10 Very Good Reasons to Invest in a Nonprofit CRM


Nonprofits work to do good in the world. Whether you are a health, environmental, social services, educational, or animal welfare nonprofit, a nonprofit CRM will help you run more efficiently and effectively. 

What Is a Nonprofit CRM?

A nonprofit CRM, or constituent relationship management system is a software solution designed to help nonprofits manage their relationships with donors, clients, volunteers, and other constituents. 

Unlike traditional donor management systems that focus primarily on financial data, a nonprofit CRM provides a complete view of your relationships with all your constituents, allowing you to manage these relationships more effectively.

Nonprofit CRMs can be used for various purposes, such as tracking donor communications, managing volunteer schedules, coordinating fundraising campaigns, and much more. 

In addition, many nonprofit CRMs offer features specifically designed to help you meet your mission, such as grant management and case management.

10 Very Good Reasons to Invest in a Nonprofit CRM

As a nonprofit organization, you are always looking for ways to optimize your time and efforts; You want to make sure that every dollar is being spent in the best way possible to further your mission. 

A nonprofit CRM can help you achieve these goals. Here are 10 very good reasons to invest in a nonprofit CRM:

Benefits of a Nonprofit CRM for Your Organization

#1 Streamline Constituent Management

If you’re looking for a more efficient way to manage your donors, clients, volunteers, and board members, a nonprofit CRM will help. 

With all of your donor information in one place, you can easily keep track of donor communication, donation history, and giving trends. This information can be used to cultivate relationships with your most loyal donors and identify new prospects.

#2 Secure Data Management

Nonprofit CRM software provides organizations with a centralized, secure database to store all of their constituent data. This makes it easy for staff and volunteers to access the information they need, when they need it. 

You can rest assured knowing your data is secure if you choose a nonprofit CRM that is:

  • Hosted on an encrypted server like AWS
  • HIPAA & PIPEDA compliant to protect sensitive client data
  • PA-DSS compliant to securely process credit cards and handle sensitive payment information

Sumac CRM, for example, offers all of this security as well as allowing you to set permissions for each user to limit access to sensitive data and contact records.

#3 Increased Donation Revenue

A nonprofit CRM can help increase donation revenue in a number of ways:

  • First, by making it easier for donors to give. A well-designed online donation form will make it simple and quick for donors to submit their information and make a gift.
  • Second, nonprofit CRMs can help improve donor relations and communications. By keeping donors updated on how their donations are being used, nonprofit organizations can build trust and transparency – both of which are key to keeping donors happy and engaged. 
  • Finally, nonprofit CRMs can help increase donor retention and lifetime value by providing detailed reporting on donation activity. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, nonprofit organizations can make the necessary changes to keep donors coming back year after year.  

#4 Improved Event Planning and Management

A nonprofit CRM can help you improve your event planning and management processes in a number of ways:

  • A nonprofit CRM can help you keep track of all the details of your events in one place. This includes important information like event dates, times, locations, and attendees. Having this information readily available can help you stay organized and ensure that your events run smoothly.
  • Nonprofit CRMs can also help you manage your event registrations. This includes tracking who has registered for your event and collecting any important information you need from registrants (such as contact information and dietary restrictions). A streamlined registration process can make it easier for you and your attendees.
  • Most importantly, a nonprofit CRM can help you collect donations from your events. This can be done through online donation forms or by tracking donations made in person at your event. Either way, a CRM can help you keep track of all the donations made to your organization, which can be helpful for tax and accounting purposes.

#5 Save Time with Automation

By automating repetitive tasks with a CRM, nonprofits can save considerable time. For example, you can set up automatic thank-you emails to be sent after a donation is made. This allows nonprofit staff to focus on mission-critical work, like fundraising, programs, and managing volunteers and your board. In addition, automating tasks can help to improve efficiency and accuracy.

#6 Grow Your Online Community

A nonprofit CRM can be a powerful tool for engaging with your online community. By tracking interest and engagement, you can target communications to specific groups or individuals. 

You can also use your nonprofit CRM to build action plans to help move people from being subscribers or donors to actively engaged volunteers. 

