Great System to Grow With
I have actually used Neon CRM in two very different nonprofits. One was previously using eTapestry and we switched because of the greater flexibility offered by Neon. That organization received much of its funding from individuals and was focused on one main program. The second was a transportation think tank that had no previous CRM system and received much of its funding through memberships. In both cases, I have found the system to work well and meet the needs of two very different organizations.
The interface is easy to use, very similar to comparable CRM systems in terms of flexibility and customization, but built for fundraising. The customization, in particular, is easy to understand and flexible enough to work for a variety of applications in a variety of nonprofits. I like the automation features as well, such as with donation appreciation and membership renewal reminders.
The single log on functionality and link with Wordpress needs to be further developed, I think. Sometimes the integrations with other systems, like MailChimp, are not as robust as I would like.
Response from Neon Team
Thank you for your review. We always love hearing how NeonCRM's versatility can help vastly different nonprofits!
We are also glad to hear you are using the Wordpress single sign on plugin. We appreciate your feedback. We will be making improvements and enhancements to it regularly.
Over the next year you can expect deeper enhancements to our existing integrations and many more great new integration offerings to come. For example, last month we announced we are officially part of Zapier’s beta testing program. Zapier is essentially a system that connects systems, so this really opens up opportunities to connect Neon with many other platforms. Our blog post about it is below:
Feel free to contact us if you have additional questions about it!
-Your Neon Team
NeonCRM is just what we needed.
From the beginning, their customer service was outstanding. In our research phase to find a new CRM vendor, we contacted at least 1 dozen different companies. We provided the sales people with an extensive list that outlined the data that we collect, as well as our database needs. Some companies looked at the list and upfront said that they couldn't provide what we needed. Others never bothered to contact us at all. Most sad, the fundraising software/donation processing company that we've been with for more than a decade never contacted us to let us know about their new services, they only increased our annual fees and decreased functionality. So NeonCRM emerged as one of our top choices very early on.
Best yet, in talking to their sales person, and now our account manager, as well as their data consultants, they work with us to discuss and figure out solutions. For example, for many years we have used our database as a way to check of tasks in the data collection process. NeonCRM helped us to figure out if we needed a combination of data points or a process document to ensure that all of our users entered consistent information. That kind of collaboration and solution-based thinking has been immensely helpful. More so, given that we have planned for our data migration to happen over 2 years, with specific benchmarks. It feels like NeonCRM will be there with us all the way. One of our Board members is an engineer, and the way that NeonCRM does consultation allowed us to invite our Board member and our web site builder and designer into the meetings. That way we could all learn and develop solutions at the same time.
Best yet, we've been able to work with NeonCRM staff, from sales to data consultants, who actually understood arts nonprofits, so they understand what to do with our earned income. Other companies were best for health or educational nonprofits, or advocacy & policy nonprofits, or some other kind of nonprofit. To have a team that understands the work that we do, the size of our organizations, the ways that our events function, and is willing to work with us to meet our needs (instead of trying to cram us into their system), made all the difference.
There are bits of functionality that other companies have that we would like. Such as the ability to tweet or make facebook posts, and track that information, from within the CRM, something that Nation Builder does really well. We would also like to be able to integrate silent and online auctions into fundraising efforts, but this is not something that can be done just yet. Finally, we would like to have our ecommerce products tied to their makers, something that NeonCRM can't do. However, they provided us with an API integration solution that will work in the meantime.
All 3 Things You Need it to Do - and More!
You want CRM software to do 3 things:
1. Safely store you data
2. Allow you to leverage your data
3. Allow you to interact with your organizations website
Most systems do the first 2 - they better (!), NEON does the third one too and better than any other product in the industry. My only hope is they don't get bought by Blackbaud.
I've done 15 or more conversions with many different product and have never been happier than with NEON. Feel free to drop me a line and I'll share more with you.
I won't comment on the other features NEON does that other systems do as well - or almost as well. Instead, I'll focus on the factors that set them apart from the other players on the market.
