Luminate Online - worth the investment
Updated May 22, 2018

Luminate Online - worth the investment

Daniella Dowiak | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Luminate Online

Overall Satisfaction with Blackbaud Luminate Online

The most recent organization I helped implement Luminate Online has used it for their entire organization. The whole point of turning to LO was to have all communications/interactions-type data in one place, which is exactly what LO provided. All constituent information is housed in LO, where information is collected about donations, registrations, fundraising, survey responses and email communications. Having all information in one place allows all departments to better report and communicate with constituents.
  • LO is a great one-stop-shop for registration/fundraising events. Allowing users to register and then fundraise using the same tool (i.e. the same login) is a great way to enhance fundraising results. Also having this information be a part of the main database is incredibly helpful for an organization.
  • LO is great for email campaigns - the system allows you to create different groups and queries of your database and then target constituents with messages that are appropriate to them.
  • LO's donation forms are pretty simple to set up and are an easy way to track both online and offline donations.
  • LO's TeamRaiser can be a bit tricky to use. It's a great tool, but to make it look really nice and be user friendly, it needs someone with some coding expertise to set it up.
  • Parts of the LO system are still not mobile responsive (the participant center in particular). I know LO is working on this, but until it's done, this is going to be a frustration for some users.
  • While Blackbaud has really invested in tutorials and help/support areas, LO can still be incredibly overwhelming for an organization that is new to the system and doesn't have the money to pay someone to help set it up, or doesn't have someone on staff who has used it before.
  • provided an easy way to collect online donations, event participants and all online interactions
I've worked with products that address only portions of what Luminate Online offers - products such as Classy, mail chimp, Constant Contact.
Luminate Online (LO) is great for any organization that wants to be able to collect interaction data from constituents and communicate with them. If an organization does (or would like to do) the following, I would generally say LO is well suited for them: collects donations, has an e-newsletter, sends out e-communications, hosts events (fundraising and non-fundraising), sells merchandise online, or is involved in advocacy. An organization less suited for LO would be one that doesn't have the resources to invest in LO - it's not cheap and does take man power to set up, but once the tools are implemented, the results are worth it if you're able to set things up right.

Using Blackbaud Luminate Online

5 - Database administration, accounting, fundraising, marketing
1 - Knowledge of LO as well as some general development and IT skills are useful.
  • Managing constituents
  • Accepting and tracking online donations
  • Event registration
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising
  • Email communication
  • Creating surveys to poll/engage constituents
  • Provide fundraising pages for individual, non-event fundraisers to raise money on behalf of the organization
  • More email communication
  • Collect additional data on constituents and segment/conditionalize content appropriately
it's a critical piece of our organization

Blackbaud Luminate Online Training

  • Online training
  • Self-taught
They do a great job reviewing the product and providing some best practices/tips you might not know if you didn't do the training. I gave it a 9 vs a 10 because sometimes it's been a while since those leading the training have used the product the way an organization would, so there are a few areas that could be improved upon.
It depends on what you're trying to do. Certain aspects like browsing constituent records and pulling reports are pretty easy to figure out on your own, and also hard to "break" and mess anything up. Other aspects like creating emails or TeamRaiser events are much more complicated and would not be worthwhile to do without training.

Configuring Blackbaud Luminate Online

Complexity of config depends on what you are trying to do. Some things are simple, others aren't. It's a good balance of giving you easy to use tools but also allowing for more advanced users to make more changes.

Blackbaud Luminate Online Support

Support staff are usually incredibly helpful and responsive. There are several ways to contact them (chat, logging a ticket, phone) which makes it easy to get help when you need it. Once in a while I get a support staff member who isn't quite as helpful, which is why I gave it a 9 instead of a 10, but that is rare and if I follow up with someone else, I get what I need.

Using Blackbaud Luminate Online

Luminate has a bit of a learning curve. If you jump into it blind, it's going to be tough to figure out all the components and best practices. Once you've learned the system and have some templates set up, it's very easy to use. It just takes a little time to get there.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Well integrated
Feel confident using
Lots to learn

Blackbaud Luminate Online Reliability

Luminate is a great tool for young organizations that are still small and only need a handful of tools, as well as large organizations that have a huge database. Its tools help organizations grow and are suited to accommodate that growth. I gave it a 9 instead of a 10 simply because there are a few things here and there that are easiest if you set up expecting a certain amount of growth (vs anticipating a small audience), but these are minor and don't take much away from its scalability.