Exploring Raiser’s Edge Alternatives: Finding the Right CRM Solution
Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge has long been a stalwart in the nonprofit CRM sector. Renowned for its robust donor management tools, campaign tracking, and member outreach capabilities, it’s trusted by many nonprofits. However, with the technological landscape evolving at lightning speed, some organizations are finding themselves scouting for alternatives. The quest? A modern CRM solution that aligns better with their evolving requirements.
Key Features of an Effective CRM
Every organization, especially nonprofits, needs a CRM that’s more than just a digital Rolodex. Here’s what stands out when discussing the essential features of a CRM:
- Customization – A good CRM molds itself around the organization’s needs, not the other way around. Customizable fields, dashboards, and reports are non-negotiable for optimal donor management.
- Scalability – Whether you’re serving a community of hundreds or millions, the CRM should grow with you, effortlessly adapting to a larger donor base and more extensive campaigns.
- User Experience – A steep learning curve doesn’t do anybody any favors. Intuitive design, user-friendly interfaces, and easy navigation streamline operations and save precious time.
- Accessible Mobile Interface – Working in today’s world requires the ability to use any device from any location. Nonprofit CRMs should allow employees to use their laptop, desktop computer, tablet, or phone to get the job done.
According to method.me, “Every nonprofit has its own unique needs and workflows. Furthermore, no organization wants to change its processes just to fit the constraints of its software. That’s why a customizable CRM is an ideal solution for nonprofits that don’t have the budget for a custom-built system. Customizable CRM software will make it easy to personalize donation pages, add new data fields, and set up custom processes. And as time passes and certain aspects of your organization evolve, the CRM can evolve along with them. In the end, this level of flexibility will save you money and increase productivity, allowing you to focus more energy on fundraising.”
At the end of the day, the freedom to “focus more energy on fundraising” is really the goal of having the best donor management software available. To determine what “the best” means for your nonprofit, get a quick assessment of your needs with the Social Impact Solutions free Fundraising Quiz. It just takes two minutes, produces immediate results, and will leave you with a clearer vision of what your organization needs, and what kind of nonprofit CRM will meet those needs.
Top Raiser’s Edge Alternatives
Let’s dive into some leading alternatives that have made waves in donor management software for nonprofit sector:
This Raiser’s Edge alternative includes the following features: native integrations, Zapier automations, and open API, along with the ability to send comprehensive, omni-channel campaigns to keep constituents engaged with the organization’s mission. Virtuous also has a donor journey builder, pre-built workflow templates, assisted moves management, and intelligent prospect identification.
PROS: Seamless third-party integrations, user-friendly, cost-effective, excellent customer service.
CONS: It is a newer platform that has not been on the market for as long as other competitors.
Review posted Aug. 18, 2023 by Rebekah J. on G2.com
“Virtuous has built a powerful and intuitive tool that allows our team to integrate lead pipelines, email marketing campaigns, and moves management systems for major donors. Their customer support and new features road map are truly responsive to us. The automation features are a dream and help us care well for our donors. We use the software across teams to support our member network, magazine subscribers, and donors.”
Features include actionable data provided through built-in report templates that allow you to Customize pre-built reports, including LYBUNT, SYBUNT, Projected Cash Flow, Downgrades, and more. This Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge competitor also includes a filter-based reporting system that allows you to create reports in seconds.
PROS: Maintains direct integrations with popular apps and contains a powerful Moves Management module. Bloomerang’s donor management tools help you focus on donor retention and cultivation, all rolled into an intuitive, easy-to-use system. Users like the dashboard charts, goals management, householding feature, and seamless wealth management tools (additional subscription needed) for each constituent.
CONS: Some customers have had issues with Quickbooks integration and syncing. Regarding email blasts, there could be more templates and customization options.
Review posted April 2023 by Mindy on softwareadvice.com
“Bloomerang is a robust, affordable donor management software that is easy to implement and has a lot of great features such as dashboards, reporting, search functions. communications and donor research.”
DonorPerfect allows nonprofit organizations to track stewards, record gifts, and maintain contacts through a web-based user interface. It is one of the top 10 Blackbaud alternatives, according to G2.com. Features for this Raiser’s Edge alternative include synchronized data entry and payment processing, the DPMobile app, ReadySetAuction and integrated donation forms that accept all major credit cards and PayPal, dashboard reporting.
PROS: This nonprofit CRM is customizable, allowing users to add/edit/remove most fields and create custom formula fields to calculate total giving in specific years or to specific campaigns. It can connect to ConstantContact for email campaigns and provides a chat feature that users find helpful when pulling complex reports. DonorPerfect offers pricing packages and capabilities to meet any size organization and any budget.