FORMS! - how can any org look past the ability to survey their constituents via email and then have the responses post to the database? e.g. How did you hear about us? a - k / What most interests you about our work? a.b.c. d. free form response / How would you like us to communicate with you? a - d
Events! NEON is the industry leader in allowing users to enter info via an org's website and into the database. I have one client using NEON that registers athletic event users via their website - all the way down to the waiver release form via a digital signature. All that info results in a paperless process that posts to their website on the back end.
Training - online video training is FREE - you won't get that with eTapestry or DonorPerfect.
The reports function features a URL for a particular report (dynamic too). This is is fantastic! But many board members and volunteers need to be reminded to access the url and it would be great if NEON would schedule the delivery of reports on an ongoing basis rather than the user having to schedule the delivery of the reports. A small thing, but one less thing the user has to think about doing.
Response from Z2 Systems
Thanks Mike! we appreciate your review! As for the ability to email reports out to board members, you can set up an account in NEON, create a recurring activity to have NEON email your board member with the dynamic report link on, for example, the first of the month every month.
And as for the comment about the BBaud buyout, no chance. :) We're in this for the long haul to create the best cloud based CRM for nonprofits and to ensure we offer it for less. Plus, NEON is built as an All-in-One platform that can house fundraising/donors, membership/members, events/registrants and track all of this in one system. Plus, our frontend connectivity to nonprofit's websites allows everything to funnel right into NEON automatically. Times are changing and there is no longer a need to spend so much for powerful software and IT staff to manage servers.
NEON, by Z2 systems, Inc., is here to stay and evolve with the technology needs of the Nonprofit industry. Count on it!
Gets the job done
I used NeonCRM daily to manage memberships, events, and programming for a small nonprofit.
NeonCRM has a decent amount of tools for automating processes and you can store most of the information you'll need about members/clients. If you/your company don't want to do webdesign, they'll set up a website for you. Kind of a one-stop shop.
The Neon forum has good information for finding workarounds when you have issues.
NeonCRM's branding is that they're building software for nonprofits since they come from a nonprofit background. Cool idea, but I'd rather use a CRM built by software engineers.
There is no easy way to integrate Neon events with a calendar on a webpage. The default is a list of events in chronological order. If you have a lot of events, repeat events, or events with different categories or audiences, this is not a good way to display the information. My team had to custom code a calendar widget that integrates with NeonCRM.
The UI is not intuitive, which is fairly typical for CRM software but given that NeonCRM was built so much more recently than other major players in the CRM landscape, I expect a bit more. It is clunky.
After the initial setup and launch, it felt like Neon wanted nothing to do with us. Their customer service approach is designed to limit how much you contact them and make it feel costly.
I was not on the team that chose NeonCRM, but I'd have strongly considered a competing CRM like WildApricot or even Salesforce.
Good program, but reporting is less intuitive than I'd like.
The software has a lot of really useful features, like email blasts and the reports are really customizable.
The software isn't terribly intuitive, especially with reporting, and the training videos on YouTube are hours long. I also could not find the answers I needed in the help section when trying to customize reports. I learned more from the user forums than the actual help feature of the software.
Response from NeonCRM
Thanks so much for your review of NeonCRM, Holly! We are absolutely thrilled to be part of Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary's mission in helping animals be rescued, rehabilitated, and/or adopted. We did want to take this opportunity to respond to your review personally and alongside Leigh's which is featured immediately below. :)
In the age of simple apps on our phones and an increasing awareness of user-friendliness with complex technology, we are 1000% committed to making the user experience of NeonCRM as simple as possible for users of all strengths and experiences. As an "expert-user" database that does so many complicated things, we are constantly challenged with keeping things simple while also continuing to provide the deepest, most extensive CRM built specifically for nonprofits. We now have a dedicated, in-house team focused purely on this challenge and you will continue to see NeonCRM evolve with new feature releases and enhancements every month! We welcome your continued input within our community forum as we consider new and great feature suggestions to implement.
