RE - a good tool if you are big enough and ready for it
July 13, 2014

RE - a good tool if you are big enough and ready for it

Michelle Wilkinson, CFRE | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 5 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Alumni
  • Events

Overall Satisfaction with The Raiser's Edge

My previous employer used The Raiser's Edge as the fundraising database for each campus of a multi-campus university system. The campuses maintained their own separate copy of the database, meaning that we had six or more separate sets of data.
  • RE was made for fundraising. This is the focus it has so it is set up to anticipate all of the various ways that fundraisers and administration will need to access and manipulate the data.
  • RE has created modules that allow the organization to pick and choose what elements it will require. The modules work well and are planned appropriately.
  • RE will hold all types of data and is easy to pull the data out.
  • Because it so popular, there are a number of products that work well with RE in terms of integration.
  • RE is complex so it is difficult to manage for a small shop.
  • RE will require a bit of training to bring users up to speed in fully using the management tools it provides.
  • Imports are very difficult to do. They almost require a dedicated RE manager to oversee.
  • RE is expensive. Small shops should not buy a Mercedes if they can do everything they need with a Prius.
  • Actions helped our group to improve the major gift pipeline management.
  • The integrated email allowed us to connect with alumni in personal ways; the birthday notes always felt personal even though we sent large numbers at a time.
  • Easy reports allowed us to identify prospects to move up the giving ladder.
I'm currently using Salesforce at another organization and have not been happy to make a general business product fit into the fundraising landscape. I inherited this system and it was not well-thought out before implementation. I'm now faced with re-building a program that is used for other areas of the agency as well which will make it more complicated. Having a program that is built for your specific needs helps.
If I were still in my previous job, we would continue using it and the wonderful training we purchased to help staff better use it. I would highly recommend signing up for a training contract so staff can leverage all of its power.
Mid-size organizations need to really determine if they are ready for it, and if they can invest the resources in the purchase, ongoing management, and training required. The organization must be able to commit to having a dedicated person for RE if they really want to harness the power of the product. Small organizations should look elsewhere. You don't need the complications.

Using The Raiser's Edge

6 - alumni, grants, fundraising
We needed to get a dedicated RE expert on staff. Not having one really limited our ability to use the system most effectively.
  • Building relationships with alumni through integrated email and action/pipeline
  • Tracking grants and major gift process
  • Reporting on participation rates and giving levels
  • We never got there due to small staff
  • Incredible potential to build relationship and strategy if it is used optimally

The Raiser's Edge Support

No complaints really. Nothing stellar but it was fine.
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Quick Initial Response
Yes - We couldn't have survived without it and the extra training.
I would not describe their team as exceptional in customer service. I received the care I would expect from a large company.

Using The Raiser's Edge

With the proper training and administration, it would be a 9 or 10. Without the resources to invest in it, it could be a 1 or 2. We were middle of the road. I knew enough to be dangerous.
Like to use
Well integrated
Feel confident using
Unnecessarily complex
Requires technical support
Slow to learn
Lots to learn
  • Integration is a dream
  • Very complete view of data
  • Reports are amazing once you get to know what you are doing
  • ugh doesn't say enough about this.
  • Reports really require thoughtful consideration and understanding of how it pulls data and the connections
Yes, but I don't use it - Don't know - we never got there.