The Raisers Edge Reviews

158 Ratings
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Score 7.1 out of 101

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Maryam Qureshi profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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The Raisers Edge is used by the college as a database to store constituent information, create queries, exports, create events, track attendance of events, track RSVPs, and use with BlackBaud in order to send out event invites. Raisers edge is also used to ensure that all communication, such as phone and email addresses are all current.
  • Queries
  • Exports
  • Data
  • Events
  • User friendly
  • Easy to learn
For events, it is very hard to use at all times, since the system is slower at times when we are using it to track RSVPs, we cannot update at the same time if another user is in it. This makes it harder to ensure that two users can use it at the same time.
Read Maryam Qureshi's full review
Rachel Slager profile photo
December 16, 2018

Good, bad, and ugly

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raisers Edge is used by our fundraising department and accessed by departments throughout the university. We use it primarily to track alumni and donors.
  • This integrates very well with Microsoft Office products, which for reporting, letter writing and syncing to Outlook calendars sets it apart from many fundraising software options.
  • The complex architecture means that there are standards built-in for many different types of data one might need to track. Many software options are customizable to each organization, but having many different standard fields means that many organizations are tracking data by the same standard. This also makes it easier to onboard new staff who have prior experience with the software.
  • The Blackbaud Knowledge base is great, but the user community puts it above the rest. If Raisers Edge is number 1 in anything, the forums are tops. They have a community of active users who share their software policies and processes, but also best business practices for others to adopt. What Blackbaud did is incentivize users to respond, and then organized responses by needs, indexed it for easy searching, and even when I'm not an org. using their software, I still go to their users to seek creative solutions.
  • Additional modules are not tied to additional Query types. This means if I pay extra so we can have unique records to track each major gift proposal, we can still only group by the people we are soliciting and then report on all of their proposals, rather than being able to target by type or date and so forth.
  • In places where they are lacking, people have created plug-ins. It would be nice if the function of these plug-ins was then incorporated into future upgrades, but they never are. It often seems as though once someone else solves a Raiser's Edge problem, the company deems the problem solved and pays no more attention to it.
  • The technical support staff are beginner to intermediate users and it shows. They lack experience using the software at an actual non-profit, they quote from the user guides and often, they are wrong about what the software cannot do. They often say the software can't do it, or they don't have a solution yet, but frequently they are underestimating the software, or don't know how to trick it.
  • The user guides and support are often experts in Raiser's Edge, but not in the other Blackbaud integrated software, so if you have issues with how one of their solutions (like NetCommunity) speaks/integrates to Raiser's Edge, you can speak to people who are experts in one or the other but not both. So neither are able to solve the problem because neither knows how the other piece works, yet they all work for the same company!
  • There are huge issues with gift reporting, and if you check out user forums you'll find that regardless of years of complaints, nothing has changed in the software architecture. Issue one is that there is no way to report on soft credits that come from a spouse gift as opposed to an corportate/foundation gift. Two is that there is no way good way to report on split gifts. You can get the data, sort of, and you can somersault in external reporting software like Crystal Reports, but at the end of the day it has never worked well. Three is that the built-in gift reports are extremely limited in the type of data they can display. Fourth is that the built-in analytical reports are limited in how they allow you to target data; for instance, there is a strong desire to be able to report on consistent giving rather than consecutive years giving - and here you encounter issues with the way soft credits are attributed, how the analysis makes no acceptions for one missed year out of 25 giving years, and so forth. Though these things can be built in custom reports, it'd be nice if more of the built-in reports met the needs of the average fundraising office.
  • Perhaps the biggest problem with Raiser's Edge stems from the customer expectation. It is the top of the line software in non-profits, it is very expensive yet widely used. It is very complex software, and every customer should have staff who are dedicated to managing the software, maintaining and cleaning the data. Three years after converting to RE, many clients find themselves scrambling to hire database managers or outside consultants to clean up the disasterous mess of data scattered, hidden, throughout the database. This seems like a very common occurrence, especially in mid-size to small organizations.
Large non-profits are great clients for this software. Anyone investing in a custom database should consider Raisers Edge (RE) first, as custom databases are only as good as the staff who built it and the likelihood that they won't get a different job. Mid-size organizations who are donor funded more than grant funded should take a good look at this, especially if they can invest in training for a staff person solely dedicated to managing the software. Small organizations, particularly those with a fundraising department of fewer than 10, should look elsewhere at software like Salesforce. Any organization who relies heavily on grant funding or needs to do extensive endowment management/reporting should look for an alternative as Raiser's Edge has never successfully created grant management tools, nor do they have integrated software for this.
