An updated version of Idealware's A Consumers' Guide to Low Cost Donor Management Systems has been released. It compares 29 donor management systems that cost $4,000 or less in their first year and dives in deep for what they consider the top ten systems.
Why might you need a donor management system? Because these systems help you to track the people who care enough about your organization to give money and to retain them as donors. They are much more powerful than spreadsheets, which, as the report explains, quickly become a nightmare to manage.
For example, a tool like Microsoft Excel can’t usefully link pieces of information together, so as soon as someone gives more than once, you have a tracking problem. If you have 10 donors who have each given between one and five times, the spreadsheet becomes complicated and ugly, making it difficult to figure out your total giving for the year. Add in the fact that two of those donors are married, and they should only get one mailing, and it’s suddenly completely unmanageable.
Are you using a donor management system to track your donors? If so, is your donor management system one of Idealware's top ten? Or do you use a system that Idealware didn't cover? Let us know in the comments. - K