A Decade of Difference: How Donorfy Redefined the Charity CRM

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As March 2024 has arrived, we're hitting a pivotal moment at Donorfy - celebrating ten years of helping charities grow and thrive.

While we’d rather talk about our amazing charities than ourselves, modesty will have to wait! We’ve been reminding ourselves why over 1,000 charities have chosen us as their trusted CRM. Here, we’re delving into the distinctive aspects that have been instrumental in defining both our journey, and the Donorfy product, in this remarkable decade.







A Glimpse into History

Ben Brett and Robin Fisk’s journey in the software world traces back to 1990 when they laid the foundation with Fisk Brett, providing CRM solutions for various sectors. It wasn’t long before their focus shifted exclusively to nonprofits, culminating in ProgressCRM, a donor database tailored to meet the unique needs of charities.

Years later, as cloud technology began to show promise, they envisioned a solution that would liberate charities from the shackles of outdated, clunky, on-site systems. Thus, Donorfy emerged in 2014 as the pioneering cloud-based charity CRM, designed by fundraisers, for fundraisers.

Head in the Cloud (Technology)

Luckily, they brought their cloud-based vision to life. Donorfy was the UK’s first cloud-based CRM designed specifically to save fundraisers precious time, streamline their supporter journeys and integrate seamlessly with other platforms. It was revolutionary, others have followed where we’ve led, and that’s surprisingly easy to forget. 

We had a server-based CRM that was expensive to buy, maintain and run. With Donorfy, IT support stopped being a burden. We also suffered several virus attacks and ransomware on our old system, which we could stop worrying about.” added Stuart Mann, Support Relations Manager at CARE.

The Fundraiser’s CRM

From its beginnings, it wasn't just another piece of imitation software built in isolation; it was crafted by people with real-world fundraising experience.

  Donorfy is a tool crafted with passion and empathy by individuals deeply rooted in the charity sector," remarks Ben Brett, Donorfy CTO. "At Donorfy, we’re part of a community with a shared commitment to help charities achieve their mission."

From two pals to a tight-knit group of thirty, they’ve built a team with a strong, working understanding of the sector. This collective experience is significant, and it matters - Donorfy is engineered, tested and demoed by people with the keen eye of a fundraiser. Not only are we proud of that; it makes a real difference to the charities that choose us.

It feels like Donorfy is part of the charity sector rather than being a business selling a product to the charities.” added John Gandy, Data Manager at Huntington’s Disease Association. “The team has a particular sort of enthusiasm and passion for people who work in the sector! "

Mastery Made Easy

Donorfy Academy was our commitment to making learning and empowerment an integral part of Donorfy's offerings. In November 2022, the Academy began offering live training sessions, on-demand tutorials and - uniquely - certifications to Donorfy users. From the outset, it’s been about more than just ticking a knowledge box, or something users can fly through just to tell their boss they’ve done it.

The goal was to give users everything they need to use Donorfy effectively - and optimally - so they can spend their working hours doing more of what really matters. Since launch, over 1,450 learners have embraced the Academy, including 2,465 hours of live training - and there’s more to come.

Integrated Solutions

Embracing a forward-thinking approach, Donorfy shunned the conventional mode of creating an in-house, imitation version of other platforms. Instead, empowering charities with flexibility and choice, with “plug and play” integrations to the platforms they were already using.

We want people to be doing meaningful work that actually contributes. We’ve been able to take a lot of manual operations and automate them with the power of Donorfy. You name it, we’ve integrated it.” said Nigel Hall, Director of Operations at LICC.

The first integrations were Gift Aid, MailChimp, GoCardless and Stripe, all of which were in the very first version of Donorfy. Fast forward to 2024, and Donorfy integrates with over 20 platforms, with options covering marketing, finance, fundraising and even AI.

Simple, Transparent Pricing

We’ve always believed that surprises are strictly for birthday parties. Donorfy has a clear and simple pricing structure based on the charity’s number of constituents. That’s it - and that’s deliberate. We have first hand experience of the stresses and strains of managing charity budgets, and know how important consistency is. One cost, full functionality - no add ons, no unexpected sharp increases, no worries. Being a cloud-based business means we can prioritise affordability too - without the burden of fixed-location overheads, we can offer Donorfy at the most accessible prices for charities. 

Donorfy disrupted the market for charity CRM, but we also wanted to disrupt the business practices of the past by building a progressive company that’s easy to deal with. One area that typifies this is the notoriously opaque world of pricing." added Robin Fisk, CEO.

WhatsApp Image 2024-03-08 at 08.39.34 (1)Robin Fisk at The Donorfy Together Conference 2024

0% Commission, 100% Integrity

Adding to our commitment to transparency, our sales team operates on a zero-commission model; that’s pretty rare in the software industry. Removing commission removes the financial pressure for them to sell at any costs, to anyone. That means integrity remains at the core of every interaction, and they use their experience to align Donorfy with the charities who can really benefit from it, for the many years they’ll be using it.

The Next Revolution: AI-Powered Fundraising

Donorfy isn’t just about managing data; it’s about leveraging cutting-edge technology to drive fundraising success. We’re working with Dataro to help charities gain predictive insights directly within their CRM. This means smarter decisions, more targeted engagement and, ultimately, better fundraising outcomes.

But we're not stopping there. With EBM, we're introducing AI-enabled chatbots to Donorfy, revolutionising supporter interaction. From answering queries to processing donations seamlessly, these chatbots bring efficiency and personalisation to supporter services. Plus, all interactions are automatically logged in Donorfy, providing valuable insights for ongoing engagement strategies. 

With AI, we're not just imagining the future of fundraising; we're helping to build it.

So, as Donorfy commemorates its 10-year anniversary, the journey ahead brims with promise and possibility. With a dedicated team, passionate customers and reliable partners, we’re looking forward to amplifying impact and making a difference in the years to come.

We've come such a long way in ten years," reflects Robin. "But our journey is far from over. Together with our customers and partners, we'll continue to push boundaries, innovate, and make a difference. Here's to the next ten!"


Donorfy 10Donorfy 10 2


A team of third sector experts

We're not just a company, we're a community - our people and values are what truly sets us apart.