By using a nonprofit CRM, you can improve communications with your online community and take targeted actions to grow. This can ultimately lead to a more engaged and active community that is better able to support your mission.

#7 Improved Reporting

Organizations can also get greater visibility of their data with a nonprofit CRM. Easily run reports and generate outcome-based analysis to make strategic decisions, create your annual report, and report back to donors and funders. 

Being able to report back to donors and funders with data on outcomes of your programs means they will continue to give to fund your nonprfit’s success. 

Benefits of a Nonprofit CRM for Donors, Clients, Volunteers, and Other Contacts

#8 Improved Constituent Relations

As a nonprofit organization, you may not have customers in the traditional sense, but you do have donors, volunteers, clients, and board members that you rely on for support, and oftentimes they have demands from you, such as:

  • “I have questions about your programs”
  • “I need a receipt for my donation”
  • “I want to know what volunteer opportunities there are”  

A nonprofit CRM can help you stay on top of all the requests, because all information is integrated into the database and you can track all communications, so you’ll always know which donors have questions or need assistance. You can then route inquiries to the appropriate staff member or volunteer, ensuring that all questions are answered promptly.

#9 Greater Engagement with Volunteers and Other Supporters

The best nonprofit CRM can help you engage with volunteers and other supporters by making tracking and managing their information easier. 

With a nonprofit CRM, you can easily see which volunteers are available to help with projects, what skills they have, and how to best use their talents. This information can match volunteers with the right opportunities and ensure they are properly utilized and happy.

#10 More Personalized Communications and Experiences

A nonprofit CRM can help you create more personalized communications and experiences for your donors, clients, volunteers, and other contacts. With a nonprofit CRM, you can easily segment your contact list and send targeted communications based on interests, preferences, and giving history. This helps ensure that your contacts receive the most relevant information, which can lead to improved engagement and loyalty.

Administrative Tasks a Nonprofit CRM will Help With

The best CRM for nonprofit organizations will offer a wide range of features and integrations to make your job easier.  Here are some of the basic nonprofit CRM features that can help with administrative tasks:

Contact Management

A good nonprofit CRM will help you keep track of your donors, members, volunteers, and other stakeholders. It will also allow you to segment your contacts into different groups to target your communications easily.

Fundraising/Donation Processing

A nonprofit CRM should help with fundraising, it should:

  • Manage fundraising campaigns, including online and direct mail campaigns
  • Provide donation webforms so you can collect donations on your website
  • Track donations and donor data

Volunteer Management

A nonprofit CRM can help you keep track of volunteers and volunteer hours. It can also help you match volunteers with opportunities.

Event Planning and Management

A nonprofit CRM can help you plan and manage events. It can also help you track registrations, payments, and other event data.

Manage Nonprofit Programs

A nonprofit CRM can also help manage your programs. Sumac CRM offers add-on functionality for managing memberships, course registration and case management for health & social services, shelters, and hospices. You can also get a custom add-on to track programs that are entirely unique to your nonprofit. 


Nonprofit CRM software should make it easy to manage your organization’s finances. The software should have features that allow you to track income and expenses, generate reports, and integrate with accounting programs like Quickbooks. 


Nonprofit CRMs make it really easy to generate reports on your donors, programs, volunteers, and more so you can report back to funders and your board. 


Receipting is an essential function of nonprofits, but it can be a pain without the right tools. Using a nonprofit CRM like Sumac means receipts are automatically generated and sent to donors immediately after they make a donation, so you don’t even have to think about it. 

How to Choose Nonprofit CRM Software

With so many CRM software options on the market, it can be tough to decide which one is right for your organization. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you evaluate your options:

Define your needs. Before choosing the right nonprofit CRM software, you need to know what your nonprofit needs. Make a list of the features you need and the workflows you want to automate. This will help you narrow down your options and choose the best nonprofit CRM software for your nonprofit.

Consider your budget. There are CRM solutions available at every price point, so it’s important to set a budget before you start your search. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on nonprofit CRM software and look for a solution that fits your budget.

Compare features. Once you know what your nonprofit needs, you can compare the features of different CRM solutions. Make sure the nonprofit CRM software you choose has all the features you need to run your nonprofit effectively.

