Top Ten Blackbaud CRM™ Tips

Can you believe it's been more than 10 years since Blackbaud CRM™ launched? To celebrate, our team put together some of their favorite tips and tricks.

Selena Fowler's Tip:

Did you know that you can flag prospects and then use that flag in ad hoc query to pull a list? It’s a useful tool for tracking, and it is applied by the application user, so I can have my own list of favorites, and you can have yours. Prospects can be flagged by multiple users at a time, I don’t see yours and you don’t see mine, so there’s no fear of adding a flag to a prospect who no-one else wants to be flagged or removing a flag that doesn’t belong to you.

The flag is applied on the Prospect summary tab, (or on their Wealth and Rating page), just click the “Flag Prospect” button. In ad hoc query, locate the Prospect node, and include records flagged by a particular user (their name or their ID).

Aaren Ballinger's Tip:

This is a simple one, but something that can be a definite time saver! In a constituent record, the main tabs (and sub-tabs) of the record can be easily rearranged by clicking and dragging them into place. This allows you to put your favorite or most utilized tab first so that it immediately viewable when you open a record.

My favorite tab to have listed first is the Revenue History sub-tab underneath the main Revenue tab. I’m often looking for information about a constituent’s giving history, so this lets me see that information right away. This is especially helpful when browsing results of a query based on revenue history, as I can quickly spot check my work by clicking through a few records.

Sara Swiatlowski's Tip:

Use segment groups to save time! They can be useful when adding multiple segments to a marketing effort in bulk or if you have a bunch of segments where the data will need to be refreshed. If you add them to a group first you can then add that group into a marketing effort or you can let the group refresh instead of clicking refresh on each individual segment.

Susan Hines's Tip:

Use Marketing Efforts as a de-duping tool for non-solicitation mailings: ​Do you have newsletters or other non-solicitations that include Constituents that fall into more than one category (ie. Board Member, Alumnus, Donor, etc.)? Rather than building a complex query so that each person receives only one piece of mail, build separate segments for each and the marketing effort will dedupe automatically. Segments can then be reused in other mailings.

Bethany Avery's Tip:

Did you know that you can create revenue attributes with a data type of constituent record? So many times we think of attributes as code table, amount or maybe even free text fields. But there are others out there. This type, in particular, can be useful for scenarios such as Workplace Giving where you have Revenue coming in from an individual employee (the donor) but want to easily link that revenue to the Company or Employer whose participation in your program made it happen (i.e Google). This can be useful for reporting, segmenting, correspondence with the donors and more. It is also a good alternative to adding recognition if recognition does not fit your business need.

Dylan Moses's Tip:

Don’t underestimate Segmented House Files and Acquisition Lists: These are powerful tools, especially if your organization uses an outside vendor for segmentation. Be sure to have required import IDs provided in the file from vendor to ease the importing process. Keep in mind when used with The Raiser's Edge™, BBDM™ uses the Finder Number, Source Code and System Record ID as available mapping fields.

Rich Muniz's Tip:

Avoid using “Exists In” criteria in your Marketing Effort Selections. This will bog down the system and cause your Marketing Effort calculations to run slower!

Heather Todd's Tip:

Ever have a need in a query to compare two fields and use as criteria? For example, run a query for all pledges where the balance is less than the amount? When adding a field as criteria, click on the Output field option. The pick list displays appropriate fields from the query output for comparison. Any of the query operators can be used in comparison, i.e. equal to, greater than, less than, etc.

Tim Lenczowski's Tip:

Use the Segment Builder: The Segment Builder allows you to build complex segments using simple selections. Performance will be improved and segments can be placed into groups which can then be reused. The Segment Builder tool can be found under Segments on the left side navigation menu called Create Multiple Segments. The order of your segments is important because the hierarchical nature of the system works from top to bottom in the Marketing Effort

Stacey Segal's Tip:

Don’t suffer! Having worked with Blackbaud CRM™ since its inception - yes, that’s just over 10 years and at least 50 implementations, there's no need to suffer. Blackbaud CRM™ is an incredibly powerful tool that you can use in a variety of different ways. If you're frustrated, or finding a particular feature challenging, ask for help. Our blog is a great place to find tips and tricks, how-to's and more. Use the Blackbaud Community Forum to ask questions and share ideas. And perhaps my best tip - don't box yourself into only sharing ideas with similar organizations. Yes, there are certain things that only Higher Eds do, but you can learn so much from organizations outside of your vertical. Don't limit ideas - share with everyone.

Have an idea? Share it with us today on our brand new idea bank.