I'm currently working for a non-profit, and a colleague recently stated that there isn't a good software solution for non-profit accounting.

This seems unlikely. Any recommendations?

I know that's a pretty generic description, but it seems like requirements would be quite similar across US non-profits. I can seek out more info if needed.

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Quickbooks is really good software for small businesses. I work with a lot of smaller for-profit companies and almost all of them use Quickbooks. It is very good software out of the box. My larger clients use more industry-specific packages (construction mostly) but Quickbooks is everywhere among smaller companies and most of my clients who use it are very happy with it until they outgrow it.

A quick search shows that Quickbooks even has a nonprofit edition, though it looks like it's missing "donor management capability", so I don't know how important something like that would be.

If it turns out that it really is a well-known fact that there is no good software for non-profit accounting, let me know and I have my startup idea.

If you have other specific requirements, let me know and I can ask around for you.

Yeah, MIRI uses Quickbooks for bookkeeping. We use DonorTools for donor management. Trying to get them both in the same package is probably a bad idea. Other tools we use are listed here.


We use Kashflow at the Centre for Effective Altruism, which I'd recommend highly, based on having compared the market. Here's a referral link: http://kf.cm/1n3Xx0h . If you sign up through this, you'll get a £1/month discount and we'll also get a discount. Good accounting software is worth paying for.

Depends on your definition of 'non-profit' and how that influences your thought of reasonably priced. I see that term refer to three very different entities: 1) Organizations who are basically large businesses that have a "not-for-profit" status accorded to them by the IRS (NY Presbyterian Hospital) 2) Organizations that are donor-based or membership-driven and very successful (United Way, Red Cross) 3) Organizations that are donation-based and run on a budget between "small business" and shoestring

I'm guessing you're asking about #3 and likely on the shoestring side, which really means you're looking for a free or very low-cost solution. And I don't know good answers to that. (If you're not on a shoestring, then Blackbaud makes the industry-standard software).

I have built custom-software for several non-profits. Requirements are somewhat similar but most organizations prefer to have their own customizations (a chamber music non-profit wants to keep track of ticket sales in addition to donors; the head of a children's performing arts org doesn't isn't tech savvy enough to understand the default interface; everyone wants custom reports).

I'm not interested in working in that market again for the foreseeable future, so this is not a pitch. I've charged between $5K and $10K for a custom solution and $200 per user annually for maintenance. Some non-profits have approached me and blanched at the cost. Depending on your goals, I can make a business case for the expense (though now I'd say Blackbaud might be a better choice than custom).

The last time I did the research was 3 years ago, and there could be a reasonable web-based package out there for $50/user per month. Some may charge per donor ($100 per 500 donors per month or something). If those prices are out of your range, then you're probably stuck.

Our for-profit company, Lambda, uses Xero, a web-based accounting tool. They claim to serve non-profits as well: http://www.xero.com/us/not-for-profit/

I can't speak to how good they are for non-profits, but many startups are using Xero these days.

I second the recommendation, I've used Xero for a non-profit and found it wonderful. That was a while ago, I expect it's improved since.