Top 5 CRM Platforms for Nonprofits

By: Michael Peggs, founder of Marccx Media.

As many organizations have learned, nothing is more crucial than keeping important data organized. Customer Relationship Management systems, or ‘CRM’ for short, have revolutionized modern standards of efficiency and productivity. From centralized mobile data access, faster data retrieval, and real-time communications between team members, using a CRM is the ideal hub for nonprofits. Here are 5 great CRM platforms to consider.

1. CiviCRM

First and foremost on the list, the CiviCRM open-source model embodies the principles of what nonprofits are really about. This is a free platform based on a global community of contributors, supporters, and a core team that recently partnered with Joinery to steward the project. The Civi team is funded by a variety of member programs, grants, and donors, and functions to coordinate development efforts for the CRM on various platforms including Wordpress. 

CiviCRM offers a robust feature-set for nonprofits that includes everything from contact management, contributions, peer-to-peer fundraising, advocacy campaigns, to scheduling events, managing members, and case management. At present, there are over 10,305 organizations using CiviCRM, including Bloodwise (formerly known as Leukemia & Lymphoma Research).

2. SageCRM

Sage offers business management solutions alongside their CRM for complete end-to-end visibility for your organization’s data. Everything from customer visibility, to tracking quotes, orders, donors, volunteers, to more efficient communications and project management are now possible with Sage. Also, when coordinating efforts between various organizations, it’s critical to have a bird’s-eye view on where your data is stored for quick retrieval. SageCRM lets you keep track of virtually everything through a single, customer-centric view, and enables your representatives to access and store data via mobile when making new contacts.

You can view the integrated CRM features for further ways to attract, retain, and delight your donors. In fact, SageCRM has been rated one of the top CRM platforms by software users on with over 6 million customers worldwide. Sage also offers access via internet providers in Canada and the US, with established business offices in both.

3. Basecamp 3

If you’ve had enough of the clutter, lost emails, and lack of communication between team members, Basecamp 3 will certainly make life easier! As the third installment for their popular CRM model, they have 12 years invested and over 100,000 companies who are benefitting from Basecamp’s user-friendly project management software. With an upgraded suite of teamwork tools, you can sign up for free and test out the message boards, comment threads, chats, auto check-ins, to-do lists, file storage, along with centralized scheduling. 

Just think; now you can bring multiple groups together for special nonprofits events or webinars, having them sign up and use your message board system for real-time feedback! Also, you can grant permissions and allow any member of your organization to schedule and post events for fundraising or scheduling an internal meeting. Spend more time keeping your donors happy by collaborating from one central hub!

4. Salesforce

Among the most widely used and well known CRMs of all time, Salesforce is an international business solutions company. They evolved their service offerings with built-in artificial intelligence called Salesforce Einstein, which learns from your behaviour and can make recommendations and automate tasks. By using your Salesforce CRM, it will become smarter with every interaction, allowing your organization to spend more time raising funds for charity, and less time sifting and sorting through data. You can give it a test run with their free trial. Simply log in and connect your organization’s data seamlessly through one interface.

5. HighRiseHQ

Last but not least, HighRiseHQ is your CRM “secret weapon” for tracking conversations, tasks, contacts, and notes with ease. Built by 37signals/Basecamp back in 2007, their user-friendly platform has turned into a multi-million dollar business. Share emails with team members, group contacts and clients by associations, and control who sees what in order to streamline important data.

If you’re deciding on which CRM to work with, feel confident that any of the above choices will serve you well when it comes to reliability, up-time, and operational efficiency. Organizations who use them gain the ability to extract data-rich analytics, making decisions with greater clarity.

About the Author

Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx  Media, a digital marketing agency specializing  in SEO and Content Marketing. Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business  development, forming digital media and  advertising partnerships. He is also a blogger  and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10  New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.

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