Raiser’s Edge vs Salesforce: Which is best?

The right donor management platform can completely transform a nonprofit’s fundraising results. 

A good customer relationship management (CRM) system can help nonprofits communicate more effectively with their donors, increase conversion rates, and encourage regular donations, writes Stewart Balanchine, director of business development at Cetrix Cloud Services.

Few tools are as well-known or well-used as Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT or Salesforce’s Nonprofit Cloud. Both tools are industry leaders and come with a raft of features specifically designed for nonprofit organizations.

But which is the better tool? We put Raiser’s Edge vs Salesforce head to head in this article to help you decide.

Raiser’s Edge NXT overview

Raiser’s Edge NXT is a comprehensive cloud-based donation management platform designed to help nonprofits find new supporters, retain the ones they have, communicate with donors effectively, and increase donation levels.

Blackbaud, one of the leading nonprofit software companies in the world, is the company behind Raiser’s Edge NXT. This is a relevant point all on its own, writes Jay Love, cofounder and chief relationship officer at cloud-based donor management application Bloomerang. “If the people designing and building the product understand the key problems in that industry, then they’ll focus on solving those real-world problems.”

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud overview

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud sits on top of the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) platform, meaning nonprofits will have the full power of one of the world’s most popular CRM systems behind them. But because it’s designed specifically for the nonprofit sector, it also comes packed with the features that charities need to succeed.

Raiser’s Edge vs Salesforce: The key features

There’s not much difference between the two tools in terms of the number of features they offer. Raiser’s Edge NXT is incredibly robust, with features that include data enrichment services, communication tools, payment processing, and reporting.

Unfortunately, users report a fairly steep learning curve for the platform — particularly when trying to get to grips with the database administration side of it.

With Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud, you can customize the software to meet your data and reporting needs — so much so that there’s not much you can’t do with the platform. This makes it a great solution for large nonprofits that need a scalable tool to manage donors.

The sheer number of possible features in Salesforce also means it can take time for nonprofits to get up and running with it. It’s not ideal for nonprofits that want a tool they can use out of the box, but there’s a strong developer community surrounding it. That means it shouldn’t be hard for nonprofits to find developers who are able to tweak the platform to their specific needs.


Neither platform is cheap, and only large nonprofits will realistically be able to afford these tools.

Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud starts from $60 per month per user, and requires an annual contract. Pricing for Raiser’s Edge NXT is only available when you request a quote, but SourceForge reports that pricing starts at $4,000 per year.

User opinion

Both tools have favorable user ratings.

Few can fault the sheer number of fundraising tools Raiser’s Edge NXT offers. The interface is easy to use when you know what you’re doing, and data is displayed in a way that anyone can understand. However, the lack of customer support reported by some users, particularly given the tool’s price point, is a concern.

Users give high ratings to Salesforce for being able to customize the tool to individual nonprofit needs, and they like the number of integrations that Salesforce offers. Functionally, though, the tool doesn’t always live up to its billing. Some reviewers say you really need to be a Salesforce expert to quickly achieve your goals without guidance.

The Jotform alternative to Raiser’s Edge vs Salesforce

When it comes to Raiser’s Edge vs Salesforce, the reality is that neither may be optimal for your needs. Instead, you may find that a more cost-effective and easier-to-use tool like Jotform has everything you require.

With Jotform, you won’t be paying for a bloated set of features that you’ll never use. Instead, our donation forms give you everything you need to collect information and funds directly from your donor base. Plus, you can build a custom Donation App, with no coding or additional fees. Whether you’re collecting donations for your nonprofit or tips for your business, the Donation Box element gives you the flexibility to collect funds in the app, set donation goals, and monitor your progress. Choose from 30-plus popular payment processors — including Square, Stripe, and PayPal — to get started.

Notable featuresTypical customer typeNumber of integrationsPlatforms supportedCustomer supportOverall Capterra rating (out of 5)
JotformOnline forms, forms management, document storage, customizable reports, secure database, reporting analytics, payment gateways, surveys, workflow managementFreelancers, small businesses, mid-size businesses, large enterprises100+Web-based, iPhone app, Android appPhone, online, knowledge base, video tutorials, webinars, 24-7 live chat4.7
Raiser’s EdgeAttendance management, auction management, campaign segmentation, dues management, event management, registration managementFreelancers, small businesses, mid-size businesses, large enterprises30+Web-based, iPhone app, Android appPhone, online, knowledge base, video tutorials4.1
Salesforce Nonprofit CloudAccounting integration, activity dashboard, applicant tracking, application management, due date tracking, group management, role-based permissionsSmall businesses, mid-size businesses, large enterprises200+Web-basedPhone, online, knowledge base, video tutorials4.7
Source: GetApp

With Jotform’s fundraising, reporting, and donor data management capabilities, you can create advanced donation apps in no time and share them via link, QR code, or social media platforms. Keep track of donations in your Jotform Inbox and automatically store data in a customizable, centralized database with Jotform Tables.

Because it’s so user-friendly and intuitive, your staff doesn’t need hours of training to get started with the software, either. There are even ready-to-use templates to get you up and running faster.

Try Jotform today and get a 50 percent lifetime discount for your nonprofit.

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