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System Selection Resource List

Want to know how to get the CRM you've always wanted? Start here. Browse our curated selection of system selection resources below.


View the recording

A great starting point would be our system selection webinar. If you missed it, you can watch and share the recording here.

Use our customizable Requirements Checklist Template to check all your bases on what is required of your next CRM.


1. Finding the Perfect Fundraising Database in an Imperfect World (2008) by Robert Weiner

We strongly advise you to begin your system selection research with this overview. Use this information to guide the way you benchmark your organization and research prospective systems.

2. The 10th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report (2017) by Robert Hulshof-Schmidt

Start your process with benchmarking your organization. This report from 2017 will get you there.

3. A Consumers Guide to Low-Cost Donor Management Systems (2017) by Kyle Andrei

If you're ready to begin comparing different low-cost systems, we recommend this report. However, we recommend you supplement this guide with more knowledge about what goes into low-cost systems (think: hidden fees buried in training costs).

4. Ten Common Mistakes in Selecting (and Managing) Donor Databases (And How to Avoid Them) by Robert Weiner

Now, after evaluating your organization's position and researching prospective systems, is a good time to double-check yourself. Here, Robert gives you the most common pitfalls that organizations make.

5. Organizational Readiness: The Five Cs (2018) by Donna Caputo

Before you begin sharing all of your hard work with the team, map out a bulletproof case for why your organization specifically is ready and in need of a new system. Use these tips as your guide.

6. How to Organize the Requirements List

We want to help, so here's how we suggest you organize your requirements list. This format will help you know which requirements are most important, and who is best to evaluate the requirement during your system demos.

Column Name



Unique ID assigned to each requirement


Required, Neutral, Wish List


Origin/Source of the requirement


System or Stakeholder


General Area of Business (e.g. Donor Relations, Designations, Usability, etc.)


Specific Area of Business (e.g. Acknowledgments and Receipts, Alumni Campaigns, Interactions, etc.)


Subject Matter (e.g. alerts, coding, recognition, etc.)

User Story

Short descriptions of functionality told from the user’s perspective

Additional Details/Criteria

Additional information to supplement the user story and/or identified success criterions



If you have any questions about this process, JCA is happy to help.

System Selection Consulting Services

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