Read Rachel Slager's full review
Amy Dana, bCRE profile photo
December 14, 2018

Top-Line Product

Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raiser's Edge is the fundraising and alumni tracking database for the advancement department. It is also used by staff in the president's office and the business office for constituent and gift management. RE houses all current information on students, alumni, parents, and donors, including contact information, giving history, work and education information, and other data from across the university.
  • Ease of use: While there is a steep learning curve for database admins, the system is relatively easy for a user who simply wants to look up information on a constituent. The interface is clean and intuitive and the system allows a number of ways to search (partial names, street address, phone, etc).
  • Reporting: If you put it in to RE, there is a way to get it out. And 95% of the time there is already a canned report created that will give you what you need. If not, you can create your own report in Crystal Reports or use a query and Excel to further manipulate that data.
  • Support: Don't know how to do something? You've got user manuals, an online knowledge base , an entire Blackbaud Community site, and BB Support to help you out. The annual bbcon is also invaluable for picking up tips and pointers from experts and peers.
  • Learning Curve: This isn't a database you can become an expert on overnight. If your organization is interested in adopting RE, I definitely recommend training (formal or informal). It will be helpful for your organization to have someone dedicated to RE. I know there are organizations that purchase it and expect to either have everyone be an expert or for one person with an already full plate to take on the DBA functions.
  • Cost: It's not cheap by any means. I know the price can throw a lot of people but I truly believe that in this case you get what you pay for.
  • The upsell: I understand Blackbaud is a company but I feel like there is a lot of pressure put on people to upgrade/purchase additional BB products.
I honestly believe that The Raisers Edge (RE) can be used for any organization. It is extremely adaptable as long as you have the staffing to support it.
Read Amy Dana, bCRE's full review
Lily Barger profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raiser's Edge is primarily used by one org within the university, but we do have some outside users. In all, we have about 160 users of Raiser's Edge.
  • Raiser's Edge houses a large variety of data points regarding constituents.
  • The query and export tools are fairly easy to use.
  • Great for keeping a long and detailed history of constituents and gifts.
  • We recently moved to Blackbaud hosting for Raiser's Edge. That has been challenging because we no longer have control over when updates are made. While Blackbaud does communicate these updates, it can be frustrating if the updates break a process.
  • There are inconsistencies in exports in that some of the fields available in query are not available in export and that can be challenging.
  • As Raiser's Edge is migrated to NXT, some functionality exists in Raiser's Edge (database view) that does not exist in NXT (webview) and that frustrates our users.
Raiser's Edge is very well suited for a fundraising organization, especially one in higher ed, like ours. Especially a larger shop with many users where various permission levels are needed.
Read Lily Barger's full review
KaLeigh Hurley profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Raisers Edge daily for reporting, data analysis, and gift entry.
  • Easy to learn: The system is somewhat self-explanatory, but there are so many courses offered online to learn. I learned how to use the system optimally within a few weeks.
  • Easy to manipulate: The grouping and reporting tools can customize how you present your data. It is very simple.
  • Great resources: The system has helpful tips and explanations on the screen. You don't have to go far to find a quick answer.
  • We are hosted, and there are limits to how much data we can put into the database. It can be frustrating at times to figure out what to keep and what to get rid of.
Raisers Edge is great for any data storage. It is not necessarily the best to analyze prospects.
Read KaLeigh Hurley's full review
Sydney Graczyk profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Our entire organization uses The Raisers Edge. It is a great way to store, access, and organize information. It addresses the business problem of being able to sort donors, volunteers, and program users within the organization. The Raisers Edge is also used to store financial data both for expenses and revenue.
  • Storing in-depth information and being able to organize it
  • Exporting data in a way that makes sense for your organization
  • Easily accessible by all staff members at any time
  • While the in-depth functions are nice, it can be difficult to maintain that amount of information
  • The Raisers Edge could improve the issues of duplicates
  • The Raisers Edge requires in-depth training to be able to be user-friendly
The Raisers Edge is well suited for an organization that deals with multiple streams of intake and outtake. It is well suited for organizations that have a large base of people to track. The Raisers Edge is not appropriate for businesses that do not need to organize information in different forms or to manipulate data.
Read Sydney Graczyk's full review
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Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Raisers Edge in our Development and Membership departments to track all donations and memberships. It allows us to track these transactions as well as our interactions with our donors and members that help us determine how to move people to higher levels of engagement and deeper levels of investment in our mission.
  • Gift recording: gift tab gives you detailed information about where gift is coming from, why, and if the donor was thanked or not.
