Luminate Online isn't as illuminating as promised, but it still shines
Updated November 20, 2017

Luminate Online isn't as illuminating as promised, but it still shines

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Luminate Online

Overall Satisfaction with Luminate

Luminate Online was used as a platform for an annual cause marketing campaign, which was previously hosted on the Blackbaud NetCommunity CMS. It was also later used to replace the "Friends asking friends" functionality of a previous BlackBaud product that wasn't working as well. The Luminate Online platform was only used by the annual giving department in our organization, although our finance had access to the program for financial and database reconciliation. Initially it addressed the problem of creating a storefront, but was also later used to run event-specific fundraising.
  • Community tools were well implemented, allowing people to join or create teams with relative ease for event-related fundraising campaigns.
  • Compared to other fundraising CMS software, the product was easy to use, once it had been set up by an external consultant.
  • The flexibility with design allowed for a more modern look and feel than previous fundraising-based CMS products.
  • Design still requires an external consultant familiar with the product to create viable templates. Creating a template is rather confusing due to several layers that comprise a page.
  • Event management section is a bit cumbersome to use on the back-end. There are hundreds of different settings, many of which seemed redundant, or were organized poorly.
  • Connecting to Raiser's Edge is still not perfect, despite a Luminate Online connector. Blackbaud NetCommunity had seamless integration in comparison.
The Luminate Online platform is more modern, more elegant, and more user friendly than NetCommunity. However, its back-end falters in comparison because of poor Raiser's Edge implementation. While both platforms are heavily templated, NetCommunity is a bit easier for non-professionals to tinker with than Luminate Online due to how pages are structured.
In situations where you need an online storefront that looks elegant and is easy to use, Luminate Online does the trick. It is a good solution for fundraising events that require users to sign up, create teams, manage their own communications, and solicit donations. The end-user interface is clean and customizable, and although it could do with more to integrate with social media, it does the job.

Using Luminate

  • From a usability standpoint, Luminate Online is a huge improvement over the previous solution we used. It's clean and easy for the donor.
  • The startup costs to license the product, and to hire the consultants (who were the only ones at the time licensed to implement Luminated Online) was substantial. Web designers were also their own, and this continues to be a niche product that many designers don't have much experience in.
  • While the Luminate to Raiser's Edge connector was finally implemented, it still isn't the product that we envisioned it would be, nor does it give us what was promised. Our database manager spends substantially more time with the Luminate connector than with NetCommunity.

Luminate Support