Blackbaud Luminate Online Software Reviews

Blackbaud Luminate Online Software Reviews

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User Review Highlights

Overall Rating

3.74

Ratings Breakdown

Secondary Ratings

Ease-of-use

3

Customer Support

4

Value for money

3

Functionality

3.5

  • icon"It is powerful and customizable. It is capable of nuance and automation."
  • icon"I also really like that you can use formulas--from simple to complex--to generate targeted ask strings for constituents in emails and donation forms. And that is the best thing about Luminate Online."
  • icon"The initial training and ongoing resources are great. The support team is helpful, and if you ever use client services, they are even better."
  • icon"Small snags in integration and imperfections in the product become sore points after a while, and the only way to overcome them is to have some serious web-developing firepower at your command."
  • icon"The things I dislike are. It takes a very long time to learn how to use it well."
  • icon"It's similar to other products but, it seems to lack some of the features of Salesforce."

All Blackbaud Luminate Online Reviews

1-25 of 33 Reviews

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Kaitlyn

Company size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Industry: Higher Education

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 2021

Luminate Online Review

Overall experience is good with Luminate. Although we have to test many times to ensure the template looks good in the email structure, the system itself is great for scheduling, uploading lists, analytics, and more.

Pros

The analytics in Luminate Online (LO) are the best feature. You are able to get analytics in real-time by refreshing the page. The stats are up to date always and provide accurate numbers.

Cons

The email builder itself is not that user-friendly. I always have a tough time with transferring over templates. Luminate adds/deletes spaces, changes fonts and font sizes consistently.

Amy

Company size: 501-1,000 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

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

4

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

5

July 2022

Long time user review

Pros

The things I like most about Luminate are; It is a very powerful tool, it does a LOT. Email, newsletters, donation forms, donation management. It is easy to access from anywhere. It is highly customizable with the right skills.

Cons

The things I dislike are: It takes a very long time to learn how to use it well. I have been using it for over 14 years and still feel like I have barely scratched the surface. A bit outdated. While they relatively recently made it able to accept organization gifts, that functionality was never fully built out, is clunky, and less than great. The integration with RE is not great. I wish it were more seamless. Doesn't feel especially up-to-date, no major updates or changes in years and years

Jamie

Industry: Civic & Social Organization

Time used: Less than 6 months

EASE OF USE

2

VALUE FOR MONEY

3.5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

3.5

September 2016

Luminate Online: Sophisticated, Imperfect

Pros

Overall, I really like Blackbaud. I'm an expert user/administrator of several of their products. And to be perfectly frank, Blackbaud is THE industry standard software. You can go with another vendor, but Blackbaud WILL end up buying that product out. Luminate in all of its iterations is a perfect example of this. It used to be Convio, its own, standalone non-profit software company. It is now a product in the Blackbaud family. I use Luminate in conjunction with Raiser's Edge via a Blackbaud-provided integration plugin. One thing I really like about this is that my two database software components communicate with one another. I also really like that you can use formulas--from simple to complex--to generate targeted ask strings for constituents in emails and donation forms. And that is the best thing about Luminate Online. It is powerful and customizable. It is capable of nuance and automation. It has API access for developers. These things are vital in the world of internet marketing, communications, and donation processing. I am also thrilled with its capability to automate recurring giving, providing recurring donors with logins to self-manage some of their giving information. Recurring giving in Raiser's Edge is a relatively manual process still. For orgs with large recurring donor groups, this product can help save a lot of time and energy by automating many of the aspects of managing these donors.

Cons

My biggest beef with Luminate Online is that it is ill-equipped to deal with non-individual, organizational records, such as businesses. There really is no functionality for org-type records, let alone the ability to manage and communicate with contacts. I would really like to see this part of the product fleshed out more in a similar way to the Raiser's Edge. I also really dislike the event management piece of Luminate Online. It lacks basic functionality, such as the ticket buyer being able to provide guest names (!). It's almost unbelievable that any 21st century software product that provides event management functions would be incapable of collecting the most rudimentary, necessary information for an event. Both of these issues are points in the software that make it clear this product was acquired by Blackbaud and not designed from the ground up by Blackbaud. Small snags in integration and imperfections in the product become sore points after a while, and the only way to overcome them is to have some serious web-developing firepower at your command. Many of Luminate Online's issues CAN be overcome by having a consultant or in-house web-developer customize the product for you. However, small non-profits rarely can afford this.

