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Fundraising databases: 10 key features you need

There are a wide range of fundraising databases and donor management software available on the market, so deciding which one is right for your charity can be an overwhelming experience.

Do you go for the traditional big name brand, whose solution seems to offer everything you could wish for? Or do you go for an alternative offering from a vendor who will be more agile and responsive to your needs?

While your requirements for a fundraising database might be different to the next charity’s, there are a few key features to look out for when choosing your donor management system. Here are the ones that the Donorfy team thinks are the ones to watch (and these are all features that Donorfy has!)

1. Cloud-based

Software as a Service (SaaS) changes the way we think about software. Nothing to install, you just use it. Always on, secure, scalable and accessible from any device, Donorfy is gentle on your technical infrastructure and doesn’t require expensive servers your own IT support.

Because Donorfy runs in your web browser, upgrades to the platform and backups of your data are provided as part of the service, so you don’t have to worry about any of the technical updates needed for the platform.

2. Affordable

Previously donor management platforms were only viable for larger charities, as traditional fundraising databases were heavyweight systems that were expensive to implement due to the technical setup and the servers needed to run them. Using a cloud-based system, there are significant cost savings involved for charities as you don’t have to hire specialist developer support to setup the system and configure the integrations. Donorfy is cost-efficient to roll out and means we can price Donorfy to make it affordable for charities.

3. Easy to setup

There’s nothing more frustrating than selecting a database product only to find that there is still several weeks worth of work to do to setup the platform to work with your favourite fundraising services. With Donorfy, that all changes. As soon as you sign up to a free 14-day trial, you’ll see that Donorfy works straight from the word go.

Within minutes, you have your own Donorfy workspace and can immediately start connecting to your favourite fundraising services, such as JustGiving, and start to see and manage your donors’ interactions with your charity.

4. Easy to migrate data

One of the more expensive parts of transitioning to a new fundraising database is the cost of migrating data from your existing platform. Even if you’re only working from Excel spreadsheets at the moment, gathering all that data into one place and uploading it to your new platform can be a real headache. With Donorfy, we make it easy to migrate your existing data into our platform.

Our experienced team has handled several extremely large data migrations, so will be there to guide you through the process. And if you ever wanted to leave Donorfy (and why would you?) then our simple exporting features means you have control of all of your charity’s donor data.

5. Lots of integrations

There are loads of brilliant digital services out there that help fundraisers everywhere do their job. Rather than compete with the likes of Mailchimp or Eventbrite and try to build own own fundraising tools, Donorfy instead makes it really easy to connect to these tools. We let others make the best email marketing software and event management software, and instead concentrate on making it easy to plug these services in to Donorfy so you can access them all in one place. Check out Donorfy’s full list of integrations here.

6. Security

If you’re still using Excel spreadsheets to manage your donor data, then you are unlikely to have backups of those spreadsheets anywhere. All it takes is one person to accidentally delete your whole database and that information is gone forever. For your charity’s security, it’s much better to have that information placed in the cloud.

Donorfy automatically backs up that data so that you’ll never lose it. Plus, with our extensive range of security certificates, you can be safe in the knowledge that no unauthorised people can access that data.

7. Geared towards charities

You might be looking at a system like Salesforce, with all of its bells and whistles and endless list of available features. But most of those features weren’t designed with charities in mind, so configuring the donor database to do what you want it to do can be hard work. Donorfy is designed with charities in mind and we’ll continue to add new features and integrations that charities are asking for.

8. Community minded

The vision for Donorfy is that our community will start to help each other on making the most of the system. If someone gets stuck or finds a great new way to use one of our integrations, our community will tell each other about it.

Building a community around Donorfy means that you’re part of a club, where you can always be confident that there’s a whole group of people out there available to help or swap ideas to help you make the most of Donorfy.

9. Intuitive design

In the modern age of Facebook, iPhones and intuitive apps, your fundraising database has to work like you expect things to work these days. The iPhone generation don’t want to go on a training course to use their donor management software and everything about using the platform should be self-evident.

We’ve built Donorfy with simplicity at the core, so even if you’re not particularly tech savvy, you’ll be able to use Donorfy.

10. Smart processes

With Donorfy, the difficult stuff is made really easy. Aspects such as communication opt-ins, accepting donations and claiming gift aid are all built in, without you needing to touch the controls. Managing donations was previously a very manual process, but with Donorfy it can now be largely automatically processed, saving your charity time and money.

If these key features are what you’re looking for in your fundraising database, then you should be looking at Donorfy as your donor management platform.

Start your free 14-day trial now.

Want to learn more? Read about our 2016 Civil Society win, where Donorfy was voted BEST Charity CRM for cost, functionality, integration and more.