It’s time to cut through the clutter! With the right tools, you’ll be able to boost awareness, increase fundraising revenue, and manage constituents— all while staying on budget.
Taking your nonprofit online is crucial to finding success in the 21st century. As you know, the key is to meet your donors where they are. You have to master this medium if you want to form meaningful connections and sustainably grow your nonprofit.
More than likely, your organization already has a basic online presence, but you might need an upgrade to keep up with the continuously shifting digital environment. After all, using outdated or ineffective tools is probably the biggest time-suck and money-waster out there! Quit wasting valuable resources on software that isn’t cutting it.
These days, there are plenty of high-quality and free nonprofit tools that deserve your attention. Here are our favorite free nonprofit software providers, divided by category for convenience.
Feel free to jump through the sections, or read along from the top as we walk through our top recommendations:
- Top All-in-One Free Nonprofit Software
- Free Fundraising Software for Nonprofits
- Free Database Software for Nonprofits
- Free Marketing Software for Nonprofits
- Free Event Software for Nonprofits
- Free Membership & Forum Tools for Nonprofits
- Free Productivity Tools for Nonprofits
- Free Financial Software for Nonprofits
Are you ready to jump in and learn about what each software solution has to offer your organization? Let’s get started!
Top All-in-One Free Nonprofit Software
As a growing organization, you’ll need a wide variety of software solutions in order to run your nonprofit as smoothly as possible. While you have the choice to select your software providers à la carte, we recommend finding a set of integrated tools for convenience and ease of access.
Snowball Fundraising offers three bundles: Essential, Premium, and Enterprise. The Essential plan is completely free to use; your nonprofit is only charged a standard processing fee of 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.
This all-in-one starter kit allows your nonprofit to quickly and easily accept donations through your website and mobile giving tools in just two clicks. By focusing on speed and simplicity, you secure more donations and you give your donors a better experience.
Small nonprofits used to have to pick between quality and affordability for their online tools, and their daily operations lagged behind as a result. That’s why Snowball creates tools to help more nonprofits do more good work regardless of their size or budget.
Free Fundraising Software for Nonprofits
As you know, successful fundraising is the backbone of any nonprofit organization. Yet, fundraising solutions can get pricey, and those fees can easily start to outweigh all the funded brought in through your team’s hard work and relationship-building!
Instead, consider looking for free solutions for new and growing nonprofits. Check out our 15 favorite free fundraising software providers for nonprofits like yours. With these fundraising tools in place, you can see almost immediate increases in fundraising revenue.
The implementation of free fundraising tools helps to limit unnecessary overhead costs, and allows more funds to go directly towards the mission that you and your supporters care about.
Free Database Software for Nonprofits
A database or CRM software is essential for any organization that wants to grow strategically and sustainably. This kind of nonprofit software, however, can be quite costly. Small organizations tend to put off making a CRM investment for way too long, which ends up hurting their fundraising efforts in the long run. Take a look at some of these free CRM platforms to get your organization started!
Snowball’s built-in CRM tools easily track online fundraising and donor data to assist you in establishing and growing donor relationships. This simple, convenient dashboard allows you to collect, manage, and update key information concerning your donors and volunteers.
With these donor management tools in place, you’ll be able to search, sort, filter, and export this data to view valuable insights, recognize trends, and get an overall better understanding of the supporters backing your organization as you grow.
Bloomerang is a donor database software perfect for nonprofits of all sizes. Store your donor information in a database to retain donors, find new prospects, and view donor engagement statistics. You can start with the free services as a small nonprofit, and as your organization continues to grow, you can choose higher tiers of service to grow alongside you.
Bloomerang offers comprehensive but streamlined database features, making it a perfect CRM platform for growing organizations. You can easily track key data about your donors and volunteers, making it easier to identify trends as they emerge and adapt your strategies as needed.
The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack provides key information for data management purposes. See a 360 degree view of your nonprofit operations, a quick look at each donor’s life cycle, and constituent management tools.
The NPSP, or Nonprofit Success Pack, is free to add-on to an existing Salesforce CRM structure, which transforms the world’s #1 CRM into the world’s #1 nonprofit CRM. The implementation of the NPSP is a great way to boost nonprofit fundraising and general operations for organizations that are ready to make a major investment of time and focus in configuring their Salesforce.
CiviCRM, an open source CRM software, is a donor management tool that allows you to own and understand your own data, easily integrate with other powerful nonprofit software solutions, and customize and grow your dashboard at your own convenience.
With CiviCRM’s set of free tools, you’ll be able to streamline processes such as contact and member management, event planning, email marketing, advocacy campaigns, and social fundraising. The platform is highly-customizable, but you might need a tech expert or two on your team to get you up and running with it.
Free Marketing Software for Nonprofits
Just like for-profit businesses and large corporations, nonprofits need to have a strategic marketing plan in place to raise awareness surrounding their missions and campaigns. With these free marketing tools, you can streamline operations and get the word out quickly and easily.
Bonfire handles custom t-shirt creation in a way that maximizes profits and offers more flexible ways to sell than other comparable services. But Bonfire isn’t just a t-shirt manufacturer— it’s also a smart crowdfunding platform for individuals, small nonprofits, and national charitable organizations.
