CharityEngine

CharityEngine Reviews

RATING:

4.15

(27)

User Review Highlights

Overall Rating

4.15

Ratings Breakdown

Secondary Ratings

Ease-of-use

4

Customer Support

4

Value for money

4

Functionality

4

  • icon"CharityEngine is a great CRM tool, for me the feature I use most often is query builder to create custom reports of specific parts and types of data."
  • icon"I also very much appreciate being able to write complex queries and then schedule them to send me reports as frequently as I want them."
  • icon"The growth and strength of this platform over the past 8+ year has been amazing."
  • icon"The vendor provided poor training and set-up options for the front-line fundraising team."
  • icon"The product was grossly over-sold by the sales team."
  • icon"Tracking of changes to records is not captured as to who made changes and when which can be a problem."

All CharityEngine Reviews

1-25 of 27 Reviews

Sort by

Reviews are by default sorted by Recommended to software buyers, driven by our proprietary algorithm reflecting the depth and quality of the review, recency of experience, and other factors. As a neutral reviews platform, the star rating of the review is not considered in the "Recommended" ranking, and there is currently no voting mechanism that would allow site visitors to influence the ranking.

Michelle

Verified reviewer

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

November 2020

Power behind your reporting

Pros

CharityEngine is a great CRM tool, for me the feature I use most often is query builder to create custom reports of specific parts and types of data. I love the functionality available in Query Builder, and since my organization has some pretty complex data structures, CE makes it really easy for me to get exactly the data I need at any given time.

Cons

Sometimes when there are updates to the software, some functionalities are down temporarily, but their team always works swiftly to make sure everything is running smooth!

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

We needed more everything!

Dana

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Fund-Raising

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

4

January 2022

Highly-Customizable, Powerful & Accessible, Best Price

We use Charity Engine for on and offline monthly/quarterly/annual recurring donations and all online donation forms. We have a different CRM for sending email to our 250,000+subscribers and to host our actions to legislators and corporations. And another CRM for our direct mail constituents. Some at the organization argue that we should have one CRM to do all this--but I never expect that out of a company. Charity Engine clearly specializes in online donations and recurring donations, including an advance fraud suite that prevents the fraudulent testing of credit cards on their system (and fees associated). Monthly processing and all the management of credit card updating, both automatic and personal updates, are a breeze. And Charity Engine has made it clear that the data is ALWAYS ours. (Other companies we have worked with said they have the right to withhold credit card information of recurring donors, if you ever try to move off their system.)

Pros

You can do pretty much anything with either the front-end or back-end design of Charity Engine forms. This power and flexibility are exactly what our medium to large non-profit needs as we are testing and improving our online fundraising. The user interface is intuitive and user-friendly. I am not a developer and over the years I’ve learned how to navigate most things within the system, it is complex, but well organized. And if you are not technical or don’t have the time, Charity Engine will connect you with a developer. I appreciate how we have the capability to add code to our forms and templates. This has enabled us to better track conversions, ecommerce, Google Analytics, and Facebook website verification. The donation data is all there, you can query on anything and export it into excel to analyze. Note: We added custom hidden fields to help with tracking donations from third party sites and other CRMs. Sustainer charging is very simple within Charity Engine. The amount of work required once you have someone set up in it is minimal. The help files are actually helpful, and are clearly written to walk you through things you need to do.

Cons

We cannot use the “standard donation form” to meet our fundraising needs. We have custom forms and once you make custom forms, if they break, Charity Engine support (often) can’t fix. You need to go to a developer. Good news is forms don’t break often. Not a system flaw—rather warning to the user, because the tool is so powerful and hands on, you do have the ability to do almost anything, including break the forms. More than once I have wanted to test something new, so I tinkered with the forms and broke something else. Always create copies of forms and test them out before changing in a live environment. Sometimes, the Charity Engine staff seem to have limited experience with, or solutions for, integrating CE with other platforms. For example, we spent months trying to get Google Tag Manager to work correctly on Charity Engine forms so we could run a functional Facebook Ad campaign. Another example, we had a comma issue with our forms that makes $1,000+ transactions register as $1 in Google Analytics. We had to work with independent contractors to resolve both of these issues, even though we imagine they are issues all Charity Engine clients must face. The system can be a little buggy, so you have to pay attention to things—especially patterns. Example: every now and then the amount a donor has entered into specific form changes on its own after they hit the submit button, but because it can’t be consistently reproduced, there’s nothing they can do about it.

