Nonprofit Project Management | A Complete Guide and Best Tools

These days, nonprofit project management is the key to getting important, mission-based projects done. These projects range from events and campaigns to prospect research, moves management, marketing, and beneficiary programs. With these various activities and numerous players, project management is necessary for most nonprofits. This article explains what project management can look like in a nonprofit and the best tools to use.

8 minutes read
Nonprofit Project Management | A Complete Guide and Best Tools

Nonprofits require people to work together on different projects. Each project may include staff, volunteers, board members, donors, and other community members. Without the proper project management process in place, it can be difficult to efficiently run a project with so many key players. This is where nonprofit project management can help.

This article explains what project management looks like in the nonprofit sector and the fifteen best project management tools on the market.

The 5 Stages of Nonprofit Project Management

Every project has a beginning and an end. But the steps in the middle are no less important; they set a project up for real success. Let’s take a look at the 5 stages of organizing and ensuring the success of your nonprofit project.

1. Conception

Your nonprofit should start with a Project Initiation Document (PID) to ensure the project is feasible. PIDs lay out the reason for the project, its objectives, and how you organize it. A few details you’ll need to include are:

  • The problem
  • Project goals
  • Scope of the project
  • Project budget
  • Timeline
  • Players

Your upcoming capital campaign can be the next big project for your nonprofit. The first step to it would be running a feasibility study. You and your consultant would sit together and work on the PID for this project.

2. Planning

The planning stage should start with SMART goals. These goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Each goal should include costs, expected revenue, and resource needs.

You’ll also want to use a Gantt chart to measure project activities and attach them to the project timeline and specific team members. Your project plan will give all team members a path to follow as the project runs through its phases.

3. Launch

Now that you’ve organized and planned the project’s goals, costs, and resources, you’re ready to launch. As your project continues, you can use the Gantt chart to measure where your project finds success and where you must adjust.

As your project continues, be sure to track each step and make updates when necessary to meet project goals.

4. Monitor

Project management is all about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These indicators provide an easy way for nonprofits to see how far they are from meeting project goals.

If the KPI for an event was to raise $100,000, and you reached that goal, you can share that success with your board and use it to find further success in other areas of your financial strategy.

KPIs can measure everything from financial outcomes, outreach success, satisfaction rates, etc. KPIs can help your organization decide where more resources must be spent and whether specific areas are worth the trouble.

5. Finalize

Finally, your project is done, and you’ve measured its successes and problems. The final step is to acknowledge all team members for their efforts. This could mean a meeting with the board, a party for your volunteers, an event to reward your fundraisers, or encouraging staff performance reviews.

Furthermore, as a nonprofit when you have completed a project such as a campaign or beneficiary program, etc., you may also have to prepare and share the impact report with your supporters and nonprofit members. The KPIs you used throughout the project would come in handy in this stage. They will also help you prepare a case statement for reaching out to major donors or principal gift donors in the future.

15 Useful Project Management Tools for Nonprofits

Whether your nonprofit needs to run a fundraising event, volunteer activity, or internal program, a project management tool can go a long way to ensure all team members stay on track and the project reaches completion.

Most project management tools can organize activities from beginning to end and oversee activities, timelines, and team members. The following tools are some of the best for nonprofits.

1. Asana

nonprofit project management software

Nonprofits can use Asana’s free program to manage unlimited tasks and projects, including calendars and due dates, and share files and comments with team members.

The company’s Premium, Business, and Enterprise plans offer the ability to upload documents, send private messages, and create a way for private teams to work together. However, qualifying 501c3 nonprofits get a 50% discount if they’re eligible.

Donorbox and Asana can be connected to send your new/updated campaign, donor, and donation information to your Asana account. Our Zapier integration makes it happen automatically. It’s a matter of a few minutes and both your fundraising and project management systems will be in perfect sync!

2. is an excellent option for nonprofits working with volunteers. Organizations can embed recruitment forms, assign volunteer tasks, track volunteer availability, and automate post-event feedback forms.’s dashboards also allow nonprofits to see where donations are going. Nonprofits can use Monday’s free package for up to 10 team members. Organizations looking for more can sign up for the Enterprise package for advanced reporting and analytics, security, and support. offers discounts for eligible nonprofits.

You can integrate your with Donorbox using Zapier. It will let you send donor and donation data to automatically, no coding required!

