You can make it work
September 21, 2022

You can make it work

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud eTapestry

We are a theological school. We use it to keep track of students and their requirements in the program--what they have completed, field placements, personnel working with them each year, etc. We also use it to keep track of our graduates and our donors. In the area of Development, I use it for donor mailing lists, segmentation, merging information into communications, mass emails, recording donations, and for finding information.
  • The technicians available to help on chat do quite a good job.
  • The basic training videos are a good introduction
  • Once you know how, constructing a query or report is relatively easy
  • When I started using eTapestry, you had to pay for courses to learn how to do more complicated things in the database. These courses were fairly expensive and our small organization couldn't afford that. I had to figure a lot out on my own or using the tech folks in chat or the odd free thing. Not sure if the courses are still costly or not.
  • It is not particularly user friendly--for example, you would think the drag and drop email template would be pretty straightforward but it is not! And there aren't built in instructions to help as you try to use things.
  • Figuring out how to organize queries and reports and communications in folders in order to find things again has been challenging. It is possible to search on keywords, which is very helpful. But finding something in a list of queries that is not alphabetical isn't particularly easy.
  • It helps us keep track of our data and find it again later.
  • I like the home page where you can have campaign information readily available.
  • The chat feature and manual have been very useful to me.

Do you think Blackbaud eTapestry delivers good value for the price?

Not sure

Are you happy with Blackbaud eTapestry's feature set?


Did Blackbaud eTapestry live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Blackbaud eTapestry go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Blackbaud eTapestry again?


When I am trying to prepare a mailing list for particular donors, I usually construct a report with any possible information I might need, download it into excel, and sort there. The disadvantage is that you can't put a record of that communication on a donor's account.
However, trying to do this sorting in the database itself is very unwieldy, involving many separate queries. It gets complicated, so I don't usually do that.

Sometimes, I construct a query and look at it in preview only to find it includes things that I have specifically tried to eliminate. I guess the query is not constructed correctly but I don't have any idea how to fix this sort of thing.

Using Blackbaud eTapestry

7 - Administration, Program, Development, Accounting
1 - Patience, curiosity, willingness to try stuff, good at finding work arounds
  • Recording data on student progress
  • Recording donations
  • Constructing lists for communications
  • sending mass emails
  • Updating grad, student, and donor information
  • I think the student records are an unusual way to use the database
Because it is a nuisance to research data bases, change, input information, and learn how to use a database. Better the evil you know.

Evaluating Blackbaud eTapestry and Competitors

Yes - The original database, had been designed and built by a volunteer--it was apparently very versatile and flexible when first introduced, but over time, staff were less knowledgeable about how to use it and the original volunteer was no longer involved to do training. They found it difficult to get the information they needed. I am not sure if a range of databases were looked at when contemplating replacing ours. In the end, a consultant recommended eTapestry (but then was not able to use it herself well enough to do any training!!)
  • Price
  • Prior Experience with the Product
I was not involved in the decision.
It would be really great if I could talk to other eTapestry users now. That would be a real plus in being able to use it optimally and sort out some of the glitches I experience (or at least find out if they are common ones or fixable). In selecting another database, I think talking to other organizations that are about our size and constituency, about their experiences and recommendations, would be great. Reading reviews only goes so far. I would also think that knowing about the training package available would be important since the one for eTapestry seemed inadequate to me.

Blackbaud eTapestry Implementation

I came to work here after the database was selected and had to learn how to use it. I was not aware of the training available or features involved in the database. Those things would have been good to know.
  • for me--learning how to use it

Blackbaud eTapestry Support

The technicians in the chat are excellent and mostly get it right! Knowledgebase is pretty good if you find what you are looking for but it takes time to wade through and find the correct key words to get what you are looking for. A colleague has also had good success with email questions.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
I remember one time had a tech give me instructions to do something. I went away to try it and it didn't work. I went back to the chat and worked with someone else trying multiple things, even sending screen shots, etc. Eventually it was resolved thanks to their persistence.

Using Blackbaud eTapestry

It is not that user friendly. It is hard to learn. If you don't know anything about databases, there isn't enough basic information to get started. Once you are familiar with it, there aren't training videos to learn more complicated tasks.
Like to use
Well integrated
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Lots to learn
  • a basic query
  • data entry
  • writing a mass email
  • sending a mass email
  • a basic report
  • a multi-step query
  • uploading data to the database
  • drag and drop documents