What users are saying about

AcademicWorks

9 Ratings
Score 8.9 out of 101

Blackbaud Online Express

7 Ratings
Score 5.8 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

AcademicWorks

We manage over 200 applications online, and could definitely take on more. If you only manage a low number - this would still be great software, but you may not need this. Also, if you have very specific applications, this might not be the best fit. However, if most of your applications are the same and just vary with some specific questions - this is perfect!
Rosisella Blakney profile photo

Blackbaud Online Express

It is well suited to sending simple, mass emails. It seems as though the "donate" pages that it provides are simple and easy to use, and easy to modify.It is not very good for split-testing emails to see which messages work best with which audiences
Tom Andersen profile photo

Pros

  • Reporting - pulling reports in AcademicWorks is so simple and quick. Whether I am putting together a report of applicants for a donor, or the pulling the applicants from a specific school or major, I can do it by the click of a button.
  • Support - if I ever have questions or need help problem solving, the support desk is readily available.
  • Flexibility - we can customize pretty much every aspect of how the user experiences AcademicWorks
Rosisella Blakney profile photo
  • it provides quick and relatively comprehensive data about who opened, clicked and reacted to our emails.
  • It allows us to automatically record transactions made via email to Raiser's Edge. In other words, if someone makes a donation via Online Express, that information is recorded automatically in our data base.
Tom Andersen profile photo

Cons

  • Ability to personalize applications - we serve many companies, and we get requests all the time to use their logo, but we can't do that in AcademicWorks.
  • Selective reviews - some review committees don't want to review specific parts of applications, but we can't pick and choose which questions are reviewable for specific opportunities.
Rosisella Blakney profile photo
  • We recently moved from Constant Contact for our emails to Online Express. Except for the couple of examples I previously gave of what Online Express does well, it underperforms Constant Contact in every way.
  • Its user interface is clunky and hard to manipulate; it seems as if it were designed when the Internet was in its infancy and not updated since.
  • It is extremely time consuming to randomize and divide email lists for split-testing.
  • With Constant Contact we could easily increase our open rates dramatically by simply re-sending our emails the next day to the people who had not opened them. It is extremely cumbersome to do that with Online Express.
  • Online and phone support is slow, wait times are long, and when you finally get a person to talk to or chat with, they often don't know how to solve your problem. And they are annoyingly cheerful about it! It's as if they don't realize that they weren't any help.
  • OE's online email signup form allows visitors to our website to sign up only for our one basic email list. Unfortunately we have six locations and need separate lists for each of those centers.
Tom Andersen profile photo

Alternatives Considered

We used Award Spring and Smarter Select in the past.
Rosisella Blakney profile photo
We chose Online Express because it was bundled with a Raiser's Edge upgrade, and because we hope it would let us manage online donations and memberships more easily. We still expect that to happen. But in every other way, it underperforms Constant Contact. It is harder to create and design emails. It is harder to find answers and solutions to problems. OE's data reporting seems better but it is less meaningful because with OE it is harder to split-test and re-send emails.
Tom Andersen profile photo

Return on Investment

  • We had a 24% increase in applications received after the first year
  • We had a 10% increase in scholarship dollars awarded
  • We had an increase in scholarship funds opened, including companies we weren't able to accommodate before.
Rosisella Blakney profile photo
  • It is difficult to tell. We making the transition from Constant Contact to online express in August. Our end of year fundraising is about to start. We expect it will make it easier to track our donors' and members' actions, which is why we bought into it.
Tom Andersen profile photo

Pricing Details

AcademicWorks

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details

Blackbaud Online Express

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Additional Pricing Details