31 Free And Affordable Software Options For Nonprofits On A Budget

KindfulMarch 16, 2021

Whether you’re brand new and still waiting for funding or an established nonprofit that needs to cut costs, we understand your budget can be tight. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the tools you need to operate your organization effectively.

Nonprofit software helps organizations manage their day-to-day functions like administration, fundraising, donor relations, accounting, marketing, and more. It also keeps you organized by reducing data redundancy, tracking donor activity, and providing automatic reports.

Not to worry: Your nonprofit software suite doesn’t have to account for a huge part of your budget. There are plenty of free tools you can use instead.

In this post, we’ll share our favorite free and affordable software options for nonprofits on a budget. Though it’s not as ideal as investing in an integrated software solution, these options will certainly help you get by until you can invest in one.

Our only caveat? There’s no such thing as free software. We’ll make sure you know about any fees or limitations you may incur by using the free versions of these software options. Let’s dive in:

Free and affordable contact management software

Bloomerang

Product image of Bloomerang donor management software

  • What it does: Bloomerang is a donor management and fundraising software that allows nonprofits to organize their donor records and optimize donor engagement through tracking and reporting.
  • How you can use it: Bloomerang allows you to ditch the spreadsheet and unlock your engagement potential with gift tracking, wealth screening, and smart reporting. With Bloomerang, donor communication works automatically and provides you with the information you need at the right time.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Bloomerang Lite allows you up to 250 contacts and $100k in annual revenue, which is the perfect amount if you’re just starting out. If you need more, they offer a graduated pricing scale based on the number of contacts you need.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Join It

Product image of Join It membership management software

  • What it does: Join It is a membership software that gives you a landing space to organize all your contacts and donors. With an intuitive and readable interface, you can seamlessly view each member’s details so you know just how to connect.
  • How you can use it: Join It offers several ways to segment your members, as well as membership management features that allow you to collect donations and automate reminders. With Join It, you’ll ensure your donors are nurtured with no added stress for you.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Join It’s free version allows you up to 100 members and nonprofit discounts if you decide to upgrade.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can integrate your Join It membership data with Kindful.

Golden

Product image of Golden volunteer management platform for nonprofits

  • What it does: Golden is a volunteer management software that allows you to organize, recruit, and track your nonprofit’s volunteer force. With Golden, you can start mobilizing your network toward accomplishing your goals in no time.
  • How you can use it: With Golden, you can run background checks, collect signups, and measure the influence of your volunteers automatically.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Golden’s free volunteer management plan allows you to start scheduling, tracking, and programming instantly through a simple sign-up process. The free version only lets you have three user logins and limited integrations.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can integrate your Golden volunteers with Kindful.

Salesforce

  • What it does: Salesforce is a CRM software that allows you to organize and communicate with your donors and contacts. Salesforce also provides you with the marketing tools to place your message in the hands of those most likely to support you.
  • How you can use it: With Salesforce, you can automatically organize your contacts, segment your audience for targeted communication, and track your data to optimize your donation campaigns.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Through the Power of Us Program, eligible nonprofits get ten free subscriptions to Salesforce’s nonprofit package and discounts on other products.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No, Salesforce is an alternative to Kindful.

Google Sheets

  • What it does: Google Sheets is similar to your standard Excel spreadsheet, where you can create rows and columns for the donor information that’s important to you.
  • How you can use it: While Google Sheets is a useful database tool, it doesn’t have CRM or donor management software features. The upside is that all of its functions are free to use with your Google account.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: It’s genuinely free, but you limit yourself to simple data collection.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with Zapier, you can import your contacts into Kindful from your Google Sheet.

Free and affordable form and signup tools

JotForm

Example of using JotForm form builder to collect donations

  • What it does: JotForm is an online application that allows you to create custom online forms. Its incredibly intuitive user interface allows you to drag-and-drop the building blocks of the form you need.
  • How you can use it: JotForm provides you with the tools to improve the experience of your donors and volunteers with signups, registrations, and surveys.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: JotForm’s free online forms plan limits your access with only five forms and 100 submissions per month. JotForm also offers a 50% discount on paid plans if you decide you want to upgrade.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with Zapier you can import your JotForm contacts into Kindful.

SignUpGenius

Example of using SignUpGenius to collect donations

  • What it does: SignUpGenius has become a household name in the volunteer and event organization world. With SignUpGenius’s intuitive software, you can make sure you have the information you need for your next event, fundraiser, or volunteer opportunity.
  • How you can use it: Like JotForm, SignUpGenius allows you to collect and organize the information critical to your nonprofit’s outreach and mission.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: SignUpGenius offers a lot with their free form building plan, including unlimited signup pages and an individual URL for each published signup. However, you will get a limited amount of administrators, fewer customizations, and ads attached to your forms.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with Zapier you can import SignUpGenius contacts into Kindful when a contact is added to a group or when a new slot is filled on sign up.

