Avoid if you can. If you can't, you'll need lots of training. Good luck!
Updated April 07, 2017

Avoid if you can. If you can't, you'll need lots of training. Good luck!

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 1 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Luminate Online

Overall Satisfaction with Luminate

We're using it for email communications, event registration, donation management, donor engagement and list building across the entire organization.
  • Powerful functionality
  • Love segmentation ability
  • Pagebuilder tool is UNWORKABLE
  • Terrible customer service
  • Not user friendly - you cannot use it with any success if you are not willing to invest in a lot of staff time and extra training. It is not possible to learn to use this tool without a lot of training from Blackbaud, and that is incredibly costly.
  • Pricey. Very pricey (see above -- whatever price you are quoted please be prepared to add 20 percent at least to be able to learn how to use the tool effectively and efficiently).
We already had significant investment in Raiser's Edge, so it was pretty much a no-brainer to sign up with Luminate when we considered the cost, time and inconvenience of migrating to another universe. But I am so disappointed with Blackbaud's customer service and the usability of the Luminate tool. There is just simply no reason other than greed and inertia that Blackbaud has not made this tool easier to learn and use without spending thousands of dollars on additional training over and above the annual subscription fees. If you can avoid doing business with this company, do! We couldn't. :-(
This is a tricky question. If you already have a significant investment in Raiser's Edge, Luminate is your only choice. Just be aware that the tool is not intiutive and the customer support is terrible. They will try to sell you on the Go! program but unless your staff is really, really at the beginner level and your needs are very basic in terms of sending emails, I would not recommend it. It's probably better just to buy the tool at the best price you can negotiate and understand you're going to have to invest in a lot of training over the first few years. If you don't have Raiser's Edge, be very, very careful before you lock yourself into the Blackbaud universe. This company thinks it is the only game in town and they don't appear to think they need to improve their customer service/usability of their tools. It's a very expensive, high-end, not user-friendly tool.

Using Luminate

  • ROI has been neutral thus far. We are not yet seeing the benefits in terms of online giving and housefile growth we were promised. But I am not sure I blame Luminate for our lack of growth; I'm just disappointed that using the tool hasn't jumpstarted our efforts.

Luminate Support

The people are great but the software leaves a lot to be desired. I would like more flexibility to design templates and change pagewrappers but these are very clunky and hard to do if you aren't an expert.