Why DonorQuest?

The Search

Ok so if you’ve spent even just a little time taking a look at what’s out there, you’ve probably noticed that there are about four or five hugely expensive systems which everyone knows about. They charge an arm and a leg for their products and services, and they flood the marketing channels with hugely expensive ads which their users are ultimately paying for. There’s no question these systems offer the most functionality, and they do make sense for the super large nonprofit organizations who have the budgets and personnel to handle them and the extensive training they require to fully master. But what if you’re a medium sized nonprofit who needs most but not all of the functionality of the most expensive solutions?  Well then your choices expand considerably, as there are many product offerings for the market you’re in, and most have a huge overlap in functionality. So your choice really comes down to price performance and usability. While eliminating prospective solutions based on price performance is pretty easy, usability is somewhat subjective and will likely take the bulk of your time to assess. While marketing materials and demos are great, what’s really important as you narrow down your search is trying the actual products on your own, in your own time (not while a sales person is controlling where you go and what you do). Companies which allow you unlimited, unsupervised trials of their software are the ones who believe in their own products the most. It’s a simple equation: Transparency Equals Honesty. And what if you’re a small aspiring nonprofit?  Well, plan for growth. Choose software which is not overpriced, yet has enough features and functionality to serve your needs for years to come as you grow. Getting a low-end barebones system to save just a little money now will only limit your growth, and you will then have the added expense of data migration and retraining once you do eventually switch to the solution you should have had in the first place.

Why DonorQuest?

It boils down to price and feature performance, as well as usability. When we designed DonorQuest, we looked at the functionality offered by the super expensive systems, and we asked ourselves why are they really so expensive?  Well of course corporate greed plays the biggest role, and there are other factors as well, such as the amount of money the big ones spend on marketing. But perhaps the largest cost is not one you would expect – it’s the cost incurred by licensing and integrating technologies from other companies, rather than doing the development work themselves. And it’s an on-going licensing cost they will never be able to avoid, so long as they outsource almost all of the components of their product. We designed and developed DonorQuest from the ground up, so we truly own it – one hundred percent. We don’t have to pay licensing fees to 3rd party vendors, and we choose to pass those saving onto our customers, all while making a perfectly reasonable profit. Actually owning our product also gives us incredibly fine control over every aspect of the functionality it offers, and we are able to optimize it for our mission – and yours. Actually developing our own software is also incredibly liberating – we are free to match many of the features of the super expensive systems, without having to pay any royalties for the underlying technologies.

Online Or In-House – Your Choice!

You may have noticed a lot of Fundraising and CRM solutions are either online only, or in-house only solutions. With DonorQuest, we offer solutions for both worlds, and you can freely move between them as your needs change. For example, you could start with the very low cost in-house version of DonorQuest which maintains the database on your in-house computer or computer network. We can then migrate you to our fully online (cloud-based) solution whenever you’re ready. Likewise, if you’re on our cloud service, you could switch to running in-house at anytime, and there is no cost for the migration either way. Best of all, both our in-house and online solutions have the same look and feel, so there would be no learning curve were you to migrate in either direction.

Pricing Models To Meet Your Budget

We offer the full gamut from free usage to perpetual ownership. The in-house versions range from free, to a monthly subscription, to a perpetual license (with no monthly payments ever). The online version starts at $80 per month for a single concurrent user (but an unlimited number of user accounts), and the first 200,000 constituent records are included at no additional cost!  Also, your data is forever yours and never held hostage as it is with the cloud-only offerings of other vendors and the associated monthly fees. For example, you could migrate your data from our cloud solution to the free version of DonorQuest running solely on your computer at anytime and not pay a dime more for full access to your data. Just as easily, you could migrate back to the cloud and resume monthly payments at anytime.

Take a look at the pricing from the other vendors. You will find they typically charge $500 or more per month for a modest database of just 25,000 constituent records. What about when you grow to 50,000 or 100,000 constituents?  With DonorQuest the monthly cost would remain the same as your database experiences typical healthy growth, and a basic cloud package with three concurrent user access is only $160 per month (deep discounts are available for annual commitments). All of our cloud plans include an unlimited number of user accounts (people authorized to access your database online), but you only pay for the maximum number of people you need to have logged in at the same time.