Reasons for choosing CharityEngine

In 2015 we researched Salsa's donation forms, Salesforce, and Blackbaud's Luminate. We were impressed with Charity Engine because they understood the importance of allowing back-end users (people at our org) to access all functions, data, and operations of the system--it is well-organized and accessible. Before our most recent contract renewal, we have researched SALSA Fundraise and Blackbaud's Luminate to sync with Raiser's Edge, because they were two other CRMs our org is currently using. When shopping around, we focused how these other platforms handle monthly processing, because that is where the majority of our donations come from. Although we also need dynamic highly customizable online donation forms. It is important to keep in mind that these companies make their money off you donation/payment processing--so keep a close eye on these fees, more than what you are paying monthly to use the system. Charity Engine matched our current rates and therefore won on payment processing for both Credit Cards and ACH. Charity Engines monthly payment processing, credit card updater, fraud protection suite, and manual processing is far superior to SALSA Fundraise. Luminate cost considerably more than Charity Engine to process monthly donations and to set up their platform. And why? Luminates functionality was far behind Charity Engines (in 2021). Example, BB said they would be rolling out PayPal on their donation forms "soon."

User Profile

Margie

Verified reviewer

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

EASE OF USE

2

VALUE FOR MONEY

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

July 2020

Design seems tailored more to mass mailers than high dollar cultivators

I was brought in to the organization after they had spent 9 months trying to transition to Charity Engine. I found that the data transfer from our old system was not done correctly and it took a lot of time to get that sorted out. It isn't intuitive, and is over complicated. It is hard to find what you are looking for in the navigation.

Pros

Query capability. Online forms. Payment processing.

Cons

We can't use for generating acknowledgement letters because they won't format correctly. We didn't use initially for email communication, but they have improved that feature. It is very clunky to add or update individual records, requiring user to go in and out of many screens and remember to flag things, such as address is preferred, and remember to click a save button. Far too many steps. It doesn't help with grant management. Event management also is not good. It is difficult and time consuming to record activities (meetings, phone calls) that you have had with your donors, and then they are not exportable on reports.

Reasons for choosing CharityEngine

IDK

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

I don't know - I wasn't here then.

Response from CharityEngine

Margie, thank you for your feedback. It looks like we missed on training here. Many of the issues you've cited, such as properly formatted acknowledgement letters or recording and reporting on activities are core capabilities and we're going to make sure we get you up and running. Better knowledge around how to navigate the platform may also help lead to less clicks to get what you need. I believe our team has already reached out to you for additional help and training and hopefully you are already on a path to a better experience. Thank you for your partnership and for letting CharityEngine be part of the wonderful work you are doing at Center for Education Reform.

Replied September 2020

Rion

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Museums and Institutions

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

June 2021

Charity Engine has been one of our best investments

My overall experience has been exceptional. The implementation, support, and onboarding teams of Charity Engine truly go above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction.

Pros

The ease of use and implementation was important to us, and the continued support is the best I have ever worked with.

Cons

I honestly can not think of a single con to this product.

Response from CharityEngine

We at CharityEngine appreciate your generous feedback. Thank you.

Replied October 2021

Benjamin

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

August 2019

Not just Donor Management

The system not only solves some of the most complex donor management system needs, but in some cases it's working for my association customers to manage membership needs as well. As for associations that have a donor arm, which is where we've done a lot of work, this system is easy to integrate as needed but is a real 360 degree view while also having top notch web forms, marketing automation and other critical items that are huge money and time savers for nonprofits

Pros

For a multi-tenant system, I'm really surprised at the extensibility of the system. Without "customizing" everything, it's really flexible and configurable to meet a lot of different business rules that are unique to my customers. Their data model and ability to query and layer queries is really impressive compared to similar systems in the market.