Sarah

Company size: 1,001-5,000 employees

Industry: Non-Profit Organization Management

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

August 2022

BBCRM Review

Pros

Ease of use and how it has everything we need shown there at our finger tips.

Cons

Integration was hard for new users but that is to be expected

Amanda

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

2

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

March 2022

Luminate Online

Pros

Robust nature of software, both donations and emails in one space plus the ability to create donor-centered web spaces

Cons

Not user friendly - the interface has a STEEP learning curve. Implementation requires an outside consultant or additional services from Blackbaud.

Allison

Company size: 501-1,000 employees

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Time used: More than 2 years

Review Source: Capterra

This review was submitted organically. No incentive was offered

EASE OF USE

2

VALUE FOR MONEY

1

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

2

FUNCTIONALITY

3

March 2022

It's fine

Pros

Luminate Online has a lot of great features and tools, however, the deployment and early days of adoption were very difficult. The automatically-generated groups are very helpful, and the reporting is pretty good. The E-commerce feature is my favorite part, and it's the easiest to manage as well.

Cons

There are a lot of things you can't customize without needing a developer, which is disappointing. Record management in Luminate is very difficult, and I am really disappointed that organization gifts do not flow through the RELO plugin. We have to create workarounds just for that. It's not an easy platform to use.

Reasons for switching to Blackbaud Luminate Online

We needed mobile friendly donation forms and we had to find a new p2p product as Sphere was taken down.

Emily

Company size: 501-1,000 employees

Industry: Civic & Social Organization

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

2

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

2

February 2019

Walled garden that failed to keep up with changing world

For a small nonprofit trying to accomplish simple tasks, Luminate's all-in-one nature would be an advantage, but I can't imagine a small nonprofit having the budget for this tool. Any nonprofit who can afford this product is likely doing things far too sophisticated to accomplish without a lot of hacky workarounds. Blackbaud is a company that competes by acquiring their competitors and letting the product wither. LO's predecessor, Convio, was a pretty good early online nonprofit platform, but after the Blackbaud acquisition, they lost most of the original staff and fell permanently behind the curve on innovation.

Pros

As an all-in-one tool, there were some built-in easy personalizations and a universal login.

Cons

Very difficult to flow information to and from other tools. Query tool has significant limitations in capability - no nested parentheticals, e.g. ((a AND b) OR (c AND d) OR e) AND (x or y) AND z - and takes forever to run. Reports similarly limited and run slowly, occasionally hanging up and never finishing. Spend a lot of time exporting reports, manually manipulating them in Excel, and reuploading them back into the system. Limited number of custom fields available. Clunky interface that's difficult to train new employees on. No significant automation capabilities. Always 1-2 years or more behind the curve as new features become industry standard. Eventually started building a next-gen product that operates in parallel to the legacy product and requires the user to toggle back and forth between products and push data from one to the other (with a wait, of course) instead of all the features being available in the same product. Nickel and dime you with additional costs for anything remotely advanced or new.

Anonymous

Company size: 11-50 employees

Time used: Less than 2 years

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

April 2019

Not very user friendly

I have used TeamRaiser in Luminate a few times to create fundraising pages for kids in need of care and shared giving links via our website, social media however we weren't very successful with campaign and the platform could be updated as far as design, templates offered.

Pros

It's a great tool for event, volunteer management and crowdfunding. The TeamRaiser portion of Luminate offers a crowdfunding feature where you are able to create different fundraisers and share links via your website to direct people to make a gift.

Cons

Not very user-friendly and very tedious to me as far as the TeamRaiser software part of Luminate. It's very time consuming and tedious to create crowdfunding pages and requires you multiple steps to create a profile for another donor. I spent an hour trying to create one before giving up. If you want to create fundraising pages and share via your website it's easy however it gets complicated if you want to have your donors create their own pages and share with others as it requires just one person to manage all accounts so basically we need to create their profiles for them and all donations from their personal link go through my one email for all donors.