Try before you buy. Once you’ve narrowed your options, it’s important to try the nonprofit CRM software before making a purchase. Most CRM vendors offer free trials or demo versions of their software, so you can test out the features and see if the software is a good fit for your nonprofit.

Get input from your team. Your entire team will use your nonprofit CRM software, so getting input from them is important before making a decision. Ask your team what features they need and what workflows they want to automate. This will help you choose the best nonprofit CRM software for your nonprofit.

For more tips on choosing nonprofit CRM software, check out our blog post: How to Choose CRM Software for Your Nonprofit: A Complete Guide.

The Most important Nonprofit CRM Features

There are several different nonprofit CRMs on the market, so choosing the one that best fits your organization’s needs is important. 

To find the best nonprofit CRM for your organization, take some time to research the options and read reviews from other nonprofits. Then, test out a few different CRMs to see which one works best for your team.

The best nonprofit CRM will offer a robust set of features at a price you can afford, be easy to use, and integrate with your existing systems. Here are some of the most important nonprofit CRM features to consider:

In-Depth Donor, Client, and Contact Profiles

Having in-depth donor, client, and contact profiles are essential for any nonprofit organization. They provide valuable insights into your donors, their interests, and how best to reach them. 

These profiles should include contact information, donation history, and notes on interactions.

Sumac CRM offers comprehensive constituent profiles that can be customized to fit your organization’s exact needs. 

Outcome-Based Reporting

As a best practice, nonprofits should use an outcome-based reporting system when measuring the success of their programs.

With Sumac CRM, nonprofits can focus on the results of their programs rather than simply tracking program inputs and outputs. This type of reporting provides a complete picture of how programs perform and whether they achieve their desired results. 

Sumac CRM’s reporting tools also allow nonprofits to demonstrate to donors and other stakeholders the impact of their investment in the nonprofit.

List Segmentation

One of the key features of a nonprofit CRM is the ability to segment your lists. This allows you to break down your contact list into smaller, more manageable groups. 

This can be helpful when you’re trying to target a specific group of people with your fundraising or outreach efforts. 

Segmentation can also help you keep track of different groups of people within your organization, such as volunteers, donors, and members.

Sumac CRM’s list segmentation feature makes it easy to segment your lists by location, interest, or donor-level criteria. You can also use Sumac CRM’s powerful reporting tools to track your segments’ performance and ensure you’re reaching the people who matter most to your mission.

Email Marketing & Receipting

Email marketing lets you easily connect with your donors and keep them updated on your latest news, program, and events. It also allows you to quickly generate and send receipts. 

Sumac CRM makes it easy to create and send beautiful emails that are customized to your donor list. 


A good CRM should offer customization options, so you can tailor it to fit your nonprofit’s unique needs. 

Instead of changing how you work to suit your CRM, your CRM should work to support your data, programs, and processes. 

With Sumac CRM, you can change the names of tabs, fields, and drop-down in seconds, change workflows, and add custom fields to fit your nonprofit. Sumac’s customization options make it easy to scale your nonprofit CRM to meet your changing needs.

Add Functionality

Add-on functionality can make your nonprofit CRM system even more powerful, giving you the ability to add things like grant management, volunteer management, case management, and more. 

Sumac CRM software comes with a range of built-in features, but you can also add this functionality to meet the specific needs of your nonprofit. 


Webforms allow nonprofit organizations to easily manage and collect data on their website for new donors, volunteers, and members. 

Sumac CRM webforms are embedded on your website and connected to your CRM, so all information entered on your website is automatically captured in your CRM. No import needed.

Get Support from Experts

Support is incredibly important when choosing a nonprofit CRM. You should consider how much it costs, and what kind of support is offered.

Sumac CRM offers free live support for all clients to help them get the most out of the tools. They can also help you set up the system, configure it to meet your needs, and train your staff on how to use it.

The Bottom Line

Nonprofit CRM software is a powerful tool that can help you manage your donor relationships and raise more money for your cause. 

Sumac nonprofit CRM software is an affordable, customizable solution that comes with all the features you need to run your nonprofit effectively. Try Sumac nonprofit CRM software today and see how it can help you grow your nonprofit.

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