Cons

Hard to say, I think it may be somewhat difficult to set up if you aren't trained on it like my team is as an integration and implementation firm. We work with many similar systems in the market though and I'd say comparatively, it's easier to set up than most other member and donor management systems. I wish it had some additional functionality like the Association Management Systems (AMS) market has around testing, certification and things like that, we could have consolidated down to fewer systems in the stack for our customers who we implemented it for, but that's not what we bought it for. I'm super pleased with what's there.

Reasons for choosing CharityEngine

After spending months to consider a CRM based approach and all of the additional customizations and other 3rd party systems that would be needed to accomplish our customer's goals, the cost to stand up the system and get up and running was cheaper and faster while the customer felt they did not sacrifice quality or support.

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

Our customer would say that the functionality was greater and more all-inclusive, and the pricing model is surprisingly creative and flexible for the enterprise level system you get.

James

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by the software vendor to submit an honest review.

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

October 2021

Mission Partner

Excellent. We have looked at other fundraising and donor management platforms. While some have cleaner dashboards, no one can match the functionality that Charity Engine has to offer.

Pros

Charity Engine took our fundraising to the next level by magnitudes of scale. It professionalized our messaging and operation, enabling us to attract new supporters, excite current donors, and direct attention to key initiatives at a critical time.

Cons

The customer service provided by Charity Engine staff is exceptional. They are responsive and professional every time I ask them for help. The self-help tutorials are good, but for a very small and lean nonprofit, we just didn't have the time to learn the platform as well as we could have, so we relied on Charity Engine staff and they walked us through it every step of the way. They understood our requirements and worked with us to achieve those goals.

Response from CharityEngine

James, we appreciate being part of taking your fundraising goals to the next level. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Replied October 2021

Christina

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Broadcast Media

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by the software vendor to submit an honest review.

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

September 2021

Connect, Customize and Collaborate

Pros

The tool is feature rich. I find new options that will improve our productivity just about every week. One of my favorite features is their robust import tool. They make is so easy to bring data into the system.

Cons

Charity Engine offers a wide variety of features, but some have not been developed to the level of sophistication we need. The good news is they have an excellent process for submitting and reviewing enhancement requests and so far, all our requests have been submitted for future development.

Reasons for choosing CharityEngine

We chose Charity Engine because of their API capability, donor retention program and they offer the ability to customize just about everything within the tool.

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

Allegiance did not offer the ability to integrate with other technology platforms which is critical for the long term growth of our organization.

Response from CharityEngine

Thank you for your insightful review. We appreciate you sharing your experience with us.

Replied October 2021

Anonymous

Company size: 2-10 employees

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

2

FUNCTIONALITY

5

July 2020

It’s a great tool for managing donors/customers

It allows for direct emailing to donor/customer with specific notes on the file. A complete record of transactions etc. You can set up regular recurring payments. The reporting is great.

Pros

Searching for donors and making changes is easy and intuitive

Cons

It can take some time to load searches. I haven’t been able to get much of a response from customer service on an issue.

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

Merging with another entity but much prefer Charity Engine

Response from CharityEngine

Thank you for sharing such positive feedback. We pride ourselves on customer support so please reach out at hello@charityengine.net so we can help resolve your need.

Replied July 2020

Nick

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

July 2019

A view from a non-profit Food Bank.

As the donor database manager, I spend each and every day within CharityEngine. Processing donations, tracking pledges, building forms, event management, reporting and more. The overall experience I have had with CharityEngine is hands down some of the best. Each and every feature within CharityEngine continues to inspire individual growth within myself as the opportunities are endless.

Pros

The convenience, and ease of all fundraising streamlines comes within CharityEngine. From simple donation processing, to online forms, event registrations and individualize marketing tools, CharityEngine is the powerhouse software. CharityEngine continues to improve with each and every release bringing more and more improvements for continued growth in the fundraising segments. Managing our major gifts program through CharityEngine has allowed our gift officers to track opportunities, pledges and payments, reporting and all, in real-time.

