Raiser's Edge is THE way to RAISE all levels of engagement for your organization
Updated March 18, 2016

Raiser's Edge is THE way to RAISE all levels of engagement for your organization

Elaine Tucker | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with The Raisers Edge

We use RE for all departments. It is very functional for events, donations, grants, membership and volunteers. We use it to manage our annual Gala donations, as well as prospects and moves management for our Development Office. It allows accurate data information to
be stored for all our departments, so when it comes time to report on Grants we have the information needed at our fingertips.

It solves the problem of who-what-when-where-why. RE is GREAT at allowing the database to be rigid enough for database quality/integrity but fluid and flexible enough to allow all our different department to use it as the CENTRAL (and only) location for all our information needed to not only do our daily jobs, but to leave a good legacy for those who come after us to continue our mission.
  • RE is a wonderful donation/fundraising software. You can handle many different types of fund raising with ease. Cash gifts, Deferred Gifts, Recurring gifts, pledges, proposals and legacy gifts are all easily managed within RE.
  • RE is flexible with customization fields with attributes for almost every kind of record, constituent, gift, action, event, participant etc. These attributes allow you to add fields and information specific to your department or organization. We currently have attributes for schools, events and volunteers just to name a FEW.
  • RE is a relational database, so everything is based on relationships - which is the heart and soul of friend raising. I just love that "it's all connected"
  • The membership module works ok, but there is some missed functionality - especially in regards to shared memberships and organizational memberships. Currently if someone is on a shared membership they are there for the ENTIRE membership term. There are no "to and from" dates for secondary members on a membership. While this is not a deal breaker for us, it would be helpful if this additional piece of information was available. Also the database structure forces you to code upgrade or downgrade anytime the program changes. Our upgrades and downgrades are within the category level, not necessarily the program level so some of the upgrade/downgrade codes can be mis leading
  • You can search relationships for non-constituents, but event attendees are NOT included in the search, just other relationship records.
  • We need increased functionality between RE and NEtcommunity - some of the fields in RE are not available as merge fields in NetCommunity. This limits us on some of the functionality and targeted marketing/outreach that we would like to do
  • We have increased our staff productivity because RE "does some of the work for us"
  • Our objective to grow membership has panned out because we use Raiser's Edge prospect module to move and track our prospects and potential donors/members. Since moving to Raiser's Edge 10 years ago we have grown our membership by over 3,000 members
In a previous position, I have used an in house database written for a higher education environment. Raiser's Edge WAY out performed that system. We selected RE for the increased relationship management, gift management, and historical accuracy and ease of reporting. The old system was easy go get information in but not out.
Raiser's Edge is great for almost ANY type of organization or non-profit. The sotfware is flexible to be tailored to each organizations needs. While the expense for smaller non-profits may seem daunting, a look at the ROI may help sway the decision making process. It has GREAT functionality with in all areas and the more you use it the more you get out of it.

Using The Raisers Edge

Development, Membership, Events, Volunteers, Education, Interns, Marketing & Communications, Protocol
1 - We have a database manager who is the full time support person. They manage RE and the integration between RE, FE and
Netcommunity. Our member relations person assists with coding and gift entry.
  • Fundraising - this is a robust product that allows not only for bookkeeping on the donation and gift side of the house, it also works great for the Relationship management and stewardship portions of the fundraising arm.
  • Our programs department puts on over 85 events per year. The amount of information we keep about our events and the registrants is sometimes staggering. That said it is EASY to maintain all the data because of the relationships between events, gifts/fees and participant records.
  • Our education department can manage the interns that come in every semester, as well as track the impact we are having on local schools. Our grants require that we report by Title 1, by County and by age. Raiser's Edge allows us to track ALL of this.
  • Our volunteers are able to sign up for opportunities to assist where needed
  • Grant management for our speakers to schools program
  • We have used the attributes in RE to really tailor the information needs of each department.
  • Using the Volunteer module we are able to see how much of an impact our interns are having each semester
  • We currently use most of the modules associated with Raiser's Edge
It does everything that we need; we have invested alot of resources and staff training to use the software, we want to continue the relationship with Blackbaud

Evaluating The Raisers Edge and Competitors

  • Product Features
  • Product Usability
  • Product Reputation
  • Prior Experience with the Product
  • Vendor Reputation
Our CEO had previous experience with the software, so when he came he knew what could do and how the increased functionality would help us grow.
We may look at other membership modules and event vendors, but the fact that RE does both for us is almost a no brainer

The Raisers Edge Implementation

I was not here so could not rate
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - The implementation took place before I was here so in this regard I am not sure.
  • I was not here for this

The Raisers Edge Support

The analysts are very in the know about the product; and while they go the extra steps to make sure your issue is resolved.
ProsCons
Quick Resolution
Good followup
Knowledgeable team
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
None
Yes - Increased phone support and additional support for Custom Report writing needs.
We were having issue with query, and when I spoke to the analyst, she not only took the call, we did a screen share. When that did not resolve the case she took our data and did extensive testing of the issue to resolve the problem. I'm a 20 year user of the software, so when I found this, I appreciated her taking the extra time and effort to troubleshoot.

Using The Raisers Edge

it does lots of things well (prospect tracking and event management), some things FANTASTIC (gift records and donations and relationships). It is rigid enough for the database administrator to maintain good clean data, but flexible enought for customization across organizations so specific data can be kept as needed for YOUR specific organization needs.
ProsCons
Like to use
Easy to use
Well integrated
Quick to learn
Convenient
Feel confident using
Familiar
None
  • Relationship management
  • Donations and gift processing
  • event management
  • Details within the membership module
  • guest records in events can sometimes be cumbersome if you have lots of "name unknown" guests attending
  • The volunteer module is pretty rigid in the set up - and is written to be used for ANNUAL events like walk-a-thons etc. We have volunteer needs every month so we had to work around these limitations to get it to work.