Overall Satisfaction with Luminate
Luminate is used as a donor interface within our development department. We are currently the only department with direct involvement with the program. We currently use Luminate to manage our email lists, send e-blasts, set up online donation forms as well as events and surveys. Luminate acts as an intermediary between our donors and our Raiser's Edge database.
- Donation form creation is easy and user-friendly. They are also easily organizable within the system.
- It's great for creating surveys when forms don't necessarily have the flexibility we desire.
- Content is easily created and uploaded to our website.
- Email management is limited. Constituents are only able to have a primary email address and a secondary address which is only mailed to when using the CC function. Sending to the correct and preferred email address is difficult to discern and effective use in Luminate requires extensive data cleanup.
- Reports are not as user-friendly as in other programs. It has occurred multiple times where users are unsure how to get specific fields to pull in reports.
- TeamRaiser is a challenging addition to Luminate. Campaigns within it require extensive work and management.
We've just begun evaluating other programs to see if there is an equivalent to Luminate. We are particularly interested in email management and have looked at Constant Contact, MailChimp, and other similar services. While we like the data management options that these products provide, we are still trying to decide whether direct interaction Luminate and Raiser's Edge have is worth giving up.
Luminate excels in its ability to interface with your donors for you and updates are easily processed through the LO/RE connector. A dedicated user who has ample time to dedicate to the product would be preferred. Luminate has extensive abilities, however, we have found that due to our database size and volume of special events and e-blasts, a less sophisticated program may work equally as well.
We’ve decided to leave Luminate and are moving to a system that better caters to our and our users needs. Luminate has proven difficult to use and has limited abilities when it comes to data management, events, and peer-to-peer functionality. Reporting is also very complicated and requires a great deal of time to utilize properly.
Implementation of Luminate itself was rather smooth, but the process involved for TeamRaiser was very difficult. Even after implementation we relied on support to help with various aspects of TeamRaiser from page design to reporting and front end user issues. The support offered for issues with Luminate was very good, but again TeamRaiser support was lacking.
Initial training was great and the instructor was very patient and helpful during the set up process. Blackbaud has a variety on online self-paced classes that supplement the training you receive. The only downfall is after training is complete. I've found the support for Luminate to be a tad lackluster. We often encounter issues that aren't on Luminate's development road map and have had a series of cases be opened.
The trainings are very dependent on the instructor and the pace of the class and the questions being asked. Overall, the training is good. I prefer the self-paced, online trainings that can be completed on your own. Tips and tricks to make your work go faster are very helpful while some of the more theoretical topics require time in the software exploring on your own.
Laminate is an extremely powerful fundraising tool that excels at helping you segment your audience. Smaller organizations with fewer emails and overall constituents may find that a large portion of its capabilities are not utilized. In conjunction with other databases such as Rasier's Edge, inter-system communication could stand an upgrade.