Nonprofits often find themselves in a difficult place when searching for project management software—they simultaneously need a robust tool that can help them manage unique campaigns and requirements and an affordable solution that meets those needs without going beyond tight budget constraints. Finding a solution that balances affordability with capability can be a challenge.
To ease the weight of the task, we narrowed the field to the seven best options for project management software for nonprofits.
- Keela: Best for Purpose-Built Nonprofit Software
- ClickUp: Best for Time Tracking and Schedule Management
- monday work management: Best for Visual Goal and Progress Tracking
- Asana: Best for Nonprofit Training and Learning Resources
- Trello: Best for Ease of Use
- Basecamp: Best for Internal Communication and Collaboration
- Wrike: Best for AI-Powered Assistance
Best Purpose-Built Nonprofit Software
While Keela does not offer traditional project management features like task management and different project views at the same levels as most PM platforms, it remains one of the best nonprofit PM solutions because it focuses on nonprofit projects, scenarios, and use cases. All Keela subscriptions include access to donor, volunteer, and membership management features, as well as reporting and analytics to track all of your organization’s workflows and progress toward goals.
The platform includes a number of native marketing and outreach tools including a built-in CRM, marketing automations, and a drag-and-drop email builder and segmentation tool for email marketing campaigns. It also includes several built-in finance management tools including payment processing, donor pipeline management, and third-party payroll and POS integrations.
- Donor management tools: Unlike most other PM platforms, Keela has built-in donor management tools that are ready to use from the start. Features include targeted donor outreach and segmentation, AI-powered predictive and behavioral insights, customizable forms, and smart donor outreach recommendations.
- Fundraising campaigns and tools: Keela goes beyond traditional PM workflows by embedding common fundraising campaigns and tools for nonprofits in its platform. Features include automated welcome journeys and campaigns, multichannel outreach tools, peer-to-peer fundraising tools and templates, and native payment processing.
- Communication and marketing tools: While many other PM platforms offer smart integrations for communication and marketing, Keela includes these features natively and custom-fits them to the needs of nonprofit campaign and outreach teams. Features include AI-powered forms with custom fields, Smart Ask, automated thank-you notes, email marketing campaigns and templates, and built-in texting services.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked Keela
Keela is one of the few and most robust purpose-built nonprofit software solutions available. It’s a platform that includes project management, data analysis, and CRM and marketing capabilities, making it an efficient one-stop tool for all aspects of nonprofit contact management and outreach.
Keela offers various features that support donor, volunteer, and fundraising management requirements, including smart contact management, AI-powered analysis and suggestions, and automated contact updates and outreach campaigns. Although it’s expensive, it’s essentially a set-it-and-forget-it tool with a team of dedicated customer support representatives who understand the niche nonprofits are working in and how to address their particular pain points.
Best for Time Tracking and Schedule Management
ClickUp is an affordable and scalable project management platform that offers a range of templates, customizations, and team and time management features that are ideal for nonprofit organizations and their goals. Custom fields and formulas can be set up to track fundraising, donors, event schedules, and goal progress, and custom forms enable account users to more easily manage volunteer applications and intake from within a single platform.
ClickUp is a great tool for nonprofits because its low-code/no-code interface is highly intuitive and its software is easy to automate and integrate. ClickUp templates, dashboards, and reports are extensive and configurable, and its custom guest permissions are available for all paid plans.
While ClickUp is known for being nonprofit-friendly, the vendor does not transparently advertise its nonprofit discount options. However, interested nonprofits should reach out to the company with their budget and organizational specs, as ClickUp is known to create custom plans and pricing packages for eligible nonprofits.
Read our complete ClickUp review
- Time tracking and resource management: ClickUp offers native time tracking at a generally lower price, starting at $7 per user per month. In addition to time tracking tools, the platform includes a variety of time and resource management tools including a calendar view in all plans and timesheets, the Pulse tool, and time estimates for key projects and tasks.
- Nonprofit-specific project templates: Few PM platforms offer the quantity and quality of nonprofit-specific project templates that ClickUp does. Some of its most relevant templates include the app’s nonprofit event planning, nonprofit SOP, nonprofit annual report, volunteer schedule, and volunteer management pre-configured templates.
