Gets the job done, for some
August 06, 2014

Gets the job done, for some

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 4 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version


Modules Used

  • Data Import

Overall Satisfaction with eTapestry

eTapestry was primarily used to manage donor contacts and track charitable gifts to my organization. All employees referenced eTapestry in that respect. It also was used by a smaller number of employees to track recurring memberships, annual solicitation reminders and event attendees. Finally, one employee used the product to occasionally reconcile with our bookkeeping software.
  • eTapestry's "User defined fields" offered quite a bit of flexibility. I was able to create database structures customized to the needs of my organization.
  • The query and reporting system was fairly easy to use. It required training for employed but they eventually got it.
  • The chat support is excellent. This is the strongest feature. Chat and phone support made a huge difference.
  • eTapestry hasn't received any major modifications since shortly after its purchase by Blackbaud. I do not see it as a well supported platform with a long term future.
  • eTapestry has always been weak in event management and moves management. The moves management module was sorely lacking and event management did not exist.
  • The biggest challenge our staff faced was reporting. After years of working with the platform, I still don't think our executives were getting satisfactory reporting. I was an expert at eTapestry and felt very confident manipulating the reporting and query structure but I was the only one. That skill left when I left. It involved memorizing dozens of rules and tricks that allowed a user to get accurate data to answer a given question.
  • Better customer service.
  • Better reporting to board and executives
  • Better access to data analysis
  • Difficulties in reporting often led to corrupt lists and slow reports.
Ages ago I built several donor databases in Access. I've been a system and data administrator (among other things) for many years, but have never worked with a competitive product. I inherited my eTapestry system when I joined the organization and spent five years working with it.
I don't currently work with eTapstery but my understanding is that after I took another job the organization decided to look into other options. I think they found it difficult to use and sought solutions that had less of a legacy custom field structure.
There is a certain size of organization that is well suited to this product. For straightforward donor and gift management, eTapestry is leagues better than an access database at an accessible cost. As an organization grows and requires management and reporting for things like capital campaigns, large scale events, peer-to-peer fundraising, recurring memberships, it would be imperative to lean heavily on the "User Defined Fields" capabilities. That opens an organization up to more user error and some pretty complicated reporting.

Anyone shopping for a donor database needs to understand that there is no perfect solution. You are looking for the best intersection of price, ease-of-use and functionality. During the selection process, I would survey the types of operation you need a database to manage and determine if eTapestry has modules that fit your needs. If there is no module, you will have to build that functionality in User Defined Fields (UDF). I would dedicate an employee or employees to learn not just how to input data but how to manipulate reports, queries and UDFs. I felt this program needed a designated architect to manage data. I would also consider the number of records. eTapestry is better suited for less than 10,000 records as I believe the value vs functionality declines considerably as the records increase. If you have 10,000+ donor records, you likely need a more sophisticated solution anyway.

Basically, you get what you pay for with eTapestry. I would recommend it to an organization that is moving away from excel or access data tracking or a simple organization that doesn't do several different things. If you have memberships and multiple events and peer-to-peer, I think you will find eTapestry lacking.