Everyone loves getting a t-shirt as a keepsake from an event, plus they’re inexpensive and easy to produce. For example, Bonfire has taken all the hassle out of selling custom t-shirts online and in-person, making it easier for organizations of all sizes to make a great impression. As an added bonus, every time a supporter sports your custom-designed t-shirt, it’s free advertising for your organization!
Mailchimp makes it easy to build out professional online campaigns without needing to sink a lot of time or money into it. Their suite of digital tools help you engage your supporters with custom email campaigns. This automated email platform is a leading digital marketing tool because they make it easier to get started than anyone else. For smaller nonprofits, this can make all the difference.
The best part about Mailchimp is that it’s completely free to get started with a plan that will support your nonprofit up to 2,000 email subscribers. And when you’re ready to scale up and need access to some of their more advanced data options, the next tier is just $10/month.
Tweepi is a unique digital marketing tool that uses Artificial Intelligence to boost your Twitter efforts. By analyzing and recommending certain hashtags, users, and locations to target with your social media marketing strategy, you can see significant growth in your Twitter following relatively quickly.
Tweepi offers a free plan with limited functions, along with two potential upgrades that can help you as your platform continues to grow.
Bannersnack is an intuitive design software that assists you in creating appealing visuals for your social media and digital marketing strategy, with templates targeted for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
With eye-catching images and advertisements, you’ll easily grab the user’s attention and increase awareness of your organization! Bannersnack offers a free version with up to 10 free designs, and then encourages you to upgrade to individual or team plans for a small fee.
Bitly is a free URL shortening service that allows you to manage and customize your links in order to boost link performance. These custom links offer more than 20 deeper insights with every click than the average URL, which will provide new and useful information as you expand your marketing campaign.
Shorter, custom links are more manageable and simpler for sharing purposes, including for social media, email, and SMS.
Google Alerts allows you to register to receive email notifications when selected topics show up in Google search. This is a great way to find out what is being discussed in the digital realm, and by whom. As a nonprofit, certain topics may be of interest to you such as news and current events, happenings in the nonprofit sector, and mentions of your organization, partners, or competitors.
You can choose how often to receive notifications and from which types of sites, languages or locations— with these key insights informing your overall marketing strategy and target audiences.
Yoast for WordPress
Yoast is a free WordPress plug-in that helps boost your website’s SEO strategy, or search engine optimization. SEO is key to running a successful website for your organization, and ensuring that your pages are ranking as highly as possible in Google search results.
Yoast helps you to track keywords, improve readability for users, and assist with the crawling and indexing of your site. With these tactics, you’ll have what you need to attract new users, drive traffic, and boost conversions on your website.
Free Event Software for Nonprofits
A lot goes into organizing and executing a successful event, from the planning stage to promotion and ticketing, to wrapping up and accepting feedback— only to start the process all over again for your next event. With the right tools to carry out each step, you can easily plan a seamless event that your supporters will love.
Eventbrite for Nonprofits
Eventbrite is an event management software that can help you plan, organize, and host events for your nonprofit organization. The process is simple— enter basic event information in an online form, create tickets and set pricing, and finally publish and share your event with your supporters.
These event pages are easily shareable on social media platforms and within email campaigns, and you can also integrate with your CRM data to get the word out about your event in the most efficient way possible!
Gathering participant feedback is a crucial step in planning an effective event. Finding out what supporters love about past events and how they can be improved in the future can be easier than ever with surveys from SurveyAnyPlace.
This free survey distribution software offers questions in the form of multiple choice, scaled ratings, and open-ended feedback in order to get the best overall picture of participants’ opinions concerning your event.
Regpack, although not free, is our highly recommended online registration software for event planning. This platform offers key features such as embeddable registration forms, group registration options, discounts and coupon codes, scheduling and check-in tools, and online payment processors.
Additionally, you can streamline communication with registrants through automated messaging tools, and extract useful insights from data reporting and analytics. Starting at $89/month, Regpack is a great tool for expanding organizations as you start to grow out of some of these free tools!
Free Membership & Forum Tools for Nonprofits
Membership software is key to keeping your supporters happy and involved with your nonprofit. These essential software solutions can help to ensure that every member has a voice in your organization.
Nabble is a free forum creation software that can be useful to nonprofits seeking to promote open discussion online. This is a great way for users to find like-minded individuals that can share their ideas and passions.
These free online forums are then easily customizable to fit your organization’s brand, and can even be embedded into your own webpages. Create a forum, photo gallery, news site, or blog to get your supporters more engaged with your nonprofit and each other!
Wild Apricot is a member management software that allows you to automate daily tasks concerning your staff, members, volunteers, and board. This streamlines operations and leads to a more efficient process for all involved.
With an online database, website building tools, online payment processing, event management, and email automation, you can set yourself up for simple and successful member relations. Wild Apricot is free to use up to your first 50 contacts, but the next tiers of service are still affordable for growing organizations.