  • Relationship Management: Action/Prospect tabs allow you to record phone conversations, emails, and mailings and integrates with Outlook to set future meetings, solicitations, and grant application and report deadlines.
  • Query/export: We are able to segment our 100,000+ constituents to send targeted communications.
  • Interface: the system isn't very 'pretty.' Other databases are more user friendly, but may not be as powerful.
  • Online support: the online interface is embarrassingly old.
With large organizations, Raisers Edge may be the only option for one to consider unless you have the ability to have a custom database made for you in the case of higher education institutions and hospitals. Many people have used the product so it's really easy to find answers to questions you have online without having to get in touch with Blackbaud, which can be time-consuming.
Read this authenticated review
Elora Tocci profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Raisers Edge is used by the Development department to keep track of important donor and constituent information, such as contact information and relationships with other constituents. It is also used to track gifts made by donors and as a quick point of reference to answer questions about dates contributions were made, addresses to send thank you notes to, and other important information.
  • The Raisers Edge makes it easy to quickly look up a name and find out information about that person all in one place.
  • The Raisers Edge is fairly intuitive for basic functions and does not require much training to get started.
  • The Raisers Edge allows information tracking for multiple pieces of data about a single constituent or gift, which is helpful for understanding trends and big-picture analyses.
  • The Raisers Edge feels very outdated and could benefit from a refreshed look and feel.
  • Running reports is not intuitive and could be made more user-friendly.
  • Raisers Edge is often slow to run, which can be very frustrating.
The Raisers Edge is great for basic functionalities such as tracking and looking up information about donors and gifts. It is also great for people who will not need the database for more than basic tracking or do not have time or capacity for an extended training. For a situation that requires more in-depth analysis or for someone who will spend a lot of time with the system on a daily basis, I might recommend looking elsewhere.
Read Elora Tocci's full review
Michelle Hidalgo profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
I work for the Development department and we have a team of four that uses Raisers Edge for our donor database. I am a site admin. We also have Raisers NXT as an additional resource which takes the database view and turns it into an attractive and user friendly view. We are able to easily and efficiently track donor records and run reports. We are able to run consecutive year reports and other detailed reports.
  • Running reports and queries is user friendly and intuitive. It could get complicated to run detailed donor reports however they offer some already created reports you may customize.
  • Blackbaud support is available daily to assist in screen sharing , reports, queries.
  • Raisers' dashboard makes it easy to track new donors, lapsed donors and you could customize what you are looking for in the results.
  • The consecutive year report is pre-made however it’s not always the most accurate with years of giving.
  • The NXT version consecutive years of giving is sometimes different then the database years.
  • The dashboard is usually off by a small number as far as donor number accuracy compared to query donor count.
The Raisers Edge is a great donor record management database and NXT is an intuitive and attractive edition. NXT is necessary for reminders on major giving prospects and the mobile view is great for donor visits. Raisers is quite costly so for companies looking to spend less there are other alternatives.
Read Michelle Hidalgo's full review
Amber Manning profile photo
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Raiser's Edge to manage all of our donations. It helps us have a single place to locate all donor and giving data.
  • The reporting is good and robust you can slice and dice the data anyway you want.
  • You can capture a lot of information about your constituents and their giving history.
  • It supports planned giving and recurring giving out of the box.
  • The UX is very old and outdated looking.
  • There are several usability issues like you can't copy certain fields like the ID since it isn't text. You also can't use some of the standard keyboard shortcuts like Ctr+A to select all. These small things can really slow you down when you are working.
  • In order to search you have to select what you are searching for gift, fund, constituent. In other more modern databases like Salesforce you can search across all objects at once which is very helpful. Furthermore, when you are searching certain data can’t be searched on. For example you can’t search on an email address if the individual is logged as a relationship of an organization record
  • When you are querying RE it will often pull duplicate results. If a certain gift or constituent meets more than one criterion it will appear in the query twice. As such, in order to get deduped results you have to run a query through an export or a report so most data sets that you need have to be found in a two step process.
  • You can't add custom fields to RE. Instead you have to rely on attributes in order to add additional information. This works relatively well but it keeps the data segregated onto the attributes tab rather than appearing immediately where you need the information.
  • It is annoying that you can't upload documents and attachments to gifts. Instead, you have to put gift backup onto the media area of the constituent record. This makes it much harder to identify the correct backup document(s) for gifts.
  • This database is extremely expensive. As a nonprofit it's hard to justify the costs.
  • The old versions are not hosted so you have to host them yourself which can be costly and updates are not rolled out automatically. Instead you have to manually update the tool. If there are compatibility issues with the data you have to fix that before upgrading.