In A Nutshell

DonorQuest is a highly customizable Fundraising and Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) solution providing the rich feature set of more expensive systems, without the inflated pricing. The contact management feature within DonorQuest is designed to help you easily schedule interactions between your staff and your top donors, and record detailed notes about each interaction, rescheduling as needed. The dashboard area of DonorQuest shows how many contacts you personally have for today, and that count is updated in realtime as other users create or reassign contacts to your user account based on their own donor interactions. Seeing all of your contacts for today is just a click (or touch) away, as are filtered contact views for any time period. And unlike most other solutions, DonorQuest lets you see more about each donor at the same time without a bunch of mouse clicks. For example, let’s say you’re working your way through today’s scheduled interactions in DonorQuest, calling donors as you go. As you are on the phone with a donor fulfilling a scheduled interaction (perhaps concerning a large pledge they are considering), you can also see all past contact notes, the donor’s full giving history, full biographical information, general notes, documents you have scanned into the donor’s account, or any other aspect of their account, all at the same time in movable resizable Excel-style windows.

In addition to being a great CRM system, DonorQuest offers everything you would expect in a full donor tracking and fundraising management system, including grant tracking with reminders, monetary donation and volunteer hour tracking, soft credits, matching gifts, navigable relationships between constituents, memorial giving, pledge tracking with automatic payment reminder statements, automated thank-you letters for each gift, annual giving receipts with actual and tax-deductible amounts, in-depth analysis reports, fully integrated user-defined data fields, user-specific access rights, and deep Excel integration. Absolutely every report or filtered data view in DonorQuest can be sent directly to a new Excel spreadsheet for further analysis. And with DonorQuest we don’t charge extra for what should be standard features, such as an advanced data import feature and the ability to customize each and every one of the hundreds of stock reports we have.

Also with DonorQuest you can dig deeply into your donor data with incredibly insightful statistical reports which allow you to determine which of your fundraising efforts have historically been the most effective. For example, the Donor Metrics reporting in DonorQuest allows you to see statistical changes in donor giving between multiple time periods. Metrics shown for each period include Total Number of Donors, Number of New Donors, Number of Repeat Donors, Total Number of Donations, Dollar Total of Donations, Average Donation Amount, and Average Number of Gifts Per Donor, all with percent changes between periods. In addition to these metrics being shown in total for each period, the same metrics are also broken down by donation amount range within each time period. All aspects of the report are customizable, including the specific time periods compared, and the specific donation amount ranges shown.


Some Specific Features

The remainder of this topic will simply be a brief listing of some of the more remarkable features of DonorQuest. Some are exclusive to DonorQuest, some are standard for all but the low-end systems, yet many are rather high-end features you might expect to only find in the super expensive systems. We list them here to give you a comfort level from which to proceed, but the best way to get a really good feeling for DonorQuest is to give the free version a go. The free version has all of the features of the purchased and subscription versions, but will not allow new constituents to be added once your database is 1,000 donor records or more.


Flex Find is an amazing way to search for constituent records. It simultaneously searches across many data fields (not just the name fields), and it is extremely flexible in how it accomplishes this essential task.  Anyone who’s had to enter a stack of checks in other systems will tell you they spend a good amount of time just trying to lookup the correct donor record for each gift. Even when you just need to pull up a particular donor’s history for viewing, you need the process to be quick and easy. With DonorQuest’s Flex-Find, it’s almost like having an interactive Google search applied to your entire donor database!  You can enter partial names in any order (including partial words of an organization name), and combine bits and pieces of multiple fields in a single search. For example, if you are looking for, “The ABC Foundation For Exceptional Generosity”, with an address of “1234 Main Street”, and a main contact person of, “Elon Musk”, all of the following search keys would work to fetch the exact donor record:

ABC 123
Gen Excep
Foun ABC
Elon Foun

If your search keys are not sufficiently unique to match only the constituent you’re looking for, DonorQuest will display an Excel-style grid of all matching constituent accounts and let you easily scroll to the account you need to see, all while being able to order the display of matching constituents by any column (name, organization name, address, city, etc.) This while at the same time seeing full donation, pledge, relationship, contact, etc. history without having to click on extra tabs or window views!

Donor Demographics

The Donor Demographics allow you to find constituents based on demographic information publicly available for the zip code in which the constituent lives. You can select constituents based on Zip Code Radius, Ethnicity, Age, Education Level, Median Household Income, Median Per Person Income, Average Home Value, etc.

The Zip Code Radius feature is so cool it deserves some more attention.  It allows you to find all the constituents who live within a minimum and maximum number of miles from a center zip code.  The minimum and maximum values allow finding constituents in your database who live within a “ring” around a center zip code, with the inner circumference of the ring being the minimum number of miles outside the center zip code, and the outer circumference of the ring being the maximum number of miles outside the center zip code.  This may of course be combined with any of the other filters DonorQuest offers, enabling you to ask questions such as, “Who has given $5,000 or more in the past six months, and lives within 15 miles of our main office?”