Tendenci is an open source association management software specifically catered to nonprofits and associations. This easy-to-use management solution is the perfect tool for accepting donations, managing events, and integrating photo albums, blog posts, and community forums for boosted engagement. The software is free to start using, with additional services and plug-ins available for purchase.
Free Productivity Tools for Nonprofits
There’s nothing worse than an inefficient workplace, but productivity software can help combat that issue within your nonprofit as your team continues to grow. From time management to internal communications, you want to ensure that your day-to-day tasks are being completed with the utmost efficiency.
DonorSearch is the leading resource for nonprofit prospect research, a process that involves using publicly accessible data to learn more about donors who might want to or be able to make a major donation.
For organizations that are ready to begin looking for major gifts, DonorSearch should be your first stop. DonorSearch Giving’s free search tool allows nonprofits to complete prospect research on an individual basis— which streamlines the research process and boosts productivity within your fundraising efforts.
ClickTime provides the most comprehensive set of features of any web-based time tracking software, including time tracking, PTO management, overtime tracking— all accessible from a mobile app for easy access everywhere.
Plus, it’ll help your organization better pursue its mission by providing key insights into exactly where your time is going. This allows you to refocus priorities and stay on track with mission-related activities. For basic management needs at a small organization, the Starter Pack is a good choice, with time tracking tools and plenty of reporting options for just $9 per month.
Join.me is an online meeting hosting software that makes collaboration among teammates easier than ever, even from thousands of miles away. With key features such as screen sharing, personalized online meetings, and mobile optimization, you can boost communication and productivity and see real results.
As a file hosting service, Dropbox offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and client software to help your operations run smoothly. This software solution assists in collaboration among teammates as it makes sharing files and staying on top of updates simple and efficient.
Plans start at $9.99/month but you can join a trial version for free today. This way, you and your team will have full access to the software for 30 days to decide whether it’s the right fit for your collaboration needs.
Asana is a work management platform to help your team focus on your goals, projects, and daily tasks. The software provides tools such as timelines and calendars to help you visualize progress as a team and make sure everything is staying on track. Not only do these tools minimize stress in the workplace and maximize teamwork and collaboration, Asana assists you in keeping priorities intact!
Slack, a professional messaging app, can help your team boost internal communications by providing an effective platform for workplace messaging. Slack has proven itself to be more efficient than email in certain environments because of the lowered formality and increases in real-time responses.
You can manage your inbox with both direct and group messaging functionality, as well as organize messages by topic for ease of access. Slack is a great communication tool for any size team looking to boost communication and management practices.
Free Financial Software for Nonprofits
Keeping your finances in order may be overwhelming, but as a nonprofit organization it is the key to ensuring sufficient funding via grants and generous donors. The better your finances are, the more you can demonstrate fiscal responsibility and transparency to trusting investors.
In order to maintain tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3), nonprofits have to file an IRS Form 990 every year. File 990 is a top choice for nonprofit tax filing software because it’s designed to help you get your 990 form completed before the annual deadline.
For smaller nonprofits just getting started, having some guidance and structure around the 990 filing process is a good idea, since so much rides on making sure you get it filed and approved on time. The first step in getting started is to check your eligibility for the 990-N or 990 EZ form. For the 990-N, you’ll pay $40 per filing, while the filing of a 990 EZ will cost $50.
ZipBooks is an excellent accounting software that can provide your nonprofit with intelligent insights derived from key data, accurate records, and a simple user interface. Keep your files and important financial documents in check with the right accounting software!
The free starter pack offers limited functionality that can work well for smaller organizations, and provides opportunities for growth through smarter and sophisticated plans as well.
QuickBooks is another great accounting and bookkeeping software great for growing nonprofits needing assistance with tracking and managing expenses, payroll, taxes, and more. With software features and live support from accounting experts, you and your finances will be all set.
The accounting software offers a 30-day free trial, after which you may choose to purchase a monthly subscription to QuickBooks Online, starting at $12/month with no contracts, or a one-time payment of $299.95 for QuickBooks Pro.
There you have it— some of the best nonprofit software on the market (and for free!) Remember, there’s no excuse for any nonprofit to be behind the times with its digital toolkit. You can get up and running with nonprofit software in less than a day with the tools we’ve listed here and more, even with a tight budget.
However, every nonprofit is different and looks for different characteristics in an ideal software solution. Now that we’ve walked through the features of our favorite nonprofit software, you can decide which will work best for your organization’s needs!
For more information, be sure to check out these additional resources:
- Fundly’s Fundraising Software: 12 Types Your Nonprofit Must Know. There are plenty of niche software programs that fall under the umbrella term of “fundraising software.” Figure out all the types you need to know with Fundly’s help!
- Snowball’s Top 15 Free Fundraising Software Providers. Need some help finding the best fundraising software for free? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Check out our list of the top 15 providers available.
- The Ultimate Nonprofit Grant Writing Guide. Nonprofits that are looking for more ways they can raise money should check out our grant writing guide. It lists the steps nonprofits take to find and apply for grants successfully.
- Pledge Software: A Secret Weapon for Nonprofit Fundraising. Find out how to leverage pledge campaigns and boost fundraising revenue with pledge software.
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