Top 6 Project Management Apps For Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations have a lot on their plates. Nonprofits are often responsible for managing multiple projects at once, communicating with employees and numerous volunteers, and serving the public. And more often than not, nonprofits are doing all of this while operating on a shoestring budget.
With so many challenges to overcome, nonprofits often turn to easy-to-use project management software to simplify planning and communicating across the organization. The right project management software can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend looking for information. What’s more, project management software consistently helps organizations of all types improve their overall productivity and communication.
So if you’re interested in finding a project management solution for your nonprofit organization, keep reading. We’ll present our six favorite solutions for nonprofits below.
Other Featured Options:
- Trello: Best for nonprofits that prefer Kanban board organization.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
How Project Management Software Can Help Your Nonprofit
Project management software benefits companies in many ways.
In 2019, Capterra conducted a survey of nearly 200 people who use project management software. In this survey, participants were asked about the impact that project management software had on their projects. The most popular response (voiced by 65% of survey respondents) was that project management software had a positive impact on completing projects on time. Additionally, 61% of respondents said project management software had a positive effect on work visibility.
In addition, project management software helps nonprofits in the following ways:
- Reduces the need for status meetings
- Helps to keep part-time employees and volunteers up to date
- Allows users to track hours spent on a project
- Creates better time estimates for future projects
- Reduces time spent looking for information
- Provides more opportunities for communication
- Increases opportunities for remote work
Best Project Management Software For Nonprofits
It’s clear that project management software can benefit your nonprofit, but which software is right for you? Below, we’ll present the best project management software for nonprofits. All of these options are easy to use and affordable, and they can all help streamline project planning and communication.
Best for small teams that need an easy way to track tasks.
Redbooth is a task management tool that primarily uses Kanban boards to organize projects. Redbooth is easy to use and comes with the basic tools that small teams need to plan tasks and communicate about projects. As a task management tool, Redbooth does not include many advanced project management features, such as resource management or job costing.
Also, Redbooth works well for companies that want a task management tool that also includes features for communication. Redbooth allows all users to comment on tasks, notify others with @mentions, and engage in longer conversations in each workspace’s “Conversations” section.
Redbooth comes with a fairly basic feature-set. You won’t find features for resource management or job costing. However, Redbooth does provide users with the tools they need to organize their projects visually. Redbooth prioritizes its Kanban board options. If you prefer to use Gantt charts to plan tasks, there is a “visual project timeline” feature available; however, it isn’t Redbooth’s default feature. Here are a few features that Redbooth offers:
- Visual project timelines (Gantt charts)
- Workspace templates
- Tags for organizing tasks
- Share files
- Comment on tasks
- “Conversations” forum in workspaces
- @mention another team member
Redbooth is available on monthly or annual billing cycles. Choosing to pay annually gives you access to lower rates.
Pricing for Redbooth’s monthly plans ranges from $12/user/month to $18.75/user/month, with more advanced features becoming available on higher-level plans. There is also an enterprise-level plan available at custom pricing.
In addition, Redbooth offers a 25% discount to nonprofits, educational institutions, teachers, and students.
Redbooth works well for companies that prefer planning on Kanban boards but also want the option to view their projects on Gantt charts. Redbooth is suitable for small teams in particular.
Best for teams that need full project management software.
Teamwork is a complete software suite that offers tools, such as project management software, chat software, help desk software, and CRM software. It also provides a tool called Spaces, which you can use for content collaboration. All of these tools are available at different prices, but they can all be used together seamlessly.
Here, we’re focusing on Teamwork’s project management tool (called simply Teamwork). Teamwork offers complete project management software, including tools for workload management, time tracking, and project budgeting. You can plan projects using Teamwork’s Gantt chart, Kanban board, or calendar view, and you can use reporting features to keep track of progress.
Teamwork offers much more than a simple task manager, with more advanced features available on higher-level plans. Here are a few of the most important features you’ll find with Teamwork:
- Board view
- Calendar view
- Gantt chart
- Task and project templates
- Time tracking
- Billing and invoicing
- Workload management
- Job costing (available on select plans)
Teamwork has a free plan available for very small teams or users who just want to test the software. The free plan includes two projects and lets you add up to five team members.
