What Is the Best CRM Solution for Foundations?


Every nonprofit and business requires at least some customer relationship management. Using CRM software, your foundation can store and organize information on your contacts as well as communicate with them. In this article, you will find an overview of CRM basics as well as information on the best CRM databases for nonprofits, including foundations. 

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What is CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management software. Organizations can use this type of database to store and centralize pertinent information about their networks. Not only does this include basic data, such as names and contact information, but also interactions between the organization and its constituents. CRMs for political campaigns, marketing firms, and major corporations are common, but CRMs can also be helpful for nonprofit organizations.


How CRM Can Benefit Foundations

So what does all this mean for a foundation? Like corporations, foundations must fight to keep their constituents engaged. However, rather than keeping them buying, they must keep them invested in the mission of the nonprofit. 

crm-for-foundations-benefitsAnthony is ready to explore the benefits of a CRM!

To run a thriving foundation, you must not only invest time and funding into finding new donors, you must also nurture the donors you already have so that you do not lose them through the back door. A nonprofit CRM makes this easy by allowing you to create lists of volunteers, donors, members, attendees, and other people as well as personalized thank yous, petitions, and invitations that keep retention high.

Additionally, you can use many nonprofits CRMs in tandem with other helpful tools, such as event registration databases, alumni database softwares, profile database softwares, and charitable contribution databases.


4 Important CRM Features

Before your foundation begins its search for the perfect database, we want to break down some top capabilities to look for when you are comparing software solutions. 

Detailed and Accurate Reporting

The most integral piece of CRM for foundations is the ability to gather data and generate reports. Organizations can use these reports to identify successful practices as well as areas of opportunity. 

Easy Integration

The best way to ensure your nonprofit is utilizing all aspects of data management is to have a centralized system. With the right integration capabilities, you can tie your CRM efforts to billing, marketing, fundraising, and more. This ensures you are spending your time on all of the sectors that are responsible for ensuring your organization runs smoothly, not just a few.

Helpful Customer Service

A software system is only as good as its customer service team. Look at reviews to see whether a vendor offers training for its product and responds quickly and thoroughly to customer questions or issues. Even the best system in the world is not much use if you do not have support. 

Mobile Use

In today’s world, many of us work on the go. An ideal CRM for foundations gives you access to your information from anywhere, which means it must be cloud-based and optimized for tablets and mobile phones. 


5 CRM Solutions for Foundations

Now that you understand what CRM can do for your foundation — and what features to look for — let's take a look at some examples of the best database software for nonprofits, small and large. 

#1 Springly

Our top pick for nonprofit CRM software, Springly is an all-in-one customer management solution that is meant specifically for smaller organizations. The customizable dashboards let you track key demographics in real time, and a passionate support team is there to back you whenever you need help. 

crm-for-foundations-solutionsAre we a little biased on this one, Trish? Maybe...but we still think Springly is truly the best choice!


  • Centralized data with encrypted SSL certificates

  • Tailor-made database with customizable fields

  • Easy import and export with Excel information

  • Responsive customer service team

  • Ability to connect with 50+ tools that support membership management, including event planning, accounting, website design, and communication

Pricing: The Springly Serenity package starts at $25 per month for 100 contacts. However, you get a 14-day free trial first to ensure Springly is giving your organization everything it needs. Springly Liberty, on the other hand, is 100% free, although it does not come with as many features. 

#2 SalesForce

While not made specifically for nonprofits, SalesForce does offer a platform called Nonprofit Cloud. Besides organizing stakeholder information, Nonprofit Cloud can help you manage fundraising events and marketing campaigns. It is also multilingual, allowing you to communicate with donors in German, Spanish, and Japanese as well as English. 


  • Integration to connect with other management software

  • Marketing and engagement tools

  • Grantmaking operations 

  • On-demand resources, such as podcasts, webinars, and blogs

Pricing: You must connect with a service representative for nonprofit pricing options. Qualified nonprofits may be eligible to add their first 10 contacts for free. 

#3 Kindful

Kindful is another CRM that was built for nonprofits. It offers tools to track donations and member interactions. In addition, you can generate reports to analyze the efficacy of events and drives and send them automatically to board members. 


  • Pre-made report templates

  • Unlimited contacts

  • Third-party tool integration

  • Powerful filters for group segmentation 

Pricing: Kindful starts at $100 per month for 1,000 contacts.

#4 Salsa CRM

Salsa CRM offers strong marketing features as well as helpful nonprofit tools. For foundations that rely heavily on email marketing, Salsa offers customizable campaigns and automated email sequences, such as event follow-ups and welcome messages. 


  • Powerful segmentation features for contact organization

  • Social media linkup from the dashboard

  • Ability to find members on social media through their email addresses

Pricing: You must contact a service representative at Salsa CRM for pricing options.

#5 Blackbaud 

The Blackbaud CRM solution offers users powerful analytic and reporting tools that are specifically tailored to nonprofit organizations. It provides a holistic view of your stakeholders, tracking prospects, donors, and volunteers all in one place. 

However, we would be remiss not to mention that Blackbaud has had some security concerns in recent years. At the beginning of 2020, Blackbaud suffered from a ransomware attack, where a hacker copied some of the company’s data.


  • Automatic credit card updates

  • Revenue forecasting

  • Split gift designation

  • Address finder and deceased record finder

Pricing: You must contact a service representative at Blackbaud for pricing options.


Final Thoughts

We cannot stress the importance of investing in quality nonprofit database management enough! Only by strong, continued, and personalized communication can you hope to keep your stakeholders truly involved and motivated. This kind of technology is not simply reserved for large, global organizations — even small nonprofits can benefit from it by looking for a balance of quality and value in a CRM software system. 

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💡What is a CRM for foundations?

Customer relationship management software, or CRM, is a platform that allows companies or nonprofits to store, organize, and generate reports on member information. For nonprofits, this includes volunteers, members, donors, and event attendees. Find out more. 

🔑 What are the essential features a foundation CRM should include?

A CRM for a foundation should have a secure database that holds and sorts a lot of information and integrates with other management platforms and tools. Find out more. 

📝 Which CRM solution is best for a foundation?

There is no one answer to this question. It really depends on the specific needs of your foundation as well as your budget. However, it is going to be easier to work with a company that offers nonprofit-specific software, such as Springly or Kindful. Find out more.

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