- Multiple workspaces: Up to five workspaces are available in the free plan and unlimited workspaces can be set up in all paid plans, which is more than what similar vendors’ free and low-tier plans typically offer. Each plan includes a certain number of lists and a certain number of folders per space, allowing users to organize hundreds of data points and assets in relevant, categorized groupings.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked ClickUp
We selected ClickUp because it is easy to use, includes a range of useful features in all of its plans, and offers unlimited user access in all plans including the free tier. Time tracking is available for all users, and several other time management tools—including timesheets, granular time estimates, time in status, Pulse, workload profiles, and timeline and calendar views—are also available to give administrators and volunteers a better idea of their involvement.
ClickUp also offers several customization opportunities to users who want to set up custom intake forms, fields, or formulas to track fundraising, donor data, and other goal progress metrics.
Best for Visual Goal and Progress Tracking
monday work management is a leading project management platform and a solution that offers one of the most generous and comprehensive nonprofit plans on the market. Eligible nonprofits that require 10 user seats or fewer are granted access to advanced and enterprise-level features. For teams with more than 10 users, the nonprofit package’s enterprise features can be accessed at $57.60 per seat per year, which monday.com advertises as a 70% discount off the original price.
monday.com has earned a distinguished reputation within the tech industry and among its user base for how well it balances ease of use and helpful project visualizations with advanced project reporting and dashboarding features, low-code/no-code automations and integrations, and high levels of customizability. Its dashboard widget library offers a range of reporting and progress-tracking options, and even outside of the dashboard interface, users can track specific metrics and goals directly within project board columns. This makes it possible for non-technical members of a nonprofit organization to track important data points at whatever level of detail they require.
Read More: monday work management Review
- Dashboard widgets: monday.com goes above and beyond traditional dashboard widgets, not only offering the typical charts and to-do lists you’d expect but also giving users access to highly customizable and filterable dashboard visuals. Popular, non-traditional dashboard widgets include the Battery, which shows a color-coded project status overview, and Llama Farm, which offers a fun way to visualize your team’s progress toward goals.
- In-board progress visuals: While many PM platforms require you to toggle between a project board and dashboard when you want to see progress tracking widgets, certain fields in monday.com’s project boards allow you to easily visualize progress without moving to project dashboards. For example, custom columns and fields can be set up for progress-tracking and timeline-tracking bars. Color-coded and custom fields also make it easy to set up custom trackers within your project boards.
- Automations: Users who are eligible for monday.com’s nonprofit program can access enterprise-level automations and quantities — 250,000 automation actions per month — at highly discounted rates, or at no cost for teams with 10 or fewer people. In addition to offering more automation actions to users than nearly any other competitor, monday.com’s automations are also easy to use because of the no-code, visual builder.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked monday work management
monday work management offers everything a nonprofit needs for a project, event, and team management. Its easy-to-setup automations work well for forms, routine tasks, outreach, project dependencies, and notifications, making it a great software solution for large teams and complicated project team hierarchies. It’s a highly customizable platform, with both project-specific and portfolio-wide dashboarding capabilities as well as custom fields that are available in all plan options.
The platform also comes with a handful of useful nonprofit and volunteer-centric templates. For teams with 10 or fewer users who need access to this type of system, monday work management is one of the best value options in the market.
Best for Nonprofit Training and Learning Resources
Asana is one of the top project management software solutions today because of how well it balances workloads and supports team-wide and individual initiatives with intuitive reporting, automation, and integration capabilities. It is an affordable and scalable project management solution that offers free access to unlimited tasks and projects for an unlimited number of collaborators.
For nonprofits in particular, Asana stands out against its competitors with its expert and far-reaching training resources that focus on nonprofit pain points, projects, and use cases. Nonprofit users are eligible to receive pro-bono consultations from Asana Advisors, join catered onboarding program paths, knowledge-share in the nonprofit community forum, and access other nonprofit training in the nonprofit learning center.