Paid plans begin at $9/user/month and include more features, such as 300 projects, time tracking, Gantt charts, and workload reports. The next step up costs $15/user/month and comes with 600 projects, workload management, and job costing features. There is also an enterprise-level plan available at custom pricing.
Finally, Teamwork offers a discount to nonprofits. Contact Teamwork’s sales team for details.
Teamwork is a great choice for organizations that want a full project management solution. The platform is competitively priced and comes with far more features than the average task manager.
Best for nonprofits that want a versatile software with more than just project management.
Smartsheet is a cloud-based project management software that can be used for more than just project management. Smartsheet’s goal is to provide users with spreadsheet templates that they can customize to fit many different needs. That makes Smartsheet an incredibly versatile solution for nonprofits.
That said, to access this level of versatility, you have to overcome the initial learning curve. Smartsheet is not as visually appealing or as easy to use as many of the project management solutions on this list. You will have to dedicate time and attention to learning the software and training your team. However, after you’ve done that initial work, you can use Smartsheet to plan your next projects, keep track of current clients, develop a system for employee onboarding, and much more.
Smartsheet has an incredible feature-set, which goes beyond just project management. Smartsheet allows you to create your own spreadsheet templates that simplify the data entry process. If there is anything your business needs to track using a spreadsheet, Smartsheet can make it happen. Here are a few of the features you can find built into Smartsheet’s project management spreadsheet templates:
- Card view
- Gantt charts
- Calendar view
- Share sheets with anyone
- Custom reports
- Proofing features
Smartsheet has a few different pricing plans available. Plans are priced per user, and they are available for monthly or annual purchase (purchasing an annual plan gives you a discounted rate). More expensive plans include more advanced features.
Pricing begins at $14/user/month and ranges up to $25/user/month. Enterprise plans are also available at custom pricing.
Finally, Smartsheet offers discounted rates for qualifying nonprofits. Nonprofits can purchase the Individual plan at $145/year and the Business plan at $249/year (there is a three user minimum for the Business plan).
Smartsheet is for the types of nonprofits that already love spreadsheets and just want a simpler way to use them. Although you have to overcome a learning curve in the beginning, once you’ve learned the software, you have a lot of options in how you can use it.
Best for task management for small to mid-size teams.
Asana is a cloud-based task management software that focuses on organization and ease of use. As a task management software, Asana includes basic features of project management (planning and assigning tasks, posting comments on tasks, etc.). Asana does not have features for some of the more advanced features that you find in full project management solutions, such as resource management, job costing, and payroll features.
Asana is an excellent solution for small to mid-size nonprofits. Asana is an easy-to-use software for organizing your company. Asana offers great collaboration tools, and they make your daily process more visible to everyone on your team. Many businesses report that using Asana has helped them boost their organization and productivity, and we think it’s a great tool overall.
Asana’s features include the tools you need to plan and assign tasks, communicate with colleagues, and track progress on projects. Here are a few of the available features:
- Gantt charts (called “timeline view”)
- Organize projects into tasks and sections
- Create teams of employees
- Calendar view
- A forum page on each project
- Comments on tasks
- Board view
Asana offers a free plan for organizations with fewer than 15 accounts. Paid plans range from $10.99/user/month to $24.99/user/month. There is also an enterprise-level plan available at custom pricing.
Nonprofits can also access a 50% discount on one-year subscriptions of Asana Premium or Asana Business.
Asana is a great solution for many small to mid-size nonprofits. The software is affordably priced, and it can even be free for teams under 15 people. The easy-to-use design makes Asana accessible to all users.
Best for nonprofits of ten or more that want affordable task management.
Basecamp is an affordable, task management software that marches to the beat of its own drum. While most project management software use toolbars and nesting categories to organize projects, tasks, and subtasks, Basecamp organizes information with project cards. Although some users may be thrown off by this different method of organization, others find Basecamp to be very intuitive software.
Like most task management software, Basecamp has a fairly basic feature-set. It best suits companies that want to organize their projects but don’t need features for job costing or resource management.
One of the best aspects of Basecamp is its affordability. Basecamp is available at flat-rate pricing. You’ll pay the same low monthly rate, no matter how many team members use the software.
