Non-profit membership management software?
October 5, 2006 8:17 PM   Subscribe

What is the best software to use for managing the membership of a non-profit organization?

I've recently become the membership chairperson of an organization and I'm trying to make the process more efficient. Do any of you have any recommendations for software (preferably for OS X) to manage membership information?

The org. currently uses Access on the office computer, but it seems like overkill and I'd also like to be able to have the info on my laptop as well (hence the OS X). I need to be able to input general contact information, membership status, the date their dues were last paid, etc. I do not need to track fundraising or other financial information.

And, of course, it would be helpful if the software were open-source/free/not incredibly expensive. Is Access the way to go or is there something made especially for this kind of information?

Thanks!
posted by stefnet to Technology (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
I hear good things about drupal/civispace.
posted by The White Hat at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2006


"The org. currently uses Access on the office computer, but it seems like overkill "

I believe OpenOffice will import Access databases. It's free.

As far as overkill, no you need a database for what you're doing. First time I looked at a relatively complicated database, I thought it was overkill; then I realized why it was just as complex as needed.

You may not be the only user of the database, or their may be important functionality that's only used infrequently: annual fund-raisers, tax time, etc. It's always MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to pare down too much data than to recover data you failed to record or threw away.
posted by orthogonality at 8:59 PM on October 5, 2006


I believe OpenOffice will import Access databases. It's free.

That's actually what I'm doing right now... It's a little clunky, but it works.

Actually, I pretty much will be the only user of the database, but your advice is good because there is an opportunity for me to expand the information tracked by the database, so the complexity, while not necessary at the moment, just might come in handy (especially because I will, of course, be bringing in new members by the truck load).
posted by stefnet at 9:06 PM on October 5, 2006


salesforce.com has a great online service for this kind of account management.
posted by Kifer85 at 11:25 PM on October 5, 2006


CivicSpace
posted by mkultra at 7:18 AM on October 6, 2006


The nonprofit where I work as a membership coordinator uses Raiser's Edge, and in fact this is the only member database program I've ever used. I know it's not very helpful to have someone say "here's what not to do" but don't get Raiser's Edge. They are expensive and crappy.
posted by audrey the bug at 2:17 PM on October 6, 2006


Thanks all so far... It looks like what I'm doing is fine, but I'm also going to check out CivicSpace as I'll be reworking the org's website as well and that might come in handy for a new direction.
posted by stefnet at 4:15 PM on October 6, 2006


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