NetCommunity - Friend or Foe?
Updated February 26, 2016

NetCommunity - Friend or Foe?

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

Modules Used

  • NetCommunity for Foundations
  • Proffer

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud NetCommunity

We use NetCommunity to provide a web page for grant applications on our main website. We chose this product due to it's integration with Blackbaud Raiser's Edge and Fusion Lab's GrantEdge. It is deployed in a three server setup. We use a DMZ facing web server, an internal Raisers Edge Web Services Server and the Database server. It allows us to provide an application for users to fill out on the web in order to apply for a particular grant in their field. That application is then filled out and the information is passed on to the GrantEdge program to process the grant.
In addition to this we also use NetCommunity to manage our email newsletters and memberships to email lists.
  • It is very good at integrating with other BlackBaud products.
  • It is also great at providing a simple to understand interface for editing the pages it serves.
  • It is fairly straight forward to setup new users and roles for memberships to an email list.
  • The upgrade process has never been easy for us. This typically takes more than 3 days to work with support to figure out.
  • With the integrations we use it can be difficult to diagnose problems with the system.
  • I do not like that it can be very slow at times even with low bandwidth usage.
  • The database can grow quickly and become larger than expected.
  • At the time it was the only product available that would provide us with a way to send newsletters to our Raisers Edge Constituents.
  • The amount of administration time to upgrade has been a big pain for downtime and time lost with an on staff engineer.
  • Currently it is the only product we can use to properly intake applications for grants into our GrantEdge program.
  • Silverpop
SilverPop seems to be much easier to use when it comes to newsletters. It also moves all of the mail sending activity out of our domain and ip addresses. Due to this fact alone we have had much less spam and have not had our ip addresses or domain name listed on spam lists.
I think the sweet spot for NetCommunity is in the email blasts and newsletters. I would encourage users to look at other options when it comes to a quick and affordable solution for serving web pages. It does work well for web pages but we have noticed that the trouble it takes to upgrade and maintain for such a small portion of the program it is not really worth it on that front. The BlackBaud support is very good though.

Using Blackbaud NetCommunity

10 - We are a religious organization so the mold doesn't exactly fit for most canned responses here. The business functions represent our communications department and the donation and funds development departments. Since we accept applications for grants with this software as well we tend to have some unique requirements for the product. The typical user on site for this will be in a job function that tends to lean towards a program area assistant.
2 - We have a small IT department for a small to medium size enterprise. We rely heavily on the Blackbaud support and knowledge base for most of our help. The Blackbaud support team is very responsive when it comes to helping via a chat session or by directing us to articles on their site for our own answers.
  • Grant application processing
  • Email blasts for newsletters (not much anymore)
  • Role based control for processing the grants.
  • The grant processing we use.
  • Web page notifications when other sites are down.
  • Total integration with Raisers Edge and Financial Edge.
  • I would say not much. We are looking at other Blackbaud products that integrate the grant process.
  • We may use this to help organize small email newsletters to staff.
  • Training IT staff on upgrades to Blackbaud products.
The only reason for this is due to the fact that we are only using the product for a specific purpose that is not directly tied to the newsletters. There are better products out there for what we are doing with grant processing. We will most likely move to a new software instead of renewing for our purposes.

Blackbaud NetCommunity Support

Blackbaud has been great with their customer support. As with any support, you eventually end up with a few bad apples here and there. Overall I have been very pleased with their level of support and follow up. This particular product has certainly caused me the for support several times when upgrading.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
They were very helpful on our last round up upgrades. The exceptional level in this case was when they provided instructions and help with the latest upgrade knowing that we would be able to run this without the need for their professional services. Not a lot of support companies go this far. Most would simply send you a KB link and then explain that you will need their pro services to get any further help.