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

89 Reviews of The Raiser's Edge

Showing 1-20 of 89

 

from St. PAul Academy and Summit School
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Raiser's Edge gives me the tools to do my job effectively.

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Likes Best

I've been a RE database manager for over 10 years. I've always enjoyed working with the product. I like that I can configure it to hold the information that our advancement team needs to meet our goals. You need to take the time to do some training, but once you know what you're doing RE is a powerful tool.

Likes Least

Sometimes the pricing and invoices are a little unnecessarily cumbersome and take too much time to understand. The billing process could be simpler.

Recommendations

Think about what you want your software to be able to do. At a previous workplace the IT department wanted to go to something less expensive. I had a list of features that were important to have. The other software company didn't come close to the functionality that RE has. Ask questions!

 

from Abington Health Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Overall a decent product

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Likes Best

It is user friendly and easy to navigate. Global changes are pretty smooth as well making large data clean-ups nice. Love the ability to put some customization into it.

Likes Least

At times Blackbaud seems to have grown too large. Recommending product enhacements tends to go into a black hole.

Recommendations

Do a test run and compare against others. Know your needs and what you are looking to get out of it.

 

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

RE - a solid investment if you want a 360 view of donors

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Likes Best

I love the reporting capabilities, and also all the additional modules you can use to get a 360° view of your donors. I also love the plug-ins that help you integrate RE with other systems.

Likes Least

Some of the modules (like the events module) are tricky for first time users, so be sure to get training for your staff!

Recommendations

Definitely invest in the training if you don't have a full-time database admin to train staff members.

 

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

You had me at

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Likes Best

The versatility of the product is the best feature - so many different options/modules that can be used in multiple ways to suit the organization. There's really no ONE right way to do something in RE. Organizations have the ability to customize the program in ways that work best for them.

Likes Least

I honestly cannot think of anything that I don't like about Blackbaud and Raiser's Edge.

Recommendations

Raiser's Edge is the way to go! I used to work with an organization and I thought our database vendor was great, until I began working with Blackbaud and the Raiser's Edge. Now I wonder how I ever functioned without it!

 

from Indianapolis Zoo
Specialty: Animal Welfare
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Learning something new every day

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Likes Best

The best thing about Raiser's Edge is the functionality for my organization.

Likes Least

It can be challenging to make other programs such as our POS function efficiently with RE.

Recommendations

Do your research! Don't be afraid to rely on the advice from veteran users and Blackbaud specialists.

 

from Greater Vancouver Food Bank
Specialty: Human Services
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Database Administrator

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Likes Best

Good Support. The product is flexible to meet various needs.

Likes Least

If you don't hire someone to be responsible for the database it can be frustrating for staff as they don't have the time or skills to get the information they need.

Recommendations

To get its full potential and get staff on board hire a database administrator.

 

from Archdiocese of St. Louis
Specialty: Churches
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Raiser's Edge

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Likes Best

It is the best when it comes to Non-profit CRMs. From what I can tell nothing comes close to the functionality or support.

Likes Least

It can be expensive and will keep going up 2-5% a year.

Recommendations

Don't get stuck analyzing the "nice to haves". Focus on your everyday challenges and tasks, and how the software can make you more efficient

 

from Hammond School
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

A minimal user Of RE

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Likes Best

That this integrates with our other Blackbaud products. Blackbaud's customer service is great.

Likes Least

The last update caused problems with our integration with the Education Edge. Blackbaud seems to push out a solution later and later than the original timetable.

Recommendations

Make sure that you have employees who are willing to learn this product.

 

from Germantown Academy
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Primary user in my office for five years.

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Likes Best

It is optimized for use as a fundraising database, making it easy to track giving.

Likes Least

Unless you upgrade to optional modules, tracking some information is cumbersome.

Recommendations

Think about what you want to track and look at Raisers Edge to see how you can track it, then set up procedures before you start entering data. Make sure that either everyone is on board, willing, and able to use it, or there is a procedure in place for getting information to the person entering it, and out of the database to the person who needs it.

 

from Special Olympics PA
Specialty: Human Services
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

I wish my organization would use this product more!