Document Attachment

You may store an unlimited number of files of any type (i.e. PDF, Word, Excel, Picture, Sound, Video, etc.) in each constituent’s account. The files are actually copied into the database from whatever source folder you have them in, so the originals could be deleted and the copy would still exist in the constituent record. A grid showing all stored files for each constituent may be viewed at anytime, and stored files may be opened in place by double-clicking on them. They may also be retrieved to any user’s workstation, provided the user has the download access right turned on for their user account in DonorQuest. There are five user rights associated with stored files in DonorQuest – the ability to see the names of stored files, add to stored files, retrieve stored files, view/edit stored files in place (without having to extract and re-add them), and the right to delete stored files. The DonorQuest dashboard always displays the number of stored files for each constituent.

Duplicate Record Check

Although DonorQuest is designed to prevent duplicate constituent entries from happening both during data entry and during a data import, it is still possible that there may be duplicate constituent records within your database due to misspelled names or incorrectly entered addresses. A duplicate record check facility is an essential feature of fundraising software, since sending multiple copies of a mailing to the same individual wastes your money, and can lower the confidence a donor has in your organization’s ability to spend money wisely. Even just sending a duplicate email blast to a donor is enough to lower their confidence in your organization. The duplicate record check facility in DonorQuest is extremely flexible, allowing you to choose which data fields to consider when identifying duplicate records. It may even be used to identify duplicate donations, either globally across the entire database, or within donor accounts.

Duplicate Record Consolidation

While DonorQuest is great at identifying duplicate records, it doesn’t stop there. Once identified, suspected duplicate records are displayed on an Excel-style grid which allows you to interactively confirm duplicate records and direct DonorQuest to consolidate them.  During constituent account consolidation, DonorQuest automatically transfers all related information (donations, pledges, contacts, etc.) from the duplicate account(s) to a single account, and the duplicates are then deleted. Cleaning up your mailing list has never been easier!

Printing Reports Directly To Excel, PDF, CSV

All reports in DonorQuest may be printed to Excel, PDF, or CSV files for easy sharing via email for those people who do not have direct access to your DonorQuest database, yet need to view the occasional report.  This also applies to any data exports you may do of filtered record views in DonorQuest.  For example, you could select all of the donations for the past month and export them to Excel or a simple .csv file for easy sharing. Oh yeah, and all of our reports still look great when printed on paper!

Donor Metrics Reporting

Donor Metrics reporting is unique to DonorQuest. It provides a deep dive into the statistical analysis of your donors and their donations. Essentially, it allows you to compare statistical changes in donor giving behavior between multiple time periods. The metrics shown are Total Number of Donors, Number of New Donors, Number of Repeat Donors, Total Number of Donations, Dollar Total of Donations, Average Donation Amount, and Average Number of Gifts Per Donor. In addition to these metrics being shown in total for each period, the same metrics are also shown broken down by donation amount range. All aspects of these series of reports are customizable, including the specific time periods compared, and the specific donation amount ranges shown. The donations comprising a report may themselves be filtered by any condition you can think of, including time, campaign, funds, donor type, etc.

Data Import And Export

DonorQuest includes a powerful import and export features with the ability to update existing donor records as well as add completely new donor accounts. You can also export records from DonorQuest to a file or directly into a spreadsheet, and the exported records may be filtered by any condition you can think of. Any user-defined data fields you create to extend the type of information DonorQuest can track are also fully integrated and supported here and throughout DonorQuest.

Donation Graphs

With DonorQuest it’s easy to visualize donations by year, month and even week. The donations included in each graph may also be filtered by any condition you can think of, such as time, campaign, donor type, etc.

Advanced User Management

DonorQuest includes multi­level password protection so you have granular control over what users can see and do in the system. For example, a particular user may be given the right to add new donations, but not to view sensitive information about donors – such as their donation histories. You can even customize the tabs each user can see, and with the multi­user version it’s easy to see who else is logged into DonorQuest. If you have administrator access to DonorQuest, you may add and delete user accounts, set their individual access rights, and even monitor what each user is doing from minute-to-minute. This can be incredibly helpful, especially if you have volunteers working in DonorQuest who need to be supervised without you having to physically sit next to them. User activity is tracked in great detail, including very basic things like logging in, searching for donors, adding gifts, etc.  Each event is tracked by user name and has a date and time stamp, so you can even see how quickly a given user is managing to enter a batch of new donations. And while you may choose to prevent your more inexperienced users from being able to delete donor accounts by limiting their access rights, for those with that right enabled, accidents still do happen. If a user accidentally deletes a donor account (ignoring the warning DonorQuest gives), the deleted donor name and ID will be tracked in the DonorQuest Event Log.  All you would have to do to get the donor back is search the Event Log for the deletion event, and ask DonorQuest to restore the donor!