We also appreciate your comments on the training videos as well. You and other clients were right: they were too long. And, in our continued efforts to improve every client's implementation of NeonCRM, we have just revamped our training curriculum and have updated all of our training videos on our YouTube channel. We have trimmed a lot, provided time-marking slides, provided agendas with companion guides, and more. The main difference is our trainings have taken a new, "task-based" approach now which we hope you will find useful, including with respect to your comments concerning Neon's deep reporting functionality. Please visit these training resources directly within your Neon system or here: https://z2.zendesk.com/entries/21682010-Training-Videos
Lastly, we are overjoyed that you were able to find our community forums so useful! We truly love our Neon expert clients who take time to participate and share their wealth of knowledge in the forums. Sometimes it is more useful to get advice from peer-level organizations who might be using a particular facet of Neon the same way as your organization.
We encourage you to continue using a combination of our training resources, guides, and community forums to make Neon work best in helping Happy Trails keep the animals neighing, mooing, clucking, gobbling, baaa'ing, maa'ing, and squealing in joy.
Our staff is full of animal lovers and we have many-a-pets that have been rescued from shelters by our staff, along with NeonCRM serving many similar shelters and organizations that help all of our furry creatures in need. Thanks again!
-Your NeonCRM Team
NEON CRM Review
Overall we are happy with it the switch.
I like that all the features are in one place. We are able to publish an event and receive registrations and payments in one place. Integration was slow but we are there. The Paypal integration is very nice.
Each component person setting up an area (IT, billing, Marketing) has a learning curve. Additionally, for the type of event, it would be better to be able to drill down registration types more. For example, a supplier booth that includes two people w/out doubling the registration. I am sure that there is a way to do this. Working through the newness.
On the way to a better system
With the upgraded features and anticipated future releases, we are looking forward to continuing to use NeonCRM for our growing non-profit organization.
Currently, my favorite thing about NeonCRM software is their recent movement to update and improve on the software. Their informational videos are helpful in fully utilizing the software.
Creating campaigns and setting up an online store is very difficult and not intuitive.
Neon Has Been a Great Tool for Our New Nonprofit
The software ties together all needed customer relations tools, with a well-functioning event planning platform. Their customer support is truly incredible, in addition to their training and help platform.
The software is fairly clunky to look at, with quite a lot of training needed to know what you are looking for. There are issues with more complex ticketing structures.
Neon for Non-Profits
Neon is by far the easiest CRM software I have ever used. Reports are so simple to run correctly with your specific criteria, and the constituent information is completely straight forward. It is easy to edit tax acknowledgement letters/whatever you need to to fit your organization's needs.
The hardest thing in Neon is that the letters can't be edited, only completely re-done if you need to change something on them.
Generally very helpful, could be more user-friendly for low-techies
I have been very satisfied with Neon. I am not a highly technological person and needed a system that's easy to navigate. Neon has met all my needs for fundraising and managing volunteers.
There are a lot of great features with NEON, such as: ability to see all your data on a dashboard, send mass emails, and manage donors and volunteers in one place, segment your contact lists, and merge with other software services (e.g. Mailchimp).
It's sometimes hard for me to find the way to segment audiences, and ensure all donations from individuals within the same connection (e.g. family) are connected in the system. I'm still new to using the system so it may be that I just need to fiddle around with it a bit more. I like the variety of functions it has.
Neon, an elegant solution
I have had my NeonCRM system now for about four months, and what I love the most about it is probably its elegance. It's like the designers sat in my office, watched me work, and then designed a system that would not only take care of the many things I need when working with our donors, but also thought of a whole lot more! The system is very comprehensive, and while it is quite large and will take many more months to completely master, it is consistent. This consistency throughout makes it relatively easy to learn to work, even in the beginning.
The thing I have found the most frustrating is that I run a Mac, and this system is more compatible with PC. For instance, I could not run the tutorials on my Mac, so I had to haul out an old PC laptop for my training webinars. It worked out okay, as I could be working on the Mac in the program while watching the tutorial on the PC, but we Mac users get frustrated with these situations. Later, I learned that the internal mail merger program would not work on anything but Internet Explorer, which is unfortunately no longer available for Mac. It would have been nice if we could have at least had Firefox or Chrome, both very commonly used browsers, as an option. This is not a deal breaker for me, but for the price and quality of the system, I would have liked more compatibility.