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Likes Best

Once you understand the capabilities of Raiser's Edge, the sky is the limit. You can dig and look at data from all angles.

Likes Least

It's not intuitive. With my organization, you of course have to understand how the administrator set it up. Because we are a smaller organization there wasn't a lot of guidelines to get started - so there is much history and mining through understanding her logic.

It's not the fault of the actual product :) but rather, since its a tool that can be used in depth, it's not something that everyone has the ability to translate.

Recommendations

How are they going to use it in the end? I have been with two organizations that at first only used RE as a receipt generator. They had no idea what capabilities it had, and even worse, they had an understanding but weren't using it. I'd look at the end game and figure out how to make the tool work best for the organization.

 

from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Long time user

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Likes Best

Raiser's edge is the only software that I have had the pleasure of using. What is available to me on a day to day basis works well. I do not deal directly with the vendor.

Likes Least

I don't like the inconstitency. Whatever is a choice in query, should be a choice in export. I don't like that the Gift Detail and Summary report is the only place that uses the Gift Constituency Code. I think the Events Module needs to offer more.

Recommendations

Look at everything that is available to you and make sure that the software will fit your needs. Compare prices. If you feel that down the line you may still need to purchase other software (not Blackbaud products) to help you get everything done you need - look elsewhere.

 

from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

The only game in town . . .

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Likes Best

I believe Raiser's Edge allows you to track a lot of informaiton in its constituent-relationship database and I like that it has products which it speaks to easily, i.e. a financial product (Financial Edge) and an Internet option (NetCommunity.) I enjoy having the subscription that we have which allows us access to unlimited online and phone questions/issues and also unlimited online training. Very pricey, but worth it, because of the complexity of the system. Blackbaud makes a habit of buying out a lot of their competitors which makes them "the only game in town" in some aspects, but also allows them to take the best of their competitors products and incorporate them into Raiser's Edge, etc. I am most excited about their new product launching July 1, 2015 called RE NXT. This is a cloud based application which will be a great asset to any non-profit focused on major and principal gifts. The only caveat at this point is that non-profit has to have its RE environment hosted by Blackbaud in order to purchase this product.

Likes Least

The customer service leaves a lot to be desired. They often do not get back to us when we have issues with RE; they seem to focus most of their customer service toward "hosted" clients (and we are not hosted at the present time); we still have cases open with them and unresolved since November 2014 (and this is now April 2015); they do not exude the "customer is always right" attitude and they are a very expensive product. Also be careful with their pricing, different customers pay different costs for the same service/products. There also seems to be a lot of hidden costs when purchasing new products or modules from Blackbaud for the RE so make sure that you delve into that with your customer representative if you are looking to purchase anything from them.

Recommendations

Definitley look at Raiser's Edge; it is a good, comprehensive product, but negotiate a price with them and try to get them to commit to good customer service for you upfront. if you are a larger organization, you may want to investigate SalesForce - it's expensive also, and originally designed for the for-profit world, but it is an interesting product with some nice features. Another company you may want to review is DonorPro. The product is solid - not as encompassing as RE - but may work for less complex organizations and their customer service is wonderful compared to Blackbaud's.

 

from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Great Product with Room for Improvement

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Likes Best

This is such a great tool to keep track of your constituents. Everything is organized, making it easy to find the information you need with little hassle. It was also relatively to learn how to use it. I had never heard of Raiser's Edge before beginning an internship during college, and without any experience outside of that using it, I was able to find a job where I spend all day using Raiser's Edge. Not being particularly computer-savy, it's almost unbelieveable to me how comfortable I feel using this product.

Likes Least

There always seems to be little kinks and bugs that make little to no sense, and many times even those at Blackbaud don't seem to know why. For example, I work a lot with tributes. Recently I discovered that when you are entering a gift and you have a tribute open, if you go into one of the tribute acknowledgee's records and then back out, RE will check off all of the acknowledgees to acknowledge even if you previously did not have them all checked off. My manager asked why this was happening and how we can fix it, and the short-term suggestion we got was to exit out of the acknowledgee record instead of saving and closing. Frankly, that's a horrible suggestion. Obviously there are going to be times when we need to save and close. I understand you may not have an immediate answer, but I'd rather you not be able to give me a suggestion than to give me a bad one. In short, I think there are many kinks to be worked out and customer service can be improved.

