NXT - Not Perfect, but Excellent Tool
Updated May 30, 2018

NXT - Not Perfect, but Excellent Tool

Daniel Bayer | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with Raiser's Edge NXT

We used Raiser's Edge NXT in the Institutional Advancement Department for constituent management and data analytics. It presents all the information we have on constituents in an easy-to-understand way, and gives great analytics on our fundraising across years, constituencies, appeals, funds, and campaigns. It allows our fundraisers to look up and enter information easily while on the go (and in the office, too). The possibility is there to use it across the whole organization as a centralized database of alumni and current/former parents, although it is not currently being pushed as such.
  • User Interface. This is one of the best-looking products I've ever used, very clean and streamlined. Everything is very logically laid out, and the purpose of every box and button is crystal clear. Plus, you still have access to the old-school "Database View" for those people who have difficulty with change.
  • Customization. If you don't like the way a screen is defaulted to look, you can move things around incredibly easily to make sure the things most important to you are where you need them to be.
  • Company Involvement. Blackbaud is very invested in Raiser's Edge NXT, and they are constantly adding and changing things based on user feedback to provide an optimal experience. I feel like my concerns are always taken in to consideration, and there is ample opportunity to test out new functionality and provide feedback that really seem to be used.
  • Accessibility. You can access both the NXT "Web View" and the Classic RE7 "Database View" from any device with internet access.
  • Consistency of access. The number of times when connectivity (to the database view specifically) has been painfully slow is almost too high to count.
  • Current features. Blackbaud is still building out lots of functionality, so there are many fields that you can't "filter" or sort on, and many database administration/management functions that cannot be done in the beautiful web view yet, which is frustrating.
  • It's not fully compatible with RE7, in that certain fields have been renamed and certain fields are now now better than others for inputting certain data points. An adjustment in data entry and reporting may be required depending on how your organization has been using these fields, including changing historical data in order to make the best use of the powerful analytics tools.
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Increased revenue from new donors
  • Increased revenue from existing donors
  • Other
It took a while, but people did get used to NXT and entering actions and notes in the web view, which improved organizational efficiency and has made reporting a lot easier and more usable. Due to the integrated analytics tools, we were also able to find some lost donors and get them to give, as well as have a better idea of the capacity of current donors to get them to give at a higher level.
Blackbaud's web-based support is generally phenomenal, so whenever we do come across a technical issue, it is usually resolved in a timely fashion, and without too much extra work on our part. They also offer great ideas for best practices themselves, as well as a first-class internet community of users that will often have even better/timelier answers than Blackbaud themselves. I have personally learned a lot from other Community members, and feel very appreciated when I am able to give help to others. Blackbaud's many services (especially Target Analytics) have been a huge help in helping us find lost donors and retaining current donors (through their Address, Phone, and Email Finder services, which were included in our NXT package). The fact that everything is integrated makes it a huge improvement over similar outside services, even though the data is sometimes somewhat less accurate than those services.
  • More targeted appeals have resulted in a better ROI
  • Better, easier reporting has saved time and energy in preparing materials for Board members
  • The ability to login and use from anywhere has increased staff engagement with data when not in the office
I recently started a new position that uses Raiser's Edge 7, as opposed to my previous position that had NXT. I miss a lot of the functionality of NXT, particularly the Analytics. Of the other Blackbaud products I've used (Luminate, NetCommunity), I think NXT is the most user-friendly, and has the easiest integration with RE7 (particularly as regards Online Express, the email tool that comes with NXT, which is much easier to use than Lumiante and NetCommunity, despite not having as much functionality).
There are still certain important parts of Raiser's Edge 7 (RE7) that are not fully functional in NXT - particularly Events, Volunteer, and Education fields. If you heavily use any of these areas, it will be a while before you can do everything you need to do with them in the NXT Web View. This isn't a problem, per se, because you still have access to the RE7 "Database View", but it can be frustrating to have to constantly switch back and forth between the Web and Database views, and it may not make sense for your organization to pay more for something that doesn't give you all the functionality you need at this moment. It may make more sense to wait until that functionality is available.

Using Raiser's Edge NXT

13 - Fundraisers, Executive Assistant, Managers, Directors, Communications, Graphic Designer
13 - You don't really need much skill to support Raiser's Edge NXT. Blackbaud has a great tech support chat feature on their website that is easily accessible from within the NXT Web View. Sometimes the wait can be a little long, but since it's online you can do other things while you're waiting, and usually I haven't had to wait long to get good help. As long as you have decent computer know-how, it's very easy!
  • Reporting
  • Tracking/Moves Management
  • Prospect Research/Wealth Screening
  • Data Entry & Upkeep
  • Tracking parent volunteers
  • Finding out what families have had multiple generations attend the school
  • Predictive modeling for when our strongest/weakest cash flow periods are
  • Mass emails to various constituency groups (in addition to fundraising emails)
  • Budgeting for campaigns and appeals
  • More complex and visually appealing reporting
There is simply no better or easier to use product on the market for fundraising and constituent management. Blackbaud is continually making updates based on user input, so big problems get fixed within a decent turnaround time. Customer service is top of the line, too. It is accessible to everyone, regardless of experience working with similar programs, so a brief tutorial is all you need to be up and running.

Using Raiser's Edge NXT

It's incredibly beautiful and user-friendly, but there are enough things that NXT simply doesn't have the functionality to do in the Web View yet that I feel like I have to take a point off. You can still do all of these things in the Database View, but that still has all the same frustrations and complications it has had for years.
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Feel confident using
  • Creating Lists
  • Updating Contact Info
  • Adding Actions and Notes
  • Looking at a Summary of Giving History
  • Reporting on Events
  • Figuring out how some of the Analytics are determined
  • Gift entry and acknowledgement processing
Yes - Very well - just as easy as on the full (non-mobile) website!