First things first – The donor management software can save your nonprofit time and money, bring in more donations, and walk your dog when you’re too comfortable to get out of bed in the morning.
If you take a look at your options, it can seem like there are too many to choose from. The good news is that the abundance of choices makes it more likely that you will find the solution that fits your unique set of needs. The bad news with this is finding the perfect match takes work and time.
Here are the steps you need to follow when choosing donor management software:
Consider your desired functionality: The first of the many things you need to consider when choosing donor management software is considering your set of requirements – this is an important step because having an understanding of your requirements helps you choosing the software. Also, because you cannot pick up just any software from the market without clearly understanding your needs, it is therefore essential that you choose the one that match your set of requirements.
Consult a directory: In a list of more than hundred software options it is great that you choose one – based on your demands and analysis of it. Start making a long list of donor management products that fit the criteria you determined in step 1. Be sure to pay special attention to customer reviews, and even ask your peers what products have worked for them. Remember that there are no bad ideas in donor management software brainstorming, so don’t be afraid to cast a wide net.
Make a scorecard: Consult your fundraisers to get an idea of what software functionality would best aid their efforts. Followed by this, make a scorecard keeping the priorities in order, which is an important step to understand your demand of software. f most of your fundraising is done online, then be sure to rank website integration high on your list. Similarly, if you’re looking to capitalize on peer to peer fundraising, be sure to note ease of use.
Ask for demos or free trials: It is always intelligent and smart to ask for free trials and demos because it is during this period of demos and free trials that you will be able to exactly understand what your software will look like and how it will be managing the important things for you. Therefore, make sure to ask for free trials for some period of time.
Analyze costs and make decisions: Since the software will be your one time investment it is perfect to choose the one that not only does the important things for you perfectly but also falls in your budget. This is essential because you surely do not want to spend hefty sums of money for something that will do you no good, so before you actually make an investment make sure to analyze the cost and then make the decision.
Learn the art of negotiation: The art of negotiation does a lot – so when choosing your software learn to have the tricks of negotiating. Identify costs and deliverables, and work with your chosen vendor to settle on a fair price. Be sure to ask about fees, licensing, updates, and add-ons. Also, be conscious of the time of year and month when you decide to sign a contract, because you may get a better deal at specific times.
With these handy tips and tricks of choosing donation management software, you will be able to pick the one that best suits your requirements and matches your expectations rather perfectly.