I’ve been enjoying the discussion in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s LinkedIn group in response to the question, “What’s a good, affordable donor database program for a small non profit?” (you’ll probably need to join the group to read the responses). There have been 120 responses so far, and they’ve been all over the map, from expensive, high-end systems to free ones, from established players to new ones. My unofficial tally is that Raiser’s Edge and Salesforce have been mentioned the most. Raiser’s Edge gets mostly high marks, but is described as too expensive and complex for a small nonprofit. Salesforce has the most disparate comments, ranging from “I am a huge Salesforce fan” and “Salesforce is excellent!” to “I do not recommend SalesForce, even if it is free” and “It may be free, but as someone with software development experience, I found administration of it to be much too complex for the average nonprofit user.”
Are you a Salesforce nonprofit user? If so, is it working for you? What do you think are the keys to success?