Best Practices for Non-Profit Organizations

The following is a Q&A with our Customer Success Team around what a Non-Profit Organizations using Copper should consider.

How might a Non-Profit Organization use leads, people, companies and/or opportunities?

A non-profit might define the essential Copper records in the following ways:

Leads: Potential donors or potential end users

Companies: Donor organizations, end user organizations, and vendor/board contacts

People: Current and past donors, current and past end users, and current and past vendor/board contacts

Opportunities: Donor revenue, end user revenue, and business development

How will a non-profit organization structure it's pipeline?

You might benefit from multiple pipelines. Possible pipelines could include one for securing donors, one for the people who benefit from your non-profit's initiatives, and one for your non-profit's business development initiatives. Take a look at some suggested pipeline stages below:

  • In your Donor Pipeline, you might have the following stages: Qualified > Presentation > Follow Up > Contract Sent > Contract Signed > Written Disclosure Provided
    • You could use tags to add donation specifics
  • In your End-User pipeline, you might have the following stages: Qualified > Pitch > Follow Up > Enrollment Documents Sent > Enrollment Documents Signed
    • You could use tags to indicate the specific service they’re participating in
  • In your Business Development pipeline, you might have the following stages: Qualified > Presentation > Follow Up > Contract Sent > Contract Signed

When you close out an opportunity in your pipeline, you'll move it to either the won, lost or abandoned buckets. You might define these as follows:

  • Won - Working together
  • Lost - Not going to work together
  • Abandoned - On hold with a scheduled follow up task

What custom fields should a non-profit organization add to records?

Custom fields help you add context to your records and collect data that can be useful in your reports.

On a person record, might want to indicate who this person is to your org:

Persona (multi-select dropdown)

  • Donor
  • End User
  • Vendor
  • Board Member

On an opportunity record, you might want to bucket how donations are structured:

Donation Type (multi-select dropdown)

  • Financial
  • Volunteer Time
  • Services or Goods

On a lead record, you might want to edit your 'Source' field to include the following custom sources:


  • Purchased Donor List
  • Community Outreach
  • Local Event
  • Referral

On a lead record, you might want to create a record that lends context to how you'd get to the point of qualification, where you want to convert the lead to a person:

Conversion Point

  • Potential donor is interested in supporting
  • Potential board member is interested in joining
  • Potential end user is interested in working together
  • Potential vendor is interested in participating in an event (convert but do not create opp)

How should a non-profit organization structure its visibility permissions?

You may want to maintain full visibility for all company users.  If you want to keep donation values private, you could utilize team permissions to restrict certain pipelines from being accessed by certain teams of company users.

What reports should a non-profit organization pay attention to? 

You might create a custom report to track event attendance or see if you're meeting your donation targets. 

What integrations could benefit a non-profit organization?

  • Event attending via eventbrite
  • Mailchimp
  • Or you could create a custom integration using Zapier: If a field is updated, trigger outreach.

Still have questions?

Still have questions? Ask in our Community, and get answers from our Customer Success Team as well as fellow users.

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