The Raiser's Edge by Blackbaud

4.05 / 5 (556)

About The Raiser's Edge


The Raiser's Edge is a cloud-based fundraising and relationship management solution that is designed for nonprofits organizations. The solution caters to different industries such as healthcare, faith-based ministries and philanthropic foundations.

The solution helps nonprofits to find prospects and manage their donor pool in order to analyze donor activity and monitor organization's performance. It also assists in providing fundraising programs  

The Financial Edge helps to manage funds that includes grants and contributions and helps in providing an overview of financial data in the dashboards and also helps in generating reports to provide information to required stakeholders.

With Target Analytics, nonprofits can find prospects and manage their donor pool and also analyze both donor activity and organization's performance. Blackbaud NetCommunity helps to create interactive online community along with content management and online giving options.

The Financial Edge helps to manage funds of all kinds which includes grants and contributions and helps in providing financial data in dashboards.



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Supported Operating System(s):

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS, Windows 2000

556 Reviews of The Raiser's Edge

Average User Ratings

Overall

4.05 / 5 stars

Ease-of-use

3.5

Value for money

3.5

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

Ratings Snapshot

5 stars

(146)

4 stars

(274)

3 stars

(96)

2 stars

(26)

1 stars

(14)

Likelihood to Recommend

Not likely

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Showing 1-20 of 556 reviews

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June 2019

Alex from Save the Manatee Club

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2019

Becoming a benefit to our organization

While we have had some hiccups converting our staff over, I think the product itself is wonderful and introduces features that we've wanted in the main database since we converted to Blackbaud products. For most, the features that it currently offers will suffice, and if they don't many of the missing features can be found in the main system. The development of new features has been going surprisingly quickly, and we expect that most of the problems we have had so far will go away as the product is updated.

Pros

The interface is a lot friendlier to the average user than the database view, making it easier to use for our employees that don't like working in databases as much. It also introduced certain features that were missing from the main database, which added some new tools to manage data and keep our information clean. The analytics is my favorite addition; while some dashboard tools exist in Raiser's Edge, in NXT they are fully thought out and allow for excellent reporting and visual depictions of our progress.

Cons

It's still an in-development product, so while this could be great for some organizations it's not at the point where it's great for all organizations. Despite the fact that it's user-friendly and many of our staff members prefer to use it, the lack of certain features from the main database make it hard for them to convert completely, and they feel that switching between the two views of the same system is a hassle. While it's understandable that the extra add-ons would take a back seat to the development of the main features, with our membership module missing it does make it hard for our organization to shift most of our staff over to it from the main database view. There are also some things that don't synchronize properly between the two systems yet, which sometimes makes database maintenance feel like we're checking in two different databases for information.

April 2018

Tracey from New Hampton School

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

April 2018

A Game Changer for Prospect Managers

I think the RE NXT interface is incredibly intuitive. It helps new team members get on the ground faster with learning how to search records and find the information that they need. That said, a strong background in the database view is helpful to any member of your team, whether they are on the road or not. I would strongly suggest having teams trained formally on both systems.

Pros

What I love about RE NXT is that it helps to visualize graphs, such as donor patterns and key financial data, automatically. You no longer have to have endless queries and exports and dashboards to access the data you want the most. This helps facilitate staff meeting discussions, and also keeps all team members informed on the fly. Secondly, the prospect profiles for managers. Gone are the days of exporting travel profiles in plain text. Now a PM can login from the road to see all the details they need in a useful manner -- and what's even better? They can change how the data is displayed so that it is personalized to them. It is clean, well constructed, and yet also flexible enough to be able to dig deeper with a couple of clicks. And if they need to find a new person to visit in their area, the map tools are perfect. Highly recommended for offices with lots of traveling teammates.

Cons

As with both versions of RE, you only get out what you put into it. You need to make sure you have the right policies and procedures in place, for example, to make sure that certain fields in actions are required. You'll also need to work with your team to make sure they understand the updated language from the database view to the NXT view. For example, proposals and opportunities are the same thing. This is a bit of a challenge in offices where the NXT vs. database team may not interact that much and will be speaking slightly different languages about this software. It is not a deal-breaker, just a trainable moment.

