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Donna Caputo
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Moving from The Raiser's Edge® to Blackbaud CRM™: What You Should Know


Ask anyone who’s seen it and they’ll tell you—Blackbaud CRM is a big, beautiful solution for raising philanthropic revenue. Loaded with functionality and a huge, customizable database behind the scenes, Blackbaud CRM fits the bill for philanthropies on-the-grow. JCA has helped dozens of organizations transition to Blackbaud CRM from The Raiser’s Edge®, and we’ve learned a few things along the way our clients find helpful.

During Blackbaud CRM implementation, Raiser’s Edge organizations are often surprised to learn they will lose some functionality with CRM. If you’re a Raiser’s Edge organization and moving to Blackbaud CRM, be aware that CRM has:

  • Limited import capability out of the box. While The Raiser’s Edge can import just about anything in one of its standard import layouts, Blackbaud CRM has fewer import templates available. You may need to specify and have custom import templates built for data you import regularly.
  • Different options for Global Changes. The Global Change features in The Raiser’s Edge allow for plenty of easy updates to your database. Blackbaud CRM comes with many more limits on the data that can be transformed through global change.
  • More complex Query Tool. If you thought giving access to your Raiser’s Edge users to build their own queries was tough, wait until you see the CRM’s Query Tools. You can build a Smart Query based on an Ad-Hoc Query. You can build a report based on an Ad-Hoc Query. You can build a Selection on either a Smart Query or an Ad-Hoc Query. Each tool has its own unique set of capabilities, and all of them are complex.
  • Revamped General Ledger configuration. If your organization spent time setting up the General Ledger distribution tables behind your Raiser’s Edge funds, be prepared. CRM’s General Ledger configuration is completely different and will have to be built again from scratch.
  • Different treatments for Appeals and Packages. Although appeals and packages “concepts” exist in CRM, they take a different form that may require changing business processes and reporting codes. For example, you cannot split gifts at the appeal level, and you cannot assign a package at the gift level (you cannot assign a package code that is different than the one you used when you sent out the direct marketing piece).

Moving from The Raiser’s Edge to Blackbaud CRM requires special considerations that perplex—and delay—organizations during implementation. When you work with a CRM consultant like JCA, you’ll have someone helping you identify hurdles well before they become a problem. Contact JCA to discuss your implementation challenges, no matter where you are in the process. We are Blackbaud CRM and Raiser’s Edge experts.

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The marks Blackbaud®, Blackbaud CRM™ and The Raiser's Edge® are registered trademarks of Blackbaud, Inc.