Raiser's (bleeding) Edge - NXT
August 15, 2016

Raiser's (bleeding) Edge - NXT

Meredith O'Donnell | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Raiser's Edge NXT

We are a small college and had been using an old version of Raiser's Edge for several years. The product was recommended by a major donor who also contributed to it's purchase, but we didn't take the time to fully document our policies and procedures and much of its use was left up to each fundraiser's interpretation. After a few years, we stopped subscribing but continued to use the version we had with no continuity or support.
We recently began preparing for a large campaign and it became clear we needed to clean up the database and develop a strategy to raise the funding we needed. With much coaching (read pleading) I convinced the college to update, move to a hosted version and start using NXT, adding the prospect and event module for more in depth tracking and metrics. We have only been using NXT for a short time, and we still have much to do in regard to setting up and creating documentation, but it's opened the door to better and more efficient fundraising already.
  • First and foremost, I have to credit Blackbaud for it's exemplar training and support, not just for NXT, but for all of it's products. Our staff has learned so much from the classes, videos, and knowledge base. And the ability to chat with someone right when you have a problem is wonderful.
  • The ease at which we are able to access data from any location has made contacting and setting up appointments a snap for those fundraisers who are traveling on a regular basis. The work Center gives each fundraiser everything they need to stay on track and focused on their next steps. When they need to see a specific constituent, the quick search field finds matches as they type and loads quickly, and the ability to move the sections they need to see most to the top is very helpful when they're on the go and find themselves time to fit in one more visit.
  • Adding actions and notes are very simple to do, even on a smart phone. It's clean and easy to follow, and will allow you to add it to your personal calendar. If the constituent has an Opportunity created in his or her record, you are able to attach that action to the appropriate opportunity as well, making moves management a snap.
  • The Timeline section is one of my favorites. In just a few seconds you can see all the activity around a given constituent, from gifts given, interactions with the college, appeals sent, and events attended. All designated with a colored dot so it's not cluttered, and the dots are clickable to see more information.
  • NXT is a very new product and is changing all the time as they build more functionality into the program, so many of the areas that need improvement are already scheduled into future updates. But it does mean that there are some things we aren't currently able to do in NXT that are very helpful in the database view.
  • For example, when we set up Planned Giving proposals, we distinguish the type of gift and the instrument. This can only be done in the database, and is not visible in NXT as of August 2016.
  • Currently, NXT does not track required fields, so as more fields are available to edit in NXT, issues may start cropping in in the database, both with constituent records and with queries that may be built using those required fields more metrics purposes.
  • There have been several naming changes between the Raiser's Edge database and NXT which can cause confusion at times. For example, RE Solicitors are called Fundraisers in NXT. Proposals in the database are Opportunities in NXT. If your looking for Attributes in NXT, you'll find them under Custom Fields.
  • I attribute most of the issues I see as growing pains, and Blackbaud Community has a section where anyone can add a new idea or vote for an existing one so they can gauge what issue or feature most important to their customers work habits. Coming from a software tester background, I understand and appreciate the process of creating a new platform, but I also understand why there are some who would rather wait until NXT is a bit more developed before making the jump.
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Increased revenue from new donors
  • Increased revenue from existing donors
Having constituent information at your fingertips is an invaluable tool for fundraisers who spend most of their time on the road. The moves management process is streamlined and easy to track. Adding notes and actions, checking their giving record, updating phone numbers and email addresses, all can be done while you're on the go. This is where Raiser's Edge NXT shines. But for bigger updates like data configurations, gift entry, metrics, setting up appeals, events, and even opportunities to a certain extent, you're still going to need access to the database. Especially if those areas have required fields that are vital to how you run your organization.