The Raiser's Edge, Fundraising, & Development Sessions

Creating Effective Policies and Procedures for The Raiser’s Edge

Bill Connors, CFRE, Database Administrator and Independent Consultant, Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation

Does creating policy and procedure documentation for The Raiser's Edge seem like having to write War and Peace? Who has time for that? In this session, we'll discuss how to create documentation for your organization's use of The Raiser's Edge that is realistic to achieve and useful for you, other users, and those that follow you. We'll cover what should be documented, including providing you an outline; how to organize and store it; and how it should be written, including both content and format, discussing a number of Microsoft® Word tips and tricks. Examples of data entry and data output documentation will be provided.

Reporting Tips and Tricks

Rachel Kirby, Assistant Director of Data Services, Marquette University

Have you ever wondered how to compare one field to itself in a query? How to combine multiple excel lists together to remove the duplicates? Why your lists are incorrect when you query off of gift summary information? How to combine addressees or salutations for subsets of your lists, but leave others singular? This session will show you how to answer the above questions and more. Raiser’s Edge Query and Export experience, as well as knowledge of Crystal Reports® and Microsoft® Excel is useful for this session.

Organization Relationship Records in The Raiser’s Edge

Rachel Kirby, Assistant Director of Data Services, Marquette University

How do you maximize the information on your Organization Relationship records in The Raiser’s Edge? This session will demonstrate how to clean up your Organization Relationship records by examining the Industry field and Profession field, how to identify and clean up your Contact relationships, and how to link employees to preexisting employer Organization records. Examples from the Marquette University Raiser’s Edge database will be provided.

Using Dashboards to Personalize The Raiser’s Edge

Teresa Griffith Pavelich, Manager of Advancement Information Training, Marquette University

Have you dabbled in Dashboards, but aren’t fully using them? Maybe you’re using Dashboards, but want to do more. Learn how one organization has used Dashboards to create a truly personal experience in The Raiser’s Edge. See examples of the practical use of Dashboards, and how you can create a Dashboard Library for users to select from to make the best of their experience in The Raiser’s Edge. This session will also allow time for sharing ideas about how you could be using Dashboards at your organization.

All Fundraising Is Still Personal: How Personal Relationships Still Matter in this Age of New Media

Nancy Bocskor, Nancy Bocskor Company

Whether its recruiting volunteers or raising money, your ability to make personal connections with potential supporters is the key to success. In this entertaining and informative workshop, you'll learn how to achieve "passion-driven leadership" in your community — and move potential donors from concern to passion to cash in your fundraising efforts. You'll discover why personal relationships are critical for community change and how to find the balance between high tech AND high touch. Nancy will also sign copies of her new fundraising book, Go Fish: How to Catch (and Keep) Contributors, a must-read for anyone who wants to become a better fundraiser.

Securing Major Gifts in a Competitive Climate

Timothy Winkler, Managing Partner/Principal, Winkler Consulting Group

Organizations are competing for donor dollars more than ever before. Learn how to best sharpen your major gift approach to cut through the clutter, cultivate your donor base, stand out from your peers, and secure major gifts in this competitive environment.

Beyond Band-Aids®: Top 10 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Database

Amy Toyama, Development Services Supervisor, Aquarium of the Pacific

This session will focus on using existing Raiser’s Edge tools to promote and maintain healthy data. We’ll discuss how to use Table Cleanup, Administration Tools (Global Changes and Deletions, Duplicate Constituents, and Merge Constituents), and simple queries to locate discrepancies. We’ll touch on exporting and importing as an option for larger clean-up projects and cover how to review and clean-up Attributes and Constituent Codes that are no longer useful or accurate.

Is Now the Right Time for a Campaign?

Keith Curtis, The Curtis Group

If you’re thinking of launching a campaign or have one on hold until the economy improves, this is the session to attend. We’ll cover the vital components of campaign planning and readiness, as well as key benchmarks of a successful campaign, as tested by a feasibility study. Participants will leave with a greater understanding of giving trends during economic downturns and recessions, how to continue to successfully fundraise in the current economy, how to know if your organization is ready for a campaign and how to prepare for it, and the importance of relationships to any development program.

How to Build a Thriving Auction with Dependable Income, Year after Year

Jay Fiske, CEO, MaestroSoft, Inc.

