Luminate Online is good, not great, but gets the job done.
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated April 22, 2015

Luminate Online is good, not great, but gets the job done.

Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

Convio application version 14.6.1 (42091)

Modules Used

  • Luminate Online Marketing
  • Luminate Email Marketing
  • Custom Data Sync
  • Online Fundraising
  • Personal Fundraising

Overall Satisfaction with Luminate Online

We purchased Convio Luminate Online and the Convio Go! Program about 2 years before it was acquired by Blackbaud. It is currently only used by the Philanthropy department to support fundraising, alumni relations and some donor and event communications, however it may potentially be used more broadly down the road. This was our first external online giving solution and it replaced Constant Contact for our email marketing. We have seen tremendous growth in online giving through the use of this product.
  • The Go! Program was a big time commitment but definitely increased our bandwidth and expertise with the product. If you are going to being using Luminate Online and have no prior experience with it, I highly recommend the Go! program.
  • The ability to set up custom URLs, pre-populated giving links, embed appeals codes and pre-select allocations has been really great for us, particularly with our tribute program.
  • The email marketing tool is OK, but the ability to sync data between Luminate Online and our offline database has really expanded our ability to segment and use "fresh" data.
  • The WYSIWYG designer and whole email set up is a bit lackluster. There are no set email templates where you can point and click to build your email. You really need some help or some HTML background to get anything that looks good.
  • The whole interface is a bit clunky. Some aspects live in seemingly incongruous areas of the platform such as reports. There are multiple types of reports that can be run from various sections and they each have slightly different functionality.
I looked primarily at iModules as an alternative and thought both were similar. While Blackbaud (then Convio) was a bit more expensive it had a bit more functionality with the constituent database that we needed, but I don't know that one is clearly better than the other.
It's great for smaller nonprofits with one key constituency and simple mission. Since we're a hospital and a university we have dozens of constituent types and while it is effective for those it takes more management and know-how, and has also limited us in being able to use it more fully.

Using Luminate Online

15 - Various teams from the office of Philanthropy -- Annual Giving, Gift and Record Services, Events, Donor Communications, Stewardship, Alumni Relations
  • Making online gifts
  • Sending email messages and appeals
  • Allowing online event registration
  • We've really grown our memorial giving via the URL shortcut tool
  • More leveraged use of the interest flags and personal giving pages
While there are some limitations it is working for us. We just renewed and likely will again in the future. You have to invest a lot of money and time to get it set up and so the decision to switch to another vendor would need to be a big one. If costs continue to rise or performance declines relative to peers we would absolutely consider switching but for now, as long as it's one of the frontrunners and the cost is appropriate, we will continue.
  • We've increased our online giving +200% although this is due in part to our focus on the channel and not entirely on the product.
  • We've been able to increase employee efficiency by selecting email lists per message within Luminate Online. With our prior solution we needed to request data be pulled from our database for event email.
  • We've really done a great job of growing our online tribute and memorial giving through the use of custom links and the pre-populated information has really helped with the back end processing.

Evaluating Luminate Online and Competitors

Yes - Constant Contact (email marketing) and and in-house online giving solution. CLO replaced both for us so that we could use constituent data for email messages and have it synced with our online giving platform.
  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Vendor Reputation
  • Third-party Reviews
Product features were obviously the most important factor. If it couldn't do what we needed done we wouldn't have bought it.
I would have talked once more iModules to see how they stacked up in some other aspects, but I suspect I would have ended up in the same place.

Luminate Online Implementation

There's a lot of functionality so it takes a lot of effort to "turn it all on". Go into it with realistic expectations.
  • Vendor implemented
  • Implemented in-house
Change management was a small part of the implementation and was well-handled - While the implementation was not broken into phases for the product, we did break our use of various functions into phases which made it a much more manageable process.
  • Building the custom data sync --- just a complex undertaking
  • Setting up designated giving
  • Setting up paid even registration with designated giving
  • Setting up the Personal fundraising module

Luminate Online Support

While new enhancements take a while, regular support issues are completed very quickly. I've had very good experience using the support chat function which I never expected to use but am very glad that it's there.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
None
No - Unnecessary.
Yes - We have had a few technical bugs. The response has been satisfactory but not everything has been completely resolved due to technical issues that I don't fully understand. Nonetheless, Support was pretty responsive and helpful in addressing them and communicating with us.
Nearly every time I've used the support chat function I've had really great, prompt responses and appropriate follow through. I've been very impressed by this.

Using Luminate Online

It has most of the functionality that you need but is not the easiest or most intuitive product to use. While it's email module isn't as good as say MailChimp and surveys aren't as good as SurveyMonkey, having it all in one product does make a difference.
ProsCons
Like to use
Technical support not required
Feel confident using
Unnecessarily complex
Not well integrated
Inconsistent
Lots to learn
  • Constituent management
  • URL Shortcuts
  • Email design (WYSIWYG)
  • Personal Fundraising

Luminate Online Reliability