3. Trello

With Trello, nonprofits can view projects from every angle. Nonprofits can add rules, buttons, and commands to automate every action.

Power-ups let organizations link several different outside tools with plugins. TeamGannt Power-up lets nonprofits use multiple boards to create a Gantt chart and automatically syncs resources and due dates.

Trello’s free package includes:

  • Unlimited cards
  • Up to 10 boards
  • Unlimited power-ups
  • Unlimited storage
  • 250 workspace commands every month
  • Unlimited activity log
  • Add team members and due dates
  • iOS and Android mobile apps

Additional monthly packages offer more options and services and dashboard, timeline, workspace, and calendar views.

Donorbox’s Zapier integration lets you automatically send the campaign, donor, and donation information to your Trello account without any knowledge of coding! It’s as easy as it sounds.

4. ProofHub

nonprofit project management tools

ProofHub includes everything a nonprofit needs to plan and assign project tasks. This tool offers Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and a table view for teams to view their projects in various ways. Organizations can communicate through chat, announcements, and email. Nonprofits can also upload documents and create forms and project templates.

Package prices are flat. There are no per-user fees. Each package has unlimited users and can be canceled at any time. There is a 14-day free trial that includes all features so nonprofits can try the tool out before spending a dime. Nonprofits also get a discount if they apply and are approved by the ProofHub team.

5. Airtable

Airtable helps organizations create and share spreadsheets. This tool includes several databases and ways to view them. Nonprofits can use templates and customize spreadsheets to meet their needs. Organizations can also integrate Airtable with apps that let them manage files, send emails, update records, send messages, schedule tweets, and register payments.

Airtable has discounts for nonprofits. Choose Plus and Choose Pro packages to give organizations more records per base, storage, extended revision, and snapshot history.

Easily send new/updated donor records and donation data to Airtable from Donorbox! Our Zapier integration makes it a breeze to connect Airtable and Donorbox without any coding knowledge requirements from your end.

6. Zoho Projects

Zoho allows nonprofits to plan projects, track tasks, collaborate, and finish projects online. Its features include:

  • Task management
  • Task automation
  • Time tracking
  • Charts & reporting
  • Issue Tracking
  • Social project management
  • Integrations
  • And add-ons

Zoho users can use their free package for up to 3 users. Premium and Enterprise packages offer a 10-day free trial.

7. GanttPro

nonprofit project management tools

The GanttPro tool doesn’t try to be more than you need for project management. This tool lets nonprofits manage tasks, collaborate, import and export documents, budget, and customize templates.

GanttPro offers a free trial. Once your nonprofit is done with the free trial, you can sign up for one of four packages starting at $7.99 a month. Your nonprofit can also be eligible for a 50% discount for their Gantt chart software.

8. Easy Projects

Easy Projects lets nonprofits build portfolios for clients, industry, managers, and departments. Projects and customer data can be shared with team members. Nonprofits also can allow other parties to view specific data.

Easy Projects offers a 14-day free trial. Packages start at $25.17 a month and include:

  • Project and task management
  • Resource management
  • Financial management
  • Billing
  • Reporting
  • Integrations
  • Security

9. Hive

Nonprofits often have more than one event or campaign happening at once. With Hive, organizations can easily manage multiple projects at the same time. What’s even better is that each team member can choose to view projects differently. Updates are not affected by the view someone chooses.

Hive does have a free option, but this can only be used by one person. Hive Teams is the best package option for smaller nonprofits at $12 a month when purchased annually. Paid options include analytics, proofing, approvals, reports, and time tracking that you can’t get with the free option.

10. Freshdesk

nonprofit project management software

Freshdesk is different from many on this list because of its customer service focus. Schools and universities can significantly benefit from this project management tool since students often have the same questions. It lets schools set up an automation that answers student questions and frees up time for staff.

Freshdesk provides easily accessible information to students regarding admissions, payroll, and accommodations. It scans every task and only contacts admin staff when it is necessary. Freshdesk also helps student groups organize events and campaigns.

A free package for up to 10 agents offers email and social ticketing. Other packages start at $15 a month. However, nonprofits can get in touch with the team to get a special discount.

 11. Basecamp

Basecamp calls itself the all-in-one toolkit, especially suited for remote work. Each project created includes:

  • Message board
  • To-do list
  • Schedule
  • Document and file uploads and storage
  • Group chat
  • And automatic check-in

Basecamp helps keep everyone on the team informed but not overwhelmed. This convenience is not free, but there is a 30-day free trial. After the trial, Basecamp Business is $99 a month and can be used for unlimited projects and unlimited users.