Recommendations

I would say to talk to people who are currently using it and ask about their first-hand experiences with it. Even better would be if they could talk to someone who has used this product as well as products similar to it.

 

from Childrens Hospital Pittsburgh Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Cassandra's day in the life with Raiser's Edge

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Likes Best

I love that Blackbaud is always offering different training options around their products. If there's an area of Raiser's Edge that you'd like to become more proficient at using, you can do so by signing up for a webinar. Once you learn the functionalities of Raiser's Edge and how to use them, any organization would benefit from using the software.

Likes Least

Although training is always available to learn more about the software, if you don;t take advantage of it, there are a lot of important and useful functions you won't know how to use. If your organization needs something by a certain deadline and you are not familiar with that aspect of Raiser's Edge, you might face the challenge of needing to know how to use something before you have time to schedule adequate training on it.

Recommendations

I would recommend, when evaluating the software you use, you should consider how it meets the needs of your organization. Does it have the ability to track the information you need? How easy is it for you to be able to pull the information into a query or export to look at and evaluate at a later date? These are all important aspects of the software and how you use it.

 

from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Raiser's Edge Review

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Likes Best

The queries and reports that can be pulled from the system. I haven't used other databases but I've heard the queries do not compare to Raiser's Edge,

Likes Least

The customer service and the cost. For the amount of money we pay for the products, you'd think the customer service would be better. I heard this from many different RE clients.

Recommendations

Estimate your return on investment before you move forward with the product.

 

from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Blackbaud's Raiser's Edge

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Likes Best

I find that RE is very versatile and user-friendly. After using the product for 15 years in a healthcare environment, I moved to K-12 Education and have had no trouble switching gears!

Likes Least

Right now I feel that there should be more field integration options between Raiser's Edge and Education Edge.

Recommendations

Take a look at all aspects of the program and ask lots of questions. If you can, play around with a sample database.

 

from Nazareth Children's Home Inc
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

Great Product

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Likes Best

I like the SaaS Model, and our sale point of contact is the greatest.

Likes Least

It is not product specific just getting use to database basics.

Recommendations

Make sure you have a need for a large robust system. Make sure you need multiple levels of functionality. When you purchase, do the training!

 

from Loyola New Orleans
Specialty: Higher Education
Size of portfolio:  Portfolio size: 

My review of Raiser's Edge

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Likes Best

It offers a high level of donor records, relationship linking, and online components.

Likes Least

The online application has issues that seem hard for their staff to resolve.

Recommendations

Go with software that fits the size of your organization. All those bells and whistles require someone to learn how all the bells and whistles work.

 

from Central Catholic High School
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

RE can be a powerful program, but is often frustrating

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Likes Best

I do like the idea that RE, Education Edge, and Financial Edge can all be connected to each other and function with a BlackBaud OCC website. Blackbaud also tends to be prompt and thorough about answering support questions.

Likes Least

Raiser's Edge is not intuitive at all. It is difficult to learn to use. Doing things that should be simple, like creating relationships between constituents, is convoluted and difficult. You have to go through so many tabs and screens to accomplish any task in RE. Also, the program looks ancient, which doesn't inspire confidence. While that doesn't exactly impact performance, for a computer program, that makes me feel like the company isn't invested in their program.

Recommendations

It takes a long time to learn to use the Raiser's Edge program, but it can be a powerful program if used to its full potential.

 

from Norwood School
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 2 to 5 users Portfolio size: 2 to 5 users

Great product!

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Likes Best

Compared to other products on the market, Raiser's Edge is fairly easy to use, and all the products are integrated, which, in a school, is a key feature. Blackbaud is helpful and a good vendor to work with on any sized project.

Likes Least

If you aren't experienced in creating complex queries or reports, it can be tough getting data out. I'm also not a fan of having to pay for all modules; they should come standard with the ability for an organization to not show them.

Recommendations

Take your time; look at everything. Try to work on a test site prior to a full migration; that way, you are familiar with the product. Also, take all the training available.

 
 
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