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

47 Reviews of The Raiser's Edge

 

from Seton Foundations
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 51 to 100 users Portfolio size: 51 to 100 users

Have been using Raiser's Edge for 14 years

Ease-of-use

If taken one step at a time, it's much easier to implement and use. Users are typically overwhelmed because they are asked to do too much at once or they have decided beforehand that they will not like it.

Functionality

The front end could be a bit more user-friendly for non-database staff.

Product Quality

Too many of the modules are not fully integrated and therefore not as intuitive.

Customer Support

I've never had a question remain unanswered. Sure, sometimes the answer is 'No, you can't do that.' But, it's not the job of customer support to change the software.

Likes Best

RE is extremely robust as a CRM. Their support is incredible, especially the Crystal Reports team. I appreciate all the canned reports and the fact that some of them are actually extremely flexible. Blackbaud has come a long way with RE, and I'm looking forward to learning more about RE NXT!

Likes Least

The cost is too high for some organizations. If it weren't, I'd recommend RE to all of them. Communication regarding invoices seems disorganized. The Prospect Management portion leaves much to be desired.

Recommendations

Be sure your organization needs a complete solution like RE, and if you're interested, become a member of one of the forums to be sure it's the correct database for you.

 

from Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta
Specialty: Other
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

BBNC Training

Ease-of-use

The staff who attended the training classes pretty much jumped right in and started producing webpages.

Functionality

We have been able to figure out a way to do everything we want. Sometimes it is not a perfect solution, but over time, Blackbaud continues to come out with updates.

Product Quality

Over six years, our downtime has been no more that four hours.

Customer Support

I love the support that you get with the software. The folks that I speak with are always friendly, and if they don't know the answer immediately, they work until they have the problem solved.

Likes Best

The product is well-designed and easy to use, and it has great technical support.

Likes Least

Nothing. We have been very happy with it..

Recommendations

Get a demo of every product you are interested in. Ask hard questions, and if they have a trial, try it. That is the best way to learn a piece of software.

 

from Northwood Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

The Raiser's Edge is an amazing product!

Ease-of-use

The Raiser's Edge is such an easy-to-use program, and what you don't know how to use is simple to find.

Functionality

The Raiser's Edge meets all our fundraising needs.

Product Quality

Excellent quality with the software as well as support.

Customer Support

Blackbaud's customer support is second to none! Everyone is very helpful and very knowledgeable.

Likes Best

The Raiser's Edge is a very robust product. It was few limitations and numerous add-ons to customize to your own needs. Blackbaud support is probably one of the best support systems I've ever worked with. The staff is knowledgable and friendly.

Likes Least

There's not much I don't like except maybe the price. Our organization is small and unfortunately unable to take advantage of other modules due to the cost.

Recommendations

The cost may be high, but the return is so worth it.

 

from The Scott Mission
Specialty: Faith-Based Ministries
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

I have administered RE7 at 2 non-profit orgs and led conversion

Ease-of-use

Raiser's Edge has intuitive layouts and options for data entry

Functionality

At this time, the online giving platform isn't as flexible as we'd like.

Product Quality

Blackbaud is quick to release fixes when issues and bugs are found.

Customer Support

Blackbaud has a very robust knowledgebase and easy-to-access live customer support.

Likes Best

The company is robust, stable, and an industry leader in innovation.

Likes Least

The Raiser's Edge is often significantly pricier than its industry counterparts.

Recommendations

Think about long-term benefit and not just short-term cost.

 

from Sound Mental Health
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: Single user Portfolio size: Single user

Raiser's Edge does everything I need!

Ease-of-use

It's very intuitive. All of the modules work together and really enhance the features.

Functionality

From recording donation batches to entering new constituents and running reports/queries, it all works together.

Product Quality

It's well-designed because of the ease of integration with MS Word and BBNC.

Customer Support

There are a variety of avenues to access support, and all of the folks I have encountered are more than helpful and follow through to make sure the issue/problem is solved.

Likes Best

It is easy to use and interfaces totally with BBNC. Also, whenever I have a question, BB support is there to help me through a variety of avenues: email, knowledgebase, chat, or my account rep.

Likes Least

The price is high, but the vendor is still wonderful. It was a hard sell at my organization to get buy-in when we started with RE and BBNC. Prices keep going up, but that's not unusual.

Recommendations

This is the standard for donor databases. If you can use RE, it enhances your ability in job seeking.

 

from Rhode Island Zoological Society
Specialty: Animal Welfare
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Daily RE User

Ease-of-use

Once you learn the names of the fields, it is easier to put things together, such as queries and exports.

Functionality

As an organization that manages a lot of members and donors, it is great to have all of that information on the one record. Managing the two as one is great.

Product Quality

RE and Blackbaud products in general are all very high in quality. The overall user experience is heightened because of the tools and resources that are available to all users.

Customer Support

It is so great. There are so many forums and people to reach to help with any problems. My questions usually get answered within the first few minutes of discussion.

Likes Best

The amount of modules that can be used and created to handle data are extremely helpful in keeping an organization in good shape for connecting with donors and members.

Likes Least

Because there is so much there, it can sometimes be daunting to put things together.

Recommendations

Go into the system and play around with the different features and modules to get familiar.

 

from The Shipley School
Specialty: Private Schools
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Very intuitive and excellent customer support available

Ease-of-use

Different tabs and options are labeled so clearly, with logically named fields, that figuring out where the information you need is located and how to extract it is fairly simple.

Functionality

There are certain aspects to records that I would like to query that are not yet able to be queried. There are also places where a notes tab would be useful that is currently unavailable, but I find those problems fairly minor.

Product Quality

Raiser's Edge has almost never crashed or frozen on me, so it must be well-designed!

Customer Support

Customer support is absolutely unrivaled. They will stay on the phone (or chat online) until the problem is solved. They always follow up, and the training of the customer support team must be excellent, because I have never come across someone who had to pass me on to someone else because they did not know/understand the problem and have several possible solutions for me.

Likes Best

I find the software extremely user-friendly and fairly easy to figure out on your own, just by exploring and trying different options. And customer support is absolutely wonderful, so if you do get stuck or don't have time to waste playing with it, calling Blackbaud, or taking an online tutorial (there are so many free, quick 1-2 minute tutorials on pretty much any topic you can imagine), they will quickly help teach you what you need.

Likes Least

There are a few types of data that I would like to be able to query that I cannot (yet, but perhaps it will be added in an updated version of the software!), but other than that, I do not have any complaints.

Recommendations

Since so many different types of organizations use the software in so many different ways, don't get too specific on how you use it, as that will not be relevant for many others. Instead, focus generally on the ease of use (or lack thereof) and how customer support is, and then determine how you would specifically use different aspects of the software to suit your own needs.

 

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.

 
 
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