Cons

Although we integrated CharityEngine just shy of a little over two years ago, it seems like just yesterday! We continue to grow as an organization, and within that growth we continue to grow within CharityEngine. That being said, each and every day I continue to learn more and more that CharityEngine can do. Of course, we run into a hurdle here and there, but fortunately, we have a great support team behind us, and for that fact we really haven’t run into anything we find as a dislike.

Reasons for choosing CharityEngine

Choosing the right platform requires that you ensure you have all that you need within the product. CharityEngine provides just that. The decision was made to convert to CharityEngine for that, and it was the right choice for us!

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

The switch to CharityEngine was made for growth. At the time, our previous software had not allowed the growth factor that CharityEngine allowed. The online presence was an important move that my organization had prioritized to improve. After reviewing, and testing a number of CRM software's, the decision to move forward with CharityEngine boiled down to the support behind the product. A focused and dedicated support team provides valuable knowledge and potential to continue growing.

Becky

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Food Production

Time used: Less than 6 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

2

VALUE FOR MONEY

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

3

July 2020

Good product, could use some growth

Pros

The look, and multiple tab usage, I like that you don't have to open a new software to look at multiple things

Cons

user interface, building reports are not easy, training has been almost non existent.

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

We outgrew Donor Quest and needed more features.

Response from CharityEngine

Becky, thank you for your feedback. We are glad you have already begun to see some of the efficiencies of an integrated platform. We're sorry that you were not able to get the training you had hoped for thus far. We are working to address that with your team and you should soon see the benefits of our unified platform. Training will pay great dividends in terms of eliminating some of your challenges like building reports and will hopefully have you enjoying your new capabilities and features.

Replied September 2020

John

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

August 2019

Great comprehensive solution!

Pros

- Flexibility and ease of use - Robust functionality that facilitates/addresses all of our fundraising, marketing and donor management needs. - very responsive customer support

Cons

No complaints. This is a great, very cost effective solution.

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

We needed a more dynamic product to address our unique needs. Blackbaud was the opposite of that for us.

Shalin

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by the software vendor to submit an honest review.

EASE OF USE

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

January 2022

An Easy, One-Stop Shop

Charity Engine has provided a one-stop shop CRM solution for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for the past five years, providing a powerful tool to help grow the organization’s constituency. The one-stop shop aspect has been very helpful — everything is one place. Data collection, data management, campaign management, email distribution and so much more. We do not have to manage multiple vendors and contracts, we can track work and performance in one system, and we have one account manager ensuring our needs are met. We both appreciate and have enjoyed the support of the Charity Engine team and we know other organizations will too.

Pros

We loved that it's a one-stop shop, reducing the need to manage multiple contracts or engage in various conversations with multiple vendors.

Cons

The software could be more user-friendly, supplemented by robust customer support. Fortunately, Charity Engine is expanding its account management/customer support team(s) so improvements are ahead.

Reasons for choosing CharityEngine

We chose Charity Engine because it offered us a one-stop shop for all of our needs.

Response from CharityEngine

Shalin - thank you for your thoughtful and thorough review. We pride ourslelves on being a true all-in-one CRM that doesn't require expensive integrations and puts the data in your hands, in one place. Thanks again!

Replied February 2022

Kristi

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: Less than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

January 2022

Data Warehouse Capabilities and SQL Integration

Charity Engine has expanded its one-stop shop CRM solution by also providing Data Warehouse capabilities and SQL integration. This DBaaS (Database-as-a-Service) offering has been instrumental in our Data Analytics Strategy. Easily generating a visual diagram of the database schema allowed new Developers to quickly come to speed at ATC by further understanding the underlying data construct. Developers could leverage their pre-existing SQL skills rather than learn different data extraction and querying tools. Additional efficiency was gained when interrogating data by allowing for infinite ways to join tables, filter data, and extract meaningful insights rather than be limited by rigid pre-established querying structures. The added benefit of Charity Engine’s hosted database service is that their team handles the infrastructure, storage, data replication, and backup automation, ensuring that the organization’s data is secure and accessible which is a priority for any organization.

