Assembling the Right Team
Colgate University is a leading residential liberal arts college with a mission to provide an
educational experience to develop wise, thoughtful, critical thinkers and perceptive leaders.
Having experienced many limitations after outgrowing its antiquated legacy CRM system, Colgate made the switch and implemented Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT® to effectively reach and engage donors and operate more efficiently. While implementing new technology can seem daunting, the team at Colgate followed these three best practices to achieve a successful implementation.
IT and advancement leveraged their close relationship to successfully purchase and implement Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT. They also established an implementation committee that represented impacted departments across campus. The project plan was agreed upon, and committee members listed their required solution functionality as well as
how it would need to scale to meet growing needs.
“We wanted a solution that would fit all our needs across campus—from communications to advancement to development—and were diligent in our process to secure users’ buy-in before making our decision,” said Bridget Gaudreau, senior systems analyst and programmer. “After evaluating Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT, it was clear this is a cutting-edge solution that would provide our end-users much more than they had before.”
Taking a Collaborative Approach
Like most institutions, Colgate has unique complex data needs, so the team took a collaborative approach and brought in IT leaders to help consultants map data to the new system for a smooth implementation. The team made the implementation a priority, had the right people involved to ensure data was mapped accurately, and proactively helped end-users visualize how the database offers deeper insights and will help them achieve their goals.
In addition to sharing data across campus, the team addressed anything that campus partners accessed in the old system before taking it away. People were informed that they would be using a new solution and were given the chance to provide feedback on what information or access they need. This helped generate goodwill and trust across campus and departments.
“Being strong advocates for our data and taking a partnership approach helped lead to a very successful implementation,” said Gaudreau. “By preventing future issues, we established goodwill and exposed areas where we had opportunities to leverage data sharing even more.”