Luminate Online - Great for team-based fundraising and email marketing
Updated June 03, 2018

Luminate Online - Great for team-based fundraising and email marketing

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Modules Used

  • Luminate Online

Overall Satisfaction with Luminate

We use Luminate Online for team-based fundraising events, special events (galas, ticketed events, etc.), email marketing, and personal fundraising. It is implemented by the marketing communications department but also utilized by the development department. It's a full suite of tools for fundraising and communicating with your constituents.
  • Online fundraising
  • Email Marketing
  • Integration with other systems (Raiser's Edge, Salesforce, etc)
  • Advocacy module is weak
  • Blackbaud support has struggled for some time
  • Lack of product updates (though we hear they are coming soon)
  • Increased revenue from new donors
  • Increased revenue from existing donors
  • Reactivation from lapsed donors
  • Improved effectiveness of email marketing
  • Increased awareness of our cause
  • Other
Yes, we have seen increased revenue for new and existing donors. We conducted a platform survey in 2014 where we utilized three competitor platforms to host one event each and concluded that Luminate Online out-performed each of them.
We have a number of large walk events that utilize the team-based fundraising model. Luminate Online has been very effective for these type of events. We also use LO for personal fundraising pages and special events.
Kimbia, Classy, Artez
I have implemented and/or worked in Luminate Online for several nonprofit organizations with great success. While scalable it seems to work best for medium to large organizations. It offers solutions for ticketed events, personal fundraising, advocacy, and more, but is really best for team-based fundraising events - it lacks flexibility elsewhere.

Using Luminate

We have been using Luminate for several years, and while it has some deficits it has been the best option for us. We will reevaluate alternatives in 2018, but will most likely renew our contract with Luminate.

Evaluating Luminate and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
We began using Luminate Online in 2008 when the organization was formed from the merger of two nonprofits. Since then we have regularly evaluated other online fundraising solutions (through actual usage for events) and email platforms, but have chosen to stay with Luminate. We haven't found a competitor that can match the features that Blackbaud offers with Luminate, which is why they're an industry leader.
We did a very thorough evaluation in 2014, using three other platforms each for one of our major events. This gave us real first-hand experience with each, so I feel like when we made the decision to stay with Luminate we had all the information possible. We are planning to do something similar later this year, as the digital fundraising landscape has changed and competitors have implemented innovative new tools.

Luminate Training

Luminate Support

While Blackbaud Support for Luminate has been improving, it's still hit or miss. Some support reps are very knowledgeable, others not so much. Support tickets can take a while to get a response.

Using Luminate

After some time with the system, it is mostly easy to use. If you're planning to create custom pages. email templates, etc you will need knowledge of html and css. Some functionality requires additional steps than should be necessary - ex. events can't be cross-referenced in LCRM, you must first create the event in LCRM then go through a process to mirror in Luminate Online.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Consistent
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Teamraiser
  • Email Express
  • Constituent Management
  • Reports
  • Events
  • Cross-referencing with LCRM

Luminate Reliability

Luminate's basic functionality is reliable, but more complex actions, and integrations with other software can be troublesome. (Luminate Beta looks to be promising.) We currently use Luminate CRM to sync information between Luminate Online and Salesforce and find that we have a large number of contacts and donations that do not sync properly.