Keep Fit for Raiser’s Edge
Purple Vision Lead Consultant Haydn Thomas shares five integrations that will help you stretch, extend and supplement Raiser’s Edge
All charities use Raiser’s Edge in different ways. So, it’s no surprise that one fundraiser finds everything they need in Raiser’s Edge and another is exasperated by a perceived gap in functionality.
The market for products which extend Raiser’s Edge is far from saturated (particularly compared to something like the Salesforce AppExchange). There don’t appear to be innovative companies creating useful products lining up around the block. But, there are a few very dedicated offerings in two key areas of functionality. You may find that you can’t live without some of their tools.
Functionality Gap – Getting data into Raiser’s Edge
Many organisations use third party applications or other databases to gather data and run key business processes. For example, some universities may be using SITS to keep student records, and some charities may be using a third party platform like Just Giving or Artez for event fundraising. Sooner or later, you will want this data to pass into Raiser’s Edge.
Tool 1 – Import-O-Matic is a revolutionary plug-in which allows users to build a bridge between a .csv file and Raiser’s Edge. Users can build ‘profiles’ associated with .csv files which drastically reduce any need for ETL (extract, transform and load) processes in Access or Excel. In addition, there are many intuitive and useful features – too many to list here. If you want data to appear in AND interact with Raiser’s Edge in a specific way, you will love Import-O-Matic, and will likely join the chorus of fundraisers wishing that it came as a standard feature of Raiser’s Edge.
Functionality Gap – supplementing Raiser’s Edge existing functionality
Raiser’s Edge usually has one, maybe two ways of handling any given process. For example, Raiser’s Edge will bring in emails from Outlook, but not other email providers, and Raiser’s Edge supports email marketing via NetCommunity, but no other email marketing tools.
SmartTHING has 2 products which allow users some choice in email provider.
Tool 2 – SmartGMAIL allows users to add an email from within Gmail to Raiser’s Edge. Similar to Raiser’s Edge’s own Outlook integration, an action is added in addition to an action notepad with the text of the email.
Tool 3 – SmartOUTLOOK is an augmented version of the existing Raiser’s Edge integration. It works on Outlook365 and hosted Raiser’s Edge, and it is configurable, meaning less time entering data and more time communicating with supporters.
Zeidman Development also offer solutions
Tool 4 – Zeidman broke the mould with Chimpegration, a plug-in which integrates MailChimp with Raiser’s Edge. As is typical of Zeidman products, the functionality of Chimpegration and subsequent email marketing plug-ins provides for much more than just an import file – it is a well-designed piece of kit.
Tool 5 – Monkey-ing about with Mailchimp wasn’t enough, Zeidman has also created a plug-in for Constant Contact, Contactegration to plug into their e-marketing power, too.
Our view on the future of Raiser’s Edge 3rd party tools
This is by no means a comprehensive review of all the Raiser’s Edge tools that are on the market. There are a few more, but not many.
Raiser’s Edge is a niche tool. It takes real expertise and an in-depth understanding of the platform to develop it and create a work-around for some of the gaps in its functionality. It’s hard to see how a thriving and diverse group of developers can exist around something which appears so complex to adapt. The result is that there is a real limit to the potential pool from which users can gain additional support to help it meet their needs.
We keep a firm eye out for new tools and innovations – and upgrades – and hope for great strides to support non-profits, but fear that perhaps there really will be some functionalities that Raiser’s Edge will never be able to support. So in the interim, we keep turning back to the tried and tested favourites shown in this blog.
We remain optimistic for the future of RE and are adept at helping make a real difference to how you use the tool and the investment you have already made in this fundraiser’s favourite.
Our other Raiser’s Edge resources
Blogs: Read other posts for advice and guidance on making the most of your donor database
Breakfast Briefing: Attend our event on 27th March – What’s NXT for Raiser’s Edge? to hear our thoughts on how you can develop and adapt RE to your current needs and how to start considering what your next steps will be.
Register via this link.
Please note we are now making a small charge for breakfast briefings, refundable on attendance. See link for details.
Contact us for help – our Raiser’s Edge services include training and consultancy, database management on demand, signposting and health checks.