2019 Nonprofit Technology Conference NTC

Funraise Users

  • 1.  Funraise Users

    Posted Mar 20, 2019 14:27
    GREAT conference and now time to follow up on some of my notes. Does anyone use Funraise? I stopped by and talked to them and would love to hear from any of you who are using it. We are a small nonprofit land trust and am considering this option.

    Thanks! Brenda

    Brenda Brooks
    Executive Director
    CREW Land & Water Trust
    Estero, FL
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  • 2.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Mar 28, 2019 09:44
    Hi Brenda,
    I had a call with Funraise last week and they just drafted up a proposal for us. I am still on the fence though. It seems so easy to use which was one of my top 5 requirements of a new CRM but there is a lot it doesn't do. Did you get a demo with them? What are your thoughts? We're a super small nonprofit flower farm so we might have similar issues/needs. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Allison Costa
    Pronouns: She/Her
    Program Coordinator
    What Cheer Flower Farm
    Providence, RI

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  • 3.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 02, 2019 14:43
    I don't think Funraise is quite a CRM. We would consider using it so we can process international currency gifts. Our eCRM is Luminate Online and our donor database is Raiser's Edge.  If we use Funraise, it will be for a specific purpose only.


    Jeanne McCabe
    Senior Digital Producer
    Center for Reproductive Rights
    New York, NY

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  • 4.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 03, 2019 09:20
    That brings up a very good question:  What is a good definition of a non-profit CRM?  What does it do for the non-profit?  Just track activities of donors?  What about activities of Volunteers?  ...and, employees?  Should it integrate with your financials?  (My opinion is yes, it should.)  What about integrating with Fund Raising efforts?

    One of the things we heard at the show was how many different systems are being used in order to know what your non-profit is doing and how it is doing financially.

    Full disclosure:  I attended with ProNPO - the simple and complete non-profit management tool.  However, IS it complete?  It is considered the easiest-to-use full-spectrum business management tool (by Nucleus Research) but does it really meet the requirements?

    How can we have an ongoing discussion about the modern definition of CRM for non-profits?  This forum is finalizing on April 15th and I'm new to NTEN.  Please advise.

    Jean McClelland
    ProNPO Consultant
    Clients First Business Solutions
    Arlington, TX

    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard

  • 5.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 04, 2019 09:04
    I would also like to continue this conversation. Yes, there were a lot of 'solutions' and discussions but the correct answer will depend upon the need. As a for profit business, we are currently migrating to an 'all inclusive' ERP. However, on Monday our Sales Manager indicated that the weakest component in our new system was the CRM and it was just not doing what we want it to.  So...we may be migrating to a 'plugged' in (API) solution. We are a small business but have already dedicated hundreds of thousands of real dollars and that same amount in manpower hours. Love to have more discussion,...this is an ongoing conversation for all organizations.

    Angela Van Holland
    Kansas City, MO

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  • 6.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 03, 2019 11:51
    Funraise is certainly a CRM, but it's pretty expensive compared to other CRMs in a similar class. I like a lot of what I see from Funraise, but I don't like that they don't have an open API, so you're limited to the integrations they provide. Funraise is only a couple of years old, and venture-funded, which does add some risk to the equation. If you are in fact super-small, I wouldn't believe that paying $300/mo or more is a great deal relative to other players in the market.  That said, if you really feel like this is the software that suits you best, I wouldn't let the higher price tag deter you. A good fit is cheap at twice the price.

    Isaac Shalev
    Stamford CT

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  • 7.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 03, 2019 13:54
    Hi all! I wanted to chime in here as I met several of you at the Event and as a representative of Funraise! First of all, thank you all for stopping by our booth - we hope you enjoyed NTC and Portland as much as our team did!

    To clarify a few things on this thread - we work with nonprofit organizations of all sizes and the majority of them use us as their sole CRM. However, we do integrate with other CRMs for those who do not wish to transfer their entire database (though we do offer data migration as a service).

    Those who stick with their CRM have been especially excited that they could incorporate our giving forms, campaign sites, and event ticketing into their setup because it gives them much more control over the brand and donor experience. Behind the scenes, they're also getting really important functions like donation matching, operations tips, wealth screenings, and even international donation processing, as Jeanne mentioned.

    I know we have/had some meetings scheduled with a few of you recently, but I'm happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Feel free to reach out or respond directly here.

    Have a great day & keep up the amazing work!

    Dani Lockard
    Sales Development
    Long Beach, CA

    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard

  • 8.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 04, 2019 12:38
    Great discussion topic and I'm glad that this question ("What is a nonprofit CRM?") is being asked, although this topic can go on for a while, and it might be best to just move it to another, independent thread. When I started working with non profit organizations ~8 years back, I was very surprised to find that the word CRM in nonprofit space was (is?) very flexible. It ranges from having a "platform and ecosystem" model, such as Salesforce, all the way to having an online donation form that allows you to just run a few reports in the cloud. And there are a lot of other systems that lie somewhere in the middle. In general, the current definition seems to be, if you can run some relevant reports on your data, then it's a CRM. Thus, CRM is purely a marketing term in the non profit world.

