Making the Most From Nonprofit Donor Database – The Ultimate Guide

A primary role of fundraising is building relationships with your donors. A quality donor database is necessary for this goal. Nonprofits without donor databases have a greater chance of losing donor details and connections that can help them grow. Luckily, there are several donor database options out there. This article details essential database features and solutions for nonprofits.

9 minutes read
Making the Most From Nonprofit Donor Database – The Ultimate Guide

Fundraising takes more than a few events and mailed appeals. Nonprofits with the greatest fundraising success know how vital it is to build relationships with donors. A quality donor database makes building these relationships much more manageable.

There are several database options available for nonprofits including Donorbox Donor Management which lets you securely store and manage your donor data while also integrating with other leading CRMs that level up your communications, reporting, and more.

In this article, we’ll list the features your nonprofit will need and five of the best nonprofit databases out there.

What is a Donor Database?

A donor database is software nonprofits use to securely store and manage their donors, track every donor and their donations, segment the data, pull reports, and monitor other key performance indicators (KPIs).

The best donor database for nonprofits collects donor biographical and demographic information, interests, and connections with other donors and organizations. It must also store the donation data of each donor and offer the ability to add offline data.

Donorbox Donor Management is a free database option for nonprofits, which automatically and securely collects all donor information as and when someone makes a donation using the Donorbox donation form. You can add or modify any information, add offline donors and donations and communication notes, get notifications on important moments to contact donors, and more with Donorbox.

Here’s a glimpse of the donor database on Donorbox. It’s a list of all your supporters including your event ticket buyers, members, and donors. You can add advanced filters to segment the data and click each record for more information.

donor database

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Why Do Nonprofits Need a Donor Database?

The main purpose of a donor database is to help nonprofits build lasting relationships with their supporters through a personalized approach and use the data to keep them engaged and involved in the nonprofit’s mission.

It’s much easier to send a personalized fundraising appeal to someone when you know how much they gave, when they started with the organization, and what areas they’ve shown interest in the past. A donor database facilitates the process of donor or prospect research before starting a new campaign.

Donor databases also give nonprofit team members access to the same information. An effective database helps keep all communications and information in place for all to track at any time. Nonprofits create a process for team members to follow to ensure the database remains clean and organized.

12 Essential Features and Add-on Functionalities You Should Look For in a Nonprofit Donor Database

Nonprofit databases come with various benefits, but there are a few your nonprofit must have.


1. Thorough supporter profiles

Donor databases collect enough donor information to develop an overall picture of the donor and their connection to your organization. They collect donation amounts, dates, and the donor’s address, phone, and email, but you’ll need more.

By adding facts like why the donor gave, what programs interest them, volunteer activities and hours, and any connections they have with other donors, corporations, and foundations, you’ll be able to build a story of the donor that can help you personalize any communication you send them in the future.

Here’s how a donor profile looks on Donorbox. As you can see a donor’s donation, event transactions, recurring plans, communications, and personal information can all be found in one place. It becomes easy for your team members to manage all donor data with a record like this.

nonprofit database

2. Segmentation

Donor segmentation is of utmost importance when it comes to sending communication pieces and maintaining relationships with them.

Nonprofits segment donors based on gift amounts, campaign interests, location, donation frequency, time frame, and more. Segmenting a donor ensures you have a thorough understanding of your donors. Accordingly, your communication with them will be personalized.

For example, someone who just gave $1000 must be appealed differently than those who gave $50 or $2000. Your letters or emails should also include relevant impact data as well.

Donorbox lets you apply advanced filters on your donor records to segment the existing list of supporters. Here’s what it looks like –

donor database

3. Scalable

As your organization grows, so will your database. A database that can grow and adapt to your needs is vital to your fundraising success. While at the same time, it must be easy to merge duplicate data and keep the database clean. On Donorbox, you can easily merge any duplicate donor records to maintain the effectiveness of your donor database.

nonprofit database

4. Ability to measure giving potential

Nonprofits know how crucial major donors are to their long-term success. These donors can provide enough funds to upgrade programs, run successful capital campaigns, and hold exciting events.

Nonprofit donor databases that offer ways to measure a donor’s giving potential and search for major donor prospects can be a blessing to organizations looking to find more major donors.

In addition to major donors, you may also want to divide your list of supporters to identify other significant levels of giving potential. Such as mid-level donors. These donors usually give more than $1000 to an organization. However, it varies from one organization to another. You’d want to approach them differently than major donors by knowing more about them.

