Our nonprofit did our homework when looking for a donor management system. There were two in the final running and as a result of the Kindful demo and Q&A time, we decided to sign a contract with Kindful. Kindful seemed user friendly, we liked that it was an online platform so that all staff could access the information. I in particular liked that it would sync with QuickBooks to eliminate duplicate posting in the two individual platforms. WE also did not want to use Kindful as our credit card processor and were told that was not a problem, we could continue to use our current system.
The boarding presentation seemed very strong, and always a concern when getting involved with a new system. We paid extra to have 1 hour a month of specialist support, one on one time. We had to have several separate exports of information put into Excel format so that Kindful could manually upload into to Kindful account, items that would not transfer during the onboarding upload. One report I had to create was of all invoices posted in Quickbooks as Kindful did not recognize them when during our onboarding upload. This was a bit time consuming needed to be done for Kindful to be uploaded with accurate information.
After a few months of working with Kindful I realized that some of the transactions posted in QuickBooks were not syncing with Kindful. There were discrepancies in the reports. It was discovered that Kindful was not recognizing a payment method in QuickBooks, and therefore did not accept them and add them to the Kindful donors profile.
We were told we had to modify how we posted payment methods in QuickBooks so that Kindful would recognize the transaction. I had to export a report from QuickBooks of those transactions that did not post in Kindful so that they could add them to Kindful. When the upload was completed, I was horrified to see that this caused a duplication of the transaction in our QuickBooks account, causing 10 years of duplicated deposits. The process to correct our QuickBooks account required that I manually deleted each deposit, one at a time, and there were over 700. The tech support rep from Kindful said there was no other way to correct the duplication in Quickbooks. Who could this happen? It was discovered after the fact that one simple step could have been done, turn off the Kindful to QuickBooks automatic sync feature. How did our onboarding specialist miss this?
After 6 months of working in Kindful, spending approx. 60-70 hours of staff time to add the additional information the initial onboarding upload did not add to Kindful, the time spent working with our specialist to determine what was causing the discrepancies in the financial reports with Kindful and QuickBooks, the time spent correcting the information synced to QuickBooks that corrupted the integrity of QuickBooks, the one program we depend on for accurate financial information, we had to break our ties with Kindful.
During all of the hardships discovered between Kindful and Quickbooks, and the staff hours lost in fixing so many issues, I made an appeal to Kindful asking if they would consider some form of compensation for the staff hours paid to fix the mistakes that could have been avoided if the issues sync feature was set up correctly, and proactively by our contracted specialist and not found after that fact by the technical support person who discovered the problem. They offered a $300 discount for our 2021 renewal, which I again appealed as it did not cover the staff hours paid to fix the mistakes caused by Kindful. They increased that offer to a $600 renewal discount, and that was gracious of them.
As our staff reviewed all that had happened and the cost-benefit Kindful had brought our organization it was determined we would not renew our contract. When I informed Kindful that we were not going to renew, I asked if they would consider prorating our 2020 contract fee and honor the $600 loss of staff hours that was promised as a renewal discount to compensate for the issues we had experienced. I was very disappointed but not surprised when they told us they would not honor any type of financial refund. Therefore, the only conclusion I am left with is the Kindful was not kind to us!