Salsa Engage is cloud-based fundraising system for nonprofit organizations of all sizes which helps in donor management, digital marketing, online fundraising, online advocacy and peer to peer fundraising.
With Salsa Engage, users can organize their campaigns, track donor data and analyze the results of previous campaigns to improve. Additionally, users can automate processes such as feeding information directly into donor profiles.
Salsa Engage keeps a track of communication with donors which is accessible to team members, enables them to provides personalized and avoid repeat information. Users can create customized dashboards to track and measure key metrics with real-time visualization. Reports can be scheduled to deliver on a recurring basis.
Users can perform A/B testing on different design elements and check preview on a range of devices before sending.
Support is available via phone, email and through an online knowledge base.
Dawn from Wilderness Watch
Employees number: 2-10 employees
The ability to create form letters and send them via email was much needed for our organization. Customer service is very helpful.
Salsa seems a little slow in adopting the latest features and some of the design elements could be more customizable.
Derek from Arthritis National Research Foundation
Specialty: Philanthropic Foundations
Employees number: 2-10 employees
I would recommend this solution over the other available nonprofit management enterprise solutions on the market. You get the most functionality for the money and they're constantly expanding the software's ability and support.
Almost all the digital marketing tools you'll need in one platform. Social media and email marketing, custom donation forms, drip campaigns, peer to peer software, event registration and donor segmentation. These are just the pros of the marketing side. The CRM, formerly DonorPro, includes robust reporting and tracking for all your needs from donation tracking to notes to event management, volunteer management and membership management. Truly and all inclusive system that is getting better and better all the time.
There have been some growing pains that have been mostly worked out in the transition to convert DonorPro into the Salsa platform. Communication between the CRM and the marketing software is still not entirely fluid, but it gets the job done effectively after you fully understand the system from training. The social media scheduling tool needs a little work to get on the hootsuite or sendible level, but again it still functions well for an all-inclusive solution for no extra money.
Beth from NRCM
Employees number: 11-50 employees
We have been using Salsa for more than 18 months and are happy with the product. There have been numerous updates and improvements in social media sharing and other pieces since we signed on with Salsa, and we are happy with those changes. Customer support has improved dramatically since we first signed on, and I feel like we hear back with solutions to our problems, though sometimes I wish they could update incorrect legislative district information more quickly so that folks could take action when an issue is "hot." We use Salsa for advocacy actions, events, P2P fundraising, and donations and I feel like it is a very comprehensive tool to take care of all of those pieces of our work. I would recommend Salsa to organizations looking for online tools to advance their work.
Easy to use for the staff person as well as for the end user
Social share feature works well
Customer service support is good
Great insights and reports
Isn't easily compatible with our offline database
Takes a while to update incorrect House and Senate district information when it's incorrect for constituents
Jacqueline from Lifestyle Medicine Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Employees number: 2-10 employees
We still use this software because we're already signed on and it does what we need. However, I have been very frustrated with it for some time.
Helps us do all of our engagement in one platform whereas we had multiple softwares before. Like the 'all in one' aspect of it. Good support team.
Many issues and lack of simple necessary functions. Email formatting issues, preview issues, viewer interface sorting issues, cumbersome editing, social media publishing is cumbersome. Overall, found many aggravating issues.
Response: Dan, Salsa Labs
Date: February 2018
Hi Jacqueline - We are concerned about your review because this is the opposite of what we're hearing from our other Engage users. We will have our Smart Start strategist Ilona reach out to you immediately to see if we can help you get more comfortable with the tools.
Erika from American Patriot Service Corp
Employees number: 2-10 employees
Really glad we switched! Perfect for our non-profit organization.
We have loved the functionality and ease of use of this software. We first tried a competitor and are grateful we made the switch. Once implemented it has been a great time saver.
There is always a learning curve, as this software has one as well, but the support staff is excellent and helps you through without nickle and diming you to death.
Steve from Lisa's Army
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Tough to choose among the many products out there, but Salsa was one of just a few that stood out above the rest for our needs. On my first pass I didn't include them in my top 5 down select, mainly because I thought having separate CRM and Engage products would be problematic. However Software Advice recommended taking a look, and when we did they ended up edging the competition. I spoke to a reference customer who said that the two products work well together, and was especially impressed with the progress the Salsa team has made in improving the products over the last year.
