More than just a donor database
June 25, 2014

More than just a donor database

Rebecca Armstrong | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud CRM

We use eTapestry as our donor database and as our moves management system for the entire organization. This includes the development department and well as marketing, mission services and our commercial services department, which has more sales functions. The main problem that it helps to address is lack of organized communication. With one search of the database, anyone can tell all of the activity that has been done with a constituent throughout the entire organization.
  • Customization of fields is really awesome - you can do basically anything you can think of
  • Report pulling is super useful and you can analyze any information that is in the database
  • Mobile/remote access is particularly useful in our organization
  • Reports can be tricky to get correct
  • Mass imports are hard to get correct - you often have to refer back to the fields, which means you have to start over completely
  • Sometimes, the system just runs super slow
  • Increased employee efficiency, as the database can just be used for all contacts
  • Not sure how to word this - but looking better to donors and others in the community. Multiple people from Goodwill have different conversations with the same individual and not repeat asks or other conversations, instead we can actually build on the relationship and really respect that person's time more.
  • Maybe negative - lots of training & management needs to be done to coordinate everything
eTapestry was the database in use when my boss and I came on board. We did evaluations in terms of price and capabilites and it wasn't worth it to switch. Many other databases were much more expensive, did not offer similar services, and were not as user-friendly. The Blackbaud team did a lot to help us with customization and cleaning up the database along the way. Additionally, training videos and online help systems really sold us on keeping the system.
We've covered a lot, but mostly because we are happy with the system overall. There are a few kinks, and sometimes it takes a minute to figure out the right wording to pull a report or the best way to code a new category that we want to track. But Blackbaud is always there to help us, and once things are figured out - they are super simple to replicate. It wouldn't be worth it to switch to a new system and lose of all our information and time put in to mastering the system.
I think a much larger organization (in terms of fundraising) might want something a little more savvy. We use a lot of different customizations so we find the software perfect for us, but a solely fundraising-based department might not find that as useful.

Using Blackbaud CRM

10 - Goodwill uses the Blackbaud CRM for business to business sales, like janitorial contracts or RePack operations; donor relations, including incoming gifts, direct mailings and donor meeting; community relations, including meetings with politicians, other nonprofits, local chamber organizations and business leaders; and general sales, including contacts made through our ground maintenance department.
1 - This person has to be dedicated and not get frustrated. eTapestry does not allow for errors or mistakes. While you can't really ruin the database, it can take a few tries to get reports or imports right. You have to be able to troubleshoot and not get frustrated to accomplish this. Additionally, the person has to be able to train others and know a lot about the database to answer a wide-range of questions from the whole agency.
  • Tracking foundation and other grant applications
  • Tracking meetings with donors and businesses
  • Reporting on fund raised for the organization
  • Reporting on activity by individual users
  • Tracking meetings throughout the entire organization, not just in Development
  • Finding ways to allow different areas of the organization to communicate without traveling or even picking up the phone
  • To do more research on individual donor, segmenting them further
  • To become more sophisticated in all of our agency contacts