Response from NeonCRM
Sheri, we really appreciate the kind words and positive review, but also thank you for the constructive feedback to make our processes better.
We've heard you and other Mac users loud and clear in regards to accessing the recorded trainings. Where NeonCRM obviously works just fine on PCs and Macs, the webinar provider we work with only renders our recordings in a PC-compatible format. Due to this limitation of our webinar partner, we have made the decision to stream all NeonCRM trainings on YouTube to ensure Mac users and all NeonCRM users have easy access to all training sessions. We'll be having your account manager reach out directly to you to provide this resource directly and these can be accessed with a simple search on YouTube.
In regards to the Microsoft Word mail merge functionality you brought up, that direct push from NeonCRM to Microsoft Word is actually something that is dictated by Microsoft, not us, since they want people to be using Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, Chrome, Firefox, and all other browsers are unable to receive a direct push from any system directly into Microsoft Word. We are looking to see if there's a way around it and will of course let you know. Of course, you can always use the built-in NeonCRM mail merge templates or export to Excel/csv to perform the mail merge externally as well. So there are options!
Again, thank you for the amazing feedback and look forward to growing with you for years to come.
-Your NeonCRM Team
If your experience is anything like mine was, you are currently struggling with outdated software. You are having to maintain multiple databases manually in order to do all the things that are standard operating procedures in these fast-paced days, and you are working on a shoestring budget with a great but stretched staff.
For me, this is where Neon came in to help us. Is it perfect. No. Of course not. Unless you have a zillion dollars to house your own tech department you are unlikely to find absolute perfection. Is Neon, in my opinion, the closest thing to perfect for a non-profit organization? Yes!
Why do I think that?
1) Technology upgrades every 18 months (at the longest) which is almost impossible for a non-profit to keep up with while remaining competitive within today's business world. Neon is an ever-evolving system that shares functionality with all Neon clients; your membership database is always up-to-date with new innovations appearing and available to be customized to meet your needs for reasonable pricing (unlike other systems that, in my experience, started customization at around $25,000 a piece).
2) When hosting our own CRM on-site, we were responsible for maintaining our server; with an aging server and without a hardware specialist on staff, our data was always at risk, even though it was backed up. With Neon, our system is now a cloud-based system, leaving the hardware support to the experts at Neon. This was not only a worry off our backs but also a fiscal savings.
3) In order to keep up to date, we were maintaining multiple databases. We had our member database, our event database, our website member-only database, and our email database. This doesn't include the QuickBooks upkeep and our area membership lists that had to be maintained and exported separately on a monthly basis. Needless to say, this ate up a lot of time and was susceptible to human error. With Neon, everything was in one place (Please note we chose to use Neon's email because another service would mean we once again would have to import/export data and not have the tracking material on the records where we wanted them). This was a huge benefit. Having everything available in one place freed up our staff to work on other projects and spend time on long-term strategic planning as opposed to just working in the moment.
4) With our old system, we were the experts. We were all alone. If we wanted customer service, the vendor could sort of help but the service teams wouldn't take time to understand the way we were using the system and could only provide generic answers. With Neon, we have experts at the end of a chat or a phone call (depending on your needs and service package) who can log into your system, see what you are seeing, and team with you to find an answer to your issues.
5) With our old system, our volunteers and members had limited abilities and options available to them. With Neon, our volunteers and members have a greater level of interaction with their own records, as well as with each other.
So with all that said, my overall advice is get Neon. But when you do jump in also be realistic and patient with both Neon and your staff. Remember change is always hard. Expect that the transfer of data will be stressful. Expect that the first six months will include hiccups. Expect that in a year you will be an expert in NEON. Expect that your "sophomore" year experience will make it all worthwhile.
Veterans Miracle Center Erie Gets Squared Away Using NeonCRM
NeonCRM is very robust in its comprehensive capabilities to manage every aspect of fundraising, reporting, tracking, lead generation and just plain constituent management process. For Veterans Miracle Center Erie, the offerings of NeonCRM's full suite of modules was well-above our necessity at the time we implemented it, and at a cost that would make any non-profit cheer. The optional modules available for growth allows the VMCE to grow at a solid-yet-comfortable rate, with confidence that our CRM can grow with us. Additional features for mass-emailing and event management are just some of the additional options we look forward to. For those seeking to have organizational excellence, this tool will allow you to cross items of the "accomplished tasks" list every day and breathe a sigh of relief.
