best-budgeting-software-for-nonprofits

Our Top 7 Nonprofit Budgeting Softwares for 2023

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Jules

Nonprofit bookkeeping can be daunting. Fortunately, in today’s world, we have plenty of automated assistance. Budgeting software is essential for nonprofits to maintain government compliance as well as facilitate daily bookkeeping. 

This guide shares the top budgeting programs on the market. But before we get into them, we explain a bit more about just what to look for in your software.

Let’s go! 

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What Is Budgeting Software? 

Nonprofit organizations are held to a high standard of accountability because their income is based on donations and grants from both private and government bodies.

Nonprofit accounting software helps your staff accountant keep meticulous track of cash flow, payroll, donation recording, and other financial tasks. This automation not only makes for more accurate reporting, it also helps to save time and effort. That way, you can focus more on forwarding your mission and less on admin tasks.

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Main Features of Budgeting Software

While not all budgeting softwares are created equal, they do share some general features that make life easier for those who perform nonprofit bookkeeping services. In this section, we examine some of the main tools that budgeting software vendors offer. 

best-budgeting-software-for-nonprofits-main-featuresOliver knows what to look out for in his nonprofit budgeting software!

Budgeting 

With the integration of data from multiple sources, nonprofit budgeting software can make it easier to gauge the financial health of your organization. This, in turn, simplifies making smart decisions when it comes to spending and fundraising. 

Planning

Good nonprofit accounting software also offers forecasting tools that help your organization build a budget. That way, you can hit the ground running when the next fiscal year starts. 

Reporting

Get greater insight into your business performance with analytics-based reports. When it comes time to share these actionable reports with the board, federal government, or other stakeholders, you have them at the ready. 

Forecasting 

An automated system keeps your financial documents updated up to the minute. You can then use that data to observe where, how, and why actual numbers differ from the financial plan.

Pro Tip: Take some time before you look at different software vendors to really pinpoint what you need. Not all nonprofits have the same demands. For example, a small nonprofit likely does not need the numerous complex tools that mid-size and large nonprofits do. 

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How To Shop for Budgeting Software

Doing your due diligence before you buy any software is essential, but particularly when that software has anything to do with financial compliance. Here are a few steps you need to take as you are shopping for your budgeting software. 

Make a List of Must-Haves and Nice-to-Haves

The best way to get the perfect software for your organization is to sit down with relevant staff members. Make a list of your must-have features and your nice-to-have features. Must-haves are any essential features that your organization absolutely cannot do without. Nice-to-haves are extras that are useful but optional. 

Pro Tip: Even if your organization has a small budget for software, you do not have to stick to only must-haves. Make a "wish list" of nice-to-haves as well. You never know when a provider’s base plan might offer these nice-to-have features. This may be the tipping point that helps you choose one product over another similar one. 

Get a Product Demo

Only do business with a vendor that offers a product demo before a purchase. You should always have a chance to see the product before you buy it — there is no other way you can be sure that it has all of the features that your organization requires. 

Clarify Pricing

When it comes to pricing, there is not one standard that all vendors follow. In fact, following the pricing guides of some of these software companies can be confusing. Work with a customer service agent, and have them clarify how each pricing tier works and what each one offers. Also, be sure to ask about any additional fees. 

Ask About Historical Data

Unless you are a brand-new nonprofit with no financial history, you need to think about how your old accounting data integrates into your new system. You cannot make decisions about how to spend funding if you do not know what your budgeting looked like in the past months and years. So, make sure that this level of integration is possible with your chosen vendor. 

Get Training

If your nonprofit staff is not accustomed to using budgeting software, training can be helpful. Ask your customer service representative if the company offers training, If so, be ready to negotiate! Oftentimes, training fees are not set in stone, so you might be able to bring down the price. 

best-budgeting-software-for-nonprofits-best-software

The Best Budgeting Software for Nonprofits in 2023

Now that you have a good grasp on what features to look for and how to shop around, let’s take a look at some of the vendors that are slated to be superstars in 2023. 

best-budgeting-software-for-nonprofits-best-softwareEllie is ready to take notes on the best budgeting softwares!

We chose these software companies based on several factors. First and foremost, we made sure that they have an established reputation in the industry. Next, we looked at their user reviews. Finally, we narrowed down our contenders based on the number of features they offer for the price. 

Springly

Springly is an all-in-one nonprofit software. It handles member and donor information, event registration, and more for organizations of all sizes. It also has an entire accounting suite built into its product. 