Most people have a general feel for how to put together a fun gala and auction. What keeps the money flowing (and growing) year after year has more to do with how well the business side of the process is being handled, rather than the “party” side. If your team is great at throwing a fabulous party, but the income that gets to the bank is not as reliable or not nearly as much as you would like, then you need to attend this session! In fact, using proven strategies and tools, it is possible to make even more money than you could imagine. This session will show what you MUST do to make more money, and what you MUST avoid doing as well.

Facing the Dragon: Understanding and Planning Your Philanthropic Action Plan — Part 1

Martin Novom, CFRE

There never seems to be enough time or resources to raise the money, build the relationships, and work with volunteers. How do the successful fund development professionals manage it? The key is to create and follow a philanthropic action plan. Join Martin Novom, CFRE, managing consultant with Skystone Ryan, as he leads attendees through an overview of planning for and attaining your goals. This session lays the groundwork for part two of this session.

Taming the Beast: Developing and Refining Your Philanthropic Action Plan — Part 2

Martin Novom, Skystone Ryan, CFRE

Armed with the understanding of the components of a philanthropic action plan, this session will be seminar style, where you can develop and refine a philanthropic action plan for your organization. Join Martin Novom, CFRE, for the second half of this two-part workshop and develop the actual elements of a plan to take back to your organization.

Major Gift Management Using The Raiser's Edge

Bob Duckworth, Vice President/Executive Director, St. Joseph/Candler Foundations 
Shawn Poland, Executive Director, Cambrian Foundation

Moves Management® was founded in the 1970s in higher education at Cornell University by Buck Smith and David Dunlap. After copywriting their process, they sold their process to Charitable Institute for Giving. In this session, presenters Shawn Poland and Bob Duckworth will examine the book The Artful Journey by William Sturtevant, principal of Charitable Institute for Giving. Join Shawn and Bob as they explain how major gift officers can predictably secure major gifts and track the process in The Raiser's Edge.

The Raisers Edge and the Development Cycle — A Practical Guide to Using The Raiser’s Edge for Effective Major Gift Fundraising

Joy Simpson, CFRE, Development Consultant

So many prospects, so little time. When raising major gifts, time management and prioritizing your donor list for maximum results are critical. In this session, we will walk through the development cycle (prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and donor renewal), utilizing The Raisers Edge for each stage. These tips on populating specific data fields in The Raiser’s Edge will enable you to quickly sort through your donor lists to identify your top prospects.

Introduction to Mail Merging

Marc Van Baar, Enterprise Educational Consulting Manager, Blackbaud, Inc.

Tired of manipulating multiple acknowledgement letters by hand? Learn to harness the power of both The Raiser’s Edge® and Microsoft® Word to largely automate the process of creating donor acknowledgement letters, honor/memorial acknowledgement letters, membership renewals, action follow-up letters, and more. You’ll get tips on how to set up your fields to get the most out or your data, extract data from The Raiser’s Edge, and set up Microsoft® Word documents to save time and reduce errors.

Beyond the Basics: Advanced Importing in The Raiser’s Edge

Tiffany Elser, Senior Solutions Engineer, Blackbaud, Inc.

Ready to move beyond basic imports? This session will dive into the importing process on a more advanced level. We will import addresses with multiple phone numbers and take a look at how to use Import for data cleanup. Valuable tips will be given for preparing and creating import files outside The Raiser’s Edge. Last but definitely not least, Tiffany will cover time-saving steps and importing landmines to avoid so you can start importing with confidence at your organization!

Advanced Querying in The Raiser’s Edge: Taking It to the Next Level

Tiffany Elser, Senior Solutions Engineer, Blackbaud, Inc.

Do you have a basic understanding of Query and are you ready to kick it up a notch? In this session, we will explore more advanced and creative uses of queries in The Raiser’s Edge. After attending this session, you will be well on your way to becoming the “Query King” or “Queen” at the office. You will see the power of unusual operators, the usefulness of output queries and merging queries, and segmentation tips. You don’t want to miss this high energy session!

Implementing a Performance Management Strategy Using Scorecards

Alan Eager, Principal Consultant, Blackbaud, Inc.
Christine Williams, Senior Director, Fundraising Operations, Conservation International
Juliet Agyare, Fundraising and Analysis Manager, Conservation International

This session will discuss in detail how Conservation International used and deployed a performance management strategy to more closely align its strategic vision, mission, and goals to its organizational and departmental performance. During this process, Conservation International deployed scorecards for each department/function and for the organization as a whole. These scorecards focused on key performance