July 2017

Mary from Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras

Company Size: 11-50 employees


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

July 2017

Powerful Database

My recommendation is to get formal training if you are going to use the database and give each new staff member the opportunity to be trained by a Raiser's Edge specialist. The database is absolutely worth the time and money if you also invest in your staff's knowledge of it. If two people are doing the same task in even a slightly different way, you can end up with holes in your data. However, if you do get good training, you'll find this database to be well worth it and will assist your fundraising strategies quite well.

Pros

The Raiser's Edge is a very powerful database that can provide great insight into your organization's fundraising. It has the capability to track and report on anything you would ever need to look at for fundraising. The template reports are customizable, which is very helpful. My favorite feature is the query and export combo - I can pull out any piece of information I need to analyze and Raiser's Edge does a good job of getting rid of duplicate information for me. The dashboard feature is also good - you can create multiple dashboards to compare fiscal years, appeals, funds, recent gifts list, summaries, etc. You can also share your dashboard with other users so that everyone can be looking at the same thing.

Cons

Building custom reports from scratch (not using a template) can be challenging to create through Crystal Reports. However, you can usually find a template that you can customize to create a similar report, if not the exact report you want to write.

Duplicate records can also be challenging in Raiser's Edge. When Constituents are uploaded to the database from a list or entered manually, Raiser's Edge will not identify duplicates if the name or address is not an exact match. This can be frustrating - for example, it won't recognize a duplicate address if the only difference is between "Street" and "St." in the database. Cleaning up the duplicates is even more challenging. I have needed to export lists of constituents, identify duplicates in Excel, and then go back into Raiser's Edge to merge and delete the duplicate constituent records.

November 2016

Stephanie from The Catholic Foundation of Central Florida, Inc.

Company Size: 11-50 employees


Ease-of-use

3.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

5.0

November 2016

Satisfied Raiser's Edge 7 user Ready to Make the Jump to RE NXT

I previously worked with many other database interface software in the for-profit world, where I worked for the first 15+ years of my career. So when I started using Raiser's Edge, it came relatively easily to me as it reminded me of other previously used interfaces. We have a large database of over 350K donors, and Raiser's Edge has no problem handling our volume. The Raiser's Edge 7 is now showing some age in how it's structured and functions, but mostly in look and feel. We have been using Raiser's Edge with our database on premise. With the seismic shift into cloud computing, we are planning to move to a Blackbaud hosted environment, which will, in and of itself, bring us closer to feeling like it's not the 90's anymore. But the good news is that Blackbaud knows that the look and feel, usability, functionality and ability to play well with others need to catch up with the rest of technology, and so they introduced Raiser's Edge NXT a couple of years ago. RE NXT looks modern and fills many checkboxes of what fundraisers need to do their jobs in today's environment. (See Pros to find out more of what I like about RE NXT.)

Pros

Raiser's Edge 7 gives you the tools (and/or gives you optional add-on tools) to manage your donor relationships and data in just about any way you can think of. It's a great all-purpose fundraising tool for non-profit organizations. Raiser's Edge NXT (RE NXT) is the next generation, and we are most likely moving to that within the next year. The awesome things about RE NXT are 1. User access to your donor data from anywhere on any device, 2. Unintimidating ease of use for non-techie and techie alike, 3. Open API which means lots of more fantastic compatible tools are being built by Blackbaud partners, 4. Unlimited users - which means now our Board members and many other stakeholders will be able to login and get their reports on the dashboard instead of waiting for emailed or, even worse, hard-copy reports to be run and delivered to them by our staff.

Cons

My experience with the Customer Support has been less than stellar. Sometimes it seems like the Customer Support's go-to answer is, "No" or "No, you can't do that." Unless the answer is, "Well, if you buy this other tool we have, then you can do that." But since we have no plans to move off of Blackbaud products, thank heavens they have an amazing Blackbaud Community network where you can ask any question and get tons of advice from folks just like you working in this software daily. Blackbaud Community is now the first place I go when I need support. Many times the question I have has already been asked and answered in the past, and so just searching through the discussions will get me my answer or point me in the right direction, instead of wasting time trying to re-invent the wheel. My fairly high rating in this review on Customer Support is mostly because of Blackbaud Community and our fairly newly assigned account manager.

