Seeking a software solution for your organization? Check out some other programs and companies that handle donations and fundraising, or other needs of charities and churches.
We do not endorse any of these other products, or (in most cases) offer opinions about them. (Naturally, we'd like you to use the DONATION program if it suits your needs. Check out Why Choose DONATION? before selecting a different program.)
If you know of other products that should be on these lists, please contact Cooperstock Software.
Some products that we do recommend to our users are on the Recommended Products and Services page.
Nuverb Systems's comparison chart of programs for churches, including DONATION. (Nuverb makes Donarius.)
MBS Inc. (Ministry Business Services) does an annual Church & Donor Management Software (ChMS) article, with a feature chart and list of vendor details, that lists the combined features of DONATION and ACCOUNTS, under Software4Nonprofits. We feel that DONATION comes off appearing somewhat unfairly lacking in features in this chart, because they don't happen to list a lot of features that DONATION has.
Here are a few products specific to non-profits and churches. Many of these descriptions come from the product web sites.
ebase is a free database program for non-profits. It has a lot more features and capabilities than DONATION, and appears to be suitable for much larger organizations than DONATION is. Correspondingly, however, it is significantly more complex to use and to learn to use. It says that it works in Canada and the U.S.A.
Donarius from Nuverb Systems Inc. is a system for churches and charities. As of 2015, the vae version costs $64 US, or $48 US for smaller organizations. Additional modules are available for additional cost, such as pledge tracking, handling gifts in kind, mail-merge letters, or customized receipts. There is an evaluation copy available to download. It is a Canadian company.
Nuverb Systems has also created a comparison chart of a number of Donation Tracking Products, including their Donarius and our DONATION program. It's at www.donarius.com/comparison.html.
Advanced Solutions International, Inc. sells iMIS Fundraising and other iMIS products. It's a major fundraising package for large organizations and charities, starting at $150/user/month.
eTapestry is fundraising software that works on the web. It starts at $119/month for up to 1,000 records.
DonorPerfect sent the following information:
DonorPerfect is available as both an installed package and an online, browser-based application. Both versions are quite scalable and very flexible. DonorPerfect is a bilingual product and is available in both French and English. There is a Canadian version of the software that addresses Canadian charity law and forms and can track USD or CAD.
Pricing varies, but there is (or, as of April 2005, will shortly be) a subscription available for their online version for less than $100/month. Their installed version starts at $1,200.
Roll Call Church Software from By the Book is a church management system which tracks membership, contributions, groups, and classes, and also does child check-in. It works on both Windows PCs and Macs. Pricing starts at $129 for up to 100 names and a single user, which includes support for the first 3 months. Support and upgrade contracts are available at various price points.
BasicFunder Premier from Jellyware Corporation is a powerful and affordable, full-featured fundraising database program that you can customize to meet the specific needs of your organization. It works for both Canada and the U.S.A., and costs $399US, with an annual support fee of $120US after the first year.
GiftWorks is the former name of a program that is now called FrontStream CRM fundraising software. Existing users who had purchased GiftWorks were forced in 2014 to switch to a monthly payment plan, and as a result many switched away from it. (DONATION can convert an existing GiftWorks database - see Switching to DONATION for details.)
FrontStream starts at $90/month, with a $499 setup fee.
CiviCRM is an open source and freely downloadable constituent relationship management solution. CiviCRM is web-based, internationalized, and designed specifically to meet the needs of advocacy, non-profit and non-governmental groups. One component of CiviCRM is CiviContribute, for tracking contributions (including charitable donations). It does not currently have specific features for handling Canadian receipts, but it is quite likely sufficient for U.S. receipts, where the requirements are less strict.
Membership PLUS from ACS Technologies was apparently the most commonly used church management software system, according to Christian Computing Magazine's 2006 Church and Donor Management Software Overview. However, we have heard quite a lot of negative feedback about it from our users, and many users have switched from earlier versions of it to DONATION. One of the problems seems to be that it has been sold from one company to another several times. ACS has replaced it with their Realm web-based software, which starts at $29/month for up to 50 people in weekly church attendance.
