Designed specifically for arts and cultural organizations, Altru is a cloud-based museum management solution that includes tools to set up merchandise store, manage ticketing and admissions, build membership database and more. Altru unifies the information required to set and achieve goals, manage program support, and track key performance metrics for stakeholders.
Altru is web-based, so information is accessible from the Internet enabled PCs, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices. Altru offers fundraising and donor management, nonprofit marketing and outreach, email marketing, customer relationship management, and event planning. It helps to streamline communication between staff and members to drive program participation and increase member engagement.
Altru helps to reduce the paper trail and automate manual data entry process, share information across departments and create and run effective campaigns for members and visitors. It is priced on a subscription basis with unlimited users and includes training and support.
Sharon from Historical Society of Central Florida Inc
Specialty: Arts & Cultural
Employees number: 11-50 employees
I came in Sept 2015. Altru and FE were here but not talking to each other. Neither had data you could use. With the help and assistance from the Blackbaud team I now have two databases that are functionally and talk to each other. Month end closing is a breeze. People are now trusting the reports being produced. I am looking forward to the upgrade to FE NXT which we will have soon.
Ease our museum covered from admission fees, to Setting up events in the future, and school tours.
Set up for Summer camp needs to be addressed so that daily reports can be processed better than now.
Dan from MOHAI
Specialty: Arts & Cultural
It has allowed us to consolidate almost all of our operations into one database and get a more complete view of our patrons and donors! They are constantly updating it, which is good! And their support team is excellent.
Like my title suggests, you will most certainly find frustrating things about this product. The biggest letdown of this product is the merchandise module. Do not expect to be able to use it unless you run a very small gift shop. My larger frustration is that Blackbaud's teams didn't seem to communicate with each other or take lessons learned when building different products. Raiser's Edge is a leading product in the development world, Altru should have essentially been built around Raiser's Edge with the additional features needed for an Arts & Culture org, but instead they built an entirely different system with it's own quirks and issues and lacks functionality that Raiser's Edge has. As I understand it, though, Blackbaud is working hard to change this, as well as unify their product line, so this review may change soon enough!
Make sure you really spell out what you want and need, and then talk to other customers
Melvin from CuriOdyssey Museum
I am able to do the basic inventory tracking and inputing.
That it is not retail friendly and does not have a backup system when it goes down. The two main issues I have is there is no exchange process, only a refund with a receipt. That is not exceptable in
Make sure you are aware that Altru is still working on their retail side process, but will not be completing that anytime soon. I think their main focus is on the admissions, membership, and donor pro
Jesse from Metron
Flexibility in use across platforms and user base with existing infrastructure.
The deployment process across platforms can sometimes be overwhelming for novice users.
It is critical to understand networking and system structure and process requirements.
We now have the ability to get a true look at all the ways our constituents are interacting with our organization. Prior to implementation, our organization was very siloed, with each department using separate databases.
The product has a long way to go with the web forms and email functionality. It would be great to have usable metrics for online behavior.
Lisa from Minnetrista
Employees number: 51-200 employees
Reporting and database management
I really enjoy all the reporting and smart queries Altru can produce. It allows your job to be much easier and efficient. I also really am impressed and appreciate the customer support. Since I'm fairly new to Altru, I have a lot of questions. Knowing someone is there to assist means a lot to me.
Some of the features are great but at times you have to do 5 other steps in order for something to work. If there was a SOP for everything in Altru already created...I'd be in heaven.
Covers every aspect of museum data management, from fundraising to programs to events and more. Excellent customization of data queries to manage data and run reports. Offers many levels of depth, to serve both front-line staff and power users.
Little/no training and support offered until very recently. Limited customization of layout, view options, colors, and categories in constituent records. Sometimes requires many, many clicks to achieve simple goals/record changes/reports.
Christian from XUofLa
Altru can be accessed from anywhere. If we hold an event off-site, we can still handle admissions/registrations so long as there is a network.
There is no online sales for merchandise.
The online shopping experience needs improvement. Visitors expect Amazon-level ease-of-use and Altru just isn't there yet.
Dawn from CentraCare Health
Very comprehensive donor management system that allows for total donor management. Information input and multiple layers of security.
Fees are a bit higher than other donor management systems but well worth it for the product line and information captured.
Jasmin from Roper Mountain Science Center
Employees number: 11-50 employees
It helps us keep everything straight. We are able to track multiple payment types for many different activities.
Altru has a wonderful feature of copying appointments and holding them for you to reschedule. I love how there is a database of clients and you can easily search for them. Once selected it will automatically fill in all of the information.
It is not very user friendly for new users. If a mistake is made there isn't a way to undo it. Sometimes there are issues with payments when entered and you have to go in and delete the payment type and write it in yourself. I also don't like how when you check in a group it automatically submits their payment (box is checked automatically). If you don't remember to uncheck it there is no way to undo it.
Dave from Kohl Children's Museum
Employees number: 51-200 employees
Ease of use for an entry-level user. The system has an incredible ability to capture and relate data. Customer support for individual issues is very strong. The ability to automate regular procedures (renewal notices, new member mailings, etc.) is very strong. The web forms are quite easy to use, once you get the hang of them, though they are difficult to customize.
E-mail formatting is a little wonky. The query tools are so robust that they come across as daunting, even for high-end users. Written support is somewhat weak (and Knowledgebase difficult for me to navigate), which causes me to rely on (the excellent) one-on-one customer support more than I would like.
Bill from Kohl Children's Museum
Employees number: 51-200 employees
Intuitive design. Our team loves it. We are still learning which is great. The capacity of the system is rich.
Some integration with on-line banking is not yet working well. Sometime the processing seems slow but this could be our internet.