Read more in our complete review of Asana
With these resources and a 50% nonprofit discount that extends to traditional nonprofits, academic institutions, and libraries, Asana proves itself a top choice for nonprofits that need implementation and ongoing support with their project platform.
- Nonprofit onboarding program and training: Asana is perhaps the only project management software provider that offers dedicated training and onboarding paths for nonprofit users. Its nonprofit training paths offer three to four hours of catered training that is segmented based on whether you are a nonprofit team member, team leader or manager, or IT/internal administrator of the platform. Additional nonprofit learning centers, training, forums, and resources are also available.
- Admin console: Asana offers an extensive admin control center that helps team administrators easily manage users and guests, data access, security controls, and more from a single location. With this feature, it is possible for nonprofits to easily track user permissions and determine if their current plan capacity meets the organization’s needs. This feature is available in all paid plans.
- Resource management and time tracking: Asana is known for its user-friendly, highly visual workload and time-tracking tools, which include unique reports and dashboard widgets that focus on user-specific and team-wide workload management. Although native time tracking is not available in all tiers, Asana provides users with easy-to-setup time tracking integrations, regardless of their plan. With these tools, nonprofit leaders can easily track the who, when, and how behind the project at hand.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked Asana
We picked Asana because of its internal expertise in both project management and nonprofit business management. The Asana Advisors program extends the support of trained professionals to nonprofit users who need more hands-on assistance, and a range of self-service support, training, and community-building resources are also available to nonprofit users.
The platform is affordable and scalable, offering many useful features to an unlimited number of users in the free plan. Asana also offers a powerful admin console with granular admin controls and security features. The console is available in all paid plans, whereas many similar competitors offer this level of control only in their enterprise-level plans.
Best for Ease of Use
Trello is a user-friendly project management platform that offers low-code/no-code tools and a kanban-style user interface for project and task cards. It is one of the best project management tools available for teams that pay importance to ease of use and setup, both for project boards and for integrations and automations. While it tends to be a somewhat limited platform for more advanced project and resource management use cases, for many nonprofit teams, this is a plus: Trello offers an approachable interface for teams that are new to project management tools so they can quickly get started and use the tool effectively for their projects.
Read More: Trello Software Review
Despite some of its native simplicities, Trello integrates well with many third-party tools and other Atlassian products including Jira Software, Jira Service Management, and Confluence. These integrations make it a good solution for nonprofits with a software development or service component or any other major software that needs to work seamlessly with their projects. Eligible users can benefit from a 75% nonprofit discount, but even without nonprofit discounts, Trello is one of the most affordable project management tools in this guide.
- Admin controls and visibility: Trello offers some of the strongest and most diverse admin controls and tools. Special operations and features for admins include organization-wide command maintenance, workspace-level templates and views, Power-Up administration, and attachment restrictions. Admins can manage and quality-control projects while also getting a bird’s-eye view of progress toward organizational goals.
- Security and privacy tools: Unlike its competitors, Trello allows setting up two-factor authentication and mobile device management for all tiers, including the free plan. Additional security and privacy features include both organization-wide and public-facing view restrictions, member deactivation, domain-restricted invites, SAML, and SSO. Using these features, nonprofit leaders ensure the general public, volunteers, and relevant stakeholders only access the information they need.
- Extensive integrations: Third-party integrations can be set up easily with Trello’s large library of Power-Ups that focus on a variety of industry tools and use cases. This is one of the most extensive plugin and integration libraries in the PM platform market, so even if your nonprofit is operating in a more specialized or rare niche, there’s a good chance Trello can integrate well with your existing tools.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked Trello
We picked Trello because it is easy to use, easy to set up, and easy to integrate—all around, it is an accessible tool that nonprofit teams with varying skill sets and backgrounds can use effectively from the start. Its integrations and automations are extensive and easy to install, making it a great option for teams that need robust functionality with minimal technical expertise.
Additionally, Trello offers an impressive nonprofit discount, with eligible users getting 75% off on their selected product tier. But even in the absence of a discount, Trello remains one of the most affordable products on this list, regardless of your selected subscription tier.