Customer service and attentiveness have been great. Much more personal than some of the other big name products, where I felt like we were a number in their sales pipeline. Like the kick start process that Salsa has in place.
None yet. We've just started to use it. Separate CRM and Engage products are not ideal, but they pull it off well. Skill Labs learning videos are really good, though it can be annoying that they force you to go in a certain order for some modules.
Betsey from Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
It has better graphic interface for email newsletters than our previous service.
Some of the graphics are too cute/cartoonish--sort of insultingly so.
And I think their must be an easier way to pull up someone from the database than searching, but it isn't immediately obvious and I haven't dug into it.
Figure out how easy the data is to input and access (easy of complex search functions), how good the templates are and how easy to add and what the cost is. When we did this assessment, we were confident Salsa would work better for us than eTapestry, though we are still getting up to speed with Salsa.
Angelika from Latin America Working Group Education Fund
Salsa helps me quickly draft and share email alerts and actions with our grassroots network.
The formatting of text and images in the emails and actions is a little wonky. I can't directly copy and paste from a document with existing formatting so it takes more time to reformat in Salsa.
Copy and paste into text edit software from Word documents to remove formatting, then add formatting in Salsa.
Stanley from Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
It makes donations entry easy and is a web based program.
Customer Service are not always helpful and will send you links of things to read which in most cases won't solve my problem instead of giving me direct step by step instructions on how to perform certain tasks. This product is not user friendly at all and very difficult to use specially on building queries and reports and on top of that, it has many limitations.
It might work for you, but you will need to test it to make sure it is the right fit. Ask or at least one month trial to have enough time for testing.
Tara from Endangered Species Coalition
User friendly, easy to navigate, fairly easy to search, useful records such as donor files, etc. Like the groups and tags to be able to categorize our supporters.
Doesn't have basic functionality like spell check, font choices, etc
Think about what you use it for and what you would like to be able to do in the future.
Kerry from SAVE THE FROGS!
Salsa makes it simple for nonprofits to run advocacy campaigns and engage their supporters. It is also a great way to send mass emails to supporters and keep donors informed through newsletters. The Salsa CRM makes it easy to segment supporters into relevant groups and then send them targeted emails based on their interests.
I'd like to see more templates for newsletters and petitions.
Salsa is made for nonprofits and does an excellent job helping nonprofit grow and engage their supporter base. It has a wide range of tools that can assist nonprofits.
Ziggy from Truthout
As a full service product Salsa is an easier to use alternative to Salesforce (I used Salesforce for several years).
The administrative area is very hard on the eyes, sometimes buggy and poorly designed. The templating feature is draconian and lacks modern features like drag and drop. I encourage Salsa staff to sign up for a Mail Chimp demo and looks at how easy it is to create templates, on the fly, with no need to manipulate or import code. This applies to the donation page templates as well. Also, there aren't enough built in reports and building reports requires a degree in Salsa. It would be good if Salsa integrated with a greater number of merchants.
Your choices are limited if you are looking for a full package service - Salsa does the trick but it requires patience and commitment.
Amelia from Puget Soundkeeper
Great customer service and documentation, fairly straightforward interface
Restrictions on email design and very few templates available, inability to delete old image files
Test it out if you can, make a list of what you need from it and make sure you have a plan to integrate with your current data management software
Jamie from Appalachian Voices
Salsa provides us with most of the tools and products we need at a price affordable to small and mid-sized nonprofits. Their query and reporting tools are very robust and allow for detailed tracking of supporter actions.
It is fairly challenging to customize the look and feel of the donation and signup forms, and their out-of-the-box design is fairly clunky and not super modern. It would be nice if their developers were a little more receptive to working on customizations and improvements (as one-off projects outside of the monthly fee schedule).
Under the hood, this tool is very robust and will serve almost all of the major needs of an advocacy organization. If you are a small operation with no web designer looking for out-of-the-box modern design, however, this may not be the tool for you. But if you have your own IT or web folks who like to tinker, this is a veritable playground.
Kathy from LWVWA
The ease of setting up and using advocacy actions, campaigns and petitions.
Customer support has a very fast response, which is appreciated.
The number of fields is great.
WYS is NOT WYG. The editor is so hard to use that our staff refuses to use it.
I would like to see more information easily exportable from a query, specifically state districts and ideally groups.
I have found the custom report generator clumsy to use.
You will need someone who knows html to set up templates and to help occasionally.