Dannielle from National Constitution Center
Employees number: 201-500 employees
What Altru does really well for arts & cultural organizations, that other CRMs do not have the ability to do, is create a holistic view of your constituents - ticket buyers, donors, event attendees, etc. Everything is in one database, and there is no need to deal with various imports and exports in order to view your data in one place. Some areas of the system lack flexibility and depth - web forms, ticketing - however Blackbaud releases new features on a very regular basis, so it's constantly improving.
Brings together ticketing and fundraising/membership in one CRM
Helpful Support available to chat online
More flexibility needed with web forms
More flexibility needed with fundraising reporting
Sales Orders are too rigid - need to be able to edit and add appeal codes
Gillian from Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
It's worked well for our newly-expanded museum over the past year. We've got a growing membership program (~12,000 members) and our highest visitation and we can find that information we need for reporting from the reports and queries. For the most part, we've been satisfied with what Altru has to offer.
For the areas we find lacking (mostly volunteer management and merchandise), support offers a page where you can contribute an idea for improvement to be voted on, and we have seen some of these implemented in the update releases which are scheduled every 45-90 days. We are only in our first year of use, but I think down the road we will have the majority of our needs figured out.
The interface is relatively easy to learn for basic tasks (e.g. daily sales) and query can be used for more complex information, although we do wish there were more reports straight out of the program. The support team is very knowledgeable and readily available and the Altru Community is full of other users who can also help you through your specific question or issue.
Elizabeth from Brandywine River Museum of Art
I love that Altru is constantly receiving updates and that the customer service team really does listen to feedback from the customers. I also think the customer service is wonderful and always available - which is great! I also really appreciate that the system is very intuitive. Once you get the basics down, you can pretty much figure it out - and if you cant, there are tons of resources to help you. I do wish the reporting was a little better and more concise. It seems like there are always 5 different reports that all pretty much do the same things, just in a slightly different way. It would be nice if some of these reports were combined and more filters were added so you could more easily customize one report for what you need and not have to look at three different reports to get the numbers required. I also wish that the system was a little quicker. There are some days where the system can bring our front of house line to a crawl because it is responding so slowly. It is not all the time, and it is not always a very very long wait - but even a 30 second lag time can seem like eternity to front of house staff & to guests. I also wish that we could customize some things to better fit our business specifically, and not always have to come up with work-arounds for little things. Overall I am very very happy with Altru and think it is an amazing system.
Audrey from The Mariners' Museum
We have been with Altru for over three years and in that time have seen constant improvement and updates to the product. Their support staff is the best I have ever seen with any software company. Altru is a very detailed system and it covers so many areas that have so many intertwining cogs that it can be difficult to navigate for some users and it can be a bit cumbersome. However, they are continually updating the product to make it easier to use and cut down on some of the steps, which helps. Overall, it's worth it because being able to track so much of our data in one system, giving us a well-rounded view of our constituents and how people are interacting with our organization is incredibly helpful.
Lindsay from Rochester Museum & Science Center
We had a good experience with our conversion. It was a lot of work, but through the process, we were able to transfer clean data with few issues. We just completed the first year of service with Altru. We slowly converted our databases into the database, beginning with our donor database. We still have a few areas to add to Altru but have found it to be a great tool to store a wealth of information.
Stephanie from National Corvette Museum
Altru is very easy to use, we are able to track so many pieces of information on our customers and tailor mailings to their interests.
Jose from San Diego Museum of Art
I have been working with the Altru system for over three years now. I really like how extensive the CRM is. I am able to keep track with all of our constituent activity as well as our sales. Altru has also been a huge improvement for ticket sales as well! Before Altru, we used Ticketmaster. Due to Ticketmaster being heavily reliant on codes, errors were common. Altru made it a lot easier for our associates to sell admissions, make reservations and report revenue.
Altru is a fairly young CRM, but it has made leaps of improvements throughout the years. The online webforms are still in development and in need for some improvements. Because the Altru community is very responsive and the fact that the developers listen to the client's concerns, I am confident that Altru will become greater than it is now!
Shannon from RISD Museum
The RISD Museum has been using Altru for almost 3 years. While some aspects of the product could use improvement ¿ specifically web forms, email analytics, and merchandise ¿ there are many ways that Altru rocks:
1. The conversion of our old data went very smoothly. The database experts at Blackbaud were extremely helpful and knowledgeable.
2. Second, Altru is very easy to use. Our Visitor Services staff was up and running at the front desk with only an introductory session and some in-person support that first week.
3. Altru tech support at Blackbaud has been more responsive and helpful than any other software company I've worked with. They understand my work, not just the software.
4. You don't have to be a database expert to become an expert at Altru. My team members have taken ownership of their data and processes. I love sitting in a meeting and having someone else say, "Did you know you can do this in Altru? Here's what I'm doing and I think it will work for you."
5. Blackbaud is actively trying to improve the product. I've personally been involved with discovery by development teams working on reporting/queries and security/access.
6. The Altru Community is very active and supportive. Often, I don't need an answer to how the software works. I know how to make the software work but sometimes there are multiple ¿right¿ ways to do something. So my question is more about best practices and how others are doing it. It's helpful to hear what has worked at similar organizations and what hasn't.
The bottom line is that there are pluses and minuses with any enterprise system. We evaluated six different systems before selecting Altru and chose based on what we thought would work best for our organization, our team members, and our business processes. As someone once told me, when you buy an enterprise system, you're not just buying software, you're also buying a business model. It turns out that Altru does, indeed, work well for the RISD Museum.
Jim from The Dali Museum
Easy to use and learn. Selling online through web for memberships, donations, and events has become easier to set up along with creating email acknowledgments.