Running a nonprofit means you have to manage your money very carefully. That’s why the idea of using free database software for nonprofits is so tempting. After all, you only have so much budget to work with, and if you can save any amount to put towards filling community needs, it feels like you’re accomplishing more.
But before you commit to doing so, you need to know what it’ll cost you to use free software.
Free Software Programs Tend to be More Complicated
Because anyone can work on free software programs, there’s no one there to guarantee a good user interface. That means you don’t have any way to guarantee user-friendly features. While there is documentation to help you learn how to use the software, it could take you a long time.
Your organization can’t afford to spend hours trying to implement a database system that takes forever to learn. Because of budget constraints, you’re probably using an old program that loads slowly and has records stored in strange places. Switching to a newer, free option won’t make that stop.
Free Database Software for Nonprofits Won’t Have Security Protocols
Many free software programs are created under a movement called open source. This means that anyone has access to the software code and can make changes as they see fit. While this means that needed features can be added to the platform, it also invites people who have bad intentions to put malware into the code.
Your nonprofit can’t afford to mess around with platforms that are more susceptible to security hacks. You store sensitive donor information, and if that should fall into the wrong hands, it could mean the end of your organization.
Opensource Software Platforms Don’t Have a Customer Support Base
We live in an age where there are so many different software programs on the market. It’s impossible to know what will happen with every possible combination. Platforms that companies put out there are tested with several likely possibilities. They’ll also have a customer support base to help you figure out what’s going on, should your software stop working.
But there’s no one guaranteeing that for free database software for nonprofits. If something happens to your database and it becomes unusable, you won’t have anyone there to help you fix it.
At first glance, it’s incredibly appealing to implement a free database option. You don’t have any startup cost to record donor and sponsor data. However, maintaining that database carries some real costs. When you buy database software from a company, you’re also paying for the guarantee that it’ll continue working. And should it stop working, customer support is available to you to help you make it right.
Asset Panda understands the need for nonprofits like you to keep costs as low as possible. However, by choosing a free option, you run a serious risk of rendering your database unusable and creating costs greater than the money you saved by using a free option.
Every copy of our platform has security encryption, so no one can access your organization’s valuable data. We also implemented a user-friendly interface, so you don’t have to spend hours trying to learn it. This means every one of your team members can easily access the database and make changes in real time, keeping your records up to date and accurate.
You can see exactly how it works by taking a free guided tour.
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