How to Evaluate Free Software for Your Nonprofit

Cersai Stark

Cersai Stark

Online fundraising can be efficiently managed with a plethora of low-cost and free software tools available. Hence, in this article, we will consider how nonprofits can evaluate free software tools to enhance organizational effectiveness. 


Free Software
Free Software


  • The nonprofit sector operates efficiently with the aid of software solutions. 
  • CRMs are used by 67% of nonprofit organizations to track donations and handle communications with supporters. 


What to consider when using free software

The software that an organization uses to run its affairs determines how it generates funds, interacts with its donors, and engages with the outside world. Not to mention, nonprofits have limited funding. The vast majority of nonprofits are grassroots organizations, with 88% having budgets under $500,000, according to the National Council of Nonprofits report. 

Hence, organizations can leverage free software to their advantage. Even more, several software solutions help organizations operate efficiently at no cost. However, there are several factors to consider when opting for free software. We will outline each of them for better understanding. 

a. Security

If your nonprofit uses a CRM, you probably gather and maintain data on members, donors, community members, and coworkers. Consequently, it is crucial to protect their security and privacy!

To begin with, review the software’s terms and conditions and security procedures before opting for usage. To assist in answering your questions, there is typically a page devoted to privacy and security, FAQs, and contact details.

Security is a major concern because it affects not only you but also everyone whose personal data is stored in your software.

b. Ease of Use

Secondly, the software you choose should be simple to use and not require any advanced knowledge. Also, the program must be usable by you, your administrators, your volunteers, and other staff members. Overly complex software may result in serious issues for an organization.  

c. Supportive

Another crucial consideration when opting for free software tools is the accessibility of help and support resources. You never know when you might require it! Having a quick and convenient help center can help streamline the process and save time if you or a colleague ever get stuck with your software. Hence, it is best to research the resources available to you in case of an issue while you are testing out any software.

d. Collaborative

Additionally, your software ought to reflect the collaborative nature of your nonprofit. As a result, when looking for new or free software, you must consider the number of users who can access and collaborate with the program.

Also, if managing your nonprofit involves collaboration, ensure that the software’s user count does not incur additional fees. Many free cloud storage options for nonprofits are available. It’s definitely worth considering if you’re on a very tight budget but still want your team to work together!


In summary, the nonprofit sector operates efficiently with the aid of software solutions. CRMs are used by 67% of nonprofit organizations to track donations and handle communications with supporters. Several free software tools allow for efficient management of day-to-day operations. Nonprofits can leverage these tools to their advantage. 

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