The Raiser's Edge by Blackbaud


 

As one of the nonprofit sector's most popular fundraising tools, The Raiser's Edge is a comprehensive system that helps nonprofits achieve their mission by getting the very most out of their existing fundraising strategies. With more than 30 years in the industry devoted entirely to the development of software for nonprofits, BlackBaud offers solutions that work together.

From finding the best prospects to supporter engagement and cultivation to goal analysis and reporting, The Raiser's Edge is a flexible, user-friendly solution that helps nonprofits be more successful and efficient across every department and initiative. It can be customized to meet the needs of any nonprofit sector: healthcare, faith-based ministries, philanthropic foundations, the arts and more.

With Target Analytics, nonprofits can easily find the best prospects and replenish their donor pool, while also analyzing both donor activity and the organization's performance as a whole against their peers in the industry. Blackbaud NetCommunity can be utilized to create a dynamic, interactive online community with sophisticated web content management and online giving options. Effective fundraising events are made simple with Friends Asking Friends, which can support everything from bake sales to online pledge-driven events.

The Financial Edge ensures fiscal health, managing funds of all kinds, from grants to contributions, then transforming this financial data into both user-friendly dashboards and complex reports to provide transparency across the organization.

For nonprofits seeking a simple, scalable fundraising solution that offers end-to-end functionality, The Raiser's Edge by Blackbaud is an affordable, comprehensive system.

 

The Raiser's Edge - An all-inclusive fundraising solution
 
  • The Raiser's Edge - An all-inclusive fundraising solution
    An all-inclusive fundraising solution
  • The Raiser's Edge - Identify your best prospects
    Identify your best prospects
  • The Raiser's Edge - Everything you need for CRM
    Everything you need for CRM
  • The Raiser's Edge - Make better decisions with dashboards
    Make better decisions with dashboards
  • The Raiser's Edge - Easy-to-use budgeting tools
    Easy-to-use budgeting tools
  • The Raiser's Edge - Automatically create grant reimbursement billing
    Automatically create grant reimbursement billing
Supported Operating System(s):
Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 2000, Mac OS

40 Reviews of The Raiser's Edge

 

from Norwood School
Specialty: Private Schools
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

Integration w/ Eduction Edge + tech support to development database mgr

Ease-of-use

Every screen looks exactly the same. Some colors to indicate areas or tabs would make looking around and working faster. However, once you know the system, it does get very easy to use, especially if you use it daily.

Functionality

Our development department really, really loves Raiser's Edge. It is helpful that we can integrate it with Education Edge, and we are considering integrating Raiser's Edge with Financial Edge. It would be very useful if non-constituents could have a login to NetCommunity, but the system still works well as folks can login through Education Edge.

Product Quality

If data is entered well with reasonable experience, it is possible to get to whatever you may need. Import/export fields have different names.

Customer Support

Now that we have priority support, it is perfect! I chose 9/10 for the rating, as we did not have that always and it was a less than positive experience.

Likes Best

I understand it is the best system from many for development/advancement departments.

Likes Least

It is expensive and easy to misuse. There are so many options for data organization, but many years without a consistent and well-developed plan and policy creates a soup sandwich. However, if you start on the right foot you are in great shape.

Recommendations

Make sure you have someone on your staff or that you hire someone to develop and document your implementation and policies relating to data entry.

 

from Regis Jesuit High School
Specialty: Private Schools
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Raiser's Edge is the mothership to our success!

Ease-of-use

There is enough customization to the tables to design the programs to fit your company's needs, but the event module could use some upgrading.

Functionality

Having the website integration is awesome, and I would love to see some continual growth.

Product Quality

The quality in the hosted environment has improved dramatically.

Customer Support

Best customer support ever! Even if you just need to share an idea, they are there to help.

Likes Best

Raiser's Edge is complex enough to handle 85% of our lists, exports, and historical information to do our jobs successfully.

Likes Least

I wish we could customize a report with a drag and drop feature without the external use of Crystal Reports and all the coding behind the scenes.

Recommendations

Dive in and get to know the software. Once you are comfortable with the structure, impacts, and tables, you will be able to store an unlimited amount of information to help your fundraising needs.