March 2017

Aaron from Museo de las Americas

Company Size: 2-10 employees


Ease-of-use

3.0

Functionality

4.0

March 2017

Great Price, good functionality, limited ease of use

Overall, it's a good program for the price we pay, but if it was any more we would change to a more user friendly system. The most important thing with eTap is to make sure that you have an employee who is familiar with database administration otherwise it is very easy within eTap for data to be misrepresented. In summary, if you don't have a big budget, it's a good way to get your feet off the ground, but I wouldn't look at it expecting a 5+ year/long term solution.

Pros

First of all the price for our organization is fantastic, after shopping around for a new database management system, we have found nothing close to what we are currently paying. eTap has decent functionality after you learn how to use it; once you master the basics, it has the flexibility to store just about any data that you need as long as you are willing to get a little creative in how you organize the data. The ability for the data base to be directly integrated into our website and Quickbooks is also a great feature that minimizes potential lost memberships and corrupted data.

Cons

The hands down most frustrating part of the program is that you can't have multiple tabs open within the same browser with eTap. In order to have eTap open on two different tabs, you must use a different web browser and a different login ID, which becomes a complete and total pain. It is also not the easiest program to learn and train new people on. Often we want volunteers to work on data management for us but that is really only possible if the volunteer or intern is with us for at least three months so we an spend the time training them on the program.

November 2016

Lindsay from Marin Community Clinics

Company Size: 201-500 employees


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

November 2016

Raisers Edge - IF you are good to it, it will give you GOLD

Raiser's Edge is great for development departments of medium to large nonprofits, schools, etc, especially those with sophisticated fundraising programs. It may not be the best fit for small nonprofits with limited resources in the budget. The Raiser's Edge is an excellent software for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship and allows for easy tracking of each constituent's relationship with your organization. Raisers Edge is being used by the development department to track donations and our constituents relationship to us as an organization. Our database is not large but the relationships are long and often complicated. A database like this allows us to see the constituent and all of the interactions we have had with them over the years. The Raisers Edge in combination with some of the add on's like online express have been helpful for seamless tracking of newsletter readership and conversions from our website and online publications.

Pros

Queries are what we use to create lists of constituents with particular behaviors or similarities that we can use for creating mailings, invitations or actions. An amazing tool with endless possibilities.
Raisers Edge is a beast of a program. It can do just about anything you could want for a donor database and Blackbaud offers several supplemental solutions that seamlessly integrate.
Donor stewardship, from first contact, to donation, to acknowledgement letter, is a process that is handled particularly well with Raisers Edge

Cons

The program is quite complicated and if data is not entered correctly than the program just won't work well. "bad in, bad out'. But that is not unique to this program.
That some of the features that I like to use like global changes for adding appeals is pretty buried and the way of finding it convoluted.
Attributes could be more flexible: like I would prefer to have all events under one table (which it can do now) but then there is no step further where I can then say whether they RSVP and then also whether they attended and their name for easy export for nametags.

January 2017

Michelle from Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children

Company Size: 11-50 employees

Review Source: Capterra


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

4.0

Functionality

4.0

January 2017

Raiser's Finally Got an Update

I use Raiser's Edge as our donor database and the data entry, reporting features are really updated. However, when they came out with NXT, it was a game changer. NXT is amazing! It has a very attractive interface and super user friendly. As soon as you search for a record, consecutive years and all information on the donor is clear to see and it lets you know which donors you should be reaching out to. You could assign donors to others to initiate contact. You could easily access information on your mobile device. It takes the Raiser's Edge data entry interface and completely gives it a makeover. You are easily able to review giving history and all donor information on one page and very clearly. The only thing I don't like about NXT is that the consecutive years aren't always the same as in the donor records in the database version.