Basecamp’s software is available in three different versions: Basecamp Classic, Basecamp 2, and Basecamp 3. In this overview, we are focusing on Basecamp 3, which is the most recent version. As I mentioned above, Basecamp has a different organizational method than most project management software. Basecamp uses digital “cards” to represent individual projects. On the back of each card, you can list tasks in the “To-do” list and assign those tasks to team members. I don’t love this organizational method, but I know it appeals to many users.
Basecamp has a very pared-down feature-set. You won’t find any Gantt charts or Kanban boards, and you can’t assign multiple people to one task. That said, Basecamp has the features you need for basic task management, including:
- Project cards with a project overview
- Task lists
- Communication features (message boards, instant messaging, and group chat)
- Calendar view
- Fast customer service
Pricing for Basecamp is available on two plans. The first plan is a free plan, which is intended for personal use. The free plan includes three projects and up to 20 users. Basecamp’s paid plan is Basecamp Business, which costs $99/month and includes additional features and unlimited users.
Typically, project management software is priced per user. Basecamp’s flat-rate pricing makes this software a very affordable option for teams of over ten people.
Additionally, Basecamp offers a 10% discount for nonprofits. It also offers free accounts for teachers and students.
Basecamp is a great solution for nonprofits that are looking for an affordable, easy-to-use solution and just need basic task management features.
Best for nonprofits that prefer Kanban board organization.
If you’re looking for a simple task management tool that specializes in a Kanban board style of organization, Trello is the software for you. Trello is an inexpensive and simple software that lets you organize projects and tasks by breaking things down into tasks, task lists, and project boards.
Trello is visually engaging, with customizable background and colors. What’s more, it’s easy to use and accessible for all users. Trello is a great option for small to mid-size companies of 100 or fewer, and it’s also a good tool for personal use.
Trello bases its software on the Kanban board method. In Trello, every board (like the one above) represents a project. Within that project, you can find task lists that represent different stages of completion. Users can add tasks to these lists and rearrange them as they complete each stage. Trello lets you add additional information to each task. You can add due dates for tasks, upload documents, insert links, write comments, and assign tasks to team members. Here are a few more features that Trello includes:
- Comment on tasks
- Notify team members through @mentions
- Create templates
- Assign multiple users to a task
- Set user permissions
- Additional features available as add-ons (Gantt charts, Time tracking, Calendar)
Trello offers multiple pricing plans, with more advanced features available at higher price points. You can choose to purchase these plans on a monthly or annual billing cycle. If you buy the software annually, you get access to lower rates.
Trello has a very basic plan that is designed for personal use, which is available for free. Paid plans range from $5/user/month to $20.83/user/month.
Fortunately for nonprofits, Trello has a 75% discount for qualifying nonprofits and a 30% discount for educational institutions.
Trello is an excellent software for individuals and small to mid-size nonprofits. While the software does not offer advanced project management tools (such as resource management and job costing), it is simple and visually appealing. These factors make it easy for your teammates to get on board with using the software.
Choosing The Right Nonprofit Project Management Software
In the end, the best project management software for your nonprofit will depend on your unique needs. If you need a simple task management solution, start by looking into Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and Redbooth. If you need more advanced software with job costing, try Teamwork. And if you want a solution that lets you create spreadsheets that go beyond project management, try Smartsheet.
As you make your choice, we recommend you start by looking into two or three solutions that seem like a good fit for your business. Sign up for free trials of each software that you’re interested in, and put the software through its paces. Test the software for a few days, gather your team members’ thoughts, and weigh the costs of using each platform.
Once you’ve selected a project management solution for your nonprofit, it’s time to get to work. Onboard your team members, teach them how to use the software, and set up your workflows. Then, you can get back to having a positive impact on your community.
In Summary: Best Project Management Software For Nonprofits
- Redbooth: Best for small teams that need an easy way to track tasks.
- Teamwork Projects: Best for teams that need full project management software.
- Smartsheet: Best for nonprofits that want a versatile software with more than just project management.
- Asana: Best for task management for small to mid-size teams.
- Basecamp: Best for nonprofits of ten or more that want affordable task management.
- Trello: Best for nonprofits that prefer Kanban board organization.