 

from Canadian Cancer Society AB/NWT
Specialty: Other
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Raiser's Edge Review

Ease-of-use

For the end user, it can be very easy to learn where to find and enter information; however, it can sometimes be difficult to customize some fields in Raiser's Edge to suit your company's needs, as sometimes you can't make all the changes you want. Sometimes, the options are only "all" or "nothing." You can't be more granular, and sometimes you need granularity.

Functionality

We need to have more granularity with the security. For example, we need to limit certain pieces of media being viewed by staff members, such as a will, and there is no option currently for that in the system. Either users have the ability to view a piece of media or they don't.

Product Quality

It is a good system and allows users with limited Information Technology knowledge to set it up and use it. However, it also needs to allow for easier customization without using VBA, which is an additional cost.

Customer Support

They are usually very quick to respond to your cases and are willing to help on chat. However, searching the knowledgebase can sometimes be a daunting task if you are unsure of what to ask.

Likes Best

I like how I can store all the information I need to for a constituent in one place and easily access information when needed.

Likes Least

Every module that you need is an additional cost and increases your maintenance fees. At some point, your maintenance fees should be able to be bundled to reduce costs. Also, some of the modules that we could benefit from are very expensive and have had to be put on hold for purchasing due to the price.

Recommendations

Make sure you evaluate what you have to have and what you would like to have. Then determine which modules you can afford to have now and which ones to wait for.

 

from Phoebe Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

User since 1999

Ease-of-use

It's pretty intuitive if you have any database or reporting experience.

Functionality

The only reason I did not give this a 10 was that I don't like the annual giving reports feature for year-end tax mailing.

Product Quality

I have never had a data failure or had a problem that a quick search of the knowledgebase or a call to support didn't fix immediately.

Customer Support

It gets an 8 for hold time, and I don't think you should have to pay more to get priority support. We pay enough in annual maintenance as it is! The analysts are great though.

Likes Best

There is always a way to track what you need. I don't think you can run out of functionality! Blackbaud put out a quality product.

Likes Least

Pricing is my only issue. With healthcare budgets being cut due to the Affordable Care Act, it makes it hard to add new modules, services, etc.

Recommendations

Have an idea of what you expect from the software. What information will you need to access once your data in input? Knowing what you need in output will drive what and how you input data.

 

from Canadian Cancer Society - Quebec Division
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

The Next Big Idea is already here

Ease-of-use

You can customize about everything on RE. You can start small and add modules and functionalities as you grow. It will grow with your organization.

Functionality

It's very usable, and with custom field creation, the possibilities are endless.

Product Quality

It's very reliable, and updates and improvements are released on a regular basis.

Customer Support

They're always there to help and promptly answer when you send a ticket.

Likes Best

I like the flexibility to customize fields, dashboards, and about anything you might need for the organization. Support is efficient and very reachable.

Likes Least

Sometimes, getting everything right might take a while.

Recommendations

For my experience, this is one of the best - if not the best - systems out there, and with things to come like RE NXT, you need to consider them as top contenders in the non-profit market.

 

from The Shipley School
Specialty: Private Schools
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Raiser's Edge for Schools

Ease-of-use

Everyday users have no problem. The occasional users are always confused.

Functionality

We would like it to be more flexible in some fields.

Product Quality

We experience few bugs and few crashes in our locally hosted environment

Customer Support

We pay for Advantage Priority support, so we have the most support they offer.

Likes Best

I like the integration with other school modules and the ability to sync data without a data shuttle.

Likes Least

It can be intimidating to users who are new or who do not use the product every day.

Recommendations

The recent conference detailed some exiting upgrades coming out soon.

 

from Living Water International
Specialty: International Organizations
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Raiser's Edge gets the job done

Ease-of-use

I rated in the middle primarily because there are so many components to learn, and some of them seem to overlap. Deciding the correct option for your organization is the first challenge

Functionality

The inability to clearly understand third party integrations prevents it from having a perfect score.

Product Quality

I think the design and constant improvement in design makes this product pretty good. However, forgetting to include past functionality when an update is rolled out detracts slightly.

Customer Support

I've always had wonderful customer support from the technical aspect of RE.

