NetCommunity for the Non-Developer
December 15, 2016

NetCommunity for the Non-Developer

Rachel Slager | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Events

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud NetCommunity

We use NetCommunity to manage events, e-communications, contact information updates, and donations.
  • NetCommunity is simple enough that a user can customise a web page, donation and response forms, newsletters and templates for other users without having a background in web development. It's great for teams that don't have dedicated IT/web staff.
  • NetCommunity SPARK allows users to manage their opt-ins and outs for all email, or specific types of communication which the institution categorises themselves. That information travels through the integration plug-in and gets into Raiser's Edge seamlessly.
  • When paired with the Events Module in Raiser's Edge, NetCommunity is a great day of event tool to check in registrants or register walk-ups.
  • Profile changes, event registration, and login creation is not seamlessly handled by the plug-in, and it's not automated at all. Someone has to review the data and basically decide how it will migrate to Raiser's Edge for every change. It really misleads other departments to think our work is automated.
  • The creation of logins is very problematic. If someone forgets they had a login under a different email, you cannot overwrite their Raiser's Edge record with the new login until you go into NetCommunity and delete their old user. In reality, the system should be designed to tell people that their record has an email associated with it already, allow them to make the change. If you don't delete the old user on the NetCommunity, the change gets rejected on Raiser's Edge in the background, so on Raiser's Edge you think that's the login the user wants but the user is sent an email telling them that their info has been updated. It's very dysfunctional.
  • You cannot delete queries from the tables in NetCommunity unless you delete the record of the emails sent using that query. Then you can't see the full name of the queries to select from, and then you have old queries that maybe don't even exist in Rasier's Edge now listed as usable in NetCommunity.
  • NetCommunity SPARK, our tool for online communications, cut our annual mailing budget by a third if not more. The ability to email instead of mailing saves on postage and printed materials.
  • The ability to email tax receipts instead of mail is a return not only on the cost of mailing receipts, it also ensures that donors are getting an immediate tax document which in turn means they have more faith in our professionalism, and in turn they will be more likely to repeat a donation.
  • The ability to review and update their own profile information means our users are helping keep our data clean. The amount of mail that we have returned due to changed addresses has decreased by about 10% in the 5 years we've been using this solution.
For those using the events module, NetCommunity is great, though if you do a lot of walk/run type of events where individuals sponsor other individuals, something like TeamRaiser might make more sense. If you don't have the staff resources for web developers dedicated to fundraising tasks, then NetCommunity is a great tool. It's not as customisable as an experienced programmer/developer might want, but it still has a lot of options. It also has a lot of nuance, and if you cannot make an investment of time or money into getting staff trained, it's not going to work out well.