    Coming back to the question of what is a non profit CRM -- unfortunately, there's no standard or benchmark within non profit space for what a CRM should do. It's possible to create a "level" or something such, to gauge the feature-readiness of a CRM. However, technology moves fast, and therefore such evaluation metrics will have to be maintained diligently and reviewed/renewed as needed.

    In my view, with the way non profits are changing, it is becoming more and more important for a CRM to:

    - Effectively and cleanly store many different types of constituent profiles, have the ability to support various common processes (online fundraising being an example), and also connect with other sources of data within the organization, such as content management system or accounting (on a limited basis). Depending on the non profit organization, this can vary widely (e.g. campaign based fundraising, major donor cultivation, p2p fundraising, gala events etc.).

    - Support the organization's business(?) processes. Business processes vary widely, depending on the space that the organization operates in.

    - Support various types of data, e.g. fundraising data, program data, event data, advocacy related data, etc. These vary widely as well, depending on the organization.

    Lastly, a comment regarding a post above about migrating to "all-inclusive ERP": there's a distinction between a CRM and an ERP. ERP's are Enterprise Resource Planning systems, which mean that they are meant for data internal to the organization. Conversely, CRM systems are meant to store "external" data such as donors/prospects. In a non-profit organization, many board members and staff also donate, and volunteer, and therefore there's a certain overlap in these systems, however, the processes encapsulated within a CRM are different from those within an ERP. There are a lot of conversations regarding using a CRM for accounting data, or as a content management system, etc. Organizations often turn to this path because it is easily available (if the CRM is available), and then as needs evolve more, there comes a time when a better solution becomes necessary. The key is to recognize and plan for this evolution of needs.

    Hope this helps!

    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)

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  • 9.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 04, 2019 16:01

    Thank you, Medha and I agree with most of your CRM definition.  Great job!  I especially agree with continuing this thread so we can all benefit from the varying definitions.

    Although the unique requirements of each organization will probably never be enable us to truly "put a fence around it" (with "it" being the definition of CRM), I feel the "fence" will never be a concrete wall. It will always have to be flexible and will always have holes... which may hold confuits to other systems or just nuances that need to be plugged by a customization of a given system.

    I've seen the definition of CRM flex and change in 40 years I've been servicing all types of businesses. I feel that the most important "flexes" that CRM systems have made in the recent past (this is a personal opinion) are:

    • usability factors - both how easy it is to access the data and how easy it is to input and extract the data
    • internet access - the first bullet brings us to this second "flex".  The systems that are built for the internet have faster data retrieval and often, although not always, easier input.  The ease of input on a smart device depends on the device, but with internet and the modern applications, voice input makes the data input a lot easier.
    • integration - This is the one we slightly differ on.  I believe that the integration of CRM with the financial system is key to being able to easily analyze the efficiency and health of your organization, and how it is serving your community.  The second factor of integration is how easily the chosen CRM system integrates with other software.

    There are only a couple full ERP systems out there that have easy to use and robust CRM modules that are fully integrated with financials and other non-profit processes - like distribution.  When a non-profit is considering a management system, I suggest that they look at the entirety of their business processes and see how dependent each process is on the others.  I think what they will find is that the processes are all very dependent (integrated) with each other and; therefore, the system supporting the work needs to be fully integrated as well.

    For instance, for a food bank, there are processes to raise funds, gather volunteers, advertise, receive goods, and track the community to serve - all CRM.  There are also processes to possibly employ people, distribute goods, and, of course, report on all of it easily and effectively - including or especially the financials. That begs for an ERP that includes or integrates with CRM.  And, in today's world, that probably means a modern system written for the internet.

    I could go on... but let's get this thread somewhere we can continue.

    Jean McClelland
    ProNPO Consultant
    Clients First Business Solutions
    Arlington, TX

    picture of work desk from home with notebook, glasses, coffee, keyboard

  • 10.  RE: Funraise Users

    Posted Apr 05, 2019 17:53
    Hi Brenda & all, I don't have any experience with Funraise, however have you ever considered using a no-code / low-code platform for CRM? I work for one called Kintone (although there are plenty of optional platforms from which you can choose ie., Quickbase, Airtable, etc). We have customers using the Kintone platform for CRM and many, many other use-cases and the Kintone price for NON PROFITS is only $300 per year, for up to 50 users.

    In fact TechSoup named Kintone a top CRM & Donor Management System for non profits:


    Let me know if you have any questions, want suggestions to other no-code / low-code platform alternatives or if I can help support you in any way.

    All the best,

    Bill Kennedy
    National Director
    San Francisco, CA

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