On Donorbox, you have a specific filter option to add the minimum and maximum donation amount to identify a specific set of donors.

database for nonprofits

5. Adding and tracking communication notes

Your donor database should let you add any communication notes after you have had some sort of communication with them. These notes must all be in one place for anyone to track at a later point in time. This ensures that no change in the team will affect your donor management and campaign performance in the future.

On Donorbox, you can select whether the direction of communication was inbound, outbound, or internal, and you can also select the channel of communication. Finally, you can type in any notes that you think are important for your organization.

database for nonprofits

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6. Getting alerts on important milestones

As we mentioned before, a donor database eventually helps build lasting relationships with supporters. For that to happen, you’d need to choose one that is there for you every step of the way. After all, nonprofits don’t have a lot of time and resources at hand.

Your donor database should automatically send you alerts or notifications on important moments of a donor’s journey. You should be able to reach out to donors during these crucial times to ensure they feel valued and continue to support your organization.

For example, with Donorbox Donor Management, you get triggered alerts on a donor’s first-time donation, giving anniversary, or any change in their recurring plan.

donors database

7. Integrations

Your donor database should integrate with other tools that help with email and social media marketing, donor relationship management, creating reports, automating tasks, and more.

Donorbox seamlessly integrates with Salesforce, Blackbaud RE NXT, and HubSpot to help you dive deeper into your donor data and use them for more significant tasks. It also lets you connect with 2000+ apps like QuickBooks, Google Sheets, Active Campaign, Airtable, Slack, and more via Zapier integration.

Add-on Functionalities

8. Online giving

Most nonprofit databases come with an online giving platform. Donation software that includes donor databases and important fundraising features creates a seamless way for organizations to raise money.

Not all donor bases for nonprofits are built the same. As you begin researching your nonprofit’s database, you’ll want to determine what tools you already possess and which ones you’ll benefit most from in the future.

Donorbox is primarily an online fundraising solution for nonprofits, chosen across 96 countries by 80,000+ organizations. In addition to donor management, it also offers fundraising features such as recurring donations, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer fundraising, event ticketing, memberships, text-to-give, and more.

Most organizations love Donorbox because it’s a one-stop-shop providing them all in one place. You can start for free and set up your fundraising campaigns easily in about 15 minutes!

9. Email marketing

Personalized communication is vital for fundraising success, and databases that incorporate email marketing tools make it easier and faster to send marketing pieces to donor segments.

Here’s a guide to show you how you can integrate your Donorbox donor database with MailChimp to send personalized email messages to your donors.

10. Volunteer Database

If your nonprofit relies on volunteers to run programs or events, you may want a database that makes tracking volunteer activities and hours simpler.

Volunteer management features included in your donor database can help send time-sensitive updates, oversee volunteers’ progress, and send appreciation emails and cards.

11. Membership Database

Many nonprofits rely on memberships to fund their organization. A membership database gives nonprofits a better way to monitor members, receive notifications if they’ve changed their status, and reminders to send updates or thank yous when anniversaries and other crucial deadlines approach.

On Donorbox, you get to manage your members from the donor database itself. Not only that, but you can also find your event ticket purchasers on the donor database. There is an additional filter to help you segment supporters according to your membership tiers.

donors database

12. Matching Gift Database

Matching gifts are a nonprofit’s secret weapon. Wouldn’t you like to double the donation of every gift you receive? Thanks to the trend in corporate responsibility, many businesses offer this option to their employees.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware of this perk. Your responsibility is to educate and make it easy for donors to contact their employers for this option. A matching gift database included in your donor database makes it easier to find and track which donors and employers have this option.

Donorbox integrates with Double the Donation to offer you a donation-matching widget that you can add to your Donorbox donation form or embed anywhere on your website. While donating, your donors will be able to search for their organization and see if it is going to match the donation amount. Watch this video to learn more –

5 Best Nonprofit Donor Database Solutions

When researching nonprofit database options, you must have a list of features you already use and those you need but don’t have access to yet.

As you review the following donor database software, decide which of these options best fits your organization’s needs.

1. Donorbox Donor Management

Donorbox is an affordable fundraising solution that doubles as a donor database for nonprofits of all sizes. Nonprofits can store and manage donor information, add communication notes, and receive notifications on upcoming donation anniversaries and when members change their donation plans.

Donorbox also makes it easy to add offline donor and donation data and merge donors and remove duplicate accounts. It’s a simple donor management solution that is understandable for all with minimum to no training at all.

donor database

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Donorbox donor database lets nonprofits use advanced donor filters to segment donor profiles based on the time frame, location, donation amounts and frequency, campaign name, type of supporter, number of donations, and more. Nonprofits can also create in-depth donor reports and export them to send personalized communication.