I think it does the majority of functionality that people need to log their gifts, run acknowledgements, and record constituent and event data. If you want to be doing more sophisticated stuff, running automatic communications or reminders, etc. it doesn't have that functionality.
Read Amber Manning's full review
Catherine Miller profile photo
November 14, 2017

Raisers Edge

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raisers Edge is our fundraising database, used by our entire Institutional Advancement department. Raisers Edge allows us to securely and accurately track our contributions and pledges and accurately reconcile with our finance department. There are many tools within the database that allow for additional customer relationship management tracking, including recognition preferences, event participation, and corporate and interpersonal relationships.
  • Detailed relationship management modules.
  • Easy to pull giving histories for individual donors.
  • Flexible Query and Export capabilities.
  • Not able to easily "suppress" information from a query/export pull.
  • Not able to easily put together reports that pull based on different criteria (i.e. event attendees and contributors).
  • Confusion for event revenue based on tax deductibility.
  • Lack of integration with a ticketing database.
Raisers Edge is well-suited in a fundraising environment for an organization that does not have ticketing needs. It is much less well-suited for a performance organization that regularly sells tickets. There is no way to manage any ticketing needs within the database. Our museum sells tickets and we do not have access to this data for donor pipeline pulling.
Read Catherine Miller's full review
Katalin Sankowich profile photo
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raiser’s Edge is used by both the development and accounting departments at my organization. We use it to track, record, and report constituent giving, as well as event attendance and prospect information. The Raiser's Edge, in combination with Financial Edge, allows us to keep detailed financial records and generate detailed reports.
  • The reporting functions in Raiser's Edge (both the canned and customizable reports) are very versatile and robust.
  • The integration with Financial Edge allows for easy reconciliation between development and accounting.
  • The administrative functions in Raiser's Edge make global changes, security changes and imports very simple.
  • The default fillable fields in Raiser's Edge aren't, for the most part, customizable or removable. If you don't use a particular field in a donor record, for instance, you can't remove it for a more streamlined UI.
  • Queries and export can be cumbersome for individuals who aren't especially computer savvy.
  • I find particular issues with reporting of split gifts - issues that Blackbaud is aware of, but hasn't made any improvements upon in years.
If you want a fairly user-friendly interface and pretty decent, albeit simple, reports, Raiser's Edge is a great tool. If you're looking for more complex reporting and analysis, it isn't fantastic (in my opinion).
Read Katalin Sankowich's full review
Jenna Cronin profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raiser’s Edge is used by the advancement division at my organization, which includes the development, events, and membership departments. Raiser’s Edge is used to track and report on constituent giving whether it’s an outright donation, an event ticket, or a membership purchase. The software allows us to keep a detailed giving history on each constituent, track communications, pull segmented mailing lists, and store many other useful attributes about each individual constituent.
  • Raiser’s Edge has over 100 canned reports to assist with all aspects of reporting in the system. These reports are fairly customizable to your organizations individual needs and if there’s not a report that matches your needs you can write custom reports.
  • The export tool is very developed and robust for extracting information from the system. You can extract almost every field in the system, which is hundreds. One of the most useful tools in export is extracting giving history summaries, which are completely customizable.
  • The batch tool for entering constituents and/or gifts makes entering mass amounts of information quick and easy.
  • Database administrators have some really powerful tools such as Global Change and Imports to perform mass changes and cleanup in the system.
  • You can set security within the system by groups or by individual users. This is really helpful for organizations that have many users of all different abilities and roles.
  • The tables and fields within Raiser's Edge are extremely customizable to your organization's individual needs. This means that business decisions should be well thought out, written policies need to be in place, and you need to have a dedicated database administrator to keep your data clean and streamlined.
  • There is no batch functionality for memberships, which makes memberships quite labor intensive to enter in large quantities. Additionally, the membership tool is so advanced/customized that it doesn’t easily integrate with services like Import Omatic out of the box.
  • Raiser’s Edge as a whole is not very user friendly and requires training for users. The system will seem very intuitive to a data minded individual but not super functional for a front line fundraiser for example. The query, export, and reporting tools are difficult to use without training and interest in learning. Blackbaud is addressing this issue with the release of Raiser’s Edge NXT.
  • I'd like to see more user friendly guides and best practices guidelines within the system. It's often hard to locate the exact help topic you're looking for when in the online knowledge base. Although, support is very responsive if you can't help yourself!
Raiser's Edge is well suited for medium to large organizations that require a robust system for collecting data, running reports, and managing relationships with their constituents. The system does require upkeep, customizations, and constant managing so it's best suited for an organization that has the personnel resources to commit time to database management.
