Overall Satisfaction with The Raiser's Edge
The Raiser's Edge is our primary donor database. It is used by Development, Membership, Marketing, and Education. Development utilizes it to track donor information, actions, notes, gifts, events, tributes, planned gifts, relationships, and the other departments use it for very specific activities (i.e. Education uses the Events module to track classes, summer camps and lectures).
- Flexibility in creating campaigns, funds, appeals and the ease of tracking progress. Canned reports are good, but very basic. For more detailed reports you can create one in Crystal Reports and include it in RE as a custom report that anyone can access.
- Well designed and user friendly. It is scalable in design and customizable/versatile.
- Security options that help to define groups and users with rights to view, add, edit and delete information.
- Ability to query and export almost anything in the database.
- Media tab - you can add information, but once the data is there you have limited ability on what and how it is exported.
- Canned reports are very basic. You need to have Crystal Reports expertise to be able to do more extensive reporting.
- Dashboards are nice, but you can only pull data for a year, a month, last month, etc. but not for specific dates.
- Hold time for support can sometimes be long. Nevertheless, support is always available.
- Speaking from a Development perspective, our batch data entry is efficient and my staff is able to prepare donor acknowledgments within 24 to 48 hours of making their contribution. During year-end, when donation volume increases, the turnaround time for donor acknowledgment is less than a week.
- This system is a major investment for any organization and proper staffing should be considered a top priority if you wish to ensure success.
- Cost is the only negative impact this software has. Additional modules and user licenses can be costly.
First and foremost, know your needs before you shop around! RE has many optional modules, but make sure you need it before you buy it! The questions to ask would be: What determines the software price? Are there additional maintenance fees and how much? What is the turnaround time for getting "bugs" fixed? What are the typical hurdles to expect with installation? Will there be, and how much, support will be available when converting data from another program? Is the cost of support during the conversion included? What are their hours of support and how does their support department operate?