonprofits accomplish their important work.
Donorbox offers a robust suite of fundraising tools and features to help nonprofits boost their fundraising. It’s free and easy to get started and there are no contracts involved. Join the over 50,000 organizations that trust Donorbox to help them grow their fundraising.
Donorbox features include:
- A custom and branded donation form that can be embedded on your website or hosted on Donorbox.
- Easy recurring giving functionality that allows donors to log in to their own Donorbox accounts to make changes at any time.
- Collect, store, and maintain donor data with Donorbox donor management to build lasting relationships with your donors.
- Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer functionality to help you harness the power of your network – and their network.
- Powerful event ticketing designed for nonprofits with Donorbox Events.
- More in-person fundraising with text-to-give and free QR codes generated with every campaign.
- On-site giving with the Donorbox Live™ Kiosk app.
And so much more!
Donorbox forms can be easily embedded in most website builders including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. It accepts donations in 19 currencies and your donors can make donations via credit and debit cards, PayPal, ACH bank payments, Direct Debit using bank, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, stock, and crypto. Donors receive an automated, customizable donation receipt.
Donorbox also features an embeddable donor wall, company matching widget, donation designation, suggested donation amounts, tribute donation, and many more useful features for your nonprofit.
Donorbox is free to start. It charges a small platform fee of 1.75% on top of fees from your preferred payment processor (2.2% +30¢ for Stripe, 1.99% + 40¢ for PayPal). Nonprofits can let donors choose to cover the processing fees to make the most of their donations. Learn more about Donorbox pricing here.
2. Email Software – MailChimp
Email marketing has been chastised for being a thing of the past, but study after study puts email marketing as the most effective way for nonprofits to build awareness, acquire leads, convert prospects, and retain current donors, even compared to social media.
MailChimp lets you easily customize and brand your emails. You can use their range of templates or create your own. You also have the ability to remove the MailChimp logo from the bottom of each email, making it even more on-brand for your organization.
MailChimp also provides thorough analytics that allows you to see how many subscribers have opened your email, which links were clicked the most frequently, how many people unsubscribed after receiving your email, and even how your response compares to the industry average. This can help you sharpen your outreach strategy!
Another great feature of Mailchimp is automation. On Mailchimp, you can create and schedule automated emails that follow up on donations, questions, and more.
Mailchimp also has an integration with Donorbox, making it easy to pull your email lists directly from your Donorbox donor management and properly segment your donors – which helps you sharpen your outreach!
Their free tier allows up to 1,000 monthly email sends, one user, and one audience. Their essential plan is $13 a month and provides for 5,000 monthly email sends, 3 users, and 3 audiences. Their $ 20-a-month standard plan bumps those up to 6,000 monthly email sends and 5 users and audiences. Finally, their premium plan starts at $350 a month and includes 150,000 monthly email sends, unlimited users and audiences, and tons of other perks. They also offer a 15% discount to verified nonprofits. Learn more about their pricing here.
3. CRM – Salesforce
Salesforce created the Nonprofit Success Pack specifically for nonprofits, with the intention of allowing nonprofits to focus on their impact. Over 47,000 nonprofits around the world use Salesforce, from small organizations working in a single community to multinational NGOs and foundations.
The Nonprofit Success Pack features a flexible, open data architecture and pre-built constituent and donor management components.
The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack helps your entire organization cultivate donor relationships. It enables nonprofits to observe every interaction with a funder or volunteer. Having a lot of information, organized in a systematic way, can help you establish and grow donor relationships, manage the donation cycle.
One of the appealing features of NPSP is its ability to be configured for the needs, goals, and day-to-day processes of any organization with minimal custom programming. The tool is designed to grow with you. Here is a list of the best Salesforce tools for nonprofits to help make your choice easier.
Plus, Salesforce integrates with Donorbox to streamline your donor data proces, maintain complete donor history, and provide insightful analytics. Learn more here!
Salesforce offers two pricing tiers for their nonprofit cloud: an enterprise plan starting at $60 a month per user and an unlimited plan starting at $100 a month per user. Check out their full pricing guide here.
4. Communication – Slack
If you’re tired of getting buried in endless emails and you’re starting to feel confused about who replied to what and in relation to which project, Slack is the right tool for you. The idea behind this messaging app is to make communication and collaboration between coworkers easier.
The system is structured somewhat similarly to social media. There are “channels” on the left side – you can create a channel for a project, a team, or an idea. When you create a channel, everyone can see what is going on in that channel. These are “open channels”. You can also create private channels where you can share confidential information with just a few team members. You also have the option of sending direct messages in order to reach one coworker quickly and directly.
Slack keeps all of your team communication in one place. This keeps you from losing track of conversations and tasks.
Another advantage to Slack is that it can integrate with many other web services like Google Drive, Trello, Asana, and Dropbox. You can share files, spreadsheets, links, and more. You can search in Slack, as well as make calls and share your screen.
Slack is completely free to use. The first paid option starts at just $7.25 monthly per user. The Slack for Charities Program offers eligible organizations a free or discounted upgrade. Find more details here.
5. Analytics – Google Analytics
Analytics is something every organization that maintains a website should do, for-profit, or nonprofit. Google Analytics allows your nonprofit to track online conversions, both hard conversions, and soft conversions.
