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Moving From Blackbaud's The Raiser’s Edge™ to Blackbaud CRM™

If you're planning on moving from The Raiser’s Edge™ to Blackbaud CRM™ you should carefully plan your project to ensure a smooth transition. While Blackbaud CRM™ is a best of breed solution, nonprofit organizations adopting it, even Raiser’s Edge™ users, will need to do some preparation work.

So, what should you be doing to prepare for your Raiser’s Edge™ to Blackbaud CRM™ Implementation? Here are a few of the steps you need to take before making the move:

Define Project Objectives and Success Criteria

  • The first step in adopting new technology is to define the Project Objectives, that is, what you hope to achieve with this project.

  • The second step is to define what will make your project a success. Success Criteria are the standards by which the project will be judged to determine whether or not it has been successful in the eyes of the stakeholders. Your Success Criteria should be measureable and referred back to throughout the project.

Identify Key Stakeholders and Create a Governance Committee

  • Identify who your Key Stakeholders are and how they'll be engaged in the project.

  • Determine who will be part of your Governance Committee and what their role will be. Define Governance Structure and process for making decisions.

Understand Differences Between Systems

Ensure your team understands the differences between systems. Don't assume that it's a 1:1 transfer of functionality from one system to the next.

There are many new features in Blackbaud CRM™, there are some features that operate differently from what you've experienced in The Raiser’s Edge™ and yet others that no longer exist. Identifying these and understanding them will ensure a successful transition.

For example, some of the differences include:

  • Blackbaud CRM™ has new record types that didn't exist in The Raiser’s Edge™. Introduced in Blackbaud CRM™, Households and Groups are very powerful features that your organization will want to take advantage of.

  • Global Changes - in The Raiser’s Edge™ there are a vast number of out-of-the-box Global Changes (add/edit/delete) while the number available in Blackbaud CRM™ is more limited. If additional Global Changes are needed those can be created via customization.

  • Mailings are managed differently in Blackbaud CRM™. Blackbaud CRM™ has a much more robust Marketing & Communications feature and allows organizations to further segment mailings.

  • The General Ledger functionality represents one of the largest changes from The Raiser’s Edge™ to Blackbaud CRM™. Involving your accounting team and fully understanding the changes is key to your project success.

  • Import to Batch - one of the great additions to Blackbaud CRM™ is the ability to import to Batch. The functionality was something that some customers were able to achieve through the use of ImportOMatic™ but should be aware that the out-of-the-box imports in Blackbaud CRM™ are much more limited and customization maybe required.

Create a Project Committee/Workgroup

Schedule meetings to discuss your transition plans. Determine who will be on the committee and what they will be responsible for. You should identify cleanup tasks, review requirements and identify reporting needs in preparation for your project.

Identify cleanup to be completed before your conversion:

  • Identify cleanup to be completed before your conversion:

  • Review Code Tables and complete Code Table Cleanup. Remove redundant coding.

  • Review Attributes and identify what they represent, if they should be converted and if they should remain attributes.

  • Review Notes! Notes are like a junk drawer for information and should be reviewed. Make decisions about what notes need to convert, if there are notes to be cleaned up what the plan is to mange those (most conversions don't include cleanup tasks, so identifying a plan is key.)

  • Review duplicate reviews and complete cleanup where possible.

  • Review reporting needs. Make sure you includes reports, dashboards, queries used as reports, Pivot Reports, and custom reports you may have created. Determine which reports will be required moving forward so that you can identify solutions during your implementation. Taking this inventory before your project begins will save you time, effort and costs moving forward.

  • You may have defined your requirements during an RFP process or before making the decision to move systems. However, if you didn't define those, your team should document each requirement before you start your system design.

These are just some of the steps you should take when moving from The Raiser’s Edge™ to Blackbaud CRM™. If you'd like to discuss your project, please contact us today!

To learn more about Brightvine, and take advantage of a complimentary, no obligation assessment, contact Stacey Segal today via email or phone: (843) 900-4287.

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