Read Jenna Cronin's full review
Brent Troth, bCRE-Pro profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Raiser's Edge (RE) to better enable us to build a relationship with our donors at all levels, but especially the relationship with our major donors. Raiser's Edge enables us to track the donor throughout their donor lifecycle, to monitor progress through the Moves Management process. The advent of Raiser's Edge NXT has even provided our major gift officers with proactive suggestions of donors who may need more attention or who may be in danger of lapsing. We also use Raiser's Edge's Events Module to manage a wide range of events from small house parties of less than 50 guests to large dinner/luncheon events of 250+ attendees. Finally, our data in Raiser's Edge has been deemed so accurate that our RE database is used as a sub-ledger of our finance department's general ledger - which means that we are no longer have staff in two departments enter the same individual gift data into two different software systems.
  • Raiser's Edge provides opportunity to not only track a lot of information about an individual donors, but also allows us to "connect the dots" by helping us to track the relationships between our donors - donors who have connections to foundations that may increase our chances of getting a grant funded, donors who have connections to significant major donors who can help us to increase their friend's relationship with our organization, donors who have significant political connections who can help us to make sure that our issues are heard by our representatives.
  • Raiser's Edge provides many modules - events, volunteers, planned giving, that help to manage, track, and report on those activities.
  • Raiser's Edge is constantly making improvements in the software. Much of it based on customer feedback.
  • Raiser's Edge can be a little overwhelming for some users who are not as comfortable with computers and software. Building queries and exports can be particularly intimidating to some. A skilled and knowledgeable database support infrastructure is really a must have - even if this is one person who really knows the software inside and out in small shops.
  • It would be great if Raiser's Edge could increase the pace at which new improvements are made to Raiser's Edge 7 in much the same way that new functionality is rolled out frequently for Raiser's Edge NXT.
  • Raiser's Edge could use some streamlining of screens/tabs for data entry to make routine tasks more efficient.
Raiser's Edge is really essential for large shop development departments, especially those with sophisticated multi-channel fundraising programs. It may not be the best fit for small shop development departments with limited resources in terms of both budget allocations for software and personnel resources that can be dedicated to data hygiene activities.
Read Brent Troth, bCRE-Pro's full review
Lindsay Boughey profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
Raisers Edge is being used by the development department to track donations and our constituents relationship to us as an organization. Our database is not large but the relationships are long and often complicated. A database like this allows us to see the constituent and all of the interactions we have had with them over the years. The Raisers Edge in combination with some of the add-ons like Online Express have been helpful for seamless tracking of newsletter readership and conversions from our website and online publications.
  • Queries are what we use to create lists of constituents with particular behaviors or similarities that we can use for creating mailings, invitations or actions. An amazing tool with endless possibilities.
  • Raisers Edge is a beast of a program. It can do just about anything you could want for a donor database and Blackbaud offers several supplemental solutions that seamlessly integrate.
  • Donor stewardship, from first contact, to donation, to acknowledgement letter, is a process that is handled particularly well with Raisers Edge
  • The program is quite complicated and if data is not entered correctly than the program just won't work well. "bad in, bad out'. But that is not unique to this program.
  • That some of the features that I like to use like global changes for adding appeals is pretty buried and the way of finding it convoluted.
  • Attributes could be more flexible: like I would prefer to have all events under one table (which it can do now) but then there is no step further where I can then say whether they RSVP and then also whether they attended and their name for easy export for nametags.
Raiser's Edge is great for development departments of medium to large nonprofits, schools, etc., especially those with sophisticated fundraising programs. It may not be the best fit for small nonprofits with limited resources in the budget. The Raiser's Edge is an excellent software for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship and allows for easy tracking of each constituent's relationship with your organization.
Read Lindsay Boughey's full review
Tom Klimchak profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We wanted a database that would combine all our constituents, gifts and events into one database where we could easily access the information and continue to grow in complexity as we expanded. Throughout our time using Raiser's Edge it has exceeded all our criteria and expectations...
  • Ease of use: Because Raiser's Edge is so easy to learn and use we've dramatically cut down on our training and report development time. Our data is much cleaner and more accurate now because we have so many people who can easily spot and correct data errors before they become problems.
  • Support: the myriad of support options from peers in the field, online communities, third party material and even their support chat line has all helped us work through problems easily and with much less time than our previous software.
  • Customization of some canned reports is lacking, but the ability to build your own reports in Crystal Reports has been a lifesaver.
  • A lot of the tools in Raiser's Edge provide simple analysis, but for any sort of true analytics you'll want to export your data to specialized software.