Best for Internal Communication and Collaboration
Basecamp takes an innovative approach to project management software with a platform that focuses heavily on UX/UI and accessible communication and collaboration tools. It does not have the usual project management features and integrations seen in similar platforms, but for the right type of organization, it is ideally suited to help them manage internal communications and brainstorming across multiple roles and departments. The platform includes a range of communication tools that cater to both real-time communication and long-term planning needs.
Additionally, project views and reports move away from more traditional project management views like Gantt charts to create more user-friendly and user-centric visuals; with Basecamp, admins and users alike can easily see who is working on which project tasks and how workloads may need to be redistributed in the future.
Read More: Our Basecamp Review
Basecamp is free for teachers and students, while a 10% discount is available for nonprofits and charities. While there are no free plan options available for nonprofits, the vendor offers a 30-day free trial and avoids per-user pricing on its Pro Unlimited plan, which makes it a high-value option for larger nonprofit teams.
- Built-in, multiformat communication tools: While many project management platforms now have native communication tools and features, few have the range of communication tools built-in that Basecamp does. The platform’s Pings are equivalent to direct messages, Messages are equivalent to emails, and Chat is equivalent to group chat platforms like Slack. Additionally, team leads can get a better pulse on how event planning and other project tasks are going with automatic check-ins and polls.
- The Lineup project view: Lineup is a user-friendly project view option that closely resembles a Gantt chart. However, unlike most PM Gantt charts that only show high-level timelines visually, Basecamp also shows the icons for included team members so users can easily see who is working on what projects and timelines for the organization.
- Collaborative documents and files: While other PM vendors have more recently added document and file management features in beta or limited versions, Basecamp offers well-established document and file management capabilities that emphasize not only file storage but also collaboration. Users can easily leave comments on files and images, track file version history, and color-code files to keep all communications and projects organized.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked Basecamp
We selected Basecamp because it does a great job of combining the benefits of email, chat, and project management and a user interface that declutters users’ inboxes and helps them to focus on their most important communication threads. This is particularly important for nonprofits where multiple projects, events, and plans have to be juggled by multiple users at once.
Beyond its extensive range of chat and communication tools, users can also easily comment and collaborate on internal docs and files. Many other project management vendors are working on this kind of feature, but most have only very limited native document management and collaboration features. If your nonprofit team frequently works with assets that need to be reviewed by multiple users, Basecamp is a great option.
Best for AI-Powered Assistance
Wrike is a project and workflow management software solution that offers highly visual project boards and dashboards to help teams of all backgrounds track and complete their tasks seamlessly. Its dashboards and reports are simple and easy to configure to your organization’s specifications, and its task, subtask, and folder management approach makes it easy for nonprofits to keep all of their initiatives and relevant parties organized.
Read More: Wrike Project Management Software Review
But where Wrike really shines is in its Work Intelligence suite of features, a newer set of artificial intelligence capabilities that support different aspects of project management, communication, document management, and workflow management. Regardless of the user’s level of experience or subscription—only the AI Project Risk Prediction feature requires a paid subscription—they can benefit from assistive AI that helps them create optimized tasks, messages, and more across their teams and project verticals.
Wrike’s features are well suited to nonprofit teams, especially those with limited technical expertise on staff.
- AI-powered tools and assistance: Wrike is one of the few PM platforms that offer AI capabilities at all pricing tiers, including its free tier. Wrike’s AI Work Intelligence solutions include smart search and replies, smart document processing and text recognition, and AI recommendations for tasks that should be created for optimal project outcomes.
- Custom request forms: While custom request forms are not unique to Wrike, it does a good job of creating configurable forms and giving platform users a clean interface to manage and track participation in different form request workflows. Additionally, users can reduce the time they spend on building forms with Blueprints, a feature that allows them to standardize and duplicate frequent form tasks and requests across new forms as they’re created.
- Advanced security in all product tiers: Although some of its additional password and security management features come at an added cost, Wrike offers unusually advanced security management capabilities in its free product tier. Free security features include Google-driven user authentication, two-factor authentication, continuous backup, and encryption key management.
