Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 39 seconds

REVIEW: Nonprofit Software 2014

For nonprofit software vendors, along with their customers and pretty much everyone else, the focus in 2014 is on relationships. These vendors have had to expand their view beyond applications that are traditionally accounting focused into solutions that are more about people, connections, and service.

The shift away from transactions and toward donor engagement makes sense for a space that largely depends on the generosity of individuals for its funding. The transition is fraught with difficulty as tools, technology and constituent demands evolve at an increasingly rapid pace. Today's donors have more options than ever to make one time contributions from devices of their choice. As a result, loyalty to a single cause (like loyalty to a particular brand) might be a thing of the past. As resources and funding sources become more limited, Non Profit organizations are increasingly dependent on software vendors to build solutions that help them foster the kind of lasting relationships that will keep them connected to an easily distracted donor community.

We will take a look at ways in which these leading vendors offer solutions to help today's Non Profits nurture lasting internal and external relationships:

• Abila
• Accufund
• Blackbaud
• Intacct
• Serenic Navigator

Abila MIP Fund Accounting
Austin, Texas
(800) 647-3863
Price: Starts at $249 per month per user; perpetual license starts at $2,995.

Abila MIP
Abila is helping nonprofits improve their relationship with their favorite devices running Apple, Android, and Windows operating systems via their online suite of tools delivered in the Abila Private Cloud. The online suite includes Abila MIP Fund Accounting, Abila Grant Management, Abila Fundraising 50, and Abila Fundraising Online.

The Abila family of products extends beyond the core nonprofit offerings and includes not only Abila Millennium, a donor relationship management solution, it also includes NetFORUM from Avectra, a social CRM solution. While NetFORUM offers donor management, crowd-contributing and membership management solutions, its recent partnership with Votility supports nonprofits who wish to "leverage the power of the social web for grassroots advocacy." The combined solution is designed to increase member engagement through increased civic participation.

Abila offers professional services to assist in product implementations. They also offer a unique program called Abila Activate, which is a yearlong fundraising course. The course for nonprofits pairs students with consultants and requires 12 weeks of online class time plus quarterly project work. Once trained, these students should be empowered with the best practices they need to create profitable donor relationships.

AccuFund Anywhere; Accounting Suite
Needham, Mass.
(877) 872-2228
Price: Core for the initial Accufund Anywhere user is $190 per month (initial users); $140 month (additional user)

AccuFund Suite, AccuFund Anywhere
AccuFund offers users a choice: solutions deployed on the cloud (Accufund Anywhere) or those delivered in a more traditional desktop environment (The Accounting Suite). Both products integrate with AccuFund CRM, a fundraising solution built on Salesforce's Force.com cloud platform.

The CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) solution fosters relationships through not only donor relationship management but also through integrated social networking, pledge management, email and productivity features.also delivers a Government Accounting Suite that includes modules for Utility Billing, Fees, Taxes and License and Court Fines.

Unlike some other vendors reviewed, AccuFund relies on close relationships with its value-added resellers in the United States for all of its sales and implementations.

Financial Edge
Charleston, S.C.
(800) 443-9441
Price: Starts at $299 per month, including maintenance and implementation.

The Financial Edge
In addition to its core tools for nonprofit accounting and fundraising, The Financial Edge and The Raiser's Edge, Blackbaud also delivers tools for direct marketing, interactive and online marketing, online event fundraising and ticketing. Its third of three ticketing solutions, SRO4 (Standing Room Only), is optimized for mobile devices and supports dynamic event pricing and special promotions powered by a customizable rules engine.

When it comes to connecting donors with nonprofits, Blackbaud has taken a novel approach. Blackbaud's 2011 investment in Australian company Everyday Hero resulted in the 2014 launch of Everydayhero in the United States. Everydayhero is a Blackbaud service that taps into the popularity of crowd funding and other social media sites to create a "Giving Footprint". It allows donors to aggregate information from Twitter, Facebook, VolunteerMatch, and MapMyFitness to create a full view of their charitable activities.

The Everydayhero application ties into the global quantified self movement and allows donors to see the relationship between their individual efforts and support for a cause.

San Jose, Calif.
(877) 437-7765
Price: Business User licenses starts at $210 per month per user. Operational/Project Manager user license starts at $50 per month per user.

Intacct is a cloud-based solution designed for organizations of all kinds – both those in pursuit of profit and those who are supporting a cause. Intacct is hoping to enhance internal relationships thanks to its recent integration with Sales Force Chatter. According to Intacct, "Sales Force Chatter brings social into the back office". The company's integration with Chatter provides a social layer for collaboration, communication, and updates across the solution for companies of all kinds, whether or not they are using Salesforce to manage their customer (or donor) relationships.

As a SaaS solution born on the cloud, Intacct has been used by nonprofit and faith-based organizations seeking a modern solution offering enhanced automation, visibility and flexibility. Thanks to its multi-currency and multi-entity functionality, Intacct is a great fit for organizations that have multiple programs, locations, or ministries. Intacct's third party integration allows data to flow freely with applications like ADP, Avalara, PayPal, AssetEdge, Salesforce.com, OrangeLeap, Adaptive Planning, Sugar CRM, and many more which are available from the Intacct Marketplace.

Recent updates in Intacct include Outcome Metrics and enhanced dashboards designed to keep nonprofits on top of their performance and in a positive relationship with their numbers.

Serenic Navigator
Serenic Software
Lakewood, Colo.
(877) 737-3642
Price: Serenic Navigator Enterprise starts at $13,000 for three full users for a perpetual on-premise license. Cloud subscription also available. Navigator Express, $99 (full user per month); $15 (limited user per month); Navigator Essentials, $149 (full user per month); $29.99 (limited user per month).

Serenic Navigator
Serenic offers different editions for nonprofits as they grow, starting with its cloud offering Serenic Navigator Express, then Essentials, and growing into the more robust Enterprise solution used by nonprofits, public sector and NGOs around the world.

With Navigator Express and Essentials, nonprofit employees are free to access Serenic Navigator remotely. Thanks to the affordability of Navigator's limited-user option, and the zero-footprint Web client, it is easy and affordable to provide all employees with access to just the information they need to keep their projects moving forward without worrying about overspending or approval delays.

Lasting donor relationships depend on a strong internal team. That means that nonprofit organizations must manage Payroll, Human Resources and Benefits in a professional manner. Serenic offers support for the employee/employer relationship in the form of a new HRIS system that is fully integrated with Serenic Navigator Enterprise as well Serenic's HCM payroll system.

When it comes to data, Serenic lets nonprofits form a close relationship with the information they need to run their organizations thanks to the integration of Serenic Navigator and Serenic DonorVision with Microsoft Office 365. The Microsoft Office 365 tools, which are available at no charge to many nonprofits, give NFP employees and volunteers the ability to access their data, documents, contacts and tools from any location and from any device.

Geni Whitehouse CPA.CITP, CSPM
Geni Whitehouse, CPA.CITP, CSPM is the Founder of Even a Nerd Can Be Heard, an organization focused on communication skills for smart people.  With past roles ranging from partner in a CPA firm to leader of the technology practice in a firm, she has a wide range of experiences to share.  She is a former software company executive and industry analyst and a two-time graduate of the Jeff Justice Comedy Workshoppe. She is passionate about finding interesting ways to talk about what some might consider boring subjects and has discovered that there is no shortage of material. She is the author of How to Make a Boring Subject Interesting : 52 ways even a nerd can be heard.
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