A free option allows nonprofits to manage up to three projects and 20 users, but this package does not include everything. If your nonprofit needs more, there is also a 10% discount for registered nonprofits. Teacher and student accounts are free.

 12. ProWorkflow

The list of features included in ProWorkflow is long and impressive. ProWorkFlow does stand out with its timesheet and mobile features. Team members can view projects, enter time, and find contacts from their phones. Templates are available for projects, tasks, invoices, and quotes.

ProWorkflow has Professional and Advanced packages. For $20 a month, their Professional package includes unlimited projects, one user, security, mobile features, unlimited client and contractor access, and free setup. There is also a free trial.

13. Wrike

nonprofit project management tools

Wrike includes customized dashboards, workflows, and request forms. Team members can share files and provide visual proofing and approval. Nonprofits can use Kanban boards or Gantt charts to create clear, easy-to-follow projects.

Nonprofits can use Wrike’s marketing tool to centralize communication, monitor social media channels, and track results. Wrike templates allow organizations to plan and manage campaigns and events.

Wrike’s free package includes:

  • Web, desktop, and mobile apps
  • Task & subtask management
  • Live activity stream
  • Interactive boards and spreadsheet views
  • Cloud storage
  • And two GB of storage per account

Wrike’s marketing package includes time tracking and timesheets, custom fields and workflows, shareable dashboards, real-time reports, real-time threaded conversations, and over 400 integrations.

A free trial is available for all paid packages.

14. Todoist

Todoist can be used for individuals and organizations. It also integrates with all the apps you already use. Nonprofits can use Todoist to share calendars, prioritize and delegate tasks, view results, and centralize all their work in one place.

Todoist’s free package allows five active projects with five team members. Users can also view one week of activity history. Paid packages allow more projects and more users. There is no limit to history viewing, and nonprofits can upload files and add team reminders and billing.

15. Teamdeck

Overwork is a significant issue for nonprofits. An overworked staff and volunteer team can mean staff turnover and uninvolved volunteers. Teamdeck helps organizations take care of this issue by visualizing the actual workload of your team. Nonprofits can see which team members are working too hard or not working enough.

Teamdeck features include:

  • Resource scheduling
  • Time tracking and timesheets
  • Leave management
  • Custom reporting
  • And a mobile app

Prices for this project management tool depend on the number and type of seats needed. Team Member packages are $3.60 a month, and allow members to fill out timesheets, request vacation time, view reports, and receive notifications.

The Basic Resource package at $0.90 a month includes all “Team Member” options, but users cannot use the mobile or Teamdeck app. There is a 7-day free trial for both.

Final Thoughts

Project Management can help nonprofits plan and execute events and fundraising campaigns, programs, and volunteer activities. The 15 tools listed in this article give organizations free, paid, and discounted options. However, as you manage your projects, you’d often need additional tools to manage your donor and donation data, fundraising, research, and more. These tools will ensure your ultimate success with each project.

Donorbox is an online fundraising tool that has helped 50,000+ nonprofits execute their fundraising projects successfully through simple-to-use and affordable features. These features include Recurring Donations, Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer fundraising, Events, Memberships, QuickDonate, Fundraising Pages, and more. Donorbox Donor Management feature also helps nonprofits manage and retain their donors. Learn about all our features here.

Fundraising events and campaigns are important projects that require expert advice and guidance, technical help, and high-performance tools for success. Donorbox Premium offers all that at customized pricing for each nonprofit. Get in touch with our sales team now.

Read more nonprofit management and fundraising resources on the Donorbox Nonprofit Blog. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive our best resources in your inbox every month.

Avatar photo

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.

  • linkedin
  • url

Join the fundraising movement!

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive the latest blogs, news, and more in your inbox.

Take your donor experience to the next level!
Join the 50,000+ nonprofits already raising funds online.
Join Our Newsletter
Get a monthly curated round-up of our best posts and feature updates. (You can unsubscribe anytime.)
Join Our Newsletter
Get a monthly curated round-up of our best posts and feature updates. (You can unsubscribe anytime.)
Join a 30min Demo to see how Donorbox can help you reach your fundraising goals!
Join a 30min Live Demo to see how Donorbox can help you reach your fundraising goals!