Free and affordable productivity software

Google Workspace

Example of using Google Workspace for nonprofit team productivity

  • What it does: Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Google Meet—Google Workspace is a collection of Google productivity tools that help your team collaborate efficiently.
  • How you can use it: Use Google Workspace tools to stay connected with your team, especially in today’s remote workforce. Collaborate on grant applications or annual reports using Google Docs. Schedule a virtual meeting using Google Calendar and Google Meet. Even collect volunteer registrations using Google Forms.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: With Google Workspace for nonprofits, you can have up to 100 participant video meetings and 30 GB of cloud storage per user for free. You can also upgrade to paid plans at up to a 75% discounted rate.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Partially. With Kindful BCC, you can automatically track email communication between Admins and Contacts in Kindful.

HelloSign

Example of collecting an e-signature with HelloSign

  • What it does: HelloSign provides an easy way to send, receive, and manage legally binding electronic signatures—all online.
  • How you can use it: With all the volunteers, contractors, corporate partners, and other stakeholders you work with, HelloSign makes the administrative work easy so you don’t miss a beat on your fundraising campaigns, volunteer programs, or events.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: With the free HelloSign plan, you can only send three signature requests per month, so you’ll likely have to invest in a paid plan to make full use of the platform. We recommend using their 30-day free trial to further evaluate your return on investment on the tool.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with Zapier you can import a contact into Kindful when a form is sent, viewed, or signed.

Asana

  • What it does: Asana is project management software that allows you to manage your team’s work, projects, and tasks online and in one place.
  • How you can use it: Use Asana to collaborate with your team and keep track of your projects and programs. Add your staff, board members, regular volunteers, and more to make sure all your stakeholders are collaborating efficiently.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: With Asana’s free plan, you add up to 15 teammates. You can get any of their paid plans at a 50% discounted rate with Asana’s nonprofit pricing.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Trello

  • What it does: Trello is productivity software that allows you to create boards, lists, and cards to manage projects and organize tasks in one central location. If you like the Kanban project management method, Trello is a great choice for project management.
  • How you can use it: With Trello, you can better organize your team’s work with features like task assignment, timelines, productivity metrics, and calendars. This helps you stay on the same page with all of your nonprofit stakeholders, from full-time staff to volunteers and board members.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Trello is free with up to 10 boards. You’ll have limitations on features like power-ups and automations with the free plan. You can get a paid plan at a 75% discounted rate with the Trello nonprofit discount.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Dropbox

  • What it does: Dropbox is a cloud-based file sharing platform that allows you to store and share photos, documents, and other files.
  • How you can use it: If you’re still storing your files directly on your computer, it’s time to consider a secure, cloud-based storage system. Use Dropbox to keep your files safe, secure, and shareable with your collaborators.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Dropbox Basic provides up to 2 GB of storage at no cost. There is a Dropbox nonprofit discount available for paid versions of Dropbox and Dropbox Paper through TechSoup.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Slack

  • What it does: Slack is a workplace communication tool that keeps your inbox clean and gives you controls to limit the messages you receive outside of your work hours.
  • How you can use it: Use Slack to streamline communication with your organization’s collaborators. Create channels, use direct messages, and video chat to make it easier for your stakeholders to collaborate on programs, upcoming events, fundraising campaigns, and more.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: With Slack’s free plan, you can have as many channels as you want, but you will have limitations for how many messages you can search for and how many integrations you use. You can also upgrade at a discounted rate with Slack’s nonprofit discount—depending on your organization’s size.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Free and affordable fundraising software

Qgiv

Product image of Qgiv fundraising software

  • What it does: Qgiv is a platform that allows you to accept donations online and in person. With Qgiv, you can easily set up a donation page and begin receiving donations from anywhere.
  • How you can use it: Qgiv allows you to set fundraising goals and stylized progress thermometers so your donors can keep track of your goals. Additionally, these can be easily branded and pasted on your website or newsletter to keep your network updated on your progress.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: The free version of Qgiv still maintains a transaction fee of 3.95% + $0.30 per transaction.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can expand your online fundraising suite and seamlessly store all of your data in Kindful.

GivingFuel

Giving Fuel Fundraising Software Product Image

  • What it does: GivingFuel is a fundraising and donation platform that allows your nonprofit to customize a donation page, manage recurring donations, and digitally share your fundraising links with your network.
  • How you can use it: GivingFuel allows you to solicit and track your donations so that you can plan for your nonprofit’s maximum impact.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: GivingFuel’s free version has a 2.99% fee per donation up to the first $5,000 you raise. After that, you can choose to upgrade or remain on the free version for 3% + 2.99% processing fees per donation.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, all GivingFuel donations and donor data seamlessly integrate with Kindful.

