The True Value of Fundraising Software: Comparing Apples to Lemons

After working over 15 years in the nonprofit field, plus 20 more developing fundraising software, I know every dollar spent on administration is one less spent on your mission. And with budgets being tight, I understand the allure of newer, “cheaper” fundraising software that claims to do everything DonorPerfect does.

Although upfront cost is certainly important, a product isn’t a good deal unless it actually delivers on it’s promises. Fundraising software is a vital investment for your organization, and it’s not always easy to sift through the choices. To make an informed decision, be sure you are comparing “apples to apples” (see list at right).

The True Value of DonorPerfect Productivity: Saving Time Saves You Money Some low-end software may look simple at first glance but is confusing and awkward to use on a daily basis. What really matters is how quickly and efficiently you can complete common everyday tasks. DonorPerfect’s time-saving tools and user-friendly design helps you generate mailings, run reports and finish administrative tasks in a fraction of the time.Cut Costs & Increase Donations If you truly want to maximize and measure the returns on your fundraising efforts, it’s not enough to generate a simple list of donors or donations, which is all that most low-end programs can manage. DonorPerfect’s sophisticated tracking, reporting & analysis tools enable you to mine your data for precise information, leading to better decisions and focused solicitation targeting. And you’ll save costs while increasing revenues with integrated, fast-growing fundraising techniques such as online giving, credit card processing, and automatic collection for pre-authorized giving programs.

Total Cost of Ownership: The most expensive software purchase is one you have to make again to replace a limited, inflexible program that didn’t meet your needs. And it’s not just the money wasted on the original product. It’s also the time and expense of converting data and re-training staff. DonorPerfect is a customizable solution that grows with you and adjusts to your needs – you’ll never need another software package again! When I see other products claim they are just as good as DonorPerfect, but at a cheaper price, I know it’s not the case. They’re really comparing “apples to lemons” and, just as you wouldn’t want to drive a lemon, you don’t want to depend on one for your nonprofit. There is a real difference, and we’ll be delighted to demonstrate how choosing DonorPerfect ensures you get the best return possible on your software investment.

Sincerely, Frank Chudnow Vice President, SofterWare, Inc.

Donor Software Compare - SofterWare Photo

Frank (front row, kneeling, third from left) poses along with members of the SofterWare team while celebrating our 25th anniversary.

Prior to joining SofterWare, Frank Chudnow spent over 15 years working with nonprofits and served on the board of directors for several organizations. He founded and directed the Madison Mutual Housing Association, an award-winning developer, and manager of scattered-site low-income housing development. He also oversaw the development of five public/private loan programs where he designed computer software for the underwriting and servicing departments.

Important issues to consider when comparing software:

How quickly can you find donor records? Can you search for more than just a name or on one field?

How quickly can you find donor records? Can you search for more than just a name or on one field?

How many steps or screens does it take to enter a donor, gift, or pledge? Is there a way to make multiple entries all at the same time?

Can the screens be customized? Can you add or move fields? Can you eliminate unneeded fields?

Can you organize your information in a way that is logical, fast and convenient for you to enter and use?

Can you select exactly the donors or gifts you are looking for without going through multiple steps or unnecessary procedures?

Can you integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Word, including full mail-merge capability for acknowledgment letters?

Do you have financial reporting that show trends, statistics, and other analytical information to help you focus your efforts and measure results?

Do they offer integrated solutions for online donations, credit card processing, recurring gifts, and other automated revenue building techniques?

Can you track all the data you need, such as soft credits, seasonal addresses, split gifts, grant milestones, special event information, and contact activity for major donor development?

Will this product become an "orphan" if it's parent company goes out of business or is bought by another vendor? Or, is it backed by an established company with decades of nonprofit service and experience?

DonorPerfect is one of the stronger overall systems on the market today.

Fundraising Software Review - New Haven Free Public Library