Karen from Born Free USA
Specialty: Animal Welfare
Salsa has provided great customer service -- whenever we have an issue, their tech support team gets on it ASAP and usually has everything resolved pretty quickly.
The system can be a little difficult to use in certain ways -- for instance, building donation pages can be buggy at times, as selecting social media functions causes the page you're working on to close, or when you're randomly forced to sign out and sign back in again because certain functions are no longer working in a single session (i.e. if you want to create two or more donation pages in a row, you need to log out and log back in before you build each new page or you won't be able to select the right template for the pages). These aren't MAJOR issues, but they are annoying when you're trying to bang out a lot of work. Another thing is that the STOREFRONT feature is sorely underdeveloped and could use a lot of work and additional functionality, such as the ability to calculate sales tax, built-in social media functionality, more dynamic product options (like the ability to charge different prices for different versions of the same store item, or the ability to select multiple product types on a single storefront item). You would need to get outside developers to build these features for you, if you really need them.
Salsa is best used for donations. If you have a large store and you're selling products, it probably wouldn't be the right software for your needs, given how limited the storefront functionality is.
Erin from Shenandoah Valley Network
Our non-profit aids other smaller non-profit organizations in outreach and advocacy efforts around a variety of issues. Salsa has been great for us because it so flexible and capable of many different types of outreach and advocacy. It has helped us with large scale campaigns and small scale, regular communication with supporters. We are even starting to use it for donor management. One really useful feature in Salsa is its ability to seemingly integrate into our webpage for advocacy actions, so folks can visit our page and take action without feeling like they're getting shuttled somewhere else where their contact information/identity may feel less secure. It is also fun to watch the action unfold and track response on the back end to evaluate the effectiveness of our campaign. The best part - if you run into a wall using the software, Salsa's support team is very quick to respond and amazingly helpful.
Salsa, at times, can seem very complicated to use, but that is because it is such a powerful, multifaceted tool. And, like I mentioned, when it gets complicated, Salsa's support team is right there to help. One wish for the software would be that web and email templates could be a little more easy to put together, more flexible and more polished. This may speak more to my lack of design code knowledge than of Salsa Software, but I feel like my final html email products aren't as shiny as some I've produced in html email specific software.
I am not sure if there is access before you sign up with Salsa, but it has been very helpful to me to watch the videos and use Salsa Commons. I've learned so much of what Salsa has to offer from the videos and discussion boards in Salsa Commons. Not only have I gained a better understanding of how to use the software, but I have also gleaned a lot of tips and and outreach and advocacy ideas. Often I've found it hard to know the right questions to ask when looking for software like this, and seeing how others are using the software and maybe issues they encounter helps me to frame how Salsa can work for our database, outreach and advocacy going forward.
Frederick from Warrior Films
Specialty: Arts & Cultural
It's slightly less expensive than other options...
It's not worth it... There are so many problems with both the software and the service. The software is completely unintuitive. Nothing makes logical sense. It seems to have been designed by field organizers for political campaigns, not by customer friendly coders in the IT world. The service is hardly better. It's very difficult to get a live person on the phone. It's easy to get someone via email, but then it takes a back & forth of 4-5 emails before they get to the question you want answered (the first answers are usually "have you read the online help manual?" or "can you send me a screenshot of what you're talking about?", and half the time the final answer is they can't solve the problem you have. Within just one month we started running repeatedly into limitations of what the software can do. And we're a very small non-profit that's hardly sophisticated.
Stay away from Salsa! But if you have to use it, budget in money for in-house IT support to use it and prepare yourself for dozens of hours to train that person to use their completely arcane system. Also beware of the bait and switch. We were promised all kinds of support in using it but once we started running into problems (right away) we were told we'd have to pay each month to get dedicated support access. Better to pay your own person less and have their loyalties be to you.
Ntama from Africa faith & Justice Network
Specialty: Faith-Based Ministries
This product is very easy to use. Sending mass emails, creating and managing groups. Salsa is good at responding and following up fast to clients requests for support of any kind.
The queries get a little complicated, but not impossible.
I do not have any recommendation at this time. I think their experience and mine are different.
jeffrey from AE911Truth.org
Specialty: Higher Education
The vast amount of robust capabilities built into the software platform, always finding new ways of accomplishing tasks and eventually easier ways of doing them.
