Tracking Philanthropy in a sundowning Foundation
Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated May 22, 2018

Tracking Philanthropy in a sundowning Foundation

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud Grantmaking (formerly GIFTS Online)

I manage our Annual giving by using Blackbaud Grantmaking. It is a way for me to compile and track all our grants in one cohesive platform. Blackbaud Grantmaking allows us to share our grant making amongst the various members of a philanthropic family. It compares and collates data across the multi-faceted and multi-generational grantmaking initiatives.
  • Blackbaud Grantmaking is great for streaming an electronic database of files and records as they relate to our charitable giving.
  • Blackbaud Grantmaking allows me to access my database from everywhere and anywhere I am.
  • Blackbaud Grantmaking helps me track 30 years of Philanthropic Giving in one cohesive platform which is accessible to me and to all the users.
  • Blackbaud Grantmaking allows us to track the cross generational grantmaking of many family members
  • I would love it if there were live Chats for when I run into problems
  • I would love to have an instant chat function when approaching the help desk
  • Expertise of Blackbaud team
  • Blackbaud SKY technology strategy
  • Product reputation
With working first with Classic Gifts and then Gifts Alta - leveraging the Sky was our next step in keeping our grant making as current, up to date and flexible as possible. Given that I work remotely from the parent philanthropic office, it is most helpful that I am supported actively by the members of the Blackbaud team.
  • Better reporting capabilities
  • Greater transparency across the organization
I am finding that the reports are not as user friendly and intuitive as I would like. Most of my grants require me to reach out for additional support which adds to the task load. I hope that improving the report features and functionalities could make reporting a lot more seamless and straight forward
While I appreciate all the incredible work that Blackbaud does in the area of philanthropy, I regret that I do not have the time to make use of all the capabilities and networks which it offers for improvement. I do appreciate receiving the very regular communications with Blackbaud regarding webinars and support circles and environment. Although I haven't had the opportunity to attend any of the online best-practice and social good updates - I certainly hope to use these features in the near future. The contact friendly reminders are great!
  • Blackbaud Grantmaking allows me to keep my bosses and supervisors well apprised of our grant making in a timely and effective manner. That overall improves our 'business' objectives
Blackbaud Grantmaking is very well suited to my particular charitable structure as I work in a remote location, and the online platform allows me to keep an electronic record of my grantmaking, so my colleagues from North American and the Middle East can have access.

Using Blackbaud Grantmaking (formerly GIFTS Online)

4 - The CFO uses it as a read only feature as does a researcher and grants administrator in my New York office. In my local office, my colleague has read only access as well and can assist me when I am out of the office or ill. It is a great help to have supportive colleagues who can access the system seamlessly.
1 - In order to support Blackbaud Grantmaking, it is useful that the person possess a strong understanding of how you capture your grantmaking database. The flexibility and functionality that Blackbaud Grantmaking offers is wonderful as it allows you to tailor-make your grantmaking platform to adequately reflect YOUR Philanthropic needs. To that end, any person working within your system - should have a strong sense of your Philanthropic logic when streamlining and creating your database
  • We use the product to track grantmaking across Canada, the United States and Israel
  • We use the product to host an electronic record-keeping - filing cabinet for the organization
  • We use the platform to be able to access our grantmaking information remotely from our mobile devices
  • I use the platform to connect my colleagues from North America and Israel on a like-minded platform
  • I can access and evaluate the status of a grantee on all the watch lists and websites which track a charity's status (Guidestar and the CRA website)
  • I use the platform as an electronic filing cabinet!
  • I hope that with improved mobile device uses - I can seamlessly use the platform with my mobile device and at home on my laptop
  • I hope that the report features are more user friendly and that I no longer need to call the help desk for report writing assistance
The fact that I have been using the Blackbaud Grantmaking (formerly Gifts Alta/Gifts Classic) for the past 20+ years assures me that I will continue to use this grantmaking platform for the foreseeable future. My concern rests with the fact as to how this online database is maintained when our philanthropic interest cease operations is a real concern to me but I am hopeful that the Blackbaud experts will assist me with that when the time comes.

Evaluating Blackbaud Grantmaking (formerly GIFTS Online) and Competitors

Yes - We replaced the Classic Gifts and Gifts Alta with the Blackbaud Grantmaking platform. While it took a bit of getting used to - I am confident that we have made the best decision
  • Product Features
  • Existing Relationship with the Vendor
Considering that we have been affiliated with MicroEdge since the 1990's when we commenced by researching and ultimately purchasing Classic Gifts, we had ultimate confidence in the upgrade to Gifts Alta and finally to Blackbaud Grantmaking. Our existing relationship with MicroEdge and our confidence in their support, their transparency and their integrity - made our decision to stay the course an easy one!
I think that one must do their homework when choosing a grant management software which accurately reflects their organizations needs. I feel that one should have the confidence and support when ultimately making an informed decision about which products software should be purchased. That being said, I have no regrets when choosing MicroEdge and now Blackbaud Grantmaking and would always be willing to act as a reference to prospective buyers of the software.

Blackbaud Grantmaking (formerly GIFTS Online) Support

While the support that I receive from Blackbaud is great - it can often take 24 hours to get a call back and the response time is NOT immediate. At times, this can be very toublesome.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Not kept informed
Difficult to get immediate help
Slow Initial Response
No - As our annual Maintenance and Support agreement with Blackbaud is at the VERY top of our budget, it us not feasible for us to spend more on a premium support package. That fact, plus coupled with the fact that our rate increases by the maximum annual percentage (7%) annually, makes the top rate service unaffordable to us. Most disappointing.....
Yes - The bug itself was resolved, but it took several phone calls to several customer support representatives to get my problem/issue resolved. The turn around time was not quick and the problem persisted several times before getting the work-around.
There was a report that I needed to prepare for an important meeting being held at our company head-office in New York. I was at a loss as to how to prepare. When I called tech support, I was ever so lucky to get a wonderful support agent who stayed with me for well OVER an hour and supported my requests and helped me prepare the reports seamlessly. In fact, I had to leave for the day as I had children to pick up at school and could not miss my train home and the customer support rep insisted on completing the report to my satisfaction on HIS OWN and sent me the clear go ahead when I got in to the office the next day! Was stellar support and confirmed that the company really took the time to care for my needs!