Pros & Cons
Why We Picked Wrike
Wrike is a straightforward, easy-to-use project management solution that works well for both small and large teams. We selected Wrike for this list not only because its core features cover the basics that most nonprofits will need, but also because its assistive AI is proven helpful and is one of the most advanced in the project management software market. With AI-powered support available in all plan tiers and on both mobile and web interfaces, nonprofit employees and volunteers in the field can all efficiently access the information they need to quickly make data-informed decisions and keep projects running smoothly.
Some of these prices may be further discounted if special nonprofit discounts are available. Prospective buyers will need to contact the vendors directly for discount information as it may apply to their organization.
|Pricing Starts At*
|Best Purpose-Built Nonprofit Software
|$99 per month for up to 1,000 contacts; limited features available in freemium plan for up to 250 contacts
|Best for Time Tracking and Schedule Management
|Free for unlimited tasks and free plan members
Visit monday work management
|Best for Visual Goal and Progress Tracking
|Free special nonprofit plan for up to 10 users with access to multiple advanced features
|Best for Nonprofit Training and Learning Resources
|Free for unlimited tasks, projects, and collaborators
|Best for Ease of Use
|Free for unlimited users and cards
|Best for Internal Communication and Collaboration
|$15 per user per month with free guest access
|Best for AI-Powered Assistance
|Free for unlimited users
What Is Nonprofit Project Management Software?
Nonprofit project management software is built around a traditional project management features as well as native features or features that can be integrated or customized to handle unique nonprofit tasks and requirements. Nonprofit project management software typically includes features to manage fundraisers and campaigns, user-access controls and schedule management features for volunteers, and budgeting tools to help nonprofits stay on target.
Key Features of Nonprofit Project Management Software
Nonprofit project management software often includes the same task management and project portfolio management features you would expect to find in any other PM software, but to meet the particular needs of a nonprofit organization, it’s important to select software that also includes the following key features:
- Task and event management: Nonprofits typically manage multiple fundraising events and other types of campaigns simultaneously and need an organized and visible way to communicate important dates and to-dos with all relevant stakeholders. Task and event management features ensure all prep work is done and all members of the organization have the information they need to attend and work at events.
- Granular user access controls: Admin controls for user access are particularly important for nonprofits that want to distinguish between staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors, the general public, and anyone else who may need specific levels of access or visibility in the system. Guest access is a great way to give volunteers the visibility they need to get involved without accidentally changing important staff data points in the system.
- Dashboards, reports, custom fields, and forms: Dashboard and reporting capabilities that are easy to set up, highly visual, and filterable should be present. The best project management software for nonprofits should also allow users to set up custom fields and metrics so teams can track all the important data they need to track, such as donations, volunteer engagement, etc.
- Visual progress and goal tracking: Beyond dashboards and reports, many nonprofit project management software solutions include visual bars or charts so users can see how overall campaigns and individual tasks are progressing toward goals.
- Campaign management: Through a combination of automations, integrations, built-in communication tools, and project planning boards, project management platforms for nonprofits allow users to manage each step of a fundraising, grant, donor, or outreach campaign. In platforms like Keela, these campaigns are already built out and ready for nonprofit audiences.
- Project and process templates: Several project management platforms natively offer project and process templates that focus on fundraising, volunteer management, and/or donor management. Some tools don’t offer these templates from the get-go, so look for platforms that allow you to build and save your own templates for future use.
Benefits of Using Project Management Software for Nonprofits
Getting started with project management software is one of the best ways that nonprofits can get their current initiatives organized and plan for future projects and scalable goals. These are some of the most common benefits that nonprofits reap when they move important workflows and processes into project management platforms:
Unified space for project and campaign management
Many nonprofits work out of disparate spreadsheets and, even more often, have volunteers and staff working in silos with limited visibility into each other’s work. Working with nonprofit project management software gives all users a unified and easily accessible space to share campaign data, personal and group progress, and communication that gets updated for all users.