It has more of a Microsoft/tech geek feel to the GUI and application's use, rather than the Apple business model for ease-of-use right out of the box, that most non-profit volunteers/activists are accustomed to using for getting a task done quickly — the obvious metaphor to me the difference between the mechanic who wants to get under the hood of his new car and tweak and modify like a hot rod, compared to the average person who wants to drive a Honda off the lot, to get from A-to-B effortlessly and reliably without much thought because they have bigger jobs to do than figure out the mode of transporation, that the car is just a tool and you shouldn't have to take multiple mechanic classes to figure out how to drive it.
Albeit, Mailchimp is a different platform for smaller email tasks for small groups, yet their ease-of-use GUI model helps the lay person get done quickly and with less confusion. Our IT personnel love the Salsa platform which is all that really needs to be said, yet the people who have to use it on a daily basis compare it to a flight cockpit of endless switches and tabs. For a premiere email database platform that Salsa is, I'm still waiting for emails I send to be fully-responsive and readable on the smallest smartphone. Just not there yet. Mentioned that at the last Salsa training event in San Francisco last fall, which we were told is coming... Still love the software platform. Even though the FAQs leave you wanting and confused with laborious hoops to jump through for answers to problems that mostly don't seem to work, sending a ticket to Salsa gets a quick, friendly response, a great answer and usually a screen capture of what precisely to do in a succinct manner, which should populate the FAQ area instead and the answer model to use.
And one last thought, as with the SF training event mentioned here, and the last Salsa conference in Virginia, it was an obvious sea of Apple laptops and iPads across the board at all events, all tables. So, the clientele around DC and elsewhere, the core target demographic for your software that traveled to the conference, prefer out of-the-box, ease-of-use products to get the job done, quickly.
Take the time to really learn the software, specifically, task one person in your Org to learn it inside out, to then train others in a lay fashion with an easier way to understand and use it to get the job done, quickly. It has more capabilities than you could imagine or probably use, but it is a resource and workhorse that can do so much and make your organization compete for the attention of donors, volunteers, and supporters that very large global organizations are tapping into.
Shauna from Touchstone Center for Crafts
The event software allowed our small arts organization the ability to have online ticketing for events, which saved tons of staff time because they no longer need to take phone reservations. We have a better count of open to the public events also, because we ask supporters to make a no charge reservation online. The system put our e-mail communications together with all of our online communications. It is easy to use and the built in templates are simple to modify.
The system works well for us and we regularly use all of the features. Our supporters like being able to access event registrations when it is convenient for them.
Lindsey from Paw prints around town
I like the friendly and welcoming look of the appeals I have received. The layout and ease of use are great.
I feel like it is not as advanced as other software products with similar features. I think they could modernize and be more user friendly.
Kalyn from Western Michigan University
We can combine all of our external communications including event pages, donation pages, and email marketing into one platform!
Love the easy marketing platform engage has built with the ability to craft visually dynamic emails and all of our event/fundraising pages!
The company does quite a few updates, which is great, however, sometimes these cause a bug in the system and it will interfere with functionality temporarily.
Jennifer from Humane Society of North Texas
The drag and drop functionality of designing a fundraising form or an email. Even people with limited technical experience can design an email with ease especially with their templates.
Limited amount of form field to ad to forms. This hinders the ability to capture additional information especially with tributes.
Ken from Carolina Honduras Health Foundation
Employees number: 2-10 employees
Accurate data and ease of creating reports.
First let me say Customer Support is excellent. The team is always responsive in helping to solve problems.
The software is easy to use and creating reports is very intuitive. We can easily produce mailing lists which was one of the main objectives in moving to Salsa.
Creating email newsletters in Engage is not the easiest. We find we cannot format the material as easy as some other email vendors. One cannot easily size a photo to match the side text. It seems as if the text and column spaces are fixed in size. If you are willing to accept less visually attractive end produce the system is fine. We are considering moving to another email vendor for sending Newsletters.
Kate from Catholic Charities WV
I like how versatile the program is. There are several different things to do, or ways to do things, that have enhanced my own creativity and ability to reach out.
It takes a while to learn how to use, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's a lot to learn!
Liz from Sacred Heart Clinic
Employees number: 2-10 employees
It is easy to use after the training. I look being able to tract the results of the emails and social posts. I really like the donation links
It was hard to find the time to train but I am really glad I did. It makes things so much easier in the long run.
Jaq from Lifestyle Medicine Foundation
Consolidated softwares for one easy place to grow our org.