There are countless videos, articles, and DIY options available should your organization not have the budget for one-on-one guidance from NeonCRM's support.
Filtering data down to a very specific subset of constituents, donations and campaigns for further analysis is key to the non-profit world. NeonCRM is very powerful for drilling down to mine out the gold needed. However, if your organization does NOT purchase the conversion support and general support, a person who is tech-savvy and patient ought to be selected to carefully read the very thorough SOPS and knowledge base articles provided by NeonCRM. It really isn't a complaint - just be prepared accordingly to either spend the additional funds for proper support, or know that you are at the mercy of someone to teach your remaining staff how to build and pull custom reports. Please note that the system does feature a TON of pre-fab reports, so you won't be at a loss even in your newness to NeonCRM.
We are an environmental educational nonprofit. We provide many educational events for our members and the public to learn how to identify and manage noxious weeds. We also provide educational publications.
We made the decision to leave our other system after increase fees and what we felt was decreased interest in smaller nonprofits after they were purchased by another vendor. We also did not like the fact each year when we did events their system did not allow us to customize things ourselves using their system but required us to get out the checkbook and pay them to do so.
We initially bought the base plus two modules with Neon in 2011. We purchased the website shell overlay. The second year we expanded to the full product.
We did our own data conversion in less than 30 days. We brought over the history of membership and events that we had exported into Excel spreadsheets. We felt the conversion was very easy. The vendor was there for help, though it was easy enough and well documented such that we did not require much help.
We learned to use the system quickly using their documentation, videos, and knowledge-based website and forums. Honestly, for the most part, the system has been intuitive.
Their customer service rocks. We use the ticket system exclusively, and they have provided responses in a timely and professional manner. We really appreciate that their help desk appears to have a stable employee base with low turnover, so we feel that they know us. More importantly, the development team at Neon seems to want to grow this product by listening and making regular system changes that reflect the changing needs of NPOs. Each year when we renew, we can always think of a thing or two that happened that makes us glad again we are with Neon.
We have benefited by being with a system that listens to their user base. I see things that we have suggested incorporated into the system. There are twice a year updates that we can depend on, which are documented and announced (unlike our old system, which dropped things in unannounced, and then we would have problems and not be able to figure out why). Releases have been fully tested and it is not buggy software.
We have saved money for our nonprofit by reducing the number of SAS vendors we deal with. We have improved efficiency and understanding of our donors and members as we have brought all of relationship interfaces to a single database. When we pull up a donor, we now know what they bought, when they last donated, if they are a member, how long they have been a member, which events they have attended, and more.
This has been a great economic move for us, but it has turned into an even better strategic move that will allow us to better understand all those we interface with, which will in turn allow us to better fulfill our mission .
Overall a great product and easy to learn. If you need a lot of very specific reporting, however, this may not be the one for you.
Seamlessly integrates event registration, social fundraising, online donations, volunteer scheduling, grant tracking and donor development all in one CRM.
Specific reports can be difficult to obtain. Trial and error to get the exact information you want. You also cannot create tickets for events-- registrants only receive email confirmations.
Response from Sean
Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback. We're happy to know you've been taking advantage of so many of the tools Neon offers!
To address your concerns specifically, we completely understand that getting the right report results can be a trial-and-error process, which is why we try to offer a wide range of resources that deal with reporting. There's a wonderful article in our support center titled, appropriately, "Getting the Right Report Results" at https://support.neoncrm.com/hc/en-us/articles/218529077-Getting-the-Right-Report-Results.
I would also encourage you to submit a support ticket or schedule some time with your Professional Services Consultant for an in-depth, one-on-one discussion of your reporting needs. Should you need access to a report that isn't available within Neon already, we can always pull a custom report for you at your request!