Keri

Industry: Civic & Social Organization

Time used: Free Trial

EASE OF USE

3.5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

August 2014

We purchased the platform nine months ago

Pros

This product integrates with Raiser's Edge, which streamlines data entry. They have a great program called Go!, which takes you through three different email campaigns and provides specific direction and feedback to grow your email lists. It is not difficult to set up new action forms. Emails are not difficult to send (especially if you are working off a template designed for you in the Go! Program). Blackbaud has been quick to respond to concerns and problems that arose from the integration with Raisers Edge.

Cons

Navigating to some of the reports is less intuitive than I would like. But, like anything, once you understand the structure, it is okay.

Sally

Time used: More than 2 years

EASE OF USE

2.5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

3

January 2016

Bad Timing for us

Pros

It is powerful in the use of the data and also in the production of web pages.

Cons

It seems like every time we pay for some customization, then not long after, it becomes a feature or fix in a future release. I just feel like we're not being advised very well. We aren't a cookie-cutter blackbaud client, so it doesn't always fit with what we are trying to do.

Glynis

Company size: 51-200 employees

Industry: Museums and Institutions

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

2

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

3

FUNCTIONALITY

3

January 2021

Not intuitive

We use it for transactional and reminder emails for registered programs, and marketing emails.

Pros

Honestly, I cannot think of any pros at this time.

Cons

Nothing about Luminate Online is intuitive. It does not integrate well with other Blackbaud products. We have had to purchase other third-party software to send information between Altru and Luminate.

Sam

Company size: 51-200 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

1

VALUE FOR MONEY

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

2

December 2021

Once upon a time best-in-class suite that has failed to advance with the times

Many years ago, Luminate Online was a best-in-class fundraising and marketing suite. Blackbaud has rested on those laurels for too long, and many customers who have heavily invested in the platform now feel frustrated that they have not experienced the innovation seen throughout the market with newer technologies.

Pros

The frontend of Luminate Online is highly flexible if you are willing and able to invest the time and expense.

Cons

The backend of Luminate Online is very frustrating and feels like software that is running on decades-old technology (because it often is). The advantages of an all-in-one suite are quickly lost due to abandoned or buggy modules forcing customers to supplement with 3rd-party products. The platform is seriously overdue for a complete overhaul or rewrite.

Abraham

Company size: 2-10 employees

Industry: Financial Services

Time used: Less than 6 months

Review Source

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

EASE OF USE

3

VALUE FOR MONEY

1

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

2

May 2019

Good for a very select group

Pros

As an all in one solution, it works very well. If you can afford it and aren't looking at any of its more advanced competitors, this will get the job done in a basic, matter-of-fact sense. Sleek design with intuitive, though limited, interface.

Cons

We found the pricing to be more than we were willing to put up with for long. Very limited in the ability to customize your dashboard and tools. More affordable alternatives exist on the market with more powerful tools, resources, and support staff. I also did not appreciate being charged for any little feature I wanted to add to my account that really should have come standard.

Anonymous

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

1

VALUE FOR MONEY

1

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

1

FUNCTIONALITY

1

April 2018

Horrid, stay away!

Pros

Nothing. Since this space has to be filled with 100 characters I will reiterate that there is nothing positive to say about this platform.

Cons

Blackbaud is a hydra with a thousand heads and zero direction. It's products, including Luminate, are archaic and outdated, lacking in user experience, features and functionality. Platform support is laughable. Choose an alternative and stay far, far away!

Shaun

Industry: Civic & Social Organization

Time used: More than 2 years

EASE OF USE

3

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

4

FUNCTIONALITY

4

November 2015

Great product with a lot of potential

Pros

The flexibility and the integration are the best parts.

Cons

Blackbaud has acquired a lot of products over the years and even though integration is happening, your needs may be slower at integration than others.

Ali

Industry: Hospital & Health Care

Time used: Free Trial

EASE OF USE

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT

5

FUNCTIONALITY

4.5

February 2015

Easy to use, amazing results!

Pros

I like that it integrates almost seamlessly with Raisers Edge! I love how the Constituent 360 database tracks every interaction a user makes.

Cons

I don't like that the C360 database doesn't allow for Organisational records. That's silly Blackbaud! And the preceding alpha and zeros on a receipt number don't transfer to RE.

Amanda

Company size: 11-50 employees

Industry: Maritime

Time used: Less than 12 months

Review Source: Capterra

EASE OF USE

4

VALUE FOR MONEY

5

CUSTOMER SUPPORT