Overall Satisfaction with Raiser's Edge NXT
To start I would like to share that I have used Raisers Edge products for over 14 years, NXT only the past 1.5 as we had not implemented it at my last employer. Since March 2015, when I came on board at two startup foundations, I was looking for the system that would serve our needs and allow us to grow as we scale up. We would need the flexibility provided within the system to accomplish many goals for data and history. For the two foundations, RE NXT is being used for gift entry and prospect tracking and management, it is being used to gather data for a new alumni association and will be used to not only track alumni and stay up to date with addresses/e-mails/work info etc., it will support our communications plan as we move forward. The business problems addressed include all of the above under the category - data home.
- REvNXT keeps our information on prospective donors and allows us to track actions and plans surrounding further cultivation and engagement of the group. We can access this information easily from remote locations and devices from our phone, iPad, home computer etc.
- RE NXT connects to multiple other programs in support of communications with our constituents and as we grow this program, it will also record who has received which communications etc., as well as allow us to cleanly segment the targeted audience from response results.
- RE NXT allows some customization beyond the standard set ups and this allows us flexibility with unique circumstances, more than one foundation supported here and being able to segment that related data and outcomes is critical to our fiduciary duty.
- RE NXT positives can also be the negatives as the flexibility in customization in certain areas also allows for multiple ways to accomplish the goal. Assuring that all team members have the same action plan is critical, especially early on, as the data could be input multiple ways and when we want output and historic data later, it could be a challenge to provide.
- RE NXT is part of Blackbaud which has multiple products. Integration of the products that relate or interact with Raisers Edge has been a historic challenge for Blackbaud. The RE NXT team is simplifying this and the support has greatly improved but overlapping products can make it confusing to end users.
- The sign in process and adding users has multiple steps currently, it appears it is being simplified but currently there is a database view as well as the RE NXT view of the product. Functionalities of the program are being transitioned to NXT but swapping from one view to the other, especially for the back office team, is not optimal.
- Operational Efficiency
- Increased revenue from new donors
- Reduced IT expenditure due to cloud deployment
- Increased scalability due to cloud deployment
IT and scalability, yes. Operational efficiency and increased revenue is still in progress as we are a young organization and just getting rolling, the expected outcomes remain a yes. Having no on site IT support needed for the cloud based functionality is a true positive. Scalability is coming in to play as we hired a new, the first, alumni director who had many ideas that need data to drive action. I knew, even during the interview phase that having this, RE NXT would provide solutions for the planned efforts. Also, being able to share during the interview process helped in part to the hiring as we were able to show we had the tools for a new hire to utilize upon arrival.
I shared earlier that the benefit is a positive one as many products can be "centered" around RE NXT. The process for this integration is becoming smoother than past RE situations and clearly is a targeted goal of the company. We plan to use data, communication tools, reporting and tracking as we move forward. For our online webpage and fundraising capability, our site was set up with simple tools in a few hours.
My experience had been with RE when I arrived so [I] looked at RE NXT as well as Salesforce and a number of other providers. Our plan is to host significant amounts of records and data over time so many of the firms were knocked out quickly as scalability was an issue and the tools were too simple for what we as professionals do in our industry.
It is not the least expensive so smaller shops, or shops with limited skill sets in database management would not be who I would recommend this to. The more data an organization has, the better this product is currently. The upside for Raiser's Edge(RE) NXT is scalability as I see no limit within this product space that an organization would grow "out of" utilizing to host the data. Another huge upside for all sized orgs would be the hosting being in the cloud versus a server on site. Historic Raiser's Edge programs drew much need for IT support from the home organization, often a challenge to secure in timely ways or have the knowledge base on staff. This is a huge plus for the NXT program. System updates are done in real time in a seamless way and only those that had onsite servers with RE in the past will truly appreciate this effort.