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.
Alex J. Especialidad: Servicios medioambientales Número de empleados: 13-50 empleados
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.
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.
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.
Tracey S. Especialidad: Educación primaria/secundaria Número de empleados: 51-200 empleados
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.
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.
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.
Mary S. Especialidad: Bellas artes Número de empleados: 13-50 empleados
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.
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.
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.
Stephanie C. Especialidad: Instituciones religiosas Número de empleados: 13-50 empleados
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.)
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.
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.
Join and utilize the Blackbaud Community. They will save your life. Get the Blackbaud Learn subscription and take the courses, which are very professional and invaluable learning tools. You would never expect an employee to just be able to figure out another software like Excel or SQL without ever having had training of some kind, and Blackbaud software is no different. You need ongoing training to get the full benefit of using Raiser's Edge. If you join Blackbaud Champions (basically the users club), you end up with perks like discounts on going to bbcon, and going to bbcon, in turn, gets you discounts, and some freebies even, on Blackbaud products.
Lindsay B. Especialidad: Hospital y atención sanitaria Número de empleados: 201-500 empleados
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.
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
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.
Tracking all of this information allows us to behave in a much more professional manner. Repeat solicitations, not understanding donor relationships and so many other simple slip ups are totally avoided with a program like Raisers Edge. Invaluable!
We are able to segment and evaluate what work and what does not. We are able to track our appeals, mailings and other correspondence to see what action brings the most in donations.