Automated communications and workflows
Low-code/no-code automation workflows are typically available in project management platforms, and many of these tools allow you to customize the variables you wish to automate. This can be particularly effective if you want to automate routine communication workflows with donors or volunteers or automatically update user contacts and campaign information as that data changes in real time.
Read More: Top Workflow Tools
Detailed analytics and reports
Most nonprofits manually track performance data in spreadsheets, by hand, or perhaps not at all. With the dashboards, reporting tools, and other data analytics tools found in project management software, nonprofits can quickly calculate or view their most important numbers in a visually engaging and easily digestible format. In many cases, data analytics and reports update in response to project changes so users do not have to manually update their reports repeatedly.
Read more: Top Reporting Tools Buyers’ Guide
Volunteer management and visibility
Nonprofits face several unique difficulties that come with managing projects and simultaneously managing the employees and volunteers who work on them. Project management tools can unify many of these processes in one platform, enabling nonprofit leaders to manage volunteer schedules and timesheets, volunteer intake and outreach, and more. Additionally, some project management tools allow organizational leaders to grant guest-level or controlled access to the platform, giving volunteers more visibility into their role without granting them access to sensitive data or organizational assets.
User-access level controls and team-wide communications
Nonprofit organizations frequently have staff, stakeholders, volunteers, and other individuals who contribute to the cause in diverse ways. Ensuring each of these groups has access to the materials, schedules, and information they need to perform their duties for the organization can be a cumbersome process without assistive technology, especially if certain data or planning materials need to be kept private from most members of the organization.
Many PM platforms offer support in this area, giving admins the ability to set user-level access controls and permissions so certain assets stay within certain groups. At the same time, these platforms also enable team-wide communication and collaboration so all users are on the same page about big-picture events and details, even if they are split into different groups and permission levels for everything else.
Improved budget tracking
Nonprofits often operate under tight budget constraints, making it incredibly important to keep track of all resources and spending in the organization. It can be difficult to do this with large, sprawling operations and multiple events and initiatives, but with the right project management software, users can set up templates, trackers, automations, and dashboards to more easily keep budgets and spending under control.
Bottom Line: Choosing the Best Project Management Software for Your Nonprofit
Choosing the best nonprofit project management software can be difficult as many of these tools include unique and useful features, and on the flip side, many require extensive setup and implementation work to meet nonprofit requirements. If you’re still not sure which nonprofit solution is the best for your organization, we’ve taken the detailed information covered above and distilled it down to a few suggestions here:
If working with a platform that requires little customization to meet nonprofit requirements is most important to you, choose Keela or Asana. Keela is specifically designed for nonprofits and includes all of the donor, volunteer, and campaign management tools you need from the outset without requiring you to make any major adjustments in most cases. Asana is not specifically built for nonprofits, but it offers a nonprofit onboarding program, free consultations, a nonprofit learning system, and dedicated training that will help you get started with nonprofit software setup.
If easy-to-configure and visual reporting tools are most important to you, choose monday work management, Basecamp, Trello, ClickUp, or Wrike. Each of these tools offers low-code/no-code reporting capabilities with widgets like progress bars, timelines, and other visualizations that illustrate how nonprofits are progressing toward their goals. Especially for organizations with limited technical expertise, these platforms offer some of the easiest-to-set-up-and-interpret reporting tools available.
If time tracking and volunteer management features are most important to you, choose ClickUp, Keela, or Asana. ClickUp and Asana both offer native or integrable time tracking capabilities in their lower-tier plans, as well as calendar and timeline views to easily track how the organization as a whole is using its time. Though Keela takes a slightly different approach, the platform specifically includes automated forms and other features to manage volunteer sign-ups and assignments. Wrike may also be a good option, though it’s important to note that its workload and time tracking capabilities are only available in higher-tier and more expensive plan options.
While selecting a nonprofit software solution can take some time, it’s worth diving into the solutions that feel right as soon as possible, even if you’re not sure about your budget, as many tools offer free versions or trials that can help you get started. Reach out to your preferred vendor(s) today and see if they offer demos; specifically, mention your nonprofit background and requirements, and they may be able to cater your demo and onboarding experience to those specific needs.
Read next: 10 Best Project Management Software