Likes Best

RE allows an organization to set up the database to meet their internal processes and fundraising management needs. The support has always been outstanding.

Likes Least

It seems difficult to get answers about using RE SQL tables. We would like to understand this design better and have been searching for some training from Blackbaud but have not yet found anything. We are currently designing a data warehouse so that we can provide better cross-departmental reports to senior management, and being trained on RE SQL would be a great benefit.

Recommendations

Be prepared to invest in the highest level of conversion your organization can afford, and get lots of input from other users before you design and implement your system.

 

from Biola University
Specialty: Higher Education
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

I love the complexity and intuitiveness!

Ease-of-use

I think it is very intuitive and straightforward. I also like the interactions between products.

Functionality

There are some fields that are non-adjustable that I wish I could adjust.

Product Quality

The design is good and well thought out. I also like how the products communicate.

Customer Support

I have been ecstatic since BB has added the support chat.

Likes Best

I like that the software is complex enough to make it "mine," and Blackbaud is awesome to work with, too.

Likes Least

What I don't like is that the software is complex enough that our technically challenged people find it intimidating.

Recommendations

If you are considering this software, make sure you really think about your goals - what do you want from the software? Once you know what you want to accomplish with the software, work backwards to reach your goal.

 

from The Archer School for Girls
Specialty: Other
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Best Resource for Donor and Gift Management

Ease-of-use

There are still some kinks, but overall, it's an easy tool to use.

Functionality

It pretty much does everything we need it to do for us.

Product Quality

It's a great product as I've mentioned before and allows us to extract data in many ways.

Customer Support

Blackbaud's customer support is excellent! I'm always able to get the answers I need in a timely fashion.

Likes Best

This product is easy to use and is constantly coming out with improved functionality, both in terms of storing data and pulling the data back out.

Likes Least

There are a few things that need to be looked at further (like the Event module), but it's constantly improving.

Recommendations

In talking with other nonprofits, those who decide to try another software always end up coming back to Blackbaud, so why even bother to go somewhere else?

 

from National Urban League, Inc.
Specialty: Other
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Luxury Awaits!

Ease-of-use

For me it is quite easy, but for users who do not frequent the apps, it could be a bit difficult to understand.

Functionality

We have been using Raiser's Edge for about 10 years now. We are not fully at max potential, but we are definitely headed in the right direction.

Product Quality

It is well-designed and keeps changing to successfully meet the needs of its users.

Customer Support

The reps are always very attentive. They follow up, are very friendly and quite knowledgeable. I always feel comfortable speaking with them.

Likes Best

It's easy to use and very comprehensive!

Likes Least

It does not interface well with other 3rd party applications.

Recommendations

Thinks of Blackbaud products like you would luxury cars. Blackabud offers you the Rolls Royce experience. Everything else is like a Honda or a Nissan, not a bad car at all, just not a luxury experience.

 

from School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province
Specialty: Faith-Based Ministries
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Better donor connections with RE

Ease-of-use

Many of my users have a difficult time getting a handle on RE, so I base this rating on their experiences. For the novice, RE is not user-friendly. It's better with training and required fields, but we can't make every field required.

Functionality

I would like better options for soft-credits. The ways our donors give seem to have gotten ahead of our database's ability. Not every soft-credit situation fits into a cookie-cutter approach to gift entry.

Product Quality

The Raiser's Edge is a high-quality database, providing many optional modules to meet the needs of organizations.

Customer Support

I'm not a big fan of chat support (call me old-fashioned). But, most of my issues have been resolved fairly quickly for the years I've been on RE.

Likes Best

Raiser's Edge is a powerful tool. With The Raiser's Edge, your database fits your needs, and Blackbaud Support helps you get the most out of your donor management system.

Likes Least

The event module is a bit tricky, and the flexibility of the product makes it overwhelming for new users.

Recommendations

Make yourself a chart for comparing functionality, available training (including delivery methods and price), and the ability to integrate with other software. Connect with users of the software programs you're considering, and include their comments in your chart. Then, look at the price of the database and maintenance packages. Price alone is deceiving.

 

from Kids Help Phone
Specialty: Human Services
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Happy Raiser's Edge Users since 2008!

