Fundraising CRM vs. Fundraising Platform: What’s the difference?

Nonprofit Management

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There’s a lot of fundraising software available to nonprofits, but how do you know what your nonprofit needs? And what’s the difference between a fundraising CRM and a fundraising platform? This blog post will break down what a fundraising CRM is, what a fundraising platform is, and the key differences between them. We’ll even introduce you to a couple different fundraising CRMs and the Qgiv fundraising platform so you know where to look for your fundraising software needs. 

What is a fundraising CRM?

A CRM, or Constituent Relationship Manager, is software that makes it easy to retain information about your constituents. There are for-profit and nonprofit CRMs out there. A nonprofit CRM is a donor database where information about your donors is stored. Your CRM can include donation information, donor addresses, and other relevant information about your donors. However, a fundraising CRM doesn’t have the ability to accept donations. 

While not a fundraising platform, a CRM can help with fundraising. It will store the historic records of donors’ contributions to your nonprofit. You can search your CRM for a donor’s giving history when you’re planning an appeal, prepping for a donor visit, or just getting to know your constituents. Your CRM is great for identifying patterns in giving, offering clues about which donors are good prospects for major gifts, and more. 

What is a fundraising platform?

A fundraising platform, on the other hand, is a tool for accepting online donations for your nonprofit. A fundraising platform can include many different tools from basic online donation forms to text fundraising to peer-to-peer and auction event management. The point is, the software should help you process donations securely online. 

While not a CRM, your fundraising platform does capture data about your donors that you can put to work for your nonprofit by establishing an integration between your fundraising platform and a CRM. Qgiv, a fundraising platform, integrates with several leading nonprofit CRMs so that you can put the data you learn about your donors to use.

Why is a CRM important for fundraising?

There are several great reasons to invest in a fundraising CRM. They’re helpful for keeping records of your donors. You can often add attributes, track donor histories, and even make segmented donor lists to aid you in targeting your communications. With integrations to your fundraising platform, you can maintain your records automatically and without human error. This can be a huge time saver for your staff and volunteers. 

Why is a fundraising platform important for fundraising?

A fundraising platform is absolutely essential in the digital age. Online giving grew 21 percent in 2020 and made up roughly 13% of all gifts in 2020 (up from 8.7% of total giving in 2019). With increased demand for online giving, nonprofits need a fundraising platform to stay on top of giving trends. As online giving grows, fundraising platforms will become more important. 

A fundraising platform will help you manage your online giving, simple events, auctions, and peer-to-peer fundraisers. If that platform supports integrations to CRMs and other services, you’re able to make your donor data portable and automate many of your fundraising processes. 

Get to know two popular fundraising CRMs

Meet Bloomerang. They’re one of our partner CRMs and do a great job of supporting nonprofits through a variety of features, including: 

  • an interactive dashboard 
  • a constituent timeline 
  • wealth screening tools 
  • an engagement meter to measure engagement 
  • data segmentation 
  • and integrations with other software for fundraisers, like Qgiv 

Meet DonorPerfect. They’re another partner CRM that comes highly recommended because of their features, including: 

  • a unified constituent database 
  • fundraising CRM customization and flexibility 
  • comprehensive constituent relations management 
  • an advanced data import tool 
  • advanced batch entry 

Get to know the Qgiv fundraising platform

In 2007, Qgiv was founded by a couple of friends looking for a way to make it easy for nonprofit, faith-based, and political organizations to accept online donations and payments. A concept grown from a dorm room almost 15 years ago, Qgiv now provides thoughtfully-designed, user-friendly fundraising software to some pretty great people at more than 5,500 organizations in the US and Canada. 

Qgiv offers a variety of tools that help make fundraising easier for nonprofit organizations. 

Accept donations online with modern, customizable donation forms

With Qgiv’s online donation forms nonprofits can: 

  • Easily create and customize fully branded donation forms 
  • Attract new donors and boost conversion rates 
  • Engage donors with personal touches throughout the giving process 
Try Qgiv's demo and experience a comprehensive online fundraising platform.

Collect event registrations online with fast registration forms

With simple event forms, nonprofits can start collecting event registrations online in minutes. From creating your registration form to running event reports, the Qgiv platform makes coordinating your fundraising event easy. 

Engage your donors with online peer-to-peer fundraising events

Qgiv’s Peer-to-Peer tools make it possible to empower supporters to fundraise on your behalf. Use peer-to-peer fundraising to:  

  • Increase awareness and support for your mission 
  • Easily create beautiful branded events 
  • Engage and motivate supporters to fundraise on your behalf 
  • Sell sponsorships and merchandise in your online store 

 Host in-person or virtual silent auction events

With Qgiv Auctions, it’s easy to host dazzling auction and gala events without the stress of paper bids, long checkout lines, or payment reconciliation.  

  • Easily create branded pages for virtual, live, and hybrid events 
  • Collect registration, sponsor, and bidder information 
  • Engage virtual and in-person guests with a powerful bidding experience 
  • Raise additional funds with raffle tickets, fund-a-need items, and drink sales 

Collect donations from donors on the go with text fundraising tools 

Text fundraising offer donors the opportunity to give with their phones anytime, anywhere. Qgiv’s text fundraising is a fast and effective way to communicate with donors on the devices that are always with them. 

  • Reach and engage more donors with outbound messaging 
  • Raise more with automated reminders that encourage gift completion 
  • Send personalized campaign messages to the right people at the right time 
  • Create an engaging experience during events with live screencasts 

Final thoughts

Your nonprofit would likely benefit from both a CRM and a fundraising platform. While a fundraising CRM makes it easy to organize your donors, your fundraising platform makes it possible to accept donations online. Want a fundraising CRM that integrates with your fundraising platform? Using a CRM and fundraising platform that integrate together can make a big difference to your fundraising success!  

Looking for a robust fundraising platform that works with the best nonprofit CRMs? Give Qgiv a try. 

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