We are looking into getting a database for our major donors (of which we have around 900) and would love to get Raisers Edge. However, it is rather expensive and so I wondered if there was a cheaper alternative that would do the job. It would probably be just one person using it.
Any advice gratefully received!
http://www.fundraising.co.uk/forum/thread.php?id=2122 Ten tips for the first fundraiser in an existing charity
This thread contains some discussion on cheap and free databases – worth a look. Larry Boyd mentions Ebase, Visible Results and Organizer are mentioned. I know nothing about any of these but it would probably be worth having a look before parting with your hard-earned cash!
There are real alternatives out there. We are an example of a great value system that has extensive functionality and has been chosen by a wide range of both smaller and large NFP organisations.
When looking for a database it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number available – and trying to figure out which systems are actually a viable option for your organisation can be difficult.
Why not draw up a brief specification of what you want the database to do and using a comprehensive list like http://www.itforcharities.co.uk/fundrais.htm (although it is a little out of date) just email all of the contacts with your requirements asking them to respond including pricing. You can then very quickly identify which are possible suppliers.
Then get them in to demonstrate! It’s amazing what us suppliers will do to get a sale!
We have two products, Donor Strategy is a full fundraising database with masses of functoinality and we deliver this as a complete solution including training etc, Donor Base is our entry level product that starts from only £15 a month with absolutely no obligation – pay for one month and forget it if it doesn’t work for you!
I hope this information helps.
For a list of many of the alternative software packages available please see http://www.itforcharities.co.uk/fundrais.htm
For a demo CD of our own product, Donor Strategy, please visit http://www.charitysoft.co.uk/donorstrategy. We believe that Donor Strategy is a viable alternative to Raiser’s Edge and may well be able to help you to manage your 900 majors donors effectively.
I would recommend looking at IT For Charities web site for your needs, it does need updating but will give you a list of suppliers who may be able to meet your needs.
I would also contact Peter Flory of Athena Consultants on http://www.athena.org.uk who will be able to help you. He has helped a lot of people in the past.
Depending on your size, you will probably end up with a Microsoft Access based solution.
JA Computer Solutions Ltd
The home of CHARITease
Why set up a database just for major donors – Do you have one for non-major donors? If so why not use the potential of a relational database (Most are relational) and integrate the two?
Apart from any thing else running two databases is a headache that is easily avoided
A very kind chap (who shall remain nameless but he knows who he is – thank you!) with a great deal of experience of databases advised me just before Christmas to look at 3 in particular if looking at the “cheaper” end of the market – Charitease, Advantage Fundraiser and Donor Strategy. The relevant websites are http://www.charitease.co.uk, http://www.advantagefundraiser.co.uk and http://www.charitysoft.co.uk
I do agree with David – you must have all donors on one database. One person’s idea of a “major donor” might not be another’s and then you might end up with someone on 2 databases or on neither!
A further alternative is KISS Contacts:
It has a free ‘try before you buy’
At £100 + VAT for a single user it is within everybodies reach.
KIS Software Solutions
Thanks for all the help.
Anyone have any comments about Donor Strategy and AKC Fundraiser?
I’ve only had experience of Donor Strategy which is very user friendly, easy to manipulate and has loads of functionality. The help desk staff are superb. There is an online manual available, masterclass training after the initial training, and even a cheap version if your organisation can’t stretch to the full (which is also very reasonably priced). We chose Donor over three other databases in a showcase situation as it was by far and away the best product. I haven’t been disappointed in using it. Highly recommended.
We’re a small national charity based in London. In 2003 we installed Donor Strategy and I can vouch for it being a reliable, powerful and credible alterative to Raisers Edge. I’ve been more than happy with the product and the support team is helpful and capable.
I fully recommend the product.
Fundraising and Events Manager
After a significant amount of research, we decided to change from an Access database to Donor Strategy with which we have been working for just over a year. The transition was handled with great efficiency and any problems have been resolved quicklyand painlessly.
Donor Strategy staff are accessible and supportive, with a reassuring ‘can do’ attitude whatever they are presented with. They bend over backwards to satisfy client need and are quick to incorporate useful comments, requirements and suggestions as innovations and improvements to their excellent product.
I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Our product, Advantage Fundraiser, has already been mentioned as an alternative to Raisers Edge. For more information you can visit our website at http://www.advantagefundraiser.com.
We sell primarily to the smaller charities, with between 1 and 8 users. Our prices start at £500 for a single user, £1,000 for two users, £1,750 for three and then £2,500 for four or more.
We take great pride in the support service and products we offer and have over 60 small to medium sized charities now using Advantage Fundraiser (as at Jan 05). For my information, or to request a free, no obligation evaluation CD please call Steve Cast on 01582 794229 or email [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email]
As for the comparison with Raisers Edge – same functionality but a tenth of the price!
I personally think that the Raisers Edge is the best database solution on the market, I know Blackbaud were recently offering a deal on one user systems so it might be worth asking for a quote? I agree that you should look to incorporate all of your donors, major donors and other contacts onto the same database.
Lianne, I think you ought to declare your close association with Blackbaud as you make these assertions, don’t you? I happen to think that Raisers’ Edge is very good, but people have a right to know if you have any business reason for recommending a piece of software….
Iain More Associates Ltd
Is it true that Lianne is an Account Manager for Raisers Edge? If this is the case then she would say that it is the best software package!
Remember to look at the market, fell comfortable with your supplier and build a relationship, after all, you will be working closely with them for a number of years.
JA Computer Solutions Ltd
I agree Adrian, Howard had suggested that I add a signature to my messages although this was not possible once the message had been posted.
Obviously one of the reasons I think Raisers Edge is one of the best databases is because of my position at Blackbaud but also from the testimonies of our clients. I feel that holding all contacts on one database has many advantages in all types of organisation and of course Raisers Edge is only one of the database options available to non-profit organisations.
i currently have a similar problem, i have no database or any budget to purchase one. however one which i found is called harlequinn, this appears to be very similar format to raisers edge and they alter this according to customer requests.
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