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Donor Databases For Nonprofits: Ultimate 2024 Guide + 8 Best Software Picks!

Author: Marlena Moore
December 21, 2023
🕑 9 min read

If you’ve ever gotten overwhelmed by spreadsheets full of disjointed contact information, you’re not alone. But have no fear—you can be free of that admin headache and its mysterious color-coding systems with the help of donor databases!

In this blog post, we’ll cover:

  • How nonprofit databases can support your organization as it grows
  • The must-have fields to collect donor data
  • 11 great features to look for in your donor database software
  • Our top 8 picks for software solutions

What Is a Donor Database for Nonprofits?

Nonprofit donor databases are digital systems that organize and manage donor information. This includes contact information, giving history and anything else that is useful for tracking and building donor relationships!

Unlike member directories, which are made to connect long-time supporters with one another, donor databases are designed for your team on the backend.

It’s perfectly possible to DIY your database in a spreadsheet, but we’d recommend building one with the help of donor management software.

Letting go of spreadsheets in favor of taking the software route can:

  • Make the donor database easy for all team members to use
  • Make donor data quick and easy to update
  • Often integrate with your membership management software
  • Automate communications with donors to save on admin time

Did you know that office workers lose one third of their time to administrative tasks? Getting donor database software set up might seem like yet another task on the list, but ultimately it’ll be a huge time-saver!

Click through to claim your 60-day trial of WildApricot to create effective QR codes that will speed up event check-in.

Why Do Nonprofits Need Donor Databases?

Donor databases for nonprofits can help your team:

  • Nurture your relationships with donors. Donor stewardship saves you time and money attracting new donors to your cause. Having personal connections with your supporters makes it easier to reach them (emotionally and logistically!) in the future.
  • Simplify your communications. Instead of getting overwhelmed by a thousand tabs, a donor database gathers emails, physical addresses and phone numbers in one convenient place. Better yet, some donor database software can even send automated mass emails to your lists.
  • Organize and segment all of your donor data. Imagine you want to run a thank-you campaign where you connect with long-time donors. A simple filter in your donor database will help you find all of your 5+ year members and gather their emails for one big thank you letter.
  • Add a boost to future fundraising campaigns. Harness the power of a Giving Tuesday email by tapping into your complete list of past donors! Instead of starting from scratch, you can connect with people who’ve already proved they’re interested in supporting you financially.
  • Learn from ongoing data analysis. Whether you notice a drop off of local members or a sudden influx of recurring donors, donor databases highlight ongoing trends. This information is a key part of shifting your marketing strategy.

What Data to Include in Your Donor Database

Your database is only as useful as the types of donor data you choose to collect! While you can make a simple contact database, why not use the tool for more detailed data analysis?

Donor databases for nonprofits benefit from including:

  • Name. Did you know that personalizing an email with the recipient’s first name can boost your open rate by 20%? Including both “legal name” and “preferred name” fields is another way to add a respectful and personal touch!
  • Phone number, mailing and email address. A variety of contact information helps you connect through paper letters, newsletters and text-to-give campaigns.
  • Communication preferences. There are specific ways people would rather be contacted. For example, with the ongoing rise of phone scams, some people prefer not to pick up at all. Giving donors the opportunity to opt in for email-only contact helps them cultivate their preferred experience.
  • Birthdays. Birthdays don’t just give you a reminder to send happy birthday messages—they also give you data on age demographics.
  • Membership anniversaries. It pays to know how long your donors have been connected to your organization. If your database is included in your membership management software, an anniversary thank-you is a sweet touch.
  • Employment information. This is another great demographic field you can use to search for trends.
  • Giving history and patterns. Donor databases that use this field can help you track your one-time versus recurring donors. Plus, you can see when peoples’ donation amounts shift! 
  • Giving motivation. Understanding donor intent is essential to cultivating and retaining donors. When you know what donors want, you can incorporate it into your fundraising strategy, messaging and marketing campaigns.
  • Past event attendance. This field helps you identify which events have been fan favorites and then recreate them in the future.

11 Key Software Features for Nonprofit Donor Databases

The best donor databases for nonprofits have features that connect you with donors, simplify your admin tasks and support data analysis.

Here are 11 must-have features of great donor database software:

    1. Robust donor profiles with thorough contact information and a place to take notes.
    2. Segmentation tools to analyze your donor data through multiple perspectives. For example, if you want to send an email to one-time donors only, a quick filter should make that possible.
    3. Donor timeline and giving history to create donor profiles based on past gift amounts. If your data shows that you’re consistently losing donors at the same spot in the year, that’s something to investigate.
    4. Automated communications for email newsletters, text campaigns, donor thank you letters and more. Scheduling capabilities are a must have when it comes to fundraising campaigns.
    5. Scalability. As your nonprofit continues to grow, you can expect to see donations from more and more donors. If your donor management software can only hold so many contacts at a price point you can afford, it might not be the best option long-term.
    6. Membership database. If you choose to work with membership management software, you can simply include a “donor” filter to differentiate the segments. Plus, you can track the moment donors take the plunge for membership!
    7. Integrations. Donor databases for nonprofits work best when they can work previously established software. If you have solutions you already love, make sure your database has the right integrations.
    8. Automatically generated donation receipts. Many people write off charitable donations on their taxes. They’ll appreciate having a quick paperwork turnaround in their inbox, and you’ll save a whole lot of admin time drafting.
    9. Reporting and analytics features. Like we’ve said, donor databases are hubs of information! If your software can generate reports on that information, data analysis will become that much easier.
    10. Matching gift tools to contact the ideal donors with matching programs they’ll love. This is where the employment information field will be a great asset.
    11. Mobile apps that simplify donor communications and carry your nonprofit’s information right in your pocket!