Finally, while Neon does provide email confirmation for all event registrants and attendees, you can also utilize our integration partnership services for more robust ticketing and check-in functionality. We integrate with both Eventbrite and MyRollCall--if you'd like more information on how these services integrate with Neon, please send us an email at clie[email protected] Thanks again!
-Your Neon Team
A powerful system (perhaps more powerful than most small organizations need)
Overall, a great system which I'm glad we found. We tried a few others to manage our 3 levels of membership, and none of them lived up to the sales pitch. NeonCRM has so far.
It can do a lot in terms of membership: Allow new members to join, current and expired members to renew, membership discounts, etc. It's quite affordable, too, and the customer support seems solid so far.
Running reports can be difficult because there are so many possible data fields that a member can have. I've had considerable difficulty, for example, finding members who signed up--who didn't renew and weren't past members--between certain dates. It's probably just one or two fields in the report that I haven't included, but it's quite frustrating. And though the online help center has a lot of content, I've had to contact support several times because I couldn't find what I was looking for online.
We set up our system in about a week and a half--significantly faster than the recommended timeframe. I have considerable experience with CRMs, and most small organizations would likely have substantial difficulty setting this up themselves. Most organizations will likely want to work closely with Neon to launch their system to its fullest potential.
Response from Sean
Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback. We're honored to be your choice of CRM and glad to see you've been taking advantage of all the tools NeonCRM offers.
We agree that reporting can be complex because, even though it's a simple process, there are a lot of options. You are absolutely right to utilize our online Knowledge Base and Support Center, and our Client Success team has reached out to you directly to help make sure you're getting the most out of your reports!
Finally, we'd like to say that in addition to the support you mentioned, we offer the option for new NeonCRM users to work directly with our Professional Services team during the initial implementation of their system. It's a great way for new users to get off on the right foot with Neon!
-Your Neon Team
Best non profit CRM on the market for small- medium sized operation
It constantly surprises me with how well they have designed features. There is a lot we haven't explored yet. The Help and Support site is great, especially the video modules and the webinars. We don't pay for support as the few issues we have had they answer in a day or so with helpful answers. The one exception was an obscure bug I found in the 'new" workflow process. It was fixed in the next release.
I did an indepth analysis of non profit CRM systems and this came out on top. We could not afford anything expensive so the price was right. It has all the finctionality we need so far. It did not have "installment due" automated reminders but a few months ago they added workflows which are unbelievable powerful tools to not just send out reminders based on various triggers but you can perform multiple actions based on the trigger. The communications ( eblasts) is very well thought out. In fact we are about to stop using MailChimp & save their fees
So far we have not had great success in using it for event registration and processing. There are two many payment screens and we had s few credit cards declined. But to be fair, we did not dig into the reasons. We reverted back to Brown Paper Tickets but are looking at other products for our complicated multi-table registrations.
Great customer service!
I've looked into several different donor relations databases, and Neon was hands down the best we've seen. The customer service was definitely above and beyond, and truly set them apart from their competition! The database is very user-friendly and customizable. I can't wait to full start using it!
I don't particularly care for the fact that you have to pay an additional cost for the extra training. I feel like this should be included. If companies don't have time to watch all of the youtube videos, or aren't great at being self-taught, then they will not be able to get the most out of the system, and will be more likely to cancel the services. If the customer doesn't understand the database and how to use it, then it will ultimately be a waste of money for the client (which means NEON will lose their business). Small non-profits like mine, who are looking to increase fundraising and donations, just can't afford that extra cost.
Response from The Neon Team
Thanks so much for your kind words about your experience with our team! We are happy to have you on board.
To address your concerns regarding training, let me say that we strive to provide training options suitable for all of our clients regardless of budget, size, or learning style. Our online knowledge base at support.neoncrm.com has in-depth guides and videos to help new users get started and experienced admins take their CRM to the next level. We also have an active community forum and unlimited ticket support included with every service package. For those who would like more customized, one-on-one training, we offer a range of services and pricing that includes chat, phone support, on demand training, and extended training & consulting.
If you'd like any assistance finding the training and support options that are right for you, drop us a line at [email protected] We're here to help!
-Your Neon Team
Excellent experience with NeonCRM...highly recommend it!
