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

54 Reviews of The Raiser's Edge

 

from Sacred Heart Academy
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

The Benchmark Nonprofit Database

Ease-of-use

There is a basic understanding required of database software functionality, and learning all the fields and where they are stored (for query purposes, etc.) does take some time. But once learned, it is really very easy to work within the software.

Functionality

There is very, very little that I cannot do! And there are probably optional modules that could be purchased that would provide that desired functionality.

Product Quality

I have worked with other database programs, and RE definitely has the best design for all aspects of constituent records, query, reporting, etc.

Customer Support

I have been working with Raiser's Edge for almost 10 years, and it has gotten progressively harder and taken longer to speak with someone in support directly. That being said, once you do reach a support analyst, they are generally very competent and helpful. And compared to other companies, the customer service is still very good.

Likes Best

Blackbaud has become a one-stop shop for all things nonprofit technology-related. I love the integration between all their different products, and Raiser's Edge is the nonprofit standard for database functionality; it's highly powerful and pretty easy to learn to use.

Likes Least

I would like to be able to write my own custom reports without needing a full working knowledge of Crystal Reports. The "canned" reports that come with the software are highly customizable, but there are some instances where I would like to pull things a little differently from what they offer.

Recommendations

This is world-class software and priced accordingly. I would not recommend it to a very small nonprofit with few constituents. That being said, I think it is well worth the investment for any nonprofit that is looking to take their information to the next level and to be able to report on results over time easily.

 

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

I have worked with Raiser's Edge for 15 years

Ease-of-use

Field names are clear and easy to identify. Once an understanding of queries/export is in place, data extraction is quite easy.

Functionality

The basic system meets our needs for the most part. If we added modules (such as Volunteer and Events) we would be set.

Product Quality

After 15 years, I'm quite used to the system design. However, a redo (which is coming) is much needed. There also needs to be more thought in how all the systems interact/sync.

Customer Support

The customer support reps are generally knowledgable and will work to find an answer.

Likes Best

The software captures data in a concise manner and is easy to work with. It is relatively easy to learn and with practice, you can manipulate how to extract and work with the data on a higher level.

Likes Least

I have no real issues with the product, however, I am finding that Blackbaud has lost its way in terms of developing a real database. It has grown quickly by absorbing competitors and instead of thoughtfully producing products that work, they are moving quickly to get more and more out to the clients.

Recommendations

Be patient. Think through what you need and how to work with the data with in the database. This is not something that can be done quickly.

 

from Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

Raiser's Edge - Great Nonprofit Software

Ease-of-use

The design of Raiser's Edge is easy for both beginning users and those with advanced power user skills.

Functionality

Raiser's Edge is an excellent product to track the stewardship of donors.

Product Quality

Raiser's Edge is an excellent product with additional modules for extended tracking and performance.

Customer Support

I've hardly had an issue with customer support. I almost always get a fast response with great information.

Likes Best

I like the ability to track donors from direct mail through planned gifts. Blackbaud has created a product that is mission-focused for greatest return on investment.

Likes Least

I wish the hosted aspect of Rasier's Edge would allow for third-party integration.

Recommendations

Make sure you consider not only what your organization needs now, but also what it will need in the future.

 

from Whitman-Walker Health
Specialty: Healthcare & Hospitals
Size of portfolio: 6 to 10 users Portfolio size: 6 to 10 users

Reviewing Raiser's Edge

Ease-of-use

The more training and use you have, the easier it is to use.

Functionality

Raiser's Edge meets the organization's needs well when used correctly.

Product Quality

The quality of Raiser's Edge is higher than moderate.

Customer Support

Blackbaud's customer support is above par in that they respond quickly and then there's always the knowledge base.

Likes Best

Raiser's Edge is a product that is complete for fundraising and donor cultivation. The database has a variety of ways you can be creative while keeping you focused and therefore professionally export the data and reports for your fundraising efforts.

Likes Least

What I like least about Raiser's Edge is it does not have the capability of changing dates automatically in attributes or constituent codes for constituents with start and end date for their particular codes.

Recommendations

I would recommend reviewing a variety of software to determine your best product.

 

from The Trustees of Reservations
Specialty: Environmental
Size of portfolio: 21 to 50 users Portfolio size: 21 to 50 users

Raiser's Edge

Ease-of-use

It's a very powerful tool. It is easy to use on a beginner level, but there is so much more functionality that could be used daily.

Functionality

It meets my needs and the needs of my organization completely.

Product Quality

I think it is a fantastic product. I have been using it for 14 years, and there is a reason why. Because I enjoy it.

Customer Support

The support is top notch. You can do simple chat support, or you can do it by phone or email. All levels of support are just great.

Likes Best

The customer support is some of the best I have ever received. I have been working with Blackbaud for 14 years and truly appreciate the attentiveness and support I get.

Likes Least

The only thing is dislike is the Duplicate Management Tool and inability to export split gifts.

Recommendations

Talk to other users and do a lot of research! There are many good books out there. Also, training, training, training.

 

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

Great product overall.

Ease-of-use

It's easy to enter information, and it's very easy for administrators to run queries and reports.

Functionality

We get everything we need from it. It's very user-friendly. We're able to customize tables and fields for our needs.

Product Quality

Great product. It changes every year and adds new features that are helpful to customers.

Customer Support

I have had all great experiences with customer support.

Likes Best

This product allows us to track our donors and gifts efficiently. We have several modules that allow us to track other activities with our donors. The way it is set up us allows us to retrieve all the information we need and run reports that help us plan for future campaigns.

Likes Least

I don't have an area I dislike yet. I know other people have had any problems I have had, and they are working on solutions.

Recommendations

Don't wait; get the Raiser's Edge today. It will be worth it.

 

from Private K-12 School in California
Specialty: K-12 Education
Size of portfolio: 11 to 20 users Portfolio size: 11 to 20 users

14 years experience with Raiser's Edge

Ease-of-use

It takes time to learn the program. Training is highly recommended.

Functionality

Raiser's Edge meets our data collection and reporting needs quite well.

Product Quality

I find the quality to be superior for what seems to be a very complex program.

Customer Support

I tend to lean towards contacting colleagues in other schools as opposed to using phone support. However, chat seems to work well.

Likes Best

I like the diversity this product offers. There are many correct ways of entering and reporting data.

Likes Least

The average hold time for reaching a customer support person, in my experience, has been over 10 minutes.

Recommendations

The Blackbaud team continually strives to improve their products to meet the needs of K-12 schools.

 

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: K-12 Education
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: K-12 Education
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: K-12 Education
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: K-12 Education
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.

 
 
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