You can integrate this suite with QuickBooks. Or, you can purchase the full suite, which offers additional features, such as:

  • Real-time cash flow tracking

  • An interactive dashboard

  • Admin access control

  • Step-by-step tax document help

You can check out Springly’s software with a product demo and a 14-day free trial. If you decide to buy, you can choose either the Liberty or Serenity plan. Liberty is the free version with basic features, such as payment collection. Serenity adds on all of the accounting features as well as other tools for a starting price of $25 per month for up to 100 contacts. 

QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online is designed for mid-size and large nonprofits. Smaller nonprofits probably do not need some of its more advanced attributes; they may not be able to afford it either. It is a full-service software that offers:

  • Online data backup and protection

  • App interaction

  • Real-time expense and donation tracking

  • Payroll

  • Program budgeting

QuickBooks does not offer a trial. The basic plan starts at $1,275 per year. You can upgrade to Platinum for $2,035 per year or Diamond for around $1,000 more. You also have to pay an extra fee for cloud-based access. 

Blackbaud Financial Edge

Blackbaud created Financial Edge to cater to large nonprofit organizations. It offers top-level accounting tools, including:

  • Cloud-based remote management

  • Budget creation

  • Expense tracking

  • Cash flow management

  • Budget forecasting

Financial Edge is a high-rated software, but Blackbaud does not provide transparent pricing information on its website. You have to contact a customer service representative for help. 

Araize

This company has been in the accounting business for over 30 years, servicing mostly mid-sized nonprofit organizations.

Araize offers a cloud-based software that you can access from anywhere at any time. With the FastFund Accounting platform, you get:

  • Bank reconciliation

  • Nonprofit program budget creation

  • Report generation

The accounting plan starts at just $42 per month, and you can bundle it with FastFund Fundraising for as little as $20 more per month. You can also add the FastFund Payroll feature starting at $66 per month. 

MoneyMinder

MoneyMinder was created for individuals without bookkeeping experience. For that reason, it is best for small nonprofits that may not have any formal accounting or bookkeeping staff to assist their nonprofit treasurer or CFO. 

Some notable features of this software include:

  • Bank account reconciliation

  • Budgeting

  • Report generation

  • Volunteer management

Something to keep in mind with this software is that it has limited donor management capabilities.

best-budgeting-software-for-nonprofits-best-softwareAnthony is loving this list!

The basic version of MoneyMinder is free, but you can upgrade to the Pro version for only $159 per year. This upgrade lets you use PayPal transactions, store documents, and print checks. For an additional fee, you can add on other services, such as MyStore and bank integration. 

Wave Accounting 

Wave Accounting is another option for small nonprofits. It is an online system that is both simple to use and easy to access from anywhere. Wave Accounting is not a comprehensive program, but it does offer some solid basic features, such as:

  • Payroll management

  • Payroll tracking

  • Credit card processing

  • A financial dashboard

  • Operational report generation

Wave Accounting is completely free to use

Zoho Books

Zoho Books is an accounting software that, again, is best for small nonprofits. It offers a number of integrations with online payment gateways, such as Square, Stripe, and PayPal. It also offers the following accounting features:

  • Expense tracking

  • Basic donor management

  • Report generation

  • Nonprofit budget and invoice templates

Zoho Books offers both a free trial and a free version. Upgrading to the Pro version costs $15 per month, billed annually. 

Pro Tip: There are numerous other software vendors on the market. For example, Sage Intacct, Aplos, and Sparkrock also service nonprofits. If you cannot find what you need from one of our recommended providers, branch out into some others.

best-budgeting-software-for-nonprofits-final-thoughts

Final Thoughts 

Finding the perfect budgeting software increases your staff’s efficiency and optimizes your nonprofit’s risk management plan. Take some time to determine which features you need and want from a software. Then, start searching for programs that offer them. In no time, you will have help with budgeting, accounting, and bookkeeping!

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FAQ

💡What is budgeting software?

Budgeting software automates accounting and bookkeeping tasks to create efficiency for businesses and nonprofits alike. Find out more. 

🔑 How much does QuickBooks cost for nonprofits?

QuickBooks offers three membership levels: Basic, Platinum, and Diamond. Basic starts at just over $1,000 per year, with each upgrade adding about an additional $1,000 per year. You also pay extra for cloud-based access and other special features. Find out more. 

📝 What does budgeting software do?

At its core, budgeting software automates your financial books. Depending on what kind of software your organization invests in, it might be able to do more, such as manage donor information and generate financial reports. Find out more.

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Jules
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