I'm frequently asked about which vendors I use at A Place Called Home or recommend to clients and colleagues. Here is a short list of my current favorites. I'm happy to respond to specific questions here, or share my experience in a free exploratory call.
Favorite CRM (Customer/Constituent Relationship Management) Tool: Salesforce
Salesforce is probably the #1 CRM supporting for profit business. The company is HUGE. It is a robust tool with lots of bells and whistles that is most appropriate for medium to large non-profits (Fundraising revenue of $2M+). The platform itself is not expensive but the consultant support needed to convert to Salesforce and train up your team can be a considerable investment. If you're just starting out, check out Bloomerang. I have not used it extensively, but I hear great things and the investment is minimal.
Favorite Peer-to-Peer Fundraising platform: Classy
I was an early adopter of this platform when I was the director of development for the New Children's Museum in San Diego, CA (where Classy is based). In the last decade this company has grown tremendously and now offers event ticketing, on demand personal fundraising pages and, in my humble opinion, the most aesthetically pleasing and user friendly donation sites on the market. Also, they put out a truly USEFUL newsletter full of tips and tricks to kick your 21st century fundraising up a notch. BTW, this platform also integrates seamlessly (no really) with Salesforce.
Both of these platforms have free versions that you can audition before committing to all the bells and whistles that come with a subscription. In my experience, project management tools are only as good as you/your team's commitment to using them, every single day. The larger the team, the more focus and attention these tools should be given to really get the tremendous value they offer. If you need specific guidance on project management and streamlining operations/administrative tasks for yourself, or a small team, I have an incredible virtual assistant I can recommend. Email me for an introduction.
Favorite Wealth Screening Tool: iWave
If you are not familiar with wealth screening tools, these are platforms that effectively act as clearinghouses for all public records and pull information, on a specific individual, into one report that is accompanied by a score. This score is determined by the service's unique algorithm and is a strong indication of someone's propensity to give (combination of their capacity and interest/affinity to your cause). These tools tend to be expensive (a one year subscription for iwave exceeds $4K) but can be tremendously helpful when you're in the midst of a major campaign and you're trying to determine an appropriate gift range for stretch gifts. I do not recommend newer organizations investing in this sort of tool. There are lots of great, affordable prospect research courses available. My portfolio of services includes workshops and customized prospect research program creation consulting.