As with all great technology, over time your beloved CRM solution will eventually reveal minor (and sometimes major) gaps between its functionality and your day-to-day necessities. Every CRM system has its strengths, and every platform has its weaknesses. Which leads us to the question: how many of those limitations have you overcome to shape a system that truly works for your team?
We’ve found that simple customizations can often resolve handfuls of shortcomings. Which is why we created Expert Access, a bundle of over 25 customizations for organizations using Blackbaud CRM (BBCRM) to streamline workflows and save time on routine tasks. The suite of products includes several unique tools that support software integrations, solve functionality issues, enhance reporting and data tools, and fix critical functions that will advance your fundraising and mission.
Here’s how some of our clients are utilizing Expert Access for BBCRM.
University of Central Florida (UCF) migrated their fundraising campaign management to Blackbaud CRM in 2015. Currently, they have an annual enrollment of nearly 70,000 students across 13 colleges. Moving to Blackbaud CRM enabled them to take advantage of advanced reporting tools to focus on a data-driven fundraising approach. And as the University grew into its enterprise CRM database, the team identified areas of their new system they wished to improve. As an Expert Access client, University of Central Florida started experimenting with some of the tools offered in their subscription. One of those tools was the Data Warehouse Express (BBDW Express) which enables users to build custom tables in the Blackbaud data warehouse within Blackbaud CRM itself. “It’s been a lifesaver,” said Alex Nagy, Director for Advancement Information Technology Services at UCF.
“Zuri’s Blackbaud Data Warehouse (BBDW) Express tool included with their Expert Access program has saved our IT department countless hours. Before the tool, the development process to extend the data warehouse added hours and risk to project timelines. The tool has streamlined our processes, allowed us to fulfill client requests for dashboards and reports much more effectively, and provided us with the flexibility to build a custom Data Mart that is integrated with the BBDW.”
Alex Nagy, University of Central Florida
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was founded in 1971 to “ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all.” We’ve had the privilege of working with SPLC to support their Blackbaud CRM system since 2018. And over the last several years, SPLC has seen the number of donors in their constituent database rise exponentially. While that’s a great sign of growth, SPLC found that the volume of data became more difficult to manage duplicates and incorrect data input syntax. This directly resulted in revenue loss for every mailer that was sent to an inaccurate address. Luckily for SPLC, one of our many Expert Access solutions is the Constituent Compare Utility. This custom-built solution merges duplicates 10x faster than Blackbaud’s out-of-box Duplicates Report and manual Constituent Merge. So, SPLC took it for a spin.
Rick Womack, the Application Delivery Manager at SPLC, remarked that in addition to supporting the organization’s donor processes, “the Constituent Compare Utility alone will pay for the entire annual cost of Expert Access within only a couple of constituent mailers. We’re excited to begin testing and implementing other solutions from the program soon.”
As you can gather from these use cases, every solution within Expert Access is created to fulfill a specific gap within Blackbaud CRM process or functionality. From the desire to add custom tables to the Blackbaud data warehouse, the eagerness to connect CRM fundraising prospects to Microsoft Outlook, the motivation to manage duplicates efficiently, or to use REST APIs for integrations, each of the 25+ solutions have a story behind them. Each story is a symphony of challenges and solutions, ideas and innovations. In concert with our clients, we’ve built an indispensable set of solutions for any Blackbaud CRM department.
What gaps have you identified in your daily Blackbaud CRM usage? Browse our Expert Access solutions to see if any fit the bill. Have another idea for a useful tool? Let’s talk about how we can overcome limitations together to support your organization and the Blackbaud CRM community as a whole.
Andrew has over twenty-five years of experience in technology solutions and is passionate about technology being expertly applied to achieve nonprofit mission success. His book, the Nonprofit Buyer, details best practices for nonprofits buying processes to ensure "Return on Mission" - the marker that marries traditional ROI to mission impact.