Change the World with Your Data

ROI Solutions

Prioritizing Mission Over Market Share in Nonprofit CRMs

ROI Solutions | Prioritizing Mission Over Market Share in Nonprofit CRMs

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, technology vendors are sometimes beholden to shareholders, investors, and private equity. Their primary objective is market share, which means examining the overall addressable market within the nonprofit sector and determining where the “greatest opportunity” for sales growth exists. With 1.8 million nonprofit organizations in the US and 97% of these organizations having annual revenue of less than $5 million, this segment reflects the “greatest opportunity” for many vendors.

For organizations with less than $5 million in annual revenue, over 20+ nonprofit CRM applications are available. So many vendors support this group because of the sizable addressable market and the relative ease of building a scaled-down fundraising application to support these organizations. Consider the 1.8 million nonprofits as a pyramid—much like you would for your donor model. At the bottom of the pyramid, you have 90% of nonprofits with less than $1 million in annual revenue. 20+ CRM vendors support these organizations.

As you go up the pyramid, the number of nonprofits decreases, and so does the number of vendors that meet their requirements. At the top, where nonprofits exceed $5 million in annual revenue (3% of the total), only a handful of vendors can cater to them. For organizations with budgets over $20 million (the top 1% of nonprofits), the number of suitable vendors dwindles to just a few. Why? Because fundraising CRM applications are HARD to develop, build, and support. Nonprofit requirements are unique, and the largest organizations in the US and the world have sophisticated needs that can only be met by mature and robust CRM applications.

Transformation Opportunity: A Strategic Ally
ROI Solutions is at the top of the pyramid for large nonprofit organizations in balancing “out of the box” functionality, business requirements, and flexibility for customization and automation. We’re built to support the top 1-2% of organizations in the US, those with annual contributory revenue of over $20 million. ROI Solutions recently celebrated our 25th year as a nonprofit technology vendor. During that time, we’ve never focused on the “greatest opportunity” for market share or the “largest addressable market.” We’ve never tried to be everything to everyone. We’ve built a robust CRM application, Revolution CRM, that supports large and sophisticated fundraising programs, and we are strategic about the organizations and projects we take on. Our #1 priority is building success upon our pre-existing relationships with clients. We’ve specifically focused on balancing our technology, our ability to deliver a “white glove” support and services model, and our core values. As such, large fundraising operations see the most impact from a relationship with ROI Solutions.

So, how does ROI Solutions compare to some other types of providers? Let’s take a look.

The Platforms

I had the opportunity to work for a platform implementation partner for a few years and gained great experience. Platforms can be a great fit for many larger organizations, but their model isn’t for everyone. A platform attempts to be “everything to everyone,” regardless of size, requirements, mission, and complexity. However, besides the relationship with the platform vendor, you’ll need a consulting partner (at least one, sometimes many) and multiple platform developers and administrators on staff. You are now in the software development game. Things can get complex quickly, and the “everything to everyone” model becomes murky. 

The Conglomerates

Some technology players also position themselves as “everything to everyone” for all nonprofits. They have offerings for all market segments, from small organizations to larger ones. These companies attempt to address these market segments with different applications, from CRM tools to digital solutions to finance applications. However, there are challenges with this model that directly impact clients. Maintaining “top dog” status in the industry and delivering support and high-quality customer experience to tens of thousands of nonprofits is challenging. Integrating acquired companies and their customers into existing products and supporting these new clients can be problematic. Additionally, avoiding major technology enhancements to prevent client disruption is a significant challenge. And then there are the quarter-to-quarter earnings calls that keep everyone at the company on their toes.

The “Upmarketers”

Some vendors want to take their solutions “upmarket” to larger nonprofit organizations. However, most of these vendors have previously focused on small- to medium-sized organizations. Going “upmarket” is difficult as the CRM application typically isn’t deep or robust enough to support these efforts. The ability to customize, configure, and tweak to fit the specific needs of a larger organization typically is not an option, nor is there a support and services model to ensure success. 


Ultimately, the right technology and partner will best serve large, sophisticated fundraising organizations. An organization must choose the solution and partnership fit that makes them most confident in meeting their needs and expectations for ongoing support. We talk with many organizations in great detail about their needs. If we are not the right fit, we’re always happy to help them brainstorm other possible solutions.

Key Takeaway: The Power of Choosing ROI Solutions
Choosing ROI Solutions offers transformative opportunities for your nonprofit. By partnering with us, you are not just selecting a CRM vendor but choosing a strategic ally committed to your success. With our robust Revolution CRM and dedicated “white glove” support, we empower large nonprofit organizations to excel and achieve their fundraising goals efficiently and effectively. Join us at the top of the pyramid and experience the ROI Solutions difference.

Get the latest ROI Solutions 
News & Insights