PayPal

Product image of PayPal donation experience

  • What it does: PayPal is an online e-commerce and payment processing software that allows you to send and receive money securely within your network. With PayPal, your donors can rest assured their donations will be safely processed by a company trusted by nonprofits and businesses alike.
  • How you can use it: PayPal allows you to integrate donations right into your website and receive in-person transactions on the fly. Additionally, PayPal allows your donors to set up recurring payments so you know who you can count on for sustained support.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: PayPal’s discounted nonprofit rate is 2.2% + $0.30 per transaction with no other fees.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can store all your PayPal donation data and sync your contact data to Kindful.

Learn more about PayPal for Nonprofits

DonorSearch

Product image of DonorSearch free donor prospect tool

  • What it does: DonorSearch is a prospect screening service that provides insights on the giving potential of your current and future donors.
  • How you can use it: With DonorSearch’s data, you can make confident and informed fundraising asks to the right donors at the right time.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: DSGiving is a free prospect research tool provided by DonorSearch. You can search by a name or business to see all of their charitable and political gifts.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with the built-in Wealth Insights feature, you can use DonorSearch to segment your donors in Kindful based on suggested fundraising strategies for different types of prospects.

CauseVox

  • What it does: CauseVox is a digital fundraising software that allows your nonprofit to collect online and in-person donations seamlessly. CauseVox prides itself on its intuitive interface, which will enable you to start fundraising with minimal effort.
  • How you can use it: CauseVox’s features like donation forms, campaign pages, and donation buttons can be added to your website or web campaigns, so your donors know exactly where to go to support your mission.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: CauseVox’s free plan limits the users and features you have access to; however, regardless of your plan, there is a standard 2.2% + $0.30 per donation processing fee.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, using Zapier you can import fundraising and donation data from CauseVox to Kindful.

GoFundMe Charity

  • What it does: GoFundMe Charity allows your nonprofit to raise money for your mission and inspire peer-to-peer fundraising among your supporters. With GoFundMe Charity, you can set custom-branded fundraising campaigns and achieve your impact goals.
  • How you can use it: With GoFundMe Charity, you can easily create fundraising pages and campaigns so that your donors know where to go to contribute to your mission.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: GoFundMe’s free version maintains a 3% platform fee on top of the industry-standard fee of 2.2% + $0.30 per donation. GoFundMe Charity does offer your donors the opportunity to cover these fees with their donation, so you could receive the full amount.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Bonfire

  • What it does: Bonfire is a platform that allows you to raise money by creating and selling custom t-shirts.
  • How you can use it: Bonfire provides you with all the design templates, tools, and resources to make t-shirts that fundraise now and continue marketing afterward. Additionally, Bonfire gives you the infrastructure to set up an online store, so those interested in your mission have a safe place to donate.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Bonfire is entirely free to use; however, there is an 8% processing fee and additional shipping costs that vary with location.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Free and affordable marketing software

Google AdWords

Example of a Google Ad Grant

  • What it does: Google AdWords is an online advertising tool for Google.
  • How you can use it: With Google AdWords you can leverage search engine marketing to drive awareness of your mission, increase online donations, get more volunteers, or connect the right people with the services you provide.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Google Ad Grant provides your nonprofit with up to $10,000 of free advertising per month. You’ll also want to consider the skills necessary to set up your advertising campaigns. If you don’t have a team member with Google AdWords experience, you can have someone get certified in Google Ad Grants. Alternatively, you could find pro-bono Google Ad Grant consulting or invest in a digital marketing agency that specializes in Google Ad Grant management.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Partially. Kindful has partnered with Google to offer exclusive, powerful tools to help Kindful users make the most of their Ad Grants.

Mailchimp

Product image of Mailchimp website building tool

  • What it does: You may know Mailchimp as one of the best email marketing providers for nonprofits, but Mailchimp also has other marketing features like CRM, website building, and A/B testing.
  • How you can use it: Mailchimp is an excellent marketing platform for small nonprofits to send emails, build your website, and keep your contact data organized—ideally with the help of a nonprofit CRM.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Mailchimp’s free plan allows you to have up to 2,000 contacts plus access to several other marketing features like the CRM, website builder, Mailchimp domain, and landing pages.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can segment your donors in Kindful and email them in Mailchimp.

Constant Contact

  • What it does: Constant Contact is a popular email marketing provider that offers other marketing solutions like ecommerce, website building, and social marketing.
  • How you can use it: You can use Constant Contact to sell your products and merchandise, run your advertising campaigns, and send segmented email campaigns. We recommend Constant Contact for its unique marketing consulting features.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: The good news is, you can save up to 30% with Constant Contact nonprofit pricing. The bad news? There’s actually no free plan. You can do a 60-day free trial before paying for their most affordable plan at $20/month before the nonprofit discount.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can segment your donors in Kindful and email them in Constant Contact.

