There are various packages out there for this type of software. Here I will give you some links to explore further on other sites, and I will give you my recommendations.
donor – somebody that gives a financial donation to a missionary
donation – a financial donation to a ministry or missionary
partner – somebody who is involved and committed in a missionary’s ministry, giving monthly, special gifts, or praying.
contact – a possible partner.
First of all, go here at raiseyoursupport.com to see the reviews of several http://raiseyoursupport.com/software (Note: I will be adding to this page over time.) The first thing you need to note is that there are two types of software available, and you really cannot just choose whatever you want. Each missionary’s setup has a set of particulars that would exclude or include one or the other. Here I am thinking that some of the missionaries reading this page would be under a Mission Board, and others would be under a local church or some clearing agency.
The “difference that decides” is what your oversight organization goes with. Typically there is software to manage donations, in which this is what you oversight organization would be using, and then they would have a corresponding missionary part of the program which would receive the donor list and donations. In some cases the software or missionary part of the software can be used independently whether the oversight organization is using the corresponding part or not. Some of this software is in the cloud, on a website, so it is available anywhere you have an internet connection. Some missionaries in bad areas with slow internet connections probably wouldn’t want their financial info “in the cloud.”
So when you look at this software, there are a couple of purposes for it:
1.) Focus on the oversight organization (I’ll abbreviate this to “OO”) to collect donations, and send our year end tax deductible receipts.
2.) Focus on the missionary finances (I’ll abbreviate this to “MF”) , basically a reader of what donations the oversight organization has received.
3.) Deputation and contact software (I’ll abbreviate this to “CS”) that may handle the above, but is basically for working contact information to develop partners (financial and/or prayer partners).
In general there exists a lot of CRS (Contact management) Software out there, as well as Charitable Organization software, but most of that is either overkill or radical in some way. As a missionary with low income, I am not interested in paying some company $400/month to keep tract of what little bit of money comes in to me.
Missionary Software Programs
Review pages on the Internet
http://raiseyoursupport.com/software: Donor Manager, tntMPD, Donor Elf, Karani.
This is a full fledged missionary software program. Read the review on http://raiseyoursupport.com/software. I installed and played around with this software for a while, but it is very similar to tntMPD, and I also installed that. I liked tntMPD better.
Purpose: Track contacts until they are financial/prayer partners, and donations.
This software is what I decided to stick with, and this is my recommendation. Note that your oversight organization needs to “hook up” with their services in order to make this a smooth data moving tool between them and you. They register themselves with the company and pay a fee installing either software on their own website (the Oversight organization website), or use some service. In the case of a mission board, this would be perfect. Note that tntMPD has a lot of import formats from other donation software, so your oversight organization can use any of them and you can import a deposit into your tntMPD software. There is also a wife-husband option, where two people use the same software. You put the actual database on dropbox, and both can use it, and if you do it this way, with a secretary in your board working as “the wife”, then you can get real time updates as she makes changes on your information, adding new donations. In this set up there are passwords for both.
I like tntMPD for the following reasons:
1.) It allows me to track contacts using tools to map their location, track emails and letters sent to them, mass mail merge promo letters to Microsoft Word or for use in an email program of your choice.
2.) It gives me a detailed view of all donations by a donor, as well as statistical tools for analyzing where my income is coming from by different views or factors.
3.) Grouping of contacts in different categories (almost endless it seems).
4.) Connection and setup with a low key mission board, or local church oversight organization.
Cost: $12/month Internet service
Donor elf is very simple and very good. Its purpose is not to tract contacts until they donors, but rather donations of donors. It has a clean and simple interface, and from what I evaluated, it was very good.
Cost: $24/month Internet Service
Karani is another cloud based donations tracking software. It also is very simple and very good. Its purpose is not to tract contacts until they donors, but rather donations of donors. It has a clean and simple interface, and from what I evaluated, it was very good.