  • Being able to build and query on calculated fields would expand usability 100 times over.
Raiser's Edge is great for larger organizations with a lot of resources (colleges, hospitals, well-established nonprofits), though it might be overkill for a small non-profit with less than 10,000 constituents.
Read Tom Klimchak's full review
Jennifer Claudy, bCRE, CTA profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
At my current organization, we use The Raiser's Edge (and RE:NXT) in two departments, possibly adding a third within the year. Development uses it for fundraising and Marketing for sending out emails (via Online Express). I have also worked with RE in 3 previous positions at 2 other organizations. One a major arts & cultural institution (RE used for development, membership, and volunteer management) and the other an affiliate office of a social service organization where we operated with one overall RE database for all 16 affiliates.
  • RE has built-in fields and tools for most everything you need, and then the capacity for additional modules or integrated products, extra fields (attributes), and custom processes and reports for anything you need that might be a little outside the norm. Exporting and Importing data is pretty straightforward once you've done it a few times. It is a very versatile product and can be set up in numerous ways to handle many different pieces of data.
  • RE:NXT is the newest product...a cloud-based user interface to your database. It's still being developed, but to me, that's a great thing because we (the end-users) are able to have a lot of input over how that design and development happens. Blackbaud has been making an intentional push to actively solicit feedback from customers and to use that feedback to improve and further develop its products. It'll be a long wait, but well worth it. This UI is particularly user-friendly to the fundraiser and is accessible from any mobile device...while still maintaining the RE:7 "regular" interface where your database administrator and data entry staff will primarily work at this point.
  • The Blackbaud Community, with a section for each product, is a great online resource! Post questions or dilemmas and get fast responses (usually within 3 hours) from other users and from BB staff who are also active in the space. The Community also connects you with resources like the idea banks, webinars and events, and trainings. Along with training, the recently revamped certification program enables organizations to hire staff who know not only the basics of the product but also enough to make the product flex to accommodate the specific needs of your organization. Or to offer professional development to current staff as they learn in preparation for taking the exams.
  • The focus, understandably, is on the development of NXT, as the next big move for the product. But that means that while RE:7 features might see tweaks and improvements, it is less likely that we will see brand new features.
  • There are some things that RE just can't/won't do, and that can be frustrating. A former supervisor used to lament that canned reports will "do everything you want until the very last thing" and I often must agree. There are always workarounds, but they aren't always efficient or feasible.
  • Training subscriptions are offered only at the organization level. So if you want training and professional development as an individual (because your organization doesn't have the resources to purchase a training package), there isn't an option for you. I have talked with BB about this, so hopefully it will be an available option in the future, but for now, it's a definite place for improvement.
Blackbaud is a well-known and respected company, and The Raiser's Edge is widely used across a variety of organizations (big and small, local and national/global, etc.). It's a versatile product, and with the help of users in the community, Blackbaud staff, and independent consultants or a smart hire of a great database administrator, it can really help any nonprofit get the fundraising done and turn more focus to mission. It is an expense, but working with the right account manager and getting the right set of products plus the right staff (and training/knowledge/experience) to use them, the return on investment is probably there. Most issues I've encountered are caused by data integrity and consistency rather than the product itself...and that again comes back to staff training, knowledge, and experience.
Read Jennifer Claudy, bCRE, CTA's full review
Lisa Bol profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We have used Raisers Edge for over 15 years for donor gift management, events, membership and so much more. Words cannot begin to describe how it has helped our organization in seamless management of our financials, records, reports and data analysis.
  • Data management including capturing data, robust queries, exports and reporting.
  • Integration with many other apps, programs and lots of specialized companies.
  • Awesome customer service.
  • Great knowledgebase, community forums, user groups and learning opportunities.
  • Utilizes microsoft citrix receiver to enter the software which at times is cumbersome.
Raisers Edge would be well suited for any medium to large non-profit organization.
Read Lisa Bol's full review
Elaine Tucker profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use RE for all departments. It is very functional for events, donations, grants, membership and volunteers. We use it to manage our annual Gala donations, as well as prospects and moves management for our Development Office. It allows accurate data information to
be stored for all our departments, so when it comes time to report on Grants we have the information needed at our fingertips.

It solves the problem of who-what-when-where-why. RE is GREAT at allowing the database to be rigid enough for database quality/integrity but fluid and flexible enough to allow all our different department to use it as the CENTRAL (and only) location for all our information needed to not only do our daily jobs, but to leave a good legacy for those who come after us to continue our mission.