Contact Management

The DonorQuest contact manager allows you to schedule donor contacts for yourself or other users. Each day when you start DonorQuest, you will be reminded if you have scheduled contacts for today. You will also be shown a count of the number of open (unresolved) contacts from the past. At anytime you may view a chronological listing of all the contacts you have scheduled, and the donor account associated with each. As you work your way through the donor contacts scheduled for today, you are able to enter detailed notes about the outcome of the contact. You may then close the contact, or leave it open and schedule it to trigger again sometime in the future. Each user’s contacts are kept separate from the contacts of other users. This allows DonorQuest to support any number of “workers” within your organization, each with their own partition of donors to solicit. A typical contact event might be as simple as scheduling a telephone call with a donor at a point in time when he/she said they would be in a better position to make a substantial pledge.

Grant Management

Grants are large donations typically made by corporations and foundations. But they take some work to get — and a lot of follow-up with corporate and foundation contacts. That’s why the Grant Management data tracked by DonorQuest is a perfect fit for the DonorQuest contact manager. The contact manager has a group of fields specifically dedicated to acquiring and fulfilling a grant.

Auto-Entry Of City, State, And County

When adding a new constituent account, or performing data entry in any form involving a mailing address, DonorQuest will automatically enter the city, state, and county for you once you have entered the zip code. This can save a lot of time during data entry.  DonorQuest can also scan the entire database and batch auto-populate any empty city, state, and county fields for you it finds. This is very handy if you have imported data lacking city, state, or county entries.

Multiple Matching Gift Donors

In DonorQuest you may have more than one matching gift donor for each donor. That is, a single donor could generate two or more matching gifts from other donors, each time the donor gives. For example, both the employer and a friend of a specific donor could be setup to match any gift the donor gives. The percentage of the matching gift can also be set individually for the employer and the friend. Matching gifts become pledges, which must then be paid off by the matching gift donor. These matching gift pledges will then be included in the Pledge payment reminder statements which are automatically created by DonorQuest.

Soft Credit Donations

Soft donation credit may be given to a donor for stimulating the giving of another donor. For example, let’s say donor John Smith lobbied IBM corporation for a gift of $1,000 which IBM gave. The $1,000 would go into IBM’s history as a normal hard gift, and a soft credit for $1,000 would go into John Smith’s history. Because the $1,000 in John Smith’s history is “soft”, it is not included in his actual cash totals. However, it is on record. For specific queries and reports, you may tell DonorQuest whether or not to consider soft credits. Whenever you do choose to consider soft credits during a query or report, it will be as though John Smith had actually given you $1000, in addition to any actual “hard” donations he has.

Non-Monetary Donations

DonorQuest is capable of tracking what we call Alternate Unit donations, or donations which are something other than money.  For example, DonorQuest can track hours of time donated by volunteers, or pounds of food donated by restaurants.

Automatic Thank-You Letters

As you are entering a donation, you may specify which thank-you letter to use to acknowledge the gift. When you run the General Ledger Process, DonorQuest will automatically create the mail merge files your word processor needs to print the corresponding thank-you letters. You may configure DonorQuest to use any number of form letters, and each form letter may use any of the data fields available in DonorQuest (donor name, address, donation date, donation amount, etc.).

Donor Segmentation

In addition to associating specific donors to one or more mailing lists on an individual basis, you may also assign mailing list codes to donors based on any condition you wish. This sweeping list assignment action can save many hours of data entry time that would otherwise be spent assigning donors to lists one at a time.

Sweeping Updates

DonorQuest has unmatched tools available for making mass updates to your database.  For example, you could apply a filter to select all of the donations which were entered using an old campaign code which you have since revised, and have DonorQuest batch update all of the selected donations to now have the corrected campaign code.  Data may also be transformed using this same capability.  For example, if you imported data from another system which has all names and addresses in upper case, you could apply a filter to select all of the newly imported records, then ask DonorQuest to batch process the selected records and make all of the names and addresses mixed case.  Of course access to such powerful features can be controlled on a user-specific basis via the DonorQuest user account management capabilities. Importing data and making mass changes to the database are just two of many specific rights which can be enabled or disabled for each user.  And when a user performs a sweeping action, that action is recorded in the DonorQuest Event Log along with every other action each user has performed.