Pros

I use Raiser's Edge as our donor database and the data entry, reporting features are really updated. However, when they came out with NXT, it was a game changer. NXT is amazing! It has a very attractive interface and super user friendly. As soon as you search for a record, consecutive years and all information on the donor is clear to see and it lets you know which donors you should be reaching out to. You could assign donors to others to initiate contact. You could easily access information on your mobile device. It takes the Raiser's Edge data entry interface and completely gives it a makeover. You are easily able to review giving history and all donor information on one page and very clearly.

Cons

The only thing I don't like about NXT is that the consecutive years aren't always the same as in the donor records in the database version.

May 2016

Cheena from International Tennis Hall of Fame


Ease-of-use

4.0

Customer support

3.0

Functionality

3.5

May 2016

Raiser's Edge Lifer Rant

Pros

My biggest likes for the Raiser's Edge are the various modules: Events, Membership and Online Express. I can organize the information and pull it back out in queries so easily. The canned reporting is not bad either. They pretty much have every kind of basic report you could need. You can pull some pretty decent reports that track actions, solicitors, giving and profiles. The key is making sure your data is clean and organized.

Speaking of which, Raiser's Edge has done a great job of improving it's data clean up functions. They have improved duplicate removals. They have added e-mail and phone clean ups. And they are always on top of making sure their clients are heard (even if it takes them a little while to deliver).

Cons

The reports have aged out at this point in the desktop version (non-cloud). Development departments are looking for different ways to report their money and we are now depending on Crystal Reports to constantly fill that void. I wished the reports were more malleable and you could really build out the layouts to accommodate what staff wants to see. The biggest thing I hear in terms of complaints from my staff are the number of clicks to get a process done, whether entering an event on a record to recording a membership. Sure we can set up default settings for many of the procedures, but there is still that need sometimes to have to go through and enter manually.

October 2018

Dana from St. Anthony Foundation

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

5.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

October 2018

Valuable and versatile database

I'm speaking to RE7, i.e. the database view specifically, which many nonprofits use exclusively but those who purchase the NXT bundle also have access to the full database view as well. I've been using RE7 for 12 years and overall I love it, especially in combination with the NXT web view.

Pros

There is so much you can do with Raiser's Edge, it's a robust and powerful tool. It works "out of the box" without need for programming or customization per se (other than settings and configuration etc.) so you don't need to be a coder to set up and use. I particularly love queries to pull together lists of donors who meet certain criteria, which can then be used for mailing lists, reports, exports, etc. The acknowledgement letters are incredibly valuable, allowing variable data and personalized language, e.g. when a gift is designated to a particular program we pull in a paragraph about that program without our gift entry staff having to do any manual or extra work.

Cons

Can be a bit clunky, and not always intuitive (NXT web view is a huge improvement in those areas). The reports aren't pretty (again NXT is astronomically better there) and sometimes there isn't a report that will work for our needs so I have to set up with queries and exports. There is almost always a way to do what I need to do, but I sometimes have to go through some complicated digital acrobatics to get there.

March 2018

Cain from Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Company Size: 2-10 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

March 2018

Great Product, but Could be Overkill for Most Nonprofits

It's doubtful to me, especially after having worked with a few smaller nonprofits which have used Raisers Edge, that even the heaviest users in this arena are using even 50% of the product's out of the box functionality. So while I love the product, and especially love it because it integrates seamlessly with Financial Edge for the accounting reporting, smaller nonprofits are probably better served with something just as user-friendly but much cheaper for donations/events/membership management, like Avectra's Net Forum.

Pros

Blackbaud's Raisers Edge is great software for donations management, including special events and memberships. It's very easy to use, and very easy to get information from, whether through any of the many canned reports, or through queries and exports. Support is extra, but well worth the cost, at least in the initial years after set-up.

Cons

The cost - upwards for just the donations management - is considerable. And things like the Special Events module and Membership and Tributes and Memorials modules are not included in the base package. Like most other software, a lot of thought needs to happen when setting Raisers Edge up. But seriously for every con that I could list, the customer support that comes extra with the annual maintenance, if purchases, offsets the con with quick answers and fixes, so that even the most complicated thing in RE is easily addressed with a quick phone call to support.

