Likelihood to Recommend
LiveImpact would be an excellent choice for any nonprofit, irrespective of size. For those still using Excel to manage their donor data, this would be a hyper boost of productivity and tracking. For those hosting events or campaigns, the development and deployment of microsites are super easy and user-friendly.
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ETO Social Solutions should be avoided until they start caring about the problems generated by their software. In regards specifically to the ARMS suite utilized by the entire state of California, until the ETO software learns how to speak with SOMS, and unless it can be customized by knowledgeable people who consult with front-line users. It is not appropriate to provide the state legislature with bad data. I have 6 years of experience with it and I have multiple sources of agreement from fellow users throughout the state.
Read full review Pros All-in-one solution with CRM, microsites for campaigns/events, and communications Very easy reporting systems Excellent customer support, plus continuous feature enhancements Read full review ETO's customization allows for the use of so many different and unique applications. The ability to build extremely customized reports also allows us to get very detail oriented results or very broad building wide stats. The additional added features such as workflow, referrals, and ETO Engage are useful in their own way and add more ways to better track and record data while simplifying some end-user processes. Read full review Cons The user interface is not intuitive and exceptionally difficult for non-tech savvy people to learn. The system is not as customizable as we were led to believe at the initial purchase. The system does not interface well with other systems. Organizationally we are moving towards data integration, and we will likely replace ETO because of this limitation. Considering the limitations of the system, the cost is quite high. We've seen only marginal benefits of this system over pen and paper, and the ROI is not promising. The initial build process was very frustrating. We didn't understand what the developer was billing us for. Something like simple touchpoint forms was billed for more hours than it would seem to require. A system like this should be both fully mobile compatible and have offline functionality. We would benefit from more nuanced security settings. Read full review Likelihood to Renew
Social Solutions has been great for our organization. It has allowed us to not only report on data, but to dive into it to see trends and give snapshots of the current status of our neighbors. Social Solutions has been helpful in getting us to see additional ways we can use our data and ways that it is easier for front line staff to use this tool
Read full review Usability
As a technically savvy person with experience learning new database software systems I find ETO relatively straightforward now that I've been trained in it's use. However, many of our staff are less technically savvy and the learning curve for ETO can be grueling for many, who require frequent troubleshooting and support from me. Additionally, there are small quality of life improvements that would increase usability even for me - such as allowing multiple tabs to be open simultaneously or being able to use the browser's "back" and "forward" buttons.
Read full review Reliability and Availability
Routine maintenance is announced with plenty of lead time, and the few times I've been unable to log in to the system properly a simple refresh was all that was required to fix.
Read full review Performance
Mostly really strong now, although I understand that for some years before switching their hosting service to AWS performance was a real issue with ETO and we had frequent problems with pages timing out or other glitches stemming from performance issues. With AWS that is mostly a thing of the past, although it is still a major issue with the reporting tool which is unable to run reports on the entire database due to performance limitations, instead requiring admins to define universes prior to running queries.
Read full review Support Rating
We love the first tier customer support folks! They're friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable within the scope of their position. The experiences we've had with their supervisors have also been mostly good and again they seem to be doing what they can within the scope of their positions. This is what prevents me from selecting 1. Unfortunately, none of these wonderful folks can offer real solutions when things are actually broken. They verify there's a problem and send it to the black hole called "the developers". After that, we don't hear anything useful and we figure out how to live with/work around the problem ourselves. (Requests for updates typically get "still with the developer" responses.) This is highly frustrating given that most of our issues are basic system issues (functionality that worked then broke after an update by Social Solutions, servers not syncing, report universes not flattening automatically, etc.). All we want is for the system to work as designed and to be fixed in a timely fashion when it doesn't. Apparently, that's too much to ask. (And no, we don't expect it to happen instantly, programming and quality control checks obviously take time.)
Read full review Online Training
Really good trainer and exhaustive curriculum covered, but ETO is a complex enough system that you don't *really* know how to use it until you've been in the trenches for a few weeks. For instance, I took a Report Writing training and emerged with some fluency in the reports interface and a vague understanding of the process, but immediately encountered a legion of instance-specific idiosyncrasies that would have been totally impossible to address in a webinar training for a dozen folks from different orgs working in different instances.
Read full review Implementation Rating
Hard to say, as I was not with the agency at the time. However, based on our use of the software ~5years later I can say that there were no catastrophic design choices made during implementation that have become unduly burdensome as we've scaled up.
Read full review Alternatives Considered
Ease of use, more comprehensive, price
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When we made our decision several years ago Social Solutions had just acquired Apricot. At that time it was recommended to use ETO based off our revenue stream. However, it seems like Social Solutions has put in a lot more time and effort into Apricot over ETO and it seems more modern and user friendly. I think it is worth a second look once our contract expires
Read full review Scalability The core product scales well, and we've grown quite a bit as an agency during our use of ETO. However, there are some real pain points particularly around creating new programs and managing report universes that require extensive offline checklist resources and a full-spectrum understanding of how changing settings in one part of ETO can have downstream impact in other areas. This can introduce a "chilling" effect on proposed changes to the system, where there is strong incentive to leave things as-is to avoid unforeseen consequences. Read full review Return on Investment I would say that at this point the overall ROI has been negative as we aren't getting much more out of our data by the switch we made to ETO, but the cost is much higher. I anticipate that will change as we get better at using ETO. Most users that have switched to ETO in our organization prefer it to what they were using before and some are more appreciative of the value they can get from the data. Read full review ScreenShots ETO by Social Solutions Screenshots