Relying on the kindness of others is a difficult business model, but it’s the model that fuels all nonprofits.
These organizations pay their staff, pay for the roof over their heads, and make a difference in the world using money donated by people not expecting anything tangible in return.
Spending money to raise money is one of the great struggles of nonprofits the world over. If you’re running a new or small nonprofit, it often doesn’t make sense (or isn’t possible) to spend money on fundraising software.
Paid software isn’t your only option, though. There’s a host of free and open source fundraising software options to choose from, and we’ve rounded up five to get you started.
Software options listed in alphabetical order.
CiviCRM’s donation report dashboard
CiviCRM acts as a fundraising database and one-stop shop for managing event registration, content creation, and membership. It is one of the few customer relationship management programs tailored for the nonprofit/charity sector, letting you raise funds, record donors, and correspond with donors through a single system.
Have you used CiviCRM? Be sure to leave a review!
DonorBox’s campaign management page
DonorBox is fundraising software focused on attracting donors, processing donations, and recording donor information. The online system offers customizable donation pages, multi-currency processing, and donor data exports to MailChimp and Salesforce.
DonorBox’s biggest downside is the $1,000 monthly donation threshold. Once you exceed $1,000 per month in donations, DonorBox charges a 0.89% fee on your monthly donation total.
Have you used DonorBox? Be sure to leave a review!
DONATION Lite’s donor data entry screen
If you’re looking for a temporary fundraising software solution to hold your organization over until you can afford a paid system, DONATION offers a free version of its software. DONATION Lite incorporates the basic functionality of the full version, such as donor information storage, and an upgrade option for up to 100,000 donor records.
There are limits on the Lite version to be aware of, such as a storage limit of 100 donors per year (which can hinder your fundraising goals) and a lack of email integration.
DONATION Lite is best suited for early-stage nonprofits looking to try out various systems before committing to a paid version.
Have you used DONATION Lite? Be sure to leave a review!
Donor Manager’s organization partner dashboard
While Donor Manager was built as church-specific donation management software, you can easily convert it for general nonprofit use in a pinch. All of the included features are applicable to non-religious fundraising, such as donation databases, pledge tracking, mail-merge, and Excel integration.
The program is compatible with all versions of Windows up through Windows 8 and can run on Mac and Linux through Windows emulation software.
As long as you don’t mind the program referring to your organization as a ministry on your own screen, it’s an entirely capable stand-in for traditional fundraising software.
Have you used Donor Manager? Be sure to leave a review!
ProcessDonation’s fundraising event detail
ProcessDonation is a relatively recent entrant into the online donation management software sphere and offers free and paid options for nonprofits.
The free option includes such features as custom donation pages, fundraising event management, social media connectivity, peer-to-peer fundraising, and even a mobile app. The catch? You’re limited to one campaign at a time, and only one administrator is allowed access.
ProcessDonation touts this option as best for smaller nonprofits that aren’t running multiple campaigns at once.
Have you used Process Donation? Be sure to leave a review!
Other free nonprofit tools
If you’re looking to move on from free or open source fundraising software to a paid option, be sure to check Capterra’s fundraising software database!
Capterra’s nonprofit technology blog offers plenty of lists to peruse if you enjoyed this piece and are seeking other free software options:
- 4 Free or Affordable Grant Management Software Products
- 6 Free Volunteer Management Software Options
- The Top 9 Free and Open Source Membership Management Software Products
- The Top 8 Free Accounting Software for Nonprofits
Looking for Fundraising software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Fundraising software solutions.