(Virtually free) charity databases – market update May 2011

‘The revolution will not be exported into a spreadsheet’ – not my words, but those of Citizen CRM.

Now I know very little about Citizen CRM, other than it appears to have taken it’s marketing spiel straight from Citizen Smith – and therefore may well be marching on Tooting Town Hall any day now…

But what I do know about Citizen CRM is that it’s one of a new breed – one of the new software as a service (‘SaaS to those in the know’) solutions designed to give charities a decent database system without a) all the cost of something like Raiser’s Edge b) all the complexity of something like Raiser’s Edge and c) all the IT headaches associated with something like R…you know what I mean.

There are others out there – Convio, a non-profit solution increasingly popular in the US of A and based upon Salesforce. CiviCRM, an open-source, not necessarily hosted solution aimed perhaps more at those in the non-profit sector with a few more techy skills, and who have a Drupal or Joomla website/CMS.

And then there’s DonorForce – a new solution, again based upon the Salesforce platform, developed by AppiChar and recently soft-launched at the Institute of Fundraising.

CiviCRM and DonorForce are/will be available in the UK – and are/will be developed to meet the needs of the UK non-profit world. Convio and Citizen CRM – well, who knows. However, the Salesforce platform looks very strong – and now that it’s being taken and developed away from it’s traditional, vanilla sales-pipeline management functions, is surely going to be an ever stronger rival to those of Blackbaud, ASI, ThankQ, Iris etc.

Watch this space…comrades