Ease-of-use

Fundraisers with solid understanding of the typical fundraising pipeline processes will feel right at home.

Functionality

From tax receipting to direct mail to event fundraising, Raiser's Edge supports our fundraising activity very well.

Product Quality

Again, based on SQL server, the core technology is very robust. The software clients are also very reliable, well-organized, and stable.

Customer Support

Customer support resources, self-help resources, demos, support tickets - everything is as it should be!

Likes Best

Raiser's Edge is a solid and rigorous solution for a premises-based CRM system. Using MS SQL server, it is based on industry standard and highly reliable technology. Data on gifts, constituents, events, and other common fundraising information is linked in logical, relevant, and meaningful ways. The software reflects solid understanding of how non-profits actually operate, from language to processes.

Likes Least

Overall, the software is very well structured. However, it can be a challenge to load external data, although there are good third-party products. Little things, like how email addresses are stored, could be improved. Also, queries could be more flexible. We wish the volunteer module was more sophisticated too.

Recommendations

First and foremost, you must understand your own fundraising processes and requirements. Then, you can start examining the features in fundraising software to see how well the functionality matches your needs.

 

from RI Zoological Society
Specialty: Arts & Cultural
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Have been using RE since 2001!

Ease-of-use

It's generally user-friendly, so most people can use it "out of the box," but for robust use, training is the way to go.

Functionality

Looking for more integration with our online needs.

Product Quality

Quality and functionality are good, but it needs more enhancements.

Customer Support

Great customer support, whether via phone, chat, or knowledge base!

Likes Best

Raiser's Edge is great for the small shop and can be customized for larger organizations in many ways.

Likes Least

Sometimes, changes and updates aren't made in a timely fashion.

Recommendations

Make sure you look into any modules you might need. Sometimes, it's better to buy an additional module than to try to customize fields.

 

from Preservation Society of Newport County
Specialty: Arts & Cultural
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

18+ years as Raiser's Edge user

Ease-of-use

It's very user-friendly. It's all web-based, so it's easy to pick up. Many of the features are self-explanatory.

Functionality

It needs better membership reporting tools. Reporting needs more work. Column and filter options should be expanded, such as filtering by gift amount, package, fund type, or gift subtype instead of having queries behind.

Product Quality

It's very well-designed. Blackbaud is always up on new technology with their partners, and it shows. You have to expect bumps along the way of upgrades and just accept them, and it will work out. Overall, the bumps are small.

Customer Support

I usually can figure out the answers prior to support. Support has gotten better over the last few years.

Likes Best

Blackbaud is always ahead of the technology curve. Raiser's Edge is web-based and easy to navigate. It's an all-in-one solution. I've used it for almost 20 years, and I love the product and the company. It's easily trainable. It's also great to have the knowledge base online.

Likes Least

I wish there were better reporting features, especially more charts and graphs. Interactive charts and graphs would be great.

Recommendations

What size is your staff and database? Can you afford to keep the maintenance on the software? If not, don't invest. Do you have a staff member who is willing to learn the software and can pick it up easily?

 

from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
Specialty: Private Schools
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

The most complete development software available

Ease-of-use

RE is a very logical system. I find it very intuitive, although I've heard others do not.

Functionality

I've had long-standing complaints about particular reporting issues - specifically event reports- but on the whole, it's an excellent product that handles over 95% of our needs.

Product Quality

I appreciate RE's design, and I also appreciate the similarities between Blackbaud products, which makes it easier to go from one of their products to another.

Customer Support

The level of support improves with the more money an organization is willing to spend. That said, even if extra money is spent, phone support wait times are very, very long. Chat is effective, and the followup with a real person is very good.

Likes Best

Raiser's Edge is a complete system that can be used equally effectively by a small shop and by a larger organization.

Likes Least

It's expensive; the product itself is expensive, and training for it is expensive.

Recommendations

I think it's important to have complete buy-in by upper-level management and to make sure management is committed to provide formal training for all users.

 

from Trinity Church
Specialty: Faith-Based Ministries
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

RE - why it is the database for YOU!