WooCommerce

Example of using Woocommerce in WordPress

  • What it does: WooCommerce is an e-commerce platform designed specifically for WordPress.
  • How you can use it: If your website is hosted by WordPress, get the WooCommerce plugin to create your online store. Sell your products, merchandise, or adoption/sponsorship support opportunities directly on your website.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: WooCommerce is free, but you’ll need a WordPress account to use it. That means even if you have a free WordPress plan, you’ll still have to pay hosting and domain fees to have access to WooCommerce.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with Zapier you can import WooCommerce transactions into Kindful on a new purchase or when a subscription is created.

Buffer

  • What it does: Buffer is a social media planning platform that allows you to schedule your posts, analyze campaigns, and engage with your followers.
  • How you can use it: Let your social media run itself with Buffer’s social media automation tools. Plus, easily see engagement opportunities with your followers.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Buffer offers a limited free plan that allows you to have up to three social channels, ten scheduled posts, and one user. Nonprofits can also claim the Buffer 50% nonprofit discount for their paid plans.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Canva

  • What it does: Canva is a graphic design tool that’s easy for anyone to use with their library of templates, graphs, photo editing tools, and stock illustrations.
  • How you can use it: Can’t afford a graphic designer? Use Canva to create your social media posts, annual reports, advertising assets, website images, and more.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Canva nonprofit pricing gives you access to their premium features for up to ten users, but you will still have to pay for some premium elements like photos, illustrations, and designs.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

YouTube

  • What it does: YouTube is one of the world’s leading video content platforms, powered by Google. You can take advantage of the YouTube Nonprofit Program to unlock nonprofit-specific features.
  • How you can use it: Share your nonprofit’s story by hosting your videos on YouTube. With the YouTube Nonprofit Program, you’ll have access to exclusive giving features, nonprofit lessons through Creator Academy, and YouTube’s global creator studio for shooting or editing videos.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: It really is free.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Facebook

  • What it does: Facebook is one of the world’s leading social media networks.
  • How you can use it: Try Facebook’s fundraising tools to include a donate button on your Facebook page and empower your supporters’ crowdfunding efforts.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Facebook is free to use.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Read our nonprofit guide to understanding Facebook fundraising

Free and affordable event & video software

Eventbrite

Example Eventbrite event for nonprofits

  • What it does: One of the world leaders in online ticketing, Eventbrite allows you to create event registration pages and collect tickets from your supporters for in-person and virtual events.
  • How you can use it: Create a landing page for your networking, fundraising, volunteer appreciation, or any other kind of event. With the Zoom integration, Eventbrite can also function as your virtual event platform.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: You have options with Eventbrite pricing. With their Essentials package, there is a 2% + $0.79 fee per paid ticket. You can either deduct the fees from your payout or pass the fees on to your attendees. If you pass the fees on to your attendees, Eventbrite is free to use.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, you can track your Eventbrite ticket sales in Kindful and filter by event attendance.

Ticket Tailor

  • What it does: Ticket Tailor is an online ticketing service that makes it easy to manage your events.
  • How you can use it: Collect tickets, check in your attendees, and generate additional donations with Ticket Tailor’s optional attendee donation feature.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Ticket Tailor is free for free events. For paid tickets, you’ll pay between $0.26 and $0.65 per ticket plus a 20% nonprofit discount.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: Yes, with Zapier you can import Ticket Tailor transactions into Kindful on ticket purchase.

Zoom

  • What it does: If 2020 gave us anything, it’s the prevalence of video conferencing software like Zoom for remote team meetings, virtual events, and live webinars. Zoom can power the video conferencing and streaming you need to keep your organization moving.
  • How you can use it: Stay connected with your team even when you’re remote. Keep your supporters engaged with live events and webinars.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: Zoom Basic is available for free for up to 100 participants, 40-minute group meetings, and unlimited one-on-one meetings. You can also access a Zoom nonprofit discount through TechSoup.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Read our tips for fighting Zoom fatigue in a virtual world

Google Meet

  • What it does: Google Meet is a Google Workspace product that provides secure video conferencing for your team.
  • How you can use it: If you use G-Suite, Google Meet is a great way to stay connected with your remote team members, board of directors, and supporters.
  • Hidden fees or limitations: With Google Workspace for Nonprofits, Google Meet is included free for up to 100 participant video meetings.
  • Kindful CRM Integration: No.

Our tips for building your software suite on a budget

Kindful is an integrated CRM that brings together the tools you’re already using. Schedule a demo to learn more about how Kindful can move your mission forward by bringing your software together.

Filed Under:   Donor Management