February 2018

Allison from Brown University

Company Size: 5,001-10,000 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

3.0

Functionality

3.0

February 2018

The Raiser's Edge is an industry standard for a reason. It's robust but doesn't play well with non-Blackbaud software.

If you're a small-to-medium shop looking to invest in a CRM, The Raiser's Edge will work well for you. If you need easy integration with other software solutions (email marketing, event marketing, etc.) you may want to look elsewhere, but if your main need is a robust CRM, then The Raiser's Edge a good way to go.

Pros

The Raiser's Edge is consistent and reliable as a CRM. Because it is so widely used, there are tons of good resources online if you have any questions, and you are likely to be able to easily hire staff who have experience with it. You are able to set up your data structure with a good amount of customization. The the query tool is easy to use as long as you understand how you've set up your fields. You don't need to be able to code to administer the database, which I appreciated. Permissions are fairly straightforward.

Cons

As part of the Blackbaud suite of products, The Raiser's Edge is not easy to integrate with other products. If you need easy integration with other software solutions, you'll either have to buy other Blackbaud products, which are expensive and sometimes not the best in their class, or do a lot of data transfers between the systems. For example, when I was administering a Raiser's Edge database, I had to regularly export lists for use with Constant Contact, and import transactions for our online giving page, because we didn't use Blackbaud solutions for email marketing or online giving. It wasn't very difficult to do, but it did slow us down with tasks that should be automated.

December 2017

Jeff from Tennyson Center for Children

Company Size: 51-200 employees

Review Source


Ease-of-use

5.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

5.0

December 2017

The best donor database

If you decide on Raiser's Edge, try to combine it with Financial Edge. Very similar software, integration, and user knowledge overlap. Just be prepared to pay.

Pros

Raiser's Edge is the best donor database I've seen. It has comprehensive fields and capability to track projects, funds, and appeals. When we used RE, we had about 250 different appeals categorized and about 50 different funds. When running reports or queries, you could slice and dice the data pretty much any way you wanted. Query functions were huge for me. You can dig down into anything you want - all donations by xyz appeal during 10-11 timeframe and paid by check at a certain event? That's an option, for example, with the click and choose query.
Huge added bonus if you use RE in conjunction with Financial Edge, Blackbaud's accounting system, as the two systems actually integrate (not export and import but a true integration).

Cons

The biggest obstacle we faced with RE was the pricing. Blackbaud prices you into tiers based on number of constituents, so if you keep old donor records "just in case", you end up accumulating all these records and data that you are paying for annually. If you can afford it, it's great. They are definitely shooting for the quality model not the low-cost model.

June 2017

Larry from OneBook

Company Size: 11-50 employees


Ease-of-use

4.0

Value for money

4.0

Customer support

5.0

Functionality

4.0

June 2017

eTapestry - A medium weight solution for Donor Management and Receipting.

I have been impressed with the solid support team eTapestry has. The online chat has been very helpful to me, and the specialists I have chatted with have always been knowledgeable.

Pros

eTapestry has lots of power to get things done. It is cloud-based, so there is no need for the user to worry about upgrading the software or backing up the data. Queries are very easy to produce, and exporting the results in reports, PDFs or excel is a snap. You can design your own forms so that your website can talk to eTapestry easily. eTapestry works equally well on desktop computers, tablets and cellphones. This is very helpful for fundraisers who are on the road.

Cons

If you are downsizing from a more robust package such as Raiser's Edge, be prepared for a loss of flexibility - for example, queries in eTapestry lack some of the power that Raiser's Edge has. When comparing what you get "out of the box" with some other solutions, you will find that in order to keep costs down for the average user, eTapestry is very basic. To add in eCommerce, donor logins, advanced email, etc these are available, but as an add-on pricing. This can make it more expensive than other products that have all these features to start with, so you should be aware of what your real needs are before committing to eTapestry.

April 2015

Kayla from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation


Ease-of-use