Rarely the best deal
August 19, 2014
Rarely the best deal
Score 2 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with eTapestry
My organization does not use eTapestry, but we have worked with a handful of clients that do. These organizations have all been small (<10 paid staff) organizations using it to manage donations. In each case, it is used primarily by the development staff, but reports are shared with everyone. Each organization implemented it in order to raise more money.
- Solid out of the box functionality. You don't have to spend any time thinking about how you plan to use it - you can get started right away. If you're just tracking individual donors (who may or may not be part of a family unit) this is a solid choice.
- A lot more functionality than the small, low-priced competitors that pop up all the time. Blackbaud has been doing this a long time, and they do understand raising money for nonprofits.
- Good support for paper mailings.
- Pricing usually isn't per user, so you can definitely share with the whole organization.
- Good tech support - responsive and knowledgeable.
- Integrated email marketing and payment processor, both perfectly reasonable.
- Good de-duplication functionality.
- Grants management is theoretically available, but in my opinion, more trouble than it is worth. Most clients seem to decide it makes more sense to just use a spreadsheet, and I can't really argue.
- It is definitely built to track families that donate rather than foundations, corporations, or other "organizations." It can be done, but all the organizations I've worked with wind up with poor-quality data about organizations because it isn't too easy to track this correctly in eTap. If you're just tracking individual donors, this won't be a problem for you.
- I don't actually have a problem with the UI, but all the clients I've talked to hate it. They feel that it is cluttered and old looking, and they feel like they do a lot of clicking to get to what they want. When I give them something they're happier with, I don't know that I'm saving them that many clicks, but they say they like other things a lot more.
- The reporting is acceptable, but a little clunky. A report preview in the window where you're building a report would save a lot of time. I've worked with people who are capable of creating reports in eTap, but find it so difficult that they wind up using spreadsheets instead.
- Because it is built as an old-school software product, it doesn't have an API. You can't connect to anything else, and you can't build new functionality for your organization. (In this respect, I'm biased towards competitor Salesforce.com, which has an open API an an appexchange of 1000+ apps.)
- Pricing is pretty inconsistent, at least to my knowledge. I've seen similar organizations reporting wildly different prices to me. I just hope that they're giving me inaccurate information.
- Tracking constituent's participation in different things is limited. You can create new checkboxes to indicate that someone came to your gala or volunteered, but those checkboxes seem to get out of control pretty quickly.
- I haven't had an experience yet with an organization that felt their needs were being met by eTapestry, so that's a tough question for me. Then again, nonprofits come to us when they have some kind of problem to solve, so we're not hearing from the people who adore it.
- The Raiser's Edge,Salesforce.com,Donor Perfect,GiftWorks
In general, eTapestry tends to have a poor price/performance ratio. I would probably recommend any of these other products over eTapestry.
I've never recommended that anyone renew eTapestry, because I typically work with organizations that want functionality beyond its scope.
If you're just doing individual donors, eTapestry is fine, but you should compare the UI and price to other smaller options. If you want to also track programs, volunteers or grants, you should check out Salesforce.com, which I consider to be a much better fit for most organizations.
Well-trained, responsive people seem to be providing the support. I found a bug in the product and they quickly acknowledged the problem and fixed it within a few weeks.
Problems get solved
No escalation required
Support understands my problem
Quick Initial Response
Yes - Yes, it was all pretty reasonable. They didn't do that annoying thing where they try to convince you that the product is behaving as planned.