I work for a small, public charter school. The school had never tracked donors, incoming donations, or consistently sent thank yous. The only data that I had available to load into NeonCRM were from folders of thank you letters that had incomplete/incorrect contact information in some cases. I imported the current parents of our students this year as well as any data I could glean from the thank you letters for the previous 3 school years.
NeonCRM allowed us to more easily communicate with all of our constituents. The thank you letters are formatted to include tokens that make the letters more personal as well as contain photos and accomplishments of our student body. They are also are set up with different text and photos based on whether the donation is designated, in-kind, or unrestricted because that data is easily tracked in the software.
For the first time, KAPS participated in Giving Tuesday with an email campaign and also did an EOY appeal, neither of which had been attempted in the past. The EOY campaign brought in 30% of our donations for the year in the last two weeks of December. Several of the donors elected to become part of a new Friends of KAPS organization that is in its infancy. We were also able to send a donation summary for tax purposes this January, which had also never been done by the school. The reporting helps us target donors for specific appeals and know who has (and hasn't) given recently. We were able to get several people to sign up for recurring donations that increased our sustainability.
My current efforts are two-fold:
1) increase the use of the constituent portal, and
2) track volunteer hours using the Volunteer module so that we can report this data in grants that we are pursuing.
NeonCRM has been instrumental in taking our organization to the next level: helping us to maximize our constituents, increase our bottom line, and help us to become a professional charter school that is responsible with our constituents monetary donations. I would highly recommend NeonCRM to others looking for a constituent database.
(My only reason for giving a 4 on Ease of Use is that, being a small organization, I was not able to attend training. However, the videos and online manuals helped me determine how to use the software. The NeonCRM support staff were also very helpful if I couldn't find the answer to my question on my own.)
Neon CRM for Donor Management
We use Neon for donor management and interface it to QuickBooks. There are several things that work very well and have made our operation more efficient. The primary efficiency item is that a webpage is developed for each campaign. We use this webpage on our organization website. This captures the donor and credit card information from the web page and sends it to both Neon and, in our case, Authorize.net. From there it syncs to QuickBooks and all is well. The problems can occur when we have manual transactions to enter, check and cash donations. Previously, it was simple to enter these to QuickBooks. Now that we are entering them to Neon and then syncing to QuickBooks, if there is an error in the entry to Neon and we do not catch it prior to the sync, we then have to fix both Neon and QuickBooks.
One downside is that we only use Neon for donations. For us, it is not cost effective to use Neon for other transactions such as product sales. So, we have to remember that Neon is for donations and other transactions go directly to QuickBooks. This gets a bit complicated if one person pays for a donation and a product with a single check, cash or credit card transaction.
There are a few fields that don't seem to sync from Neon to QuickBooks, so the info is in Neon but not QuickBooks. At least we haven't figure out how to get these fields to sync yet.
Operational efficiencies with the campaign web pages and the QuickBooks syncing.
Reporting - There are some canned reports and you can generate custom reports. However, the custom reporting features take some getting used to and sometimes are not able to do what you want.
Dashboard - The dashboard could be more robust showing more information about donors and donations.
Still a newbie but very happy so far
The sales staff was extremely knowledgeable, responsive, and helpful. Once we made the decision and started working with the support staff I found them equally accessible, knowledgeable, responsive and helpful. It is very easy to find helpful and instructive written materials and video training modules to solve most problems. The program is fairly intuitive and responsive.
Exporting our data from eTapestry and importing it into Neon was a disaster. If I'd had any idea how difficult it was, I'd have paid someone almost any price to do it for me. Most of the problem is the way gifts export from eTapestry, but Neon did not have the ability to adjust for that. It took four months to clean up the data and begin enjoying the functionality of Neon.
I'm "Old School" and living in the formal Deep South, so I have to make some adjustments to keep communications formal as Neon is developed for the less formal use of the younger set. But it can be done.
