Solid Donor Management but Hard to Use.
September 27, 2022

Solid Donor Management but Hard to Use.

Ann O'Neil Gradowski | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud eTapestry

Etapestry is our primary donor database manager. We had hoped to use it for other areas, including programmatic/volunteer management (which would include form creation etc.), fundraising via merchant use, and direct and large-scale communications (emails, texts, etc.) but found the platform somewhat lacking in user-friendly dynamics, limitations in creativity, interface with users and donors - still very rudimentary. Our focus in our donor demographic is college age and their families/parents, young alumni, some older alumni and older community members but our primary age range is 18-40. They have a very different view point of how things should "work and look". eTapestry (Blackbaud) was also the most comprehensive and affordable option when we first started, and still has a great comprehensive approach to fundraising and donor management, but the interface is still dated, and we found alternative systems to assist us with our online giving, communications, and volunteer/program dynamics that worked better. However, those systems lack excellent donor management pieces - especially with reporting, tracking, and such. So we are a hybrid of many systems, most of which do not and cannot communicate with each other - but we make it work for now.


  • Ability to tailor our donor information collected.
  • Options to create reports (though not easily done- steep learning curve for a user).
  • Customizable to each user - more options to customize than not.


  • Hard to use. Bottom line.
  • Interface is dated - too technical looking, for some users.
  • Collaboration with other systems is very difficult - to import/export very challenging.
  • User Defined Fields.
  • Donation collection tools (recurring giving, campaigns etc).
  • Receipt creation - for donors.
  • Increased our capacity to fundraise.
  • Allowed more opportunity to know our donors (tracking and data collection).
  • Limited users - due to steep learning curve - as such less of our development staff know how to use the system to its fullest potential.
With the exception of Faith Direct, which we had prior to eTapestry, and is strictly a vehicle for donations (think PayPal, WePay, GiveCentral, etc) - some of the others did not exist or were even less relevant at the time we chose eTapestry (Donor Perfect). We were interested in cloud-based, low-cost, multiple users, customizable with the capacity to grow and change and we grew and changed. Depending on who you ask in my staff - some of the others (Bloomerang, Squarespace) have much easier platforms to work with and simply look better when used as a tool for recruitment of donors. Limiting is the ability to customize, having built-in reports to start from, and interfacing with other systems. But that seems to be the case across the board. Some of the other platforms have fee structures that are inhibiting, although eTapestry is not cheap. Lastly, most are just beginning their journey and will one day compete well with Blackbaud, at least in the industry I work in.

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?


Did implementation of Blackbaud eTapestry go as expected?


Would you buy Blackbaud eTapestry again?


When we began our capital campaign, it was helpful to have a good record of donor engagement to see whom we needed to work with and invite into that relationship - Blackbaud is renowned for its ability to help development directors create best-case scenarios for success with donors based upon their capacity to receive, store and recall data about donors, events, etc. and their impact on fundraising. The cost of any donor management software makes it hard for small non-profits to afford, and again, some of the interface working with a younger clientele makes the less costly, more "attractive," yet less capable platforms for donor management more attractive. Primarily bc small non-profits have not yet moved into the realm of truly examining their donor data and using that data to compel their missions forward.

Using Blackbaud eTapestry

3 - Myself and two interns - no other staff uses it because it is too cumbersome for them to learn. The Interns assist in our development office.
1 - Myself. I am the only one certified in Blackbaud eTapestry user management ( we have six people working in development).
  • Comprehensive reporting.
  • Comprehensive data storage.
  • Customizable for our purposes.
  • Make it user friendly - and we would use it more.
  • It has the tools - just too hard to learn how to use them.
Until we can find an equivalent system that is easier to use - we will remain with eTapestry.

Using Blackbaud eTapestry

It took me almost five years to become comfortable with the system, and I still am not proficient. I have fewer staff even comfortable with it. To have extensive training needed to accompany software that is vital to the industry is not good marketing or practice. The results, once mastered, are great - but the learning curve is steep!!!
Like to use
Unnecessarily complex
Difficult to use
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Feel nervous using
Lots to learn
  • search engine for account names.
  • everything else.
Yes - So yes and no - in order to expand, I had to choose yes. I can access eTapestry on my phone, but not as an APP, but by going through a browser. Then the interface is similar looking to an app but has limited range bc it literally is the website in larger font, but the expansive and unwieldy menu options do not make it user-friendly in a mobile setting, and it has limited capacity other than to search for a name. At least, that is as far as I could get.


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