Recommendations for Contact/Database programs

<p>This summer, I am helping a non-profit organization to expand and organize a list of potential financial donors and endorsers. Over time, the organization has accumulated a great number of "lists" in Word or Excel format. While this offers a quick glance at the names and is usable for phone contacts, it seems to provide a poor platform for future uses such as direct mailing and especially group emailing. </p>

<p>Does anyone have a recommendation and experience with programs that could lead to an "easy" integration with the older Excel and Word files. I know that I could clean up the Excel files and transfer them to a program such as Access. My question is if there are better programs to accomplish this, and help capturing data from different sources. I've read about ACT but have never used it. </p>

<p>Many, many thanks!</p>

<p>At work, we use "DBMS/Copy" for tasks like this.</p>

<p>ACT is good, I prefer GoldMine. I would be sure, so long as what you are doing is fairly basic, that you could find some freeware/shareware stuff out there. PM me if you need any assistance. I deal with CRM's all day.</p>

<p>Act is a pretty nice program, user friendly and able to sort based on lots of criteria. </p>

<p>The not-for-profit that I work with uses filemaker, but I'm not involved in that part of the group and I've never used that software.</p>

<p>You can also download a trial version of filemaker from their website.</p>

<p>another vote for Filemaker. Much better imho than Access. The templates are great and, for a database, it is easy to use</p>

<p>Xiggi</p>

<p>My company has used ACT since we were in the start up mode and is moving away from it for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it can be very cumbersome. It often requires data to be entered multiple times rather than having the ability link or cut an paste easily. It can be very frustrating to enter the same data or information over and over again especially if you have multiple listings under one corporate heading: ie one parent company/organizations with multiple sites and reporting. Everyone here is counting the days until we are ACT free.</p>

<p>I haven't used Filemaker but have heard that it is a much easier to use program from several people that I know who use it.</p>

<p>Thank you very much for the suggestions.</p>

<p>I've used access quite a bit. It is very easy to import an excel document and then to create mailing labels, etc. I think ACT is way more than you need or want. IMHO.</p>

<p>X, I'm a huge fan of Goldmine, also, if they want to outsource, salesforce.com is good...</p>

<p>A personal fan of Access. But the key consideration, given that you're only there for the summer, is that whatever you use be self-explanatory and intuitive for the next user who owns it after you leave.</p>

<p>I've seen summer interns create very slick Access applications that no one could troubleshoot after they left (and another field needed to be added, etc).</p>

<p>For that reason, an existing package might be better, even if it is not perfectly tailored for the need.</p>

<p>Xiggi
Non-profits can benefit from database programs that are specialized to fundriaising/development needs, and one existing package that I highly recommend is Gift-Works. Affordable, intuitive, short learning curve. You can download a free trial also: <a href="http://www.missionreasearch.com%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.missionreasearch.com&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>As an IT person I second the package idea, like ACT, over something custom in Access. While Access is very easy to use for a programmer I suspect the users may not find it so easy to keep it going. If it must be Access or Excel I suspect you may find templates online that may be free or very low cost.</p>

<p>Microsoft may also have low prices for non-profits. They and others sell add-ons to Outlook, should your client use Outlook you could look into Microsoft Office Outlook With Business Contact Manager.</p>