8 Best Nonprofit Donor Database Software Solutions

Now that you know what makes great donor databases for nonprofits, there’s only one more question to ask! What is the best donor management software, anyway?

There are a whole heap of answers out there, but we’ve done some research and narrowed it down to our 8 top picks.

Let’s explore each software solution’s:

  • Special strength
  • Top features
  • Price point

1. WildApricot

Best Complete Membership Management Software Solution

If your organization runs (or is planning to run) a membership-based model, then we’d like to introduce ourselves! WildApricot has won the #1 Membership Management Software award for six years in a row, and is trusted by over 26,000 organizations.

And our shining star of a feature? Our member database!

You can upload your current spreadsheet into our cloud-based database, and:

  • Integrate with your current website (or build a fresh one!)
  • Create and manage forms for donations and membership fees
  • Set up recurring donations and membership renewals
  • Securely process payments
  • Automate emails from a thorough contact database 
  • Get unlimited support for any questions you might have
  • And more

Where some donor databases for nonprofits simply focus on collecting contact information, our tools help truly build your community! Connect with us today to see for yourself.

Price: Free 60-day trial, and then plans start at $60/month.

Click through to claim your free trial of WildApricot and start creating high-quality digital membership cards.

2. Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT

Best Donor Database Software for Connecting With Major Donors

Raiser’s Edge NXT is a complete fundraising solution that helps nonprofits achieve sustainable growth. Designed for medium to large nonprofits, this software combines a capable CRM platform with a thorough, data-driven fundraising toolkit. These tools are all available at one set subscription price!

Top Features:

  • Detailed segmentation capabilities
  • Prospect research tools to identify major donors
  • Analytics tools to quantify giving potential
  • Consulting services (great if your nonprofit is growing quickly!)

Price: Contact for demo and quote.

3. DonorPerfect

Best Donor Database Software For Accounting Integrations

DonorPerfect is a comprehensive fundraising solution that helps your team manage donations, contacts, receipting, reporting, email and fundraising initiatives from a single system. Its variety of tools and integrations make it a solid choice for nonprofits large and small.

If you’re primarily looking for donor database software that will help you track and analyze your numbers in detail, DonorPerfect is the way to go!

Top Features:

  • Integrations with Paypal, Quickbooks and more
  • Auction management
  • Automatic monthly tools giving for recurring donors
  • Standard and custom reports based on your needs

Price: Starts at $99/month, contact for a custom quote.

4. Bloomerang

Best Donor Database Software For Centering Retention

Bloomerang is a donor management software solution that supports relationships with both donors and volunteers. With data-focused tools that focus on relationship management, this software is a place to look if you want to keep retention top of mind.

Top Features:

  • Donor and supporter engagement meter
  • Automatic, nightly updates to your donor database
  • Interactive dashboard to measure campaign results live
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising tools

Price: Starts at $119/month.

5. Little Green Light

Best Donor Database Software For Scalability

Little Green Light is a flexible donor management and fundraising platform that can be customized as your nonprofit grows over time. With a broad suite of integrations and reasonable pricing that’s based on constituent records, this software is adaptable and scalable!

Top Features:

  • Unlimited users and no hidden fees
  • Integrations with Stripe, Paypal, ConstantContact and more
  • Detailed constituent profiles
  • Automatic thank yous

Price: Starts at $45/month.

6. DonorDock

Best Donor Database Software For Donor Relationships

DonorDock is a fundraising and marketing software solution that gives its clients detailed insights and suggestions about managing donor relationships. Its automated communications are highly personalized, and the software will nudge you if it thinks there’s a message worth sending.

Top Features:

  • Automatic suggestions for donors to connect with
  • Pings for donors’ birthdays and anniversaries, as well as lapsed members
  • Unlimited contacts and segmentation tools to manage them
  • Grant management tools

Price: Starts at $79/month

7. Donorbox Donor Management

Best Free Donor Management Software for Small Nonprofits

Donorbox is an easy-to-set up fundraising software that aims to attract recurring donors. The platform is available in 11 languages and 44 currencies, and makes donations quick and easy by accepting payments via cards, PayPal, ACH bank transfers, and Apple and Google Pay. 

Top Features:

  • Alerts for changes in giving habits
  • Advanced donor segmentation features
  • Database cleanup tools like merging duplicate donors
  • Stripe, Salesforce and Mailchimp integrations

Price: No monthly cost, only a 1.75% platform fee.


Best Donor Database Software For Churches provides tools for online church engagement, donation management and administrative relief for staff members. Over 37,000 churches in 50 different countries enjoy’s tools including custom church apps and websites, messaging capabilities, online giving solutions and more.

Top Features:

  • Tracking tools for cash and cheque donations
  • Automated giving reports
  • Synced messaging from your contact database
  • Household and relationship tags

Price: No monthly cost, fees are 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.

Go Beyond Spreadsheets With Organized Donor Databases!

With all the work your nonprofit does, you shouldn’t have to spend extra time digging around for donor emails. We hope this exploration of donor databases for nonprofits has shown you some fresh possibilities!

Curious about what an all-in-one donor management software could do for you? Sign up for your 60-day free trial of WildApricot today.

Start a free trial of WildApricot today. Click here

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