Reviews (1-4 of 4)
We use Blackbaud FIMS across the whole organization, minus the President.
Blackbaud FIMS is well suited for ease of data entry for new requests and immediate access to Guidestar/Candid. We have grants dating back to the 1940s. Blackbaud discontinued historical grants entry. They also discontinued immediate declinations which we used monthly to process over 300 declinations per year.
Read JoAnn Tiefau's full review
I typically receive a response to an inquiry within an hour or two, if not sooner. Most tech support people are knowledgeable about our problems, and if not, they will escalate to the proper person.
September 20, 2016
Score 6 out of 10
MicroEdge GIFTS Classic is one of several systems we use in managing the funding we provide to nonprofit organizations serving the greater Houston area. There are four core users, three of which rely on MicroEdge for the bulk of their daily work to track awarded/declined/pending funding requests, payments due and grantee reporting requirements. Another 10 employees have view only permissions and may use the database as infrequently as once a month. We rely on the database to track due diligence information, ensure the correct person at the organization receives funding and to send out contracts, among other key activities.
- GIFTS Classics does a very good job of processing transactions. You can track workflow and enter/change important information along the lifecycle.
- My favorite feature is the ability to select almost any field within the database and organize how it will be viewed, either within the system or when exported to Excel. You can relabel the column headers, sort, switch the order, stack fields, and capture all the information that will help in both processing and decision making.
- I find the ability to create a wide range of templates that can then be generated and stored through the document manager tool to provide great efficiency and reduce opportunity for error.
- The old-school tables format has made it particularly difficult for the system to be as nimble as the work demands. Its user interface is unappealing and general navigation makes it hard for infrequent uses to find what they need.
- Ad-hoc reporting can get you far. But the set of canned reports with preset criteria and formatting is very limiting.
- Because we want controls between the funding database and the financial database, we value the two systems being separate. However, the way GIFTS tracks different payment activities (cancellations, refunds, voids, etc.) and the inability to easily get 'as of' information, reconciliation with a true accounting system is problematic.
Read Meridian Napoli's full review
It is a very robust system and with the various modules you can accomplish much of what is needed for traditional transaction US-based grantmaking. If you have more complicated grantmaking, deal with foreign currencies or want to have tighter alignment of finance and budget numbers, GIFTS may not meet your needs. Additionally, some of their core projects have limited accessibility in terms of various mobile devices or access from outside the organization's network.
August 19, 2015
Score 9 out of 10
We currently use MicroEdge GIFTS Classic as our foundation's grants management system. While GIFTS Classic is a complex grant management system (GMS) with an antiquated interface, after using the database closely for almost three years, I have learned that this system is capable of helping us in all of our grantmaking - you just have to know how to use it! Currently only our Grants Department uses it, but we plan on rolling out GIFTS to other departments before upgrading to GIFTS Online. GIFTS helps us in tracking, monitoring, and managing online applications, requirements, payments, contract management, and contact management. It also serves as a way to consistently allow our program staff to monitor their philanthropic initiatives programmatically, while Finance still receives the necessary payment information they need (check requests, coding, payment information, etc). GIFTS also helps us generate reports (we use Excel rather than canned reports) to use as a reconciliation report to compare with the Finance Department to ensure we are tracking the same grantmaking expenses.
- Customer support is readily available and comprehensive. As an advanced user, I have been really pleased with MicroEdge customer support and every time I call, my issue is not only resolved, but I learn something new about the system or a simpler way of doing things.
- MicroEdge's support staff are extremely knowledgeable with philanthropy and grantmaking. They are not just database administrators, they assist in helping their users conceptualize how to use the database to the best of their ability in a way that is aligned with their organization's grantmaking strategies and initiatives. For example, our Foundation does a wide variety of grantmaking from matching contributions to complex contract management for operating grants. MicroEdge has helped us restructure our code tables and user ability in a way that works for us.
- MicroEdge does a great job at hosting user groups by geographic region so we can personally express our concerns and desires for our organization's needs. You get more than a GMS when you choose MicroEdge.
- While GIFTS Classic is the most barren interfaces of all MicroEdge products, there are some simple capabilities I wish GIFTS could still perform such as better email integration from outlook to a GIFTS request, more efficient requirement reminders, and a wider use of Microsoft Office and other external product integration (GuideStar).
- It's disappointing that you have to purchase an additional "Customizer Module" or "Budget Module" in order to access basic functions of a GMS. This seems like a basic system function that MicroEdge takes advantage of, unfortunately.
- The online application module (IGAM) is still quite antiquated and you have to be knowledgeable of basic HTML in order to really customize your organization's online application. More flexibility and design functions would be greatly appreciated with the online application function, especially since this is a public document and represents your organization.
Read Margie O'Connor's full review
I think MicroEdge can meet a wide variety of organizational needs, whether you have $20 million in assets or $500 million. Our foundation manages $200 million in assets and GIFTS Classic has helped us do this efficiently. We realize that as we grow we will need a more sophisticated system, thus our move to GIFTS Online. The only scenario I would recommend an organization considering MicroEdge to look into first, is whether their CRM or financial management database can sync with GIFTS. Currently our accounting software does not sync with GIFTS, which was once a goal of ours, and we are forced to continue processing our grants manually as opposed to electronically.
December 23, 2015
Score 4 out of 10
MicroEdge GIFTS was used organization wide by four of our five total employees. As the organization is a private foundation, GIFTS was used to manage contacts, applications, reports, and payments of grants for our Grants Program. GIFTS was essential in keeping track of the application and payment history of the international organizations which applied to our foundation for grants for over three decades.
- Simple layout
- Duplication reports
- Lots of fields for organization-specific information
- GIFTS system had many inherent bugs
- Difficult to search for information in GIFTS
- Customer support was difficult to reach
- When reached, customer service was rude and unhelpful
- GIFTS system could not put addresses in alphabetical order by country
- Upon updates, GIFTS system would crash and data would become corrupted
- GIFTS often would freeze and crash when exporting information to Excel
- GIFTS would not allow for the deletion of certain program codes even when user had full administrative privileges
Read this authenticated review
I believe a company starting out with a whole new database may take advantage of MicroEdge GIFTS. However, GIFTS would not work well for an organization which is transferring their old data onto the platform. GIFTS does not update well as time passes and data would most likely be lost and/or corrupted. I have not worked with the newest GIFTS online, so I do not know if that process would be smooth or not, but from what my coworkers told me upon hire, it seems GIFTS was very difficult to customize online. When attempting to use GIFTS online, our organization was told that we'd have to pay an invoice of several thousand dollars to change three words in a paragraph on the online system. Lastly, and most importantly, we found MicroEdge's customer service to be nearly impossible to reach, rude, and never helpful when help was sought out. Organizations which would need help with the program should not expect to be serviced in a timely or helpful manner.
Blackbaud FIMS (formerly MicroEdge) Scorecard Summary
About Blackbaud FIMS (formerly MicroEdge)
Blackbaud invites the user to manage and improve your funding and giving process with Blackbaud FIMS, a single, customizable foundation management software solution.
It is based on the former MicroEdge FIMS product.
Categories: Grant Management Software
Blackbaud FIMS (formerly MicroEdge) Technical Details