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Review: Nutshell Featured

Review: Nutshell Markus Spiske

As the name suggests, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology enables organizations to manage their customer relationships. From managing pipeline, reporting, and sales automation the goal of a CRM software is a one-stop shop for managing a client’s needs. But unfortunately, many CRMs can come up short. Their either too clunky, too bulky, or they offer to many products that are just OK. Nonprofits need a CRM that can do everything well – because their time and resources are limited. With Nutshell’s easy to use platform and low costs – it’s starting to gain the attention of small-medium nonprofits.

In Use:

Nuthsell is a lightweight CRM that supports over 15 thousand users. While they mostly work with businesses – they appeal to the nonprofit community by offering a 10% discount upon sign up. Unlike other CRMs, they do not charge for start-up or maintenance fees, offer unlimited data storage, and only take a few days to onboard a user. In an interview with Account Executive Jared Knotts – Knotts explains Nutshell is completely customizable and can be as “simple or robust of a solution as you want.” This enables a nonprofit of any size to get the most out of software.

Nutshell also publishes a free blog that customers and potential customers can leverage for free. Topics on their blog have included topics such as professional development tips, how to craft an elevator pitch and how to be a better leader.

 Technology Used:

Unlike some other CRMs, Nutshell sits on the cloud so users can access it from their office, home, or anywhere with internet connection. It is mobile responsive and comes with a variety of software integrations for a variety of needs. Many of the integrations incorporate seamlessly with limited IT interactions. Among the softwares that work well with Nutshell are Quickbooks for accounting needs, Slack for communications, and Hubspot for email marketing. 

Ease of Use:

Nutshell shines when it comes to ease of use and lightweight capabilities. Any review written about Nutshell will highlight the ease of use when navigating the CRM. CRMs are not generally touted as being easy to use. They can be complicated and hard to maneuver at first. Take Salesforce for example – there are classes, certifications, and days of training that needs to take place before a user feels comfortable in the program.

Nutshell only takes a few days to set up and all customers have access to premium support through email, phone, or a chat feature. Knotts assured me that every phone call leads to a real person who is able to help.


Nutshell is a lightweight Customer Relationship Management tool used to help businesses and nonprofits easily manage their customer relationships. Nutshell pricing starts at $35 a month per user but nonprofit organizations receive a 10% discount. Unlike other CRMs- Installation, maintenance, and customer service with Nutshell are free. The software features tools like email marketing, sales automation, and analytics. Like most CRMs, Nutshell attempts to incorporate every tool that a charity would need to drive relationships, and increase donations.


  • Nutshell subscription costs begin at $35 per user. Nonprofit organizations receive a 10% discount
  • Nutshell is easy to use and compact
  • There are no maintenance or set up fees
  • Customers commend Nutshell for their excellent customer service


  • May not fit the needs of large nonprofits
  • Customers find lead importing cumbersome
  • Customers have noted that managing contacts can be difficult

My Opinion:

For small to medium nonprofits who do not have the money to spend on Blackbaud or Salesforce – or do not have the need for such heavy CRMs- then Nutshell is a great option. While they may come up short in some of their features – such as lead importing or managing contacts they make up for in their ease of use, stellar customer service, and their ability to customize their software to fit any charity’s needs. If you’re not quite sold – I would recommend utilizing their free trial to see if it’s right for you.

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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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