Have you just started using The Raiser’s Edge? Need help navigating your new software and learning the basics? Read these easy beginner’s tips for Raiser’s Edge fundraising software to help you optimize your new fundraising database.

Laptop sitting on white desk about to displayRaiser's Edge Fundraising Software Tips for Beginner's blog

6 Tips for Raiser’s Edge Beginners

Raiser’s Edge fundraising software is a powerful client relationship management and fundraising platform that can help you collect, organize, market, and manage charitable donations and donors all in one place. Raiser’s Edge was released by Blackbaud, a leading provider of nonprofit software, to meet the needs of midsized to large nonprofit organizations. Raiser’s Edge allows nonprofit owners and managers to manage everything from marketing to fundraising in a single view of business activities.

While this is a powerful tool for nonprofits, some users may experience the initial shock of having many types of cumbersome business activities available to them all in one view. That’s why we’re providing a quick guide to using the Raiser’s Edge fundraising software for beginners. 

1. Using the Right Click

On many Raiser’s Edge screens, you can right-click with your mouse (or laptop mousepad) to easily access tasks without having to go through the menu or toolbar.

For example, if you right-click within the Constituent record, addresses tab grid, you can quickly opt to export the grid, print the addresses, select the columns to appear in the grid, and more.

2. Organize the Raiser’s Edge Fundraising Software Homepage

The homepage of your Raiser’s Edge fundraising software database should be set up like your office workspace: clean, organized, and easy access to important items. It should also be personalized to your user experience, as each user can have a different homepage setup.

Here are a few ways to organize your Raiser’s Edge homepage:

  • Favorite dashboards, reminders, campaigns for easy access from the homepage;
  • Use folders to organize data/information;
  • Review ‘User Options’ for more customization preferences.

*Try to organize your homepage with one click in mind, meaning you only have to make one click on the homepage to get to important information.

3. Customize Your Dashboards

Dashboards are perfect for a quick and easy view of your organization’s data. You can set up several custom dashboards to be able to see views like Daily Gifts, Fund Summary, Campaign Summary, and any other views that are important to you.

You can also create a dashboard for commonly run queries. If you create the dashboard using a dynamic query, your data will automatically update when the dashboard updates. 

4. Raiser’s Edge Keyboard Shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts can make updating your Raiser’s Edge fundraising software and relationship management database more user-friendly:

  • Ctrl + L – Save and Close
  • Ctrl + S – Save
  • Ctrl + F – Find
  • Ctrl + E – Save and New
  • Ctrl + T – Annotate
  • Ctrl + A – Select All
  • F1 – Help
  • F2 – Inserts default value in Batch
  • F3 – Insert today’s date into a date field
  • F5 – Timestamp on a notepad / Refreshes batches and grids
  • F7 – Lookup Records, Access calendar for date field, Access calculator, Zooms into specific fields 

5. Be Consistent with your Data

It’s extremely important that your data is consistent and accurate. If records are entered with inconsistent values it will be difficult to make sense of reports, which can hinder your overall fundraising campaigns.

The Raiser’s Edge database is smart; however, it can only work with the values entered into its system. By keeping records clean and consistent, you’ll be able to maximize your fundraising performance.

*Set up data entry protocols. This will help your organization keep records consistent and reduce errors. 

6. Play with the Raiser’s Edge Sample Database

The Raiser’s Edge is a powerful fundraising database. While it can seem intimidating at first, the more you play around with the software the better you’ll be at creating custom reports, learning about your donors, and becoming a Raiser’s Edge expert.

*The Raiser’s Edge comes with a sample database that you can use to practice basic RE concepts. Within the sample database, you can safely create and edit records without having to worry about modifying your real data.

Need Help Learning Raiser’s Edge?

Our Raiser’s Edge experts are to help! We offer Raiser’s Edge training and consulting to help nonprofit organizations understand and optimize their fundraising database. Learn more about our Raiser’s Edge training and consulting services, or ask us about our other nonprofit software solutions by contacting us today.

Raiser’s Edge Fundraising Software FAQs

Do I need nonprofit fundraising software?

Your current marketing efforts may be working just fine, but there is always room to improve and optimize! If you run a midsized or large nonprofit, it’s time to consider investing in fundraising software to maximize your potential. Contact us to speak with one of our nonprofit consultants. We’ll conduct a fundraising assessment to see which type of fundraising software might best suit your organization.

How can Raiser’s Edge help my nonprofit?

Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge manages data – all in one platform. From nonprofit marketing efforts to fundraising and client relationship management, Raiser’s Edge fundraising software and CRM helps nonprofits get organized – and stay that way.

What types of nonprofits use Raiser’s Edge?

Education nonprofits, healthcare nonprofits, and community nonprofits commonly use Raiser’s Edge to help organize client relationships, marketing efforts, donations, and more. If you run a nonprofit, you need a quality CRM in place to help keep track of your donors and prospects. We provide consulting and training services to nonprofits that currently use or are interested in nonprofit fundraising or accounting software.

How do I categorize donors?

You can categorize donors in the Raiser’s Edge fundraising software and CRM in order to keep track of each interaction with your customers, or donors. Donors can be classified depending on your preferred classification or taxonomy system such as gift size and donation frequency. You can create and edit custom segmentation tags within the software.

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