The operational software requirements for nonprofits have substantial differences from platforms intended for use at businesses operating on a for-profit basis. Here are four reasons to connect nonprofit databases to Salesforce nonprofit software or another platform for not-for-profit organizations.

They Understand The Unique Nonprofit Industry

A company such as Blackbaud stands out for their long legacy of developing software for nonprofits such as cultural organizations, healthcare groups, faith communities and schools. The brand’s flagship fundraising software, The Raiser’s Edge, was released in 1989. More than 30 years later, the latest cloud-based version of this software is still used by many not-for-profits.

The Raiser’s Edge NXT is often the natural choice for a nonprofit that has the budget necessary to devote thousands of dollars toward licensing fees. While a charitable or not-for-profit organization may find Salesforce and some of the same customer relationship management tools helpful for staying in touch with supporters or soliciting and tracking donations, this platform requires fine adjustments and integration tools to be deployed to maximum effect in the nonprofit sector.

Developers and users of the open-source Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack or NPSP, which launched in 2005, have also become experts at adjusting for-profit CRM software for the purpose of running nonprofits. The version of Salesforce CRM software referred to as the NPSP or Salesforce for Nonprofits differs from the for-profit version in a number of ways. The donor communication, fundraising and analytics features of this software for nonprofits have unique features compared to the standard Salesforce installation and Raiser’s Edge NXT.

A private and proprietary donor management system may have a faster implementation time in exchange for a more substantial investment in licensing. Open-source solutions often require more fine-tuning. Although users and developers at not-for-profit organizations around the world have made major strides on the Salesforce NPSP, it’s hard to beat the purpose-built specialization and decades of development behind Raiser’s Edge NXT.

Ensure All The Necessary Donor Data Is In Tact

Whether an organization uses The Raiser’s Edge, Salesforce for Nonprofits or a Blackbaud Salesforce integration, preserving a high quality of data is imperative. Nonprofit leaders and stakeholders should ensure that integration software is in play from the start of the implementation process to safely and securely transfer data between primary and secondary platforms.

Records that are corrupted during import or export or that are transferred incompletely can cost an organization valuable fundraising opportunities. Each donor record may include a name, physical or email address, phone number and information about past gifts or engagement. Organizations can execute more targeted and successful campaigns when the most current and accurate information regarding donors is available across platforms.

These are four reasons why an organization might prefer to use constituent or donor management software purpose-made for nonprofits. Many specific reasons may be unique to a particular nonprofit, depending on donor engagement and outreach needs and the organizational management software currently in use. Generally speaking, software that is designed for nonprofits is ready for organizations to use, whereas broader CRM platforms may require more customization and a longer implementation period.