The Best Accounting Software for Nonprofits in 2021

By Henri Gisclard-Biondi
Published: 7/20/21
software backgroundSmall business CRM software for 2021: Reviews and Comparison

Running a nonprofit organization is no easy task. This endeavour requires constant dedication and unflinching commitment. Churches and charities spend much of their time filing tax returns and claiming grants.

These time-consuming tasks, as essential as they may be for funding your charitable activities, also take the focus away from more important actions. Hence why finding the best nonprofit accounting software could be of great help to your organisation.

Let Appvizer guide you through the process of choosing the right accounting software for your organization: our comparison highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the best accounting software for nonprofits.

What accounting software can do for your nonprofit

Accounting software is mostly thought of as being used mainly by for-profit organisations. But registered charities also have many needs that can only be met by this kind of solution. Of course, their requirements and goals are not the same as a traditional business. This is why dedicated charity accounting software exists.

These platforms are designed to help your organisation streamline most processes related to your finances, tax reports, gift aid and more. Dedicated software solutions’ most useful features include:

  • Insightful dashboards and reports: track donations in real-time and run reports based on automated bank statement imports to analyze your financial data without painstaking data entry.
  • Donor management systems: you can record various types of donations, sometimes complete with tools to make payments easier, for example with support for direct donations from a page on your website.
  • Gift aid management: gift aid claims can be ready in no time, as tools allow you to generate ready-to-use reports to simplify your grant claims.
  • Lots of time-saving features: to save time, nonprofit accounting solutions allow you to process accounts receivable and accounts payable faster, prepare financial statements automatically, submit form 990 easily and more.

How to choose the best nonprofit accounting software?

For you to choose the most optimal solution for your nonprofit organisation, you should consider your needs first and foremost. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Do I need specific features? These could be payroll management if you manage employees or volunteers, or project management if you organize many fundraising events.
  • How flexible should this solution be? If you’re a growing organisation, you should think ahead and choose a solution that will be able to adapt and grow with your charity. It could offer add-ons or dedicated support for example.

Then, you will come across two major categories of software:

  • Traditional accounting software.
  • Cloud-based accounting software.

The latter is based on the SaaS model, meaning the software vendor is in charge of installing and maintaining the solution. This offers many advantages, such as:

  • Reactive customer support,
  • more flexibility,
  • lower upfront costs,
  • constant updates, etc.

Online software can be accessed anywhere and from any device with an internet connection. This reduces the need for costly furniture such as powerful laptops to run a professional desktop solution and the associated IT costs.

The best accounting software for nonprofits in 2021

Aplos

Aplos is a fund accounting software solution designed to manage all the accounting processes of your church or nonprofit and more. Keep your financial records straight and up-to-date thanks to this easy-to-use yet powerful software.

  • Enjoy fund accounting features specifically designed to suit the needs of small or large nonprofits. This accounting system is designed for charities and churches, not for regular businesses, making fund accounting easy.
  • Create custom dashboards easily and share them with the relevant stakeholders via email or by exporting them to other formats. Powerful reporting features allow you to stay on top of your finances at all times.
  • Get more things done with gift automation: gain the ability to receive online donations, including recurring gifts, and access a variety of tools to help you with your fundraising efforts.
  • Build lasting relationships with your volunteers and donors with advanced CRM features and collaboration tools. You can leverage marketing and emailing solutions to send personalized communications.

👍 Pros

  • This solution is designed from the ground up with nonprofits and churches in mind. This means there will be no more workarounds or hassle trying to get business-oriented solutions to work for your specific needs.
  • You can start accepting online donations and gifts and manage your teams and donors in one place.
  • Make data-driven decisions with thorough reporting and analytics to maximize your return on investment.
  • Organize events and launch targeted email campaigns to extend your reach and raise awareness.

👎 Cons

  • The handy text to give feature isn’t available for the base version and is a separate add-on.
  • This solution is complete but also on the more expensive side for very small charities, as it lacks more basic options.

💰 Pricing

  • Apos Suite is available for $59 per month and includes most features.
  • Text to give can be added for $20 a month to give you an easier way to process mobile donations.
  • Aplos Suite + Advanced accounting starts at $159 per month for access to advanced financial management features, fixed asset tracking and more.

The price tag is cut in half for the first 6 months and a 15-day free trial is available. Annual subscribers get a 10% cut per year.

Aplos Accounting

Fund Accounting Software fro Nonprofits
Learn more about Aplos Accounting

Blackbaud

Blackbaud is one of the leading software providers for nonprofit organisations. Its solutions are what you need if you’re looking for an end-to-end platform to manage your fundraising campaigns, file grant applications and more.