Response from NeonCRM
Thank you for your constructive feedback, Jane! We’re so pleased to have you on board and can’t wait to see how NeonCRM furthers your mission to help people whose lives have been disrupted by serious mental illness. We have helped hundreds of clients successfully migrate their data into NeonCRM. We understand this is the toughest part of moving to a new system, but also the most important. A good CRM starts with good data. That’s why all of our clients have access to free data export guides (https://z2.zendesk.com/entries/65688740-Data-Export-Tips). We also have a dedicated team that specializes in data analyses and imports. Clients can choose to have us do the entire import for them (custom import) or to have our specialists guide them through a self-import.
Thanks again for your comments and we are thrilled we were able to get you through the difficult time of getting your data out of your previous system. Onward and upward! We look forward to being a partner of Reed House and are thrilled to be aligned with an organization doing so much good for people who truly need help.
-Your NeonCRM Team
Neon has turned our data into an asset
Since we adopted Neon this Spring, our organization's approach to data collection and historical information has completely revolutionized. Now, we do not have to reinvent the wheel every year. I am responsible the maintenance of the account and report creation and I could not be more pleased.
I love that Neon allows for a great deal of customization in the account fields. As an organization, we have lots of specific information that we are tracking and Neon allows for this to easily be drawn into reports.
Customer service is incredibly responsive and helpful.
Each new update is a pleasant surprise because I have found that they significantly increase the usability of the program.
The relationship function allows us to track the connections that are so crucial to our development process.
The event-building page was exactly what we needed and allowed us to build out a 500-person luncheon.
Neon does not allow us to draw reports focused on the relationships between our constituents which would be very useful.
Neon does not have a great selection of newsletter or email templates. Additionally, we have found that emails from Neon consistently go to spam.
I wish that it was possible to transfer information from custom surveys to account custom fields. Same with event information.
Excellent, well rounded CRM package.
Overall we would not hesitate to recommend the NeonCRM software package to any non-profit organization. Neon is available online from anywhere and is extremely reliable. Neon has partnered with other software solutions like QuickBooks, EventBrite and Survey Monkey. The package is reasonably priced and customer service is top-notch.
Full package offers all the options we need to organize and run our non-profit arts and education center. We need events for our performances and classes, donations are the core of our existence, the membership model is adaptable to our pass holders and we can track custom data about our patrons. The reporting feature is robust and works with Excel and Word. Neon integrates with our website and merchant account seamlessly.
It's hard to come up with many cons but the built in calendar needs upgrading to a more modern look. Some of the account fields are not available on all reports and past events need to be archived individually rather than in a bulk procedure.
NeonCRM is overall easy to use and have been a huge help for growing the fundraising and programmatic missions of my small non-profit.
Overall good experience, and the staff has always been kind, helpful, and responsive.
I love the membership and event management systems, and how easy it is to integrate with MailChimp. The price point is great for my small nonprofit.
I do not like the forms, even when customized. The buttons, fields, and fonts seem outdated. Also, creating custom forms is difficult. You have to switch back and forth between the Forms & Pages Section and the System Setting section, and as a non-tech guy at my small and scrappy non profit, I constantly forget where everything is and how to change things. The system should be designed for the "lay" user, especially for a database that is accessible to small non profits, who most likely don't have the money to hire a full time tech or database manager, but divide responsibilities between the ED, fundraising, and program staff.
Takes care of a lot of different functions!
We've been using Neon for over a year and are generally happy with it. The biggest plus is that it handles multiple functions for us; we use it as our member/constituent database, our donation portal, our event registration software, and our social fundraising software.
We used to use a homegrown Access database and had to manually input every payment that members made. With Neon, if members make a donation or payment online, it is automatically added to their record in the database. As a small organization with minimal office staff, we've found this helpful in saving time/work.
We've found it very easy to print out mailing lists, email lists etc. for our mailings. (And we haven't even been using MailChimp, which is the third-party email program that integrates with Neon. We just download a list to Excel and then upload it to our email program, Vertical Response.)
Being cloud-based is a plus; we can access our member records etc. when working from home, in the field etc.
As software that performs multiple functions, it probably doesn't have as many features as single-purpose software. (I.e. if you purchased software that JUST did social fundraising, it would probably have more bells and whistles than Neon's social fundraising module.) But then you end up spending more money and having systems that don't talk to each other.