  • RE is a wonderful donation/fundraising software. You can handle many different types of fund raising with ease. Cash gifts, Deferred Gifts, Recurring gifts, pledges, proposals and legacy gifts are all easily managed within RE.
  • RE is flexible with customization fields with attributes for almost every kind of record, constituent, gift, action, event, participant etc. These attributes allow you to add fields and information specific to your department or organization. We currently have attributes for schools, events and volunteers just to name a FEW.
  • RE is a relational database, so everything is based on relationships - which is the heart and soul of friend raising. I just love that "it's all connected"
  • The membership module works ok, but there is some missed functionality - especially in regards to shared memberships and organizational memberships. Currently if someone is on a shared membership they are there for the ENTIRE membership term. There are no "to and from" dates for secondary members on a membership. While this is not a deal breaker for us, it would be helpful if this additional piece of information was available. Also the database structure forces you to code upgrade or downgrade anytime the program changes. Our upgrades and downgrades are within the category level, not necessarily the program level so some of the upgrade/downgrade codes can be mis leading
  • You can search relationships for non-constituents, but event attendees are NOT included in the search, just other relationship records.
  • We need increased functionality between RE and NEtcommunity - some of the fields in RE are not available as merge fields in NetCommunity. This limits us on some of the functionality and targeted marketing/outreach that we would like to do
Raiser's Edge is great for almost ANY type of organization or non-profit. The sotfware is flexible to be tailored to each organizations needs. While the expense for smaller non-profits may seem daunting, a look at the ROI may help sway the decision making process. It has GREAT functionality with in all areas and the more you use it the more you get out of it.
Read Elaine Tucker's full review
Angela Stumpo, MPA profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Raiser's Edge is used by our development department to track all donor information and activity. Everything that touches a donor goes through Raiser's Edge - from events, mailings, gift processing, action recording, and everything in between. Raiser's Edge is the hub of our department and I feel one of the best tools out there for nonprofits.
  • Raiser's Edge can do everything relating to donor records and is customizable to specific needs.
  • Raiser's Edge and the parent company Blackbaud offer many resources to connect with them and other users to solve problems. If you want RE to do something and don't know how, you can reach out to the community or support and get quick answers and new solution ideas.
  • Raiser's Edge has many other solution options for online giving that it can connect to, offering an integrated way to stay in touch with donors.
  • Data clean up can be very cumbersome and require outside help. It's a huge positive that RE can hold so much information, but at the same time it can be difficult to extract that information without a deep understanding of the system.
  • Training can be very expensive and I think that more classes (webinars) should be offered for free.
  • They are constantly calling with upsells, and we often have a different contact for every upsell. They email then keep calling until you respond. I wouldn't mind an email now and then with offerings, but I am busy and don't want to have to keep saying no all the time.
I think it is well suited for every nonprofit with enough budget, enough staff and the right training in place. You really have to do the up front training or hire someone well-versed in RE before implementing it as a new system in an organization. It can also be quite expensive for small nonprofits, but I do feel it can do more than other nonprofit database software.
Read Angela Stumpo, MPA's full review
Sage Evans profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Raiser's Edge is used by the organization for tracking the lifespan of our constituents. Both current and prospective donors are tracked in the software so that they may be stewarded from first contribution through a planned gift. The software is utilized by several departments to ensure information about current activities with constituents is shared across the organization.
  • The Raiser's Edge has a place for just about any piece of information, and if there isn't a field pre-designed for the purpose, many fields can be repurposed. The software isn't about data though - as much as it's about tracking the lifespan of a donor and how your organization interacts with the constituent - it allows you to track information about your constituents to ensure you're correctly segmenting, soliciting, and stewarding.
  • It has an amazing ability to track portfolios of donors for your Major Gift Officers through the Prospect module. There are built-in ways to project a pipeline of donations, a timeline of activities, and even management reports for tracking purposes.
  • The software has pretty amazing built-in reporting. 9 out of 10 times you'll be able to find a report available for your needs. Everything from simple donor lists to more robust financial reconciliation sheets.
  • If you put good information in...good information will come out - but that can be an issue with The Raiser's Edge - the learning curve can be steep for users. Although the software is pretty user friendly, for the occasional users, it can be difficult to remember where fields are located and how to build exports. A good database administrator can ease these potential problems for most organizations.
  • The cost. There are certainly other software solutions out there that can do a small amount of donor tracking (and for far less money.) You get what you pay for with Blackbaud products. You're investing a potentially large amount of money for an annual contract so that your organization is better equipped to raise the funds needed to accomplish your mission.
The Raiser's Edge is an excellent software for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of both small and large donors. The platform allows for great tracking of each constituent's relationship with your organization - and you can easily share this information through standard reporting measures.
