The Field Guide to Software

Nonprofits maintain complicated relationships with technology. Most know that software can streamline their processes and help more efficiently and effectively fulfill their missions, yet lean staffing and tight budgets mean they’re unable to devote the time necessary keep up with new technologies and find the right tools.

From the most basic questions (like what accounting packages are available or how to use software to help manage emailing hundreds of people at once), to the more complex (like understanding the role of social networking and mobile phone text-messaging in fundraising strategy), organizations need a trusted source for answers.

Idealware’s 2014 Field Guide to Software for Nonprofits addresses exactly these issues. Through a friendly, easy-reference format, this 220-page book helps nonprofits pinpoint the types of software that might be useful for their needs through user-friendly summaries that de-mystify the possible options. 

Covering all the types of software that can help with your fundraising, communications, collaboration, and back office processes, the Field Guide provides:

  • Information to help nonprofits understand the types of software that can help with particular organizational functions—like internal collaboration, communicating with constituents, or reaching new audiences—based on their own level of technological sophistication. 
  • Friendly and easy-to-reference information on each of 80 different software areas, including donor management systems, broadcast email software, social networking sites, online surveys, collaboration tools and more.
  • Practical information for each type of software, including typical pricing levels, features, common vendors and additional resources 

View a preview of the Field Guide>

(By the way, if you only need a few copies of the Field Guide, and customization is not a priority, you can purchase individual copies for $25.00 plus shipping each directly on Amazon and have them shipped directly to your door. This page is dedicated to network organizations who want to license in bulk. Buy individual copies of the book. )

Providing the Field Guide to Your Network

The Field Guide is highly customizable for your needs and your network. By co-branding the Field Guide, you will get the 220-page Field Guide in a format appropriate for either printed distribution or distribution as an online PDF, customized with your logo, foreword and resources. 

By co-branding the Field Guide, you will get:

  • A distribution- or print-ready PDF version of the 2014 Field Guide, prominently co-branded with your logo on the cover; your own introduction page; information about your organization; and a customized set of resources for more information.
  • The right to print or distribute copies to as many organizations (members, affiliates, or grantees, for instance) as you have licensed it for—we only ask that you not make the Field Guide available to the general public.

The core price of co-branding the 2014 Field Guide depends on the size of the network to which you will distribute the guide, either in printed or electronic form:

  • For fewer than 500 organizations, the license fee is $1,000.
  • For 501-1,000 organizations, the license fee is $1,500.
  • For 1,000-2,000 organizations, the license fee is $2,000.

Based on a number of requests, we've also added a pared-down option for smaller networks. You can license the Field Guide for up to 100 organizations, with no co-branding at all, for $500. If you only need 10-to-100 copies in print, without co-branding, ask us for our bulk pricing rates. 

We’ll make each yearly update of the Field Guide available to current licensees at a reduced fee.

About Idealware

Idealware, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides candid reviews and articles about software of interest to the nonprofit sector. We have both wide and deep expertise in the software available to nonprofits, with articles and reports on more than 50 different areas of software. We combine traditional research techniques (such as interviews and surveys) with software selection methodologies (for instance, detailed ratings of software tools against a rubric) and package our findings into approachable, practical reports.

For More Information

Interested? Have more questions? Contact Laura Quinn, Idealware's Executive Director, at or 207-699-4236.