Raiser's Edge in the World of Institutional (only) Fundraising
July 09, 2014

Raiser's Edge in the World of Institutional (only) Fundraising

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Software Version

7.92 (patch 6 of 12)

Overall Satisfaction with The Raiser's Edge

Raiser's Edge is used by two independent departments within our organization. Each department uses RE to process, record, track and report on fundraising; although, the processes and systems used by each department are inconsistent. The primary fundraising department solicits institutions only and uses Raiser's Edge as a CRM, as well as to track Prospect Research, Proposals and Actions. The secondary fundraising department solicits primarly individuals and uses RE as a rolodex to support direct mail, but does not use it for donor segmentation and targeted analytics, Prospect Research, Proposals or Actions. We leverage RE to maintain consistent and targeted communication with donors/prospects and to avoid duplication of communicaton to donors/prospects by various individuals/departments.
  • Linking with Financial Edge is a strength because our Fundraising and Finance departments work closely to monitor and steward grants and donor intent.
  • The Prospect/Proposals tab, in conjunction with Actions, are very useful in tracking Moves Management and progress toward closing a gift.
  • The Customer Service is insufficient, both in timeliness and expertise.
  • The Sales and Contract team are inflexible when it comes to outlining a contract in detail. The Sales team will make commitments via email but the Contract team will not update their template contract to include that language, leaving the Sales team to suggest a "handshake" deal is sufficient. My organization's financial resources are limited and precious, and we have strict requirements about contract language to limit risk.
  • Unfortunately my organization has not upgraded in a bit, so perhaps this is actually present in newer versions, but additional functionality and fields to record and link to social media would be helpful.
  • The Proposals/Prospect tab, in conjunction with Actions, has led to improved customer service, as it allows access to and knowledge of "Moves" to date and positions our team to advance conversations in spite of staff changes.
My experience has been limited to Raiser's Edge so I cannot make a comparison.
Our use of Raiser's Edge is fairly limited and the ROI of a new product would likely not outweigh the challenges of a conversion.
Raiser's Edge is best suited for organizations who solicit individuals in addition to institutions. In this scenario the user can take full advantage of RE's/Blackbauds services related to wealth screenings, prospect research, event planning, etc.

Using The Raiser's Edge

Fundraising, Gift Processing, Stewardship, Administrative
3 - Analytical problem-solvers with good listening skills. Support individuals should have a foundational understanding of intended outcomes to ensure they can work backward to solve the issue, especially to do so without unintended consequences. IT and/or database management knowledg is not sufficient; one must understand the larger need for coding, reporting, etc. and how those functions and fields will be used.
  • Gift processing
  • Donor data management
  • CRM
  • Planned Giving
  • Social Media/Online Giving
  • Cause-Marketing & Sponsorship

Evaluating The Raiser's Edge and Competitors

  • Price
  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
I was not here during that time, but the above checked boxes are what was briefly shared with me.
I would speak one-on-one with more organizations who are similar to our organization. I would also evaluate RE based on where we wanted to go as an organization, rather than where we were. I would work more closely with my IT department to ensure that they were equipped to and comfortable with providing support for RE, and I would work with the secondary fundraising department to better integrate and align our processes and systems.

The Raiser's Edge Implementation

It's critically important to consider where you are taking your fundraising efforts and strategy, and to collaborate closely with other departments who will also use RE. I would strongly recommend that you investigate best practices -both from Blackbaud (theory) and with other organizations (practice) - to create a user manual and guide for RE within your organization.
Not sure - I was not here.
  • Address errors
  • Duplication of data and information in Actions, Addresses, and other fields

The Raiser's Edge Support

There are frequently inexplicably long hold periods and I am often asked to repeat my problems multiple times.
ProsCons
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Quick Initial Response
Slow Resolution
Poor followup
Less knowledgeable
Problems left unsolved
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times

Using The Raiser's Edge

There are some areas where usability is quite high and other areas where it is quite low. I would not encourage or discourage someone to purchase the product based on "usability" alone.
ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Consistent
Feel confident using
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Cumbersome
Lots to learn
  • Reports
  • Queries & Exports
  • Crystal Reports