Relationships Between Constituents

Any constituent may be linked to any number of other constituents. Any type of relationship may be created, including familial, employer-employee, etc. And, while viewing a particular constituent’s record, you may freely jump to the account of any related constituent. The entire “web” of constituent relationships may be traversed in this fashion, allowing you to explore indirect relationships between constituents. For example, the brother of one of your best donors may be married to a very influential public official, who may be willing to promote your organization. This indirect relationship is something you might never have known about without cruising the web of your donor linkages in DonorQuest!

Notepad Feature

You may enter free-form notes about each constituent in paragraph form. The notepad feature lets you enter many paragraphs of text about each donor in a word processor-like window which does automatic paragraph formatting. The full text of all notepad entries across all constituents is available for keyword searches during queries, and you can also include each constituent’s notepad text on any report.

On-Going Campaign Statistics At A Glance

You can get on-screen campaign statistics for a specific campaign. Displayed information for the selected campaign includes:

  • The first donation of the campaign with corresponding donor name
  • The latest donation entered for the campaign with corresponding donor name
  • The largest donation entered for the campaign with corresponding donor name
  • The subtotal for each type of gift received to date
  • The average gift amount across all gift types
  • The total of all gifts to date for the campaign
  • The total of all amounts for each type of pledge
  • The total of all pledges to date for the campaign
  • The average pledge amount
  • The total of all pledge payments thus far
  • The total of outstanding pledge amounts
  • The total committed thus far (donations+pledges)
  • The percent of goal for the campaign achieved thus far

Solicitation Tracking

Whenever you run a list of constituents which you plan to send a solicitation to, you can permanently record in the account of each selected constituent that they received a particular solicitation. A solicitation can be by various means, including emailing, calling, direct mail you print in-house, a list you export from DonorQuest and send to a mailing house, etc. When you do this, DonorQuest is able to track the percent return on the various mailings you do, along with a lot of other statistics. The number of solicitations each constituent may have stored in DonorQuest is unlimited.

User-Defined Fields

You may extend the sort of information DonorQuest is able to track through our user-defined field capability. For example, an animal shelter may wish to add constituent fields used to assess and approve pet adoption qualifications. When you create a user-defined data field in DonorQuest you have complete control over the type of data which may be stored in the field, and DonorQuest will help guide your users to make valid entries into the field based on the field type. For example, a field which is meant to store a date would automatically provide a pop-up calendar to help the user select a date to enter (or the user could simply enter a date directly, and DonorQuest would validate it). Fields you create must be of Numeric, Date, or Character types. Character fields may be optionally coded, which allows you to specify a list of acceptable values for the field, and the user will be shown a drop-down menu of the acceptable values they may choose from during data entry. User-defined fields are fully integrated into DonorQuest, becoming available on all DonorQuest field menus used in queries, reports, data exports, etc. Entry forms are automatically created for the new fields you create, though you may optionally create custom entry forms if you wish. Access to forms, both stock and custom, can be controlled on a user-specific basis via the DonorQuest User Rights facility.

User-Defined Reports

All of the 500+ stock reports included with DonorQuest may be used as starting points for your own custom reports. With custom reports, you have complete control over the page layout of a report, and you are able to choose the exact columns each custom report contains. Custom reports are stored on a separate tab in the main DonorQuest report dialog so they can be easily identified as being custom. Since DonorQuest offers so many reports, we also have a third tab which stores your favorite reports. This list of favorite reports is user-specific, so it is personalized for you, and only you will see the reports you have favored when you login to DonorQuest. As you explore the many reports DonorQuest has to offer, you can add the ones you think you will use most often to your private list of favorites.

This ability to create custom reports is shared by both the in-house and online versions of DonorQuest. We should point out that most of the other cloud-based solutions either do not offer custom report creation, or they charge extra for the capability. We simply include it as a standard feature in all versions of DonorQuest.

Optional Database Encryption

This feature is intended for those who desire to use DonorQuest on their in-house (non-cloud) file servers. DonorQuest is capable of encrypting your entire database while still providing full multi-user access to it. The encryption is seamless, so that everything in DonorQuest works just as you would expect for all features. This adds a layer of protection for your sensitive donor data, making your data appear as unreadable gibberish to any would-be thieves who either hack into your main file server over the Internet, or perhaps even physically steal it from your office. Without knowing a DonorQuest User Name and Password, there is no way a hacker could decrypt your data if you are running DonorQuest with encryption on (well at least not without a row of super computers working for several years on the problem).