  • Accept payments easily and securely thanks to cutting-edge payment processing services: you can accept credit and debit card payments, including contactless, with pre-reconciliation features to simplify your bookkeeping.
  • Supercharge your campaigns and leverage your donor base with powerful donor management features. Create crowdfunding or peer-to-peer donation campaigns, manage sponsorships and more.
  • Engage volunteers and people with event management, email automation and other innovative tools to host enticing online and offline charitable events and fundraisers.
  • Keep track of your performance and boost the impact of your future actions thanks to insightful analytics. Let interactive dashboards drive your decisions to launch more effective campaigns.

👍 Pros

  • A multifaceted, all-in-one platform from which you can run your charity with confidence.
  • An easy way for you to engage with your donors and leverage their collective power: marketing and engagement tools allow you to adopt a people-oriented approach while maximizing efficiency.
  • A flexible and innovative way to manage fundraising: create crowdfunding initiatives and allow peer-to-peer donations to turn each and every of your donors into a potential advocate.
  • Dedicated grantmaking tools to keep track of where your money is going and ensure the programmes you support really make a difference.

👎 Cons

  • Offers many tools and a diverse range of features that can be too much for smaller charities that are simply looking to get their accounting right.
  • Does not offer many integrations with third-party solutions.

💰 Pricing

  • Only available upon request. The final price will depend on the individual characteristics and needs of your nonprofit organisation.
Blackbaud for Nonprofits

Charity management & fundraising solutions
Learn more about Blackbaud for Nonprofits

FastFund Accounting

FastFund Accounting by Araize is a well-known solution that has been lending a helping hand to churches and nonprofits for a long time. This charity accounting software specializes in meeting the needs of nonprofit organisations to allow them to reach their full potential.

  • This is a platform designed by nonprofit experts to help charities and small NGOs streamline their accounting, fundraising and payroll management.
  • This flexible fund accounting solution lets you create a custom chart of accounts to better adapt to the structure of your organization. It provides an easy way to keep track of payables and receivables and sort all kinds of expenses.
  • Generate FASB compliant financial statements and submit IRS forms 990 automatically to ensure compliance and save time on these time-consuming tasks.
  • Leverage the power of its comprehensive donor management features to remove duplicates and process various forms of payment, including debit and credit cards. Define classes and codes for your donors to launch personalized fundraising campaigns.

👍 Pros

  • You can count on this platform to adapt to your nonprofit, no matter your activity sector or industry: from education to religious organizations, from arts to healthcare services, you are covered.
  • The payroll management system allows you to file tax payments automatically and access customized reports to track your own set of KPIs and metrics.
  • Stay in control of your finances by creating budgets for each of your programs or grants. You can set spending limits or earmark sums for specific purposes easily.
  • Ensure high-security standards to protect your important information: individual permissions and access tracking let you limit users to a read-only mode to prevent tampering or mistakes.

👎 Cons

  • Each module has to be paid for separately, meaning the full set of features can be quite pricey.
  • Each plan comes with a set limit of donors or employees that induces extra costs, or some features that require a premium version of the module.

💰 Pricing

  • The Fund Accounting module starts at $42 a month and the premium version is $94 a month for accounts receivable and payable and direct cost allocations.
  • The Fundraising module starts at $20 a month, and the Payroll module starts at $66 a month for 5 employees or less.

A free trial is available, and there are no engagement period or setup fees. Free customer support is included with all plans.

FastFund Accounting

Nonprofit Accounting Software
Learn more about FastFund Accounting

Recap table: the best nonprofit accounting software

Software Strengths Pricing
Aplos
  • A complete solution built solely for nonprofits and churches.
  • Integrated payroll management via Gusto.
  • CRM and marketing features to engage donors and volunteers.
From $59 to $159 /month
Blackbaud
  • An all-in-one charity management platform.
  • Effective marketing tools to engage and donors.
  • Innovative donation campaign and event management features.
Upon request
Fast Fund
  • A flexible solution with modules to only pay for what you need.
  • Highly customizable fund accounting system to mirror your organization.
  • Powerful donor and payroll management options.
Depends on the module(s)

Focus on making a change in the world with the right accounting software

You can’t change the world without the right tools. You can’t run a charity without ensuring compliance, managing donations and accurate financial reporting. Accounting software for nonprofits does all this and more: focus on what matters with the weight of paperwork lifted off your shoulders!

If you’ve not found the right fit yet, feel free to browse through our list of the best accounting software available for charities and churches. This comprehensive overview should help you compare solutions and choose the best one for your current and future needs.

Accomplish more with less thanks to the right tools! If you’re looking for ways to maximize your impact without losing time on repetitive tasks, Appvizer is the best place to start.

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