Ease-of-use

After training, I feel RE is easy to use. Make sure you get onsite training.

Functionality

We use RE for our database. I use it to provide labels for mailings as well as to track the giving history of our constituents.

Product Quality

RE's quality seems to get better and better with each upgrade.

Customer Support

Customer support is wonderful! I especially love it when I call and get a familiar voice on the other end of the phone.

Likes Best

Blackbaud is an excellent company with great products. RE is a very good database program. It can handle a lot of information. Sometimes, getting reports out can be a bit cumbersome.

Likes Least

Sometimes, it is frustrating getting reports out of RE.

Recommendations

Check it out carefully to make sure it can do everything you want.

 

from Phi Kappa Psi Foundation
Specialty: National Organizations
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Fraternity Educational Foundation's RE Experiences

Ease-of-use

Training staff with no experience is an investment of time and money, but training options are user-friendly and priced well for the quality of the training programs.

Functionality

Some features that seem obvious are excluded. However, Blackbaud has picked up the pace of its development and research cycle, so updates are coming quicker than ever before.

Product Quality

It's reliable, especially compared to our old software. Blackbaud found data hidden in the back end of our old software and had a place for it in Raiser's Edge!

Customer Support

Sometimes, there have been lengthy wait time when dealing with support, and the knowledge level of some of the support staff has been subpar, but I've seen a great improvement on this in the last year. The newly available Chat Support feature is painless and much more efficient.

Likes Best

It's the most powerful software out there; it has unparalleled customization options.

Likes Least

It's expensive, and training staff with no prior experience is an investment.

Recommendations

Be sure to create a list of must-haves with input from ALL staff, and really take the time to evaluate your needs, even down to the simplest report requests, to ensure the product you end up with will meet your needs fully.

 

from Boston Children's Hospital
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 101 or more users Portfolio size: 101 or more users

I have used Raiser's Edge for many years

Ease-of-use

It is easy to train users on Raiser's Edge. Training should be ongoing.

Functionality

This product meets all our needs in the development office.

Product Quality

It is user-friendly, and it actually makes sense, making it even easier to learn.

Customer Support

Customer support responds promptly; even if they can't get right back, they do send a confirmation email.

Likes Best

It is user-friendly, and as long as the data is maintained and business rules are in place, it is the perfect fundraising product.

Likes Least

The thing I like the least is the event module in RE.

Recommendations

It is so important to have staff dedicated to maintaining the software. The old saying "garbage in, garbage out" is very true.

 

from St. John's Episcopal Hospital
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

Database is easy to work with and manipulate and the reports versatile

Ease-of-use

It's easy and comprehensive. It's great for getting the most our of your constituents.

Functionality

We have not used it comprehensively yet, but anticipate will meet requirements.

Product Quality

It's well-designed as it covers all aspects and is interactive in reporting and follow-up.

Customer Support

They are efficient and friendly. There is no problem too small.

Likes Best

The support you get with setup and implementation is stellar! My team is available and very helpful whenever I need them, and for whatever reason. I have used this database in previous jobs and it's always a pleasure to work with. Th reports are easy, savable and versatile.

Likes Least

The scope of the database.

Recommendations

Ask questions and get to know the team. It's the key

 

from Olive Crest
Specialty: Human Services
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Raiser's Edge: The Gold Standard in Fundraising

Ease-of-use

Raiser's Edge is a very robust database. It's easy to use and take advantage of if you invest in training. If you don't, it can be very hard to maneuver.

Functionality

The RE product does meet all of our needs currently, but we have had to invest in optional modules.

Product Quality

I continually hear how lucky we are as an organization to be able to use the Raiser's Edge product; it does seem to be the gold standard in the industry.

Customer Support

I am very satisfied with the customer support we receive from Blackbaud.

Likes Best

Hands down, what I like best about working with Blackbaud is the customer service and support we receive. They have a fantastic support line, knowledge base, and training packages. They also offer free training webinars, often on industry specific topics.

Likes Least

Sometimes, the best solution is only offered through optional modules, which can get costly.

Recommendations

Raiser's Edge is costly but worth the investment when used properly. My biggest recommendation is to invest in training; it will pay off and is worth the cost.

 
 
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