CONS: Reports could be more intuitive. Occasional issues with thank you letters, tribute notifications, and connecting with other platforms.
Review posted March 15, 2023 by Samantha J. on g2.com.
“I have been using DonorPerfect since 2006. It is the most user-friendly database out there. The custom reports are easy to use and configure. The drag and drop custom donation page is clean and user friendly.”
This Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge alternative features donor profiles with membership management features in a SaaS application, as well as communication, collaboration and organizational task automation. Through third-party software integrations, Neon One is designed to complete a task that might otherwise require multiple software tools.
PROS: Customers like donor touch tracking (calls, meetings, etc.), relationships and stewardship, forms for events and other registrations, financial reporting and gift tracking, and the helpful support team.
CONS: Neon One is designed for smaller – mid-size nonprofits and may not be a great fit for scaling or large organizations.
Review posted Sept. 3, 2021 by Shannon H. on Trustradius.com.
“There is a bit of a learning curve for filtering reports, but that is balanced by a strong ability to create custom reports. One current limitation is the lack of add-on purchases for events and memberships (i.e. t-shirts, publications, etc.), although we understand that is on the development track. We normally find workarounds for any deficits, although far less necessary than with our old system.”
One of the top 10 Raiser’s Edge alternatives listed on Sourceforge.net, Network for Good features integrations including Deed, QuickBooks Online and Quickbooks Online Advanced. This Blackbaud alternative also provides auction, campaign, donor, and event management fundraising features, contribution tracking and mobile giving, along with best-in-class onboarding, customer service, and data migration.
PROS: Supported on more platforms than Blackbaud, including iPhone, iPad, and Android. Offers month-by-month pricing. Customers can create videos to raise funds or thank donors, create lists of potential donors with full descriptions, send email blasts, videos, etc. to several persons or organizations.
CONS: There is no 24/7 live support and there are some hidden costs, according to customers on sourceforge.net. The newsletter component could be more user-friendly.
Review posted Jan. 28, 2022 by Laura R. on Sourceforge.net
“I am a fan of NFG’s platform because of its ease of use. Being new to the non-profit world, I found the team helpful when I was inquiring and upon my decision to use the platform, I found it very user-friendly. The resource library is also helpful when trying to create emails and newsletters.”
Transitioning from Raiser’s Edge
Switching CRM systems can feel like a Herculean task, but with a strategic approach, the transition can be smooth and well worth your time. Patt, a nonprofit manager, said on softwareadvice.com that transitioning was the “best decision” her organization ever made.”
“We transitioned to Virtuous from Raiser’s Edge several years ago, and it was probably the best decision we ever made in terms of being able to decentralize our CRM and make it accessible to our team at large. It took us a while to get everyone trained to use it but now that we are up to speed we don’t know how we lived without it.”
Use these simple steps to ensure a seamless conversion.
- Data Backup – Before making any moves, ensure all your data in Raiser’s Edge is backed up. This ensures you have a safety net.
- Data Migration – Most modern CRMs offer data migration tools or services. Confirm the tool you’re considering has a well-documented process or support to assist with this transition.
- Training – Invest time in training the team. Whether it’s through webinars, workshops, or self-paced online courses, ensuring your team is well-acquainted with the new system is crucial.
- Pilot Phase – Before going all out, test the new CRM with a subset of your data and a smaller team. This helps in identifying potential challenges and solutions.
- Integration Checks – Make sure your new CRM integrates well with other essential tools, be it email marketing platforms, accounting software, or event management systems.
- Feedback Loop – As your organization adapts, create a feedback mechanism. This ensures that any glitches, usability issues, or training gaps are promptly addressed.
While Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge has served nonprofits loyally for years, the dynamic demands of modern nonprofit management mean there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The Raiser’s Edge alternatives mentioned above offer a fresh perspective and might align better with the specific needs of various organizations. One of the first steps you’ll want to take is getting a good pulse on those needs. What are your nonprofit’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas of greatest potential? By taking two minutes of your time for the Social Impact Solutions free Fundraising Quiz, you can get immediate answers that will provide valuable insights for moving forward.
Ultimately, the right CRM is one that understands an organization’s pulse, scales up with its ambitions, and ensures that the noble mission of making a difference isn’t bogged down by technical hiccups. So, explore, evaluate, and embrace a CRM solution that truly resonates with your nonprofit’s unique ethos.
If you want to learn more about Social Impact Solutions and other Blackbaud competitors, read The Top Blackbaud Alternatives: The Best Nonprofit CRM and Donor Management Systems for 2024.