Sometimes in life, you have to cut the cord and move on to more sophisticated tools. It’s okay, you have practice at this. You’ve parted ways with your flip phone, junked all those CDs in favor of streaming tunes, and cut the cable cord.
Letting go of these old technologies wasn’t too difficult, but it’s not easy to move on from a mission-critical system, like your donor database. Yet many in the nonprofit world are now seeking a more secure, flexible, and future-forward alternative to Raiser’s Edge.
Why migrate from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack?
Since the data breach of Blackbaud’s hosted Raiser’s Edge platform came to light in mid-2020, Raiser’s Edge clients who were once steadfast in resisting the move to more robust CRM solutions have been aggressively seeking alternatives.
In addition to the security concerns that have captured the nonprofit world’s attention, we think you’d be interested in four additional reasons to migrate from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce.
1: Unparalleled data security in the nonprofit market
In security breaches like the one that Blackbaud experienced, hackers get in by taking advantage of the default and, unfortunately, guessable administrative passwords. This easily avoidable vulnerability is not an issue with Salesforce because each user is provided a unique, strong username and password.
With the security settings in Salesforce, you control access to data on a granular level. For example, you can set permissions for specific people to have access to specific types of data for specific tasks, such as viewing and/or editing data.
Salesforce believes security is impossible without transparency. Salesforce clients can visit trust.salesforce.com for real-time information about their system performance and security. At Salesforce, top security professionals review the software’s code for potential security risks before it’s made available to clients. Every Salesforce release includes information about the latest security enhancements.
Don't forget to check out: Top 6 Salesforce Donation Apps to Maximize Nonprofit Fundraising
2: The advantages of SaaS compared to the weaknesses of legacy software models
Raiser’s Edge has been around for more than 30 years. It was initially developed as on-premise software. Even the newest version of the software, RE NXT, requires clients to host their database on a VPN, like Citrix, to access the software remotely and to toggle between the web interface and the legacy software.
Salesforce, on the other hand, runs on a multi-tenant architecture, which means everyone uses a regularly updated version of Salesforce software in the cloud. Your nonprofit enjoys the same level of performance and security as Salesforce’s biggest clients, like Amazon Web Services and Spotify. However, you can configure Salesforce to meet your organization’s specific needs—one of the benefits of SaaS (Software as a Service).
Another benefit of SaaS, like Salesforce, is regular updates for everyone. Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) delivers three major releases a year plus updates every month, many of which include security measures. Unfortunately, for the nonprofit users of Raiser’s Edge, nothing significant has changed in that software for the last three decades.
3: The market’s leading CRM reimagined for nonprofits and associations
Salesforce’s NPSP is designed for, and used by, more than 40,000 nonprofit and association clients. NPSP provides mission-critical support for fundraising, grants management, donor management, volunteer management, member management, and case/program management.
Salesforce is not just a CRM—it provides a single source of truth and a 360-degree view of interactions with your members, volunteers, donors, and other constituents, plus the analysis and reporting power to gain insight from those interactions.
With NPSP, you can attract new donors, members, and customers, nurture those relationships, engage these constituents, build loyalty, and bring in more revenue. All of this is possible with less effort because NPSP development and fundraising workflows and, with Pardot or Marketing Cloud, automates email marketing. It provides analytical tools and reports to help you understand constituent behavior and predict outcomes. The AI tools built into Salesforce help you make decisions faster.
4: Agility, integration, and ecosystem
Users of legacy software, like Raiser’s Edge, often have to adapt their business processes to the software’s limitations—an unstainable approach to technology. The world around nonprofits continues to change. You need tools that can adapt to changing development, marketing, and communication strategies and tactics. Because Salesforce is configurable software, it can adapt to your new strategies and your organization can ensure that all functionality is relevant and optimized at a significantly lower cost. Contrast that with being imprisoned in a legacy system with no hope for parole…grim.
Raiser’s Edge clients have limited integration options with the software’s API. It’s challenging to integrate with other Blackbaud products, never mind other software. With Salesforce’s open API, you have lots of integration options for achieving a 360-view of constituents.
Salesforce also offers a large ecosystem of apps in the AppExchange, including dozens of apps built just for nonprofits. This giant toolkit, with apps like Pardot for email marketing and Experience Cloud online portals, helps you get more from your Salesforce investment.
Check out an amazing Salesforce tutorial video here: Introduction to Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud for Program Management
5: Implementation partners who specialize in nonprofits
Another advantage is the Salesforce community, which is full of implementation partners, including some, like Fíonta, who specialize in customizing and integrating Salesforce for nonprofits and associations.
Don’t let dated software hold back your organization. You need secure, flexible, and future-forward software like Salesforce that allows you to innovate and shift gears in response to crises like the pandemic, changing economic conditions, and emerging constituent and member needs.
Want to learn more about migrating from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce? Contact Fíonta for a consultation.