Read Sage Evans's full review
Amy Levitre profile photo
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We are currently using Raiser's Edge in our development department to manage our donors and volunteers.
  • We love the versatility of the information we can pull using queries and reports.
  • The system is very easy to use.
  • Besides the detailed instruction manual, there is a whole online community where you can ask questions to other Blackbaud users as well as a "knowledge base" you can ask questions on. If you still cannot find the answer, you can chat with the support team at Blackbaud.
  • Blackbaud will eventually change over to a cloud platform called Raiser's Edge NXT (currently being offered but has some kinks to work out) which requires you to be hosted by Blackbaud and the pricing plan will depend on the number of records you have instead of a flat fee.
  • Pricing is expensive and not realistic for smaller non-profit organizations.
  • There is some difficulties working with soft credits in reports and queries.
For larger companies, Raiser's Edge is a great tool to manage donors and volunteers. It is less appropriate for small organizations. The annual fee is too much especially if you are wanting more "modules" like Volunteer, Tribute, and Event which do not come with the basic software.
Read Amy Levitre's full review
Jenny Physioc, bCRE profile photo
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Raiser's Edge Enterprise is used by the following offices: Development, Marketing and Communications, Accounting, Alumni Relations, Career & Professional Dept. and Scholarships. We store all students, parents of students, graduates, donors, professional companies, and so much more. Raisers Edge is a fantastic software that I have been using for 24 years or more, so long I don't remember.
  • The Prospect information storage is very helpful. We can store proposal and wealth information and keep a history of our steps with each constituent record.
  • RE is very versatile for all users and the way they think and process information. There are many ways to get the information needed.
  • I like all the integration services available from Target Analytics a Blackbaud company. We don't have to go outside to get NCOA processed and figure how to get it back in the database.
  • We have a website which integrates with RE called NetCommunity. This is a Blackbaud product.
  • I cannot express enough how great I think the customer service is. You can choose to chat with support or find your answers through the knowledge base or go to forums or communities and get the answers or information you are seeking.
  • Consecutive giving is an area where it is hard to get the information in a timely manner. There are work arounds but this is an area that needs to be addressed because it is a very common and frequent need.
  • Export the Ratings is a challenge if you only want a specific source. You have to export all of them and then delete the ones you don't want and sometimes they are jumbled up in the export meaning the different sources are not in the same columns.
Nope, I love it!
Read Jenny Physioc, bCRE's full review
Stacie Dennis profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
The Raisers Edge is used throughout our organization. It is one of a few databases that we use to manage our donor interactions. The ability to track the lifetime interactions of and with a donor, create a complete donor profile, and share information across the organization make the platform invaluable to myself and my colleagues.
  • Tracking interactions
  • Linking households, employers/employees, and educational instituions
  • Providing complete pictures of donors
  • More modernized interface
  • A customized report function that doesn't require an outside application
Any non-profit that is looking to create a very robust donor database should look into The Raisers Edge. It has the capacity to really mirror the life of a donor in your organization - assuming that the tools provided are used appropriately and thoroughly.
Read Stacie Dennis's full review
Anna Warner profile photo
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source
We use Raiser's Edge in most of the administrative departments of our organization. It is the most valuable resource that our organization has. It houses all of the contact information and giving history for each person that interacts with our organization whether they are donors, event participants, employees, program participants or friends of the organization. It enables good communication about these individuals and how we can steward them well.
  • The Raisers Edge (RE) gives many different ways to view an individual's interactions with our organization.
  • RE is flexible in how you can record data to best meet your organization's needs.
  • RE provides many resources for learning more about the product, how to use it and best practices in the database, as well as in fundraising in general.
  • For those that aren't involved with data input, there is a difficult learning curve for how data can be pulled out to be usable for them.
  • RE is expensive!!! Many features are only available when you pay more, and being a smaller organization, that isn't something we have the resources to spend on those modules.
  • Support isn't always the most responsive. I have had an email into my rep with some questions for a couple of weeks with no response.
I think it is actually very well suited for organizations that are multi-faced with events, prospect research and action recording happening on a regular basis. At a previous organization, we used the membership module. This is a bit of stretch for RE. It is not super user friendly when it comes to merging or recreating histories when something goes wrong. I don't think it is a great option for recording membership interactions that are scanned on a bar code. The volunteer module also leaves a lot to be desired.
Read Anna Warner's full review

About The Raisers Edge

Categories:  Nonprofit CRM

The Raisers Edge Technical Details

Operating Systems: Unspecified
Mobile Application:No