Wild Apricot is described by them as follows: Wild Apricot membership website and database management software brings together all the tools you need to efficiently run your organization. With our web-based system, you can grow membership numbers, improve member satisfaction and grow revenues, as well as easily track membership information and produce professional-looking reports. What's more, Wild Apricot is affordable even for the smallest non-profit organization. Billable plans start at $25 per month. 30 day free trial!
Although you can create tax receipts with Wild Apricot, you have to create your own template for that. For Canadian users, this could require a lot of work (and frequent changes) to satisfy all of the CRA's requirements for different sorts of receipts, including donations with advantage, gifts in kind, and replacement and corrected receipts. (DONATION takes care of all of those issues for you automatically.)
Live and Silent Auction Software handles your charity auction needs including Auction Catalogs, Silent Auction Bid Sheets, Invoicing, Reporting and Attendee Management.
DoJiggy online fundraising software has solutions for both general online donations and various types of fundraising events.
Seraphim Software is a web-based church management system including visitor and member management, reporting and analytics, contribution tracking and online giving, and check-in. Their lowest priced option for small churches (average attendance under 120) is $75/month. For larger churches it is $0.65 per regular attender per month.
Tech Soup - "The Technology Place for Nonprofits"
The Chronicle of Philanthropy - The Newspaper of the Nonprofit World.
Idealware is a U.S. charity that provides candid Consumer-Reports-style reviews and articles about software of interest to nonprofits. Through product comparisons, recommendations, case studies, and software news, Idealware allows nonprofits to make the software decisions that will help them be more effective.
NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network, is a membership organization of nonprofit professionals who put technology to use for their causes. NTEN is a community of peers who share technology solutions across the sector and support each other's work. NTEN enables its members to embrace advances in technology through knowledge sharing, trainings, research and industry analysis.
In April, 2009, Idealware in conjunction with NTEN completed A Consumers Guide to Low Cost Donor Management Systems, a review and comparison of 33 "low cost" (meaning under $4,250 in the first year!) donor management systems. DONATION was reviewed in it, and although it had fewer features than they were looking for in general, it was still selected as one of three "Best Bets" recommendations for users who "Just need the basics". The other two were GiftWorks and BasicFunder Premier.
MinistryTech Magazine (formerly called Christian Computing Magazine or CCMag) - A free, monthly emailed magazine with articles, reviews and advertisements related to computer software for churches, and other computer issues from a Christian standpoint. They reviewed DONATION in their August 2007 issue, which unfortunately is no longer available online. They seem to have a policy of only writing articles about software vendors who regularly advertise with them (which we do not).
Nonprofit Information is a site that amalgamates helpful articles for nonprofits. We have a paid submission of an article about our products there, titled A Simple, Affordable Way to Manage your Donations, Receipting and Accounting.
Solutions for Secretaries of Small NPO's is an interesting-looking book, together with a web site including a discussion forum, for the secretaries and administrators of small non-profit organizations (specifically in the USA). Note: I haven't actually read the book, but I did look at the table of contents and a sample chapter. It includes a free Microsoft Access application (which requires Access) for tracking members and donations.
CanadaHelps.org accepts online donations for almost all Canadian charities, and issues electronic receipts Charities can register for free to receive better services and listings. A credit card transaction fee (3% as of July, 2006) is deducted from donations (it is paid directly to the credit card companies, not kept by CanadaHelps.org). CanadaHelps.org is itself a charity.
CharityVillage.com is a major general website for the Canadian nonprofit sector. It contains news, jobs, information and resources for executives, staffers, donors, and volunteers. They also published and article I wrote, "Why not to create a do-it-yourself donation tracking and receipting system".
Church Treasurers of Canada Inc. assists treasurers, bookkeepers and financial administrators of churches and ministries as they deal with the unique problems of their position. The website provides plenty of free information, while those who purchase a membership have additional benefits including access to the Member's Only page and receiving individual attention to their specific questions. They regularly recommend our DONATION program.
Canadian Council of Christian Charities is a membership-based organization that offers a lot of good resources and advice to charities, both through information on their web site, a phone support line, and a very helpful bi-monthly bulletin (that can be subscribed to without purchasing a membership).
WorkInNonProfits.ca aims to help build and strengthen Canada's non-profit sector by connecting non-profits across the country with job seekers as well as suppliers of services and products.