Pros

The expansion of the native CRM solution with Data Warehousing capabilities and SQL Integration.

Cons

Proprietary report writing and querying tool native in the product. This limitation was overcome by the release of the new data warehouse that allows for querying via SQL Server Management Studio (which is a well known industry standard).

Response from CharityEngine

Kristi - thank you so much for your review and specific feedback about our dBaaS offering. We're excited too about this offering!

Replied February 2022

Deanna

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

EASE OF USE

3

FUNCTIONALITY

4

July 2020

Dashboard of all the necessary, easily use, user friendly, speedy, and efficiency.

Pros

I see better features than I was new with Charity Engine when it was first started at least 2 years ago. Many ways to find contact using email, address, first or last name, address work great. Cut the time of search and avoid duplicate records. Once the record is created, it's easier to create the payment and make it paid. The address is entered, auto address brings up to match the valid address from postal service is a nice one.

Cons

There are a few that I have to hit the 'Back' button which I do not see a feature that I want. Wish there is a feature to help me go forward. Credit card payment on the dashboard is not reliable.

Response from CharityEngine

Deanna, thanks for your review. We will have someone from customer support reach out to you to get more information about credit card payments to make sure we get that issue resolved.

Replied September 2020

Dana

Company size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

September 2019

A True Partner

I've worked at start ups and with more mature fundraising programs and the level of transparency I had into our business, especially payment processing is unmatched. The experience with Charity Engine felt more like a partnership than a vendor / client relationship and I believe this contributed to our overall success.

Pros

A monthly giving program can provide a stable source of income for an organization and Charity Engine software was integral to the implementation and ongoing success of our monthly giving program. Our strategy included moving off of our existing online fundraising platform and finding a better option for payment processing. Direct Response Television (DRTV) is a considerable investment and it was the primary acquisition method for our program. We wanted a solution that could charge recurring gifts (monthly, quarterly, annual) and process ACH and credit card donations across all channels and we didn't want to deal with file transfers. Charity Engine worked with us and the software accommodated all of our needs - the donation page integrated seamlessly with the website, we passed through our source code logic and the inbound contact centers could authorize and process transactions in real time (no batch processing) through Charity Engine's open API. What I like most about this experience with Charity Engine software - flexibility. Charity Engine felt like a solution with plenty of functionality I could use right out of the box but that also incorporated features designed specifically to meet my program's needs. Later, with a smaller organization, I found my favorite thing about Charity Engine software - other than the cost (per contact record fee structure) was the intuitive interface that made it easy for a few people to manage events and peer to peer marketing/fundraising.

Cons

As a Charity Engine admin/user at the first organization, we identified a need for user manual/training resources. Also, entering offline donations (literally entering check information) was a pain point, however, offline donation entry is problematic for peer to peer fundraisers/organizations still today - I don't think any software has the perfect solution.

Holly

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Environmental Services

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This reviewer was invited by us to submit an honest review and offered a nominal incentive as a thank you.

EASE OF USE

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

5

July 2020

Full time daily user

I am able to keep really good track of the donors I am responsible for, so CharityEngine is a very effective tool for me. It is the primary tool I use on a daily basis, and I am regularly finding ways to produce data and reports from queries that are replacing our old spreadsheet tracking methods.

Pros

I appreciate that I can easily track things I have done, or need to do, with regard to a specific People record. I use the "Activities" module for every donor change (or review) I make. I also very much appreciate being able to write complex queries and then schedule them to send me reports as frequently as I want them.

Cons

There are a few things that could be streamlined, such as when it is time to change the entry in the "Solicitor/Account Manager" field. However, the customer support team takes our concerns and our suggestions seriously, and I have been impressed by the proactive response to recommendations from users.

Reasons for switching to CharityEngine

I don't know - it was before I worked at RT.

Response from CharityEngine

Thank you for you great review and partnership!

Replied July 2020

Michael

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE