Thu, Jan 30, 2014
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Choosing The Right Donor Management System

Thursday, January 30, 1:00-2:30 PM EST.

Donors are the lifeblood of your small organization, volunteers the strong backs upon which it is built. You rely on them, and on the partners and other constituents who interact with your nonprofit on a daily basis. Tracking them all involves creating and maintaining a lot of data. But that data also needs to be accessible. A database is like a First Aid kit—it doesn’t matter what’s in it if you can’t get to it when you need to. For example, if a donor calls, you want to be able to instantly access their donation history, their personal information and any other relevant data. Good luck doing all that with an Excel spreadsheet.

The right donor management database makes it easy to see the relationships between data and donors and other constituents, and more importantly, keeps that information accessible and reportable so that you can find and use it the moment you need to. The good news is, there’s a number of options on the market. That’s the bad news, too—if you’re a small organization on a tight budget, how do you distinguish between the systems and their features? How do you know which will best meet your nonprofit’s particular needs? What’s important to consider when choosing?

Join Idealware for a one-and-a-half-hour session built upon our Consumers Guide to Donor Management Systems, newly updated in 2013, for a closer look at GiftWorks, NeonCRM, CiviCRM, eTapestry, DonorPro, Donor Perfect Online, and other popular systems being used by small organizations on tight budgets.

We’ll walk through everything you need to know to choose the right database for your organization, starting with overviews of the most commonly used, affordable databases on the market that give the pros and cons of each. We’ll also talk about good data management practices and planning, and how to best assess your needs before you commit to a system—the best time to do so.

By the end of the session, you’ll have everything you need to guide your organization through the process of selecting a low-cost donor management system that puts all the critical information your nonprofit counts on right where you need it—at your fingertips.

About Our Presenters

Elizabeth Pope
As Idealware’s Senior Researcher, Elizabeth Pope is the research lead on the update of Idealware's Consumers Guide to Donor Management Systems and is the organziation’s constituent management specialist. Elizabeth has a B.A. in History from Columbia University and also earned an M.S. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she honed her research, instruction, and tech skills. Before joining Idealware, Elizabeth was the Assistant Director of the Center for Oral History at Columbia University and served as a federal government archivist for the National Archives branch in New York City. Her background also includes fundraising and content development for nonprofit organizations.

Eric Leland
Eric Leland has spent the last 15 years working with progressive organizations and businesses tackling online and offline technology challenges. Eric is a founding partner of FivePaths (, a technology firm that brings unparalleled strategic technology consulting, information architecture and web CMS and CRM platform development expertise to each project. Eric is very active in nonprofit, philanthropy and technology circles, having served as co-chair to the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network in San Francisco, on the National Advisory Board for the Addiction Technology Transfer Center, and as a member of NTEN and the Tech Underground.

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