There are few things more frustrating for a fundraiser than being locked into software that they hate.

One of the most common reasons why they’re miserable is because they share software with other departments, such as finance or membership.

Here are three reasons why fundraisers should take control of their own destiny and demand dedicated donor management software:

1) Fundraising Shouldn’t Have to Play Second Fiddle

When a nonprofit uses an all-in-one system, one or more departments ultimately suffer. Usually the only department happy with the software choice is the one who drove the purchase or was responsible for the selection.

For example, if Finance holds the most sway, they will look for the features that best fit their needs, and then assume that the fundraising (or volunteer management, grant tracking, online giving, email or outcomes management, etc.) module will be good enough.

Unfortunately, the module is usually just an after-thought. In the case of fundraising, it often becomes just a place to store names and transactions, instead of a tool that helps build relationships. This limits a fundraiser’s ability to generate sustainable revenue for the organization. What could be more important?

2) Single-Purpose Apps Reign Supreme

Pull our your smartphone and unlock the home-screen.

See all those wonderful apps that you’ve downloaded? How many of them do more than one thing?

Very few.

You probably have a weather app, a note-taking app, an app that lets you check restaurant reviews, an app that lets you find the closest and cheapest hotel, and even an app that lets you catch imaginary cartoon monsters.

The best part? These single-purpose apps are really good at doing just that one thing. Their developers and designers are locked into providing the best possible solution to that one problem.

This is the direction that all software is moving (has moved).

It’s very difficult for an all-in-one software product or provider to innovate. They simply serve too many masters. The things you don’t like about the software now are probably going to be the same things you don’t like about the software in two years, or five years.

3) Integrations Open Up A World of Possibility

Through APIs (application programming interfaces), individual cloud-based software programs can easily integrate, allowing for enhanced functionality and additional insights. For example, a fund accounting, peer-to-peer or wealth screening system could interface directly with a nonprofit’s donor database, allowing for additional donor interactions to be logged and stored.

This allows the fund accounting software provider to concentrate on making their product the best fund accounting software available.

This allows the peer-to-peer fundraising software provider to concentrate on making their product the best peer-to-peer fundraising software available.

This allows the wealth screening software provider to concentrate on making their product the best wealth screening software available.

And the donor database provider can concentrate on being the best donor database available.

Isn’t that beautiful?

Ultimately, the greatest benefit is that you aren’t tied down. You’re free to go out and find the best possible solution for each of your unique challenges.

Not only is it okay for you to have your own software, its downright necessary for success.

The Buyer's Guide to Fundraising Software

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Ross Hendrickson

Ross Hendrickson

Co-Founder and CEO at Bloomerang
Ross Hendrickson is a co-founder and the CEO of Bloomerang. Prior to co-founding Bloomerang, he served as Product Manager for Bostech Corporation and later Avectra. Ross serves on the Horizon Council, the young professionals leadership council of the Indianapolis-based nonprofit Conner Prairie. He graduated with a B.S. in Economics & Engineering Science from Vanderbilt University.