What do you do for organizations and how do we get started?
Though I see many commonalities in how organizations use their Raiser’s Edge databases, I also see many differences. One of the benefits of Raiser’s Edge is that it is highly customizable. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing, the later if your organization doesn’t have a clear vision about how your Raiser’s Edge database fits into your fundraising goals and objectives.
In my early work with your organization, I will have conversations with your organization’s leadership, fundraisers, and Raiser’s Edge users to determine what is working and what pain points you are experiencing. Together, we will decide which areas you’d like to address first. Sometimes I recommend a database audit to provide a better understanding of how your organization is using Raiser’s Edge and where you might use it more effectively. My ongoing work with your organization is largely driven by your needs.
What are your credentials?
As a Raiser’s Edge Consultant, I strive to keep current with Raiser’s Edge training. I’m a firm believer in formal Raiser’s Edge training and I have invested many hours in Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge trainings. The bCRE-Pro credential after my name indicates that I have achieved Blackbaud’s highest Raiser’s Edge credential. I am also certified as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). I am trained in Crystal Report writing and in the use of the Microsoft Office products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook). I graduated with distinction from Cornell University and was awarded the honor of Outstanding Senior. I serve on the board for my local AFP chapter and have been active in the fundraising field since 2000.
What are our options for custom report writing?
Raiser’s Edge provides many options for reporting and analysis but sometimes organizations need a more customized approach. When this is the case, Crystal Reports is often your best option. Raiser’s Edge integrates directly with Crystal Reports thus information can flow easily and automatically from Raiser’s Edge to Crystal Reports. Report templates can be set-up and managed in Crystal Reports and then easily accessed as push button reports from inside Raiser’s Edge. I can design custom reports for your organization to eliminate the need for extensive work and data manipulation outside of Raiser’s Edge.
Do you operate onsite or remotely?
I work remotely with both hosted and non-hosted organizations. Though I am available for onsite work and consultation, this often isn’t necessary. Non-hosted organizations need simply to provide me with a VPN or remote desktop connection to allow me to connect with their Raiser’s Edge database. I maintain screen share software that allows me to work with clients by phone and allows us both to see your database together.
Why should we invest in cleaning up our database?
Many organizations struggle with data management and clients often tell me that they need help with database clean-up. Creating a thoughtfully structured database that meets your reporting needs or cleaning up an existing database are time consuming projects but well worth the effort. Creating a system that supports your organizations needs reduces staff time for projects, allows for better and more accurate reporting, and maximizes your investment in your Raiser’s Edge database. I’ve seen clean-up work reduce staff time for projects from many hours to just a few minutes. I would be happy to talk with you about areas in your database that could benefit from restructuring and clean-up.
What is a database audit?
My database audits focus on data integrity, proper use of Raiser’s Edge tabs and fields, and use of Raiser’s Edge to maximize your fundraising goals and objectives. After a careful and exhaustive review of your database, I will provide you with an easy-to-read written report that outlines areas of your database that could use improvement and areas of your database that you could use more fully or differently. I’ll also point out areas where I see you using “best practice” guidelines.
Should we invest in staff training?
Yes, absolutely! One of my first questions when we start to work together will be who in your organization has had formal Raiser’s Edge training. Though Raiser’s Edge is not difficult to use, it is a very robust program that requires training to operate correctly. Organizations who rely on users that are not trained in use of Raiser’s Edge or in database management often run into trouble with reporting and analysis. Raiser’s Edge provides many advanced features such as import, global add, and global delete. These should be operated only by trained users. Use of Raiser’s Edge fields and data health should be overseen by a user who is well trained and proficient in Raiser’s Edge.
Blackbaud provides many excellent trainings for users at all levels. I am also available to work with staff one-on-one or in small groups to provide training on use of your Raiser’s Edge database. I maintain screen share software that allows me to provide phone training in which all parties can be viewing the same screen.
Do you provide long-term database management services?
Yes, I have worked with a number of organizations on a long-term basis as a remote database manager. While I always recommend that organizations have at least two trained Raiser’s Edge users, this is not always possible. I have worked with organizations who have lost their database administrator and/or whose database administrator has taken leave of absence.