Couldn't Imagine a Better Fundraising Database!
Updated January 30, 2020

Couldn't Imagine a Better Fundraising Database!

Alicia Barevich, bCRE, bCEE | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 8 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with The Raisers Edge

Raiser's Edge is obviously primarily used by our Fundraising department, but we use it to pull lists and reports for the whole organization. It holds employee information that is more detailed than HR's database. The gifts are integrated with Financial Edge to facilitate reconciliation. It is the master database for constituent data for most of the school.
  • There are so many fields, almost all of which are options in query, export, and report.
  • The integration with Crystal Reports is critical. It is very convenient being able to run Crystal Reports directly from Raiser's Edge.
  • Th batch and mail functions also make gift entry and acknowledgement a breeze!
  • Query is missing a couple useful options. Most recently, I wished that it included being able to query on whether an address was shared or not.
  • Export is missing a couple useful options. We rely heavily on relationships, but you can't query or export at a very detailed degree on a relationship's record.
  • It would be really cool if Crystal Reports could be integrated into the dashboards.
  • I can't imagine a heavy fundraising effort without Raiser's Edge. It is able to manage so much different data, and the reporting capabilities are excellent.
  • Since Raiser's Edge is such a respected system, there are many other companies that offer integrated services, so no matter what you need, it will probably work with Blackbaud and/or their partners.
  • past perfect
Raiser's Edge is the Cadillac of fundraising software. I really don't believe it can be beat. It is a heavy database, but I think it is still fairly intuitive to navigate. There is a web view (NXT), which is an expensive add-on, but looks much nicer (though has limited functionality) for people who need to access, but not necessarily swim in the data.
Chat support is usually responsive for small issues. Sometimes you'll wait a while, but generally I haven't found it to be too bad. Sometimes though, they'll get you going on a rabbit hole of a solution that doesn't actually solve the problem.

Do you think Raiser's Edge delivers good value for the price?

Not sure

Are you happy with Raiser's Edge's feature set?

Yes

Did Raiser's Edge live up to sales and marketing promises?

I wasn't involved with the selection/purchase process

Did implementation of Raiser's Edge go as expected?

I wasn't involved with the implementation phase

Would you buy Raiser's Edge again?

Yes

If you want to have excellent segmentation in solicitations, or other communications, Raiser's Edge is probably more than capable of providing you with what you need. More often than not, any handicaps are probably from data integrity, rather than the software itself. It doesn't integrate well with solutions for other independent school needs, so that's where I'd hesitate giving a glowing endorsement.

Using The Raisers Edge

15 - Advancement, IT, Finance departments.

Our Advancement department relies heavily on Raiser's Edge for all of their data. All gifts are entered, prospect information analyzed, appeals created and documented, event participation tracked. We send emails through NetCommunity, which is driven by Raiser's Edge. It also fuels many of our non-Advancement functions through the IT department. Many of our parent lists and other analysis or mailing lists are pulled from Raiser's, since it's our master database.
3 - Two of us sit in the IT department and support all RE users. We do advanced tasks, and give training. There is also an "RE Expert" in Advancement that supports that department specifically with things like mailing lists and more basic analysis.

A strong data mindset is required to supporting RE, since many people struggle with the interface and intuitiveness.
  • Gift entry and documentation
  • Appeal segmentation/mailing list generation
  • Creative donor reports
  • Detailed gift analysis
  • Gift analysis
  • Online event registration
RE requires Windows, and in some cases, can be slow. The browser-based version (NXT) is expensive and still limited in functionality. RE is a powerful fundraising database, but doesn't integrate well with other independent school solutions. I would highly recommend RE for any organization who needs a powerful fundraising database, but doesn't have any other major database needs that aren't fulfilled by RE.

Evaluating The Raisers Edge and Competitors

Yes - Century, I think? I wasn't involved. Whatever it was was a very antiquated system.
  • Product Features
  • Product Reputation
  • Vendor Reputation
I wasn't involved, but as the leading fundraising database, it's not hard to understand why they chose RE.
Now, we have been emphasizing the importance of data integration across all school systems. This is something that RE lacks. While RE had good integration with their former independent school software, they don't offer good integration with their new school software.

The Raisers Edge Implementation

The Raisers Edge Support

ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Need to explain problems multiple times
Support doesn't seem to care
Yes - No, bugs are rarely seen as bugs worth fixing. They release updates, but I don't know that I've seen anything I've reported actually get fixed.
Probably not. Their support is usually sufficient, but definitely mediocre.

Using The Raisers Edge

ProsCons
Like to use
Relatively simple
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Well integrated
Consistent
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Opening a Constituent record and adding data.
  • Running reports that are already set up.
  • Setting up queries, exports, and reports can be difficult for the novice user, but I think they are still reasonably intuitive.
I have very rarely not been fully satisfied with Raiser's Edge's functionality.