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Nonprofits Are Looking to Leave Spreadsheets Behind

Lori Halley 19 May 2015 0 comments

"For the first time ever, the majority (72%) of nonprofits are looking to leave Excel spreadsheets behind and invest in more specialized fundraising solutions."

This was a key finding of the 2015 Nonprofit Software Buyerview Report, recently released by Software Advice, a company that helps nonprofits find the right software. The survey uncovered nonprofits’ most common pain points and their reasons for purchasing new software.

In the following Question & Answer session, nonprofit market researcher Janna Finch discusses key findings from the survey of over 200 nonprofits, and speaks to how technology can influence nonprofit performance and success.

Nonprofit Software Buyerview Report - Q&A with Market Researcher Janna Finch

What was the most surprising/striking finding in your research?

Janna Finch: “I was surprised to find that an increasing number of nonprofits--41 percent compared to 30 percent in 2014-- are now using software specifically developed to support nonprofit processes, and fewer rely on manual methods and general-purpose software,” says Janna Finch of tech research and reviews firm Software Advice. “This is striking because our sample is comprised of very small nonprofits--78 percent have an operating budget of less than $1 million--which tells us that nonprofit software usage is growing and there are more affordable software products available today. This is a good thing because keeping good records and automating processes has a huge impact in small organization.”

Are most nonprofits satisfied with their current systems?

“Our numbers indicate that not all nonprofit users are completely satisfied with their current software, especially those using the less robust general systems. Since there are affordable software options available, nonprofits can switch services if a product fails to meet their needs. In response, I think we'll see vendors addressing those emerging customer needs with their products.”

Based on the findings of the report, what are the implications for nonprofits?

A common complaint from buyers who are replacing software is that it's too difficult to use, so I encourage nonprofits to consider who will use the system, then set up a trial or demo where those people can test it out and see if they can complete their most important tasks. Also, nonprofits should create a comprehensive list of requirements (e.g., process recurring donations, integrate with an existing website, or track 5-year grants) then use it when evaluating software to figure out if the product supports them. If a certain requirement is important, but the product doesn't support it, implementing that product might create more problems than it will solve.”

Read the full research report

For more information, there is a Nonprofit Software Buyerview Slideshare available, or read the full study here.

Thanks to Software Advice for sharing this insight about nonprofit software needs and preferences.

If you’re ready to leave your spreadsheets behind…

Wild Apricot’s Membership Management Software can help you get out of “Excel hell”. It’s an all-in-one solution for small associations, clubs and non-profits. Take a tour or sign-up for a free 30-day trial.

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Tuesday, 19 May 2015 at 8:30 AM
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