Great functionality, love interface with CRM and once you get the hang of it, it is quite useful. Resources and training are amazing, beyond anything I've seen in professional software. Support responds fast.
Formatting can be cumbersome, no social button functionalities, a few small non-intuitive menu issues but not something I can't get over.
Keith from National Council of Churches
We used Salsa for a number of years. We really appreciated the large number of tools under one roof. Also supporting an up and coming tech company located here in DC was an added bonus. However, a couple of recurring problems forced us to switch to Neon CRM and One Click Politics.
First, the interface for creating emails and webpages is glitchy and inconsistent. Unless you know HTML, the user tools they provide are inconsistent in their quality. They do not do what you expect. One particularly troublesome piece was simply adding a url link to an image for folks to click on. Either the picture would be there with no link, or the link with no picture. About every 10th time you tried it would work as it was supposed to. But very frustrating when you are rushing to get an email out or setup up a time sensitive advocacy action.
The second and bigger problem is Salsa has a bad reputation with spam houses. 50-75% of our listserv messages would get caught in folks spam filters because of its low reputation. I don't even want to imagine how many of our fundraising emails went into spam folder.
There are many powerful things within Salsa, but it lacks consistency and reliability to make the broad range of tools available worth the aggravation of too many glitches in quality.
Large number of tools, powerful query and reporting capacity
Glitchy, poor spam reputation
Lisa from NORD
Employees number: 11-50 employees
Limited in creating a Donate page that looks and works well... It's pricey and the help is on a 24 hr delay.
It's able to take donations
-poor interface & not good to design a donate page;
-the help desk is a joke [takes forever to get anything done];
- too expensive for non-profit
I don't recommend. I'm looking at other /better software for WordPress and they are so much in tune with good design and simple interface.
Dan from ProActive Content
Salsa has lots of features that save loads of time for a hard-pressed or over-extended nonprofit staff. Especially if you're relying mostly on volunteers.
It helps keep track of donors -- how much and when they give.
You can set up a peer to peer fundraising campaign so your supporters can have their own web pages to raise funds with
You can set up a cause-campaign where you enable supporters to write letters to congressmen and other people in power.
And it also easily collects and organizes information about donors and signups anytime someone enters their information.
It can be set up to send out auto-responder emails any time someone gives or signs up.
All this means you don't have to devote precious staff time to these tasks, once the Salsa system is in place.
In addition, the customer support staff is highly responsive and works with you until things are working right.
The only thing to be aware of is that a knowledge of html helps. If no one on your team has this knowledge, there are some features that will be harder to customize. There is a bit of a learning curve up front (anticipate spending a couple months getting things set up). Once it's "humming" along, it allows you to focus on other tasks -- the ones you'd rather be doing.
Review from: www.proactivecontent.net
Tristin from Oregon Head Start Association
Pros: Great for integrating all parts of our advocacy and communications into a single platform. It's nice to know who took action on advocacy alerts, read emails, and attended events all in one place. Scoring and smart groups are great for segmenting your supporter list. I love the new integration to pull in information from social media accounts (for free!) Salsa always rolls out improvements to their service that are not an extra charge.
Cons: I personally don't like the graphical interface. I think it could use a facelift to match modern design concepts. There are many features available that are free to use, but you have to request to have activated. I haven't been able to find a list of these features, so I tend to find them while reading through the knowledge center. I'd love for everything that's available to be activated upon opening an account, rather than having to discover and request the features. Although there is a spot that tells you when the last update to a supporter record was made, you cannot find out what the update was or who it was made by. Some of the query tools are a little bit difficult to understand, for instance using greater than and less than with dates rather than before and after.
Mitch from Endangered Species Coalition
We have used Salsa for nearly 7 years and are very happy with it as a CRM. New users would do well to avail themselves of the many instructional videos or webinars as there is a learning curve but once mastered, it offers exactly the tools we needed to grow our list and facilitate increased contacts with decision makers. Support is timely, skilled, and friendly. The reasonably robust capabilities with the off-the-shelf package can be expanded with tools from partner developers in their marketplace.
Employee from Undisclosed
The software is buggy, slow, outdated and NOT user friendly. Called support to ask about how to set up the Household tab and was told "I have no idea how to use that screen. I haven't used that screen in 3 years at least!" Nice. So you're in tech support and don't know how to use your product.