Donorbox also lets your donors log in to their own donor accounts, manage their donation plans and receipts, and QuickDonate to your campaigns.

Donorbox’s integrations with Salesforce, QuickBooks, Blackbaud RE NXT, HubSpot, and Mailchimp give nonprofits a seamless way to manage donor data more efficiently.

Nonprofits pay no start-up or monthly fees for Donorbox’s database and online donation tool. For the Standard plan, the platform fee starts at 1.75% but you can upgrade to our Pro plan at $139/month for which the platform fee is flat 1.5% for all tools including Donorbox Donor Management. This fee along with the additional processing fee can be covered by donors to ensure their full-gift amount goes to the nonprofit.

2. Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud

Salesforce is well-known in the for-profit world for its quality and secure customer relationship management (CRM). Its Nonprofit Cloud offers the same services and helps nonprofits with fundraising, program management, grant management, and marketing.

Nonprofits can create customized dashboards for donors, businesses, grantees, and volunteers. All team members can view these dashboards; any relationship added automatically becomes a new donor profile.

Salesforce stands out from other databases because nonprofits can add social media information and track online donor responses.

Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud starts at $60 a month per user. There is a 30-day free trial, but if that isn’t affordable, their Power of Us Program also includes 10 free Sales and Service Cloud Enterprise Edition subscriptions for all eligible 501c3 organizations.

Donorbox integrates with Salesforce NPSP to ensure you can easily send donor and donation data to your Salesforce account and manage them more effectively for elevating nonprofit growth.

3. Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT

Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT is developed explicitly for mid-sized to larger nonprofit organizations. The primary features of this database include the following:

  • Ability to track key fundraising metrics.
  • Donor cultivation tools.
  • Suggested ask amounts.
  • Identifying major prospects.

Raiser’s Edge also has a mobile app so nonprofits can access donor information from anywhere. This tool comes in handy when visiting major donors and collecting vital data.

If you’re interested in learning more and receiving a quote, visit their website.

If you’re using Donorbox for fundraising and donor management, you can easily activate the integration with Blackbaud RE NXT to sync all your donations and donor data in real-time.

donors database

4. DonorPerfect

Some nonprofits need more to their database than others. DonorPerfect is an excellent option for organizations with complex needs. DonorPerfect packages start at 1,000 constituent records for $99 a month, and features include:

  • Cross-referencing for all donor records to find relationships.
  • Different levels of access are available for team members.
  • Custom reporting and dashboards.
  • Integrated online donation and event forms.

This software option has different pricing packages and it may go up to $799 per month for 75,000 constituent records.

5. DonorDock

DonorDock is an affordable nonprofit database option with a few unique features. Like other nonprofit databases, DonorDock allows nonprofits to track past giving, appeals, calls, tickets, emails, thank yous, and mailings.

Organizations can also segment and filter data to send personalized appeals and create reports.

What stands out is DonorDock’s action board that sends nonprofits reminders of donor milestones and daily suggestions on which donors they should connect with. This feature makes donor communication more manageable and helps nonprofits update and assign tasks to team members.

Another stand-out feature is nonprofits’ ability to track grant requests, store grant documents, and track relationships with foundations.

DonorDock packages start at $39 a month and include most features for one user. If your nonprofit needs email and Zapier, higher-priced packages are available.

Final Thoughts

Donor management is vital for nonprofit fundraising success. A quality donor database is essential for nonprofits to track donations, monitor volunteers and members, and connect donors with corporations, grant foundations, and other donors.

Most nonprofits understand the importance of relationship building, and donor databases are the best way to keep track of basic and personal donor information to help you along the way.

If you want to learn more about Donorbox features including fundraising and donor management ones, do visit our website. You can sign up for free. There are no contracts or monthly fees either. You can always contact us for more information or help.

If you’re looking to take your fundraising and donor acquisition to the next level, we suggest that you check out our success package Donorbox Premium. Get the best combination of tools for your organization, an expert nonprofit coach, an account manager, and priority support. Book a demo today!

We have a plethora of donor management blogs, guides, and free resources to help you along the way. Explore them and other insightful articles on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a list of our best resources in your inbox every month.

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Kristine Ensor is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience working with local and international nonprofits. As a nonprofit professional she has specialized in fundraising, marketing, event planning, volunteer management, and board development.

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