There are several different formats and configurations available for endowment software. Some products are stand-alone, while others are made to be integrated with specific accounting or fundraising systems. Other kinds of endowment software can work with several kinds of systems. There are both web and hard drive-based products. Some products are available in both formats.
One type of endowment software comes as a module that is combined with other similar pieces to make a customized system for the user. For example, some kinds of fundraising software products have modules that can be used to enhance their function. One of the benefits of this kind of endowment software is that it is made with the full suite of products in mind. For that reason, it is less likely that there will be compatibility issues. Adapting to and using the product may be easier as well.
There are also more comprehensive stand-alone types of endowment software. These products often handle a wide range of tasks, from managing money to ensuring that users are kept apprised of local regulations and guidelines for endowments. This kind of software may also help an organization to align with industry best practices.
Other kinds of endowment software products can work both alone and as a part of an integrated system. These products can be useful for a growing an organization that is starting with limited resources. They can also be a good way to try a product before investing in an entire suite of software.
Most types of endowment software will have some sort of financial reporting system. Many products can import data from an organization’s accounting software, though in some cases the information may need to be entered manually. The ability to export information to different document formats, such as spreadsheets and portable document files (PDFs) is also a common feature.
Which endowment software to choose depends upon the size, needs, and resources of an organization. If an organization does not have major expansion plans, then a simple, stand-alone product may suffice. Newer organizations will usually benefit from flexible software that can be built as the venture grows. An established organization or one that has strong financial resources may enjoy the benefit of a top-level, integrated software suite which includes an endowment module. The complexity of an endowment is another factor to consider, as it can have a significant effect on which software would be most beneficial regardless of the size of an organization.