Hard conversions are ones that contribute directly to organizational operations or programs. Think online donations, volunteer registrations, or form submissions for more information. Soft conversions are online activities that lead to hard conversions. Think of them as engagement steps, like downloading an annual report or visiting more than ten website pages.
Another great feature Google Analytics offers is tracking pages with high drop-offs. This allows you to see which pages deter visitors from completing calls to action (like donating). This lets you immediately spot the bottlenecks and work on them.
One of the best things about Google Analytics is that you can make informed decisions on where your nonprofit staff should spend their time. Resource capacity is frequently an issue for many nonprofits, and Google Analytics helps remedy these issues. You can understand which visuals are effective, which blogs attract the most readers, which campaigns bring in the most results, and so on. When you know what works and what doesn’t, you can make better decisions for your nonprofit.
Donorbox makes it easy to use Google Analytics to review the effectiveness of your donation form. Learn more about this integration here!
The basic service is free, which is usually sufficient for most websites, but there is a paid premium version called Analytics 360 available.
6. Social Media Management – Buffer
Does social media management cause you some anxiety? Buffer lets you create and schedule content when you have time and then posts it on your behalf according to the schedule you set. In this way, Buffers allows you to manage all of your accounts in one place, saving time and energy. You can choose the dates and times you want to publish to each social media account, and you’re good to go.
You can schedule posts directly from Buffer’s website or through a plugin. Buffer also lets you collaborate with your nonprofit team, which is especially useful when you have one person providing photos, someone else creating blog posts, and another person interacting with the supporters.
Since Buffer enables you to post frequently and consistently with minimal effort, it can help you build a stronger following. Its analytics tools will also evaluate your posts to deduce the best possible times to share your content. Buffer also makes reporting a breeze since you’re able to track key engagement metrics very easily.
Their blog is amongst the best ones in the business, and their support team is available and helpful.
Buffer offers a free plan at $0 (allows you to manage three social media accounts) and the paid plans range from $5 to $100 per month. They offer a 50% discount to all registered nonprofit organizations. All they need to see is your official documentation, such as a copy of your 501(c)(3) status, or your country’s equivalent, to support your nonprofit status. Know more about their pricing here.
7. Design – Canva
Today’s audience demands engaging high-quality visual content. For many nonprofits, this can be a stressful ordeal unless they employ a professional designer. However, many cannot afford one. Canva offers a great solution to nonprofits who wish to create great visual content anyway.
Canva assists in the creation of visual content for social media and marketing materials. It offers thousands of templates, making it quick and easy to create appealing graphics. Its premium version, Canva Pro, offers even more tools to try out. This tool makes creating visual content for social media channels a breeze. It’s also very easy to use, includes templates, and has lots of useful how-to information.
You can set up a brand kit including your brand colors, fonts (you can even upload a font if you have one), and logos. It’s also easy to create and save branded templates so that everyone on your team can access them.
Check out our guide to using Canva for nonprofits for more tips!
Canva offers Canva Pro for free to registered nonprofits. Learn more about the eligibility guidelines here.
8. Task Management – Asana
Asana is one of the best free project management tools with an attractive interface. Whether your nonprofit team is tracking a big or small project, you are sure to stay organized and on track by utilizing Asana’s basic tools: project workflows, task assignments, team establishment, due dates, and comments.
In Asana, users join Projects and Teams as applicable. Each Project has a task list. Each task can have subtasks, as well as an assignee, due date, attachments, comments, tags, and followers. You use these tasks and subtasks to track work. The comments and other data help you understand what’s happening with the task so that you don’t need to discuss matters over email or Slack. As tasks and subtasks are completed, all of their history and everything that occurred ends up being attached to the task itself.
As soon as a change is made or a task is assigned, Asana users receive notifications in their inbox and are invited to check, follow, like, or comment with the update. You can even draw the attention of a particular team member by simply mentioning him/her in task comments to make sure they’re in the loop.
More advanced features include the ability to upload documents, and integration with a variety of programs including Google Chrome, Dropbox, MailChimp, Okta, and many more. Asana also lets you send private messages and create spaces for team conversations.
It doesn’t include Gantt charts and some other advanced tools for managing projects specifically but it is great for task management, workflow management, and basic process/project management.
Asana is free for up to 15 teammates. If you have additional users, or you would like to upgrade to utilize more features, Asana Premium is available for $13.49 per month per user (when billed monthly). They have a business plan as well, priced at $30.49/month. Learn about their pricing here. Registered nonprofits get a 50% discount.
These are our top free tools for nonprofits to help you in many crucial areas of nonprofit activities. Remember to always contact companies via email prior to paying the full price – many companies offer discounts to nonprofits.
Furthermore, when selecting an online tool for your nonprofit, weigh the costs and benefits. Sometimes the best tool isn’t the most expensive one, and sometimes a tool that costs $30 a month might save you hours of work each week. If available, always use the trial period to test whether the tool is right for your nonprofit.
Being a digitally savvy nonprofit is now a must. Technology is transforming how nonprofit professionals engage with donors and supporters across mobile and online platforms. Donorbox will help you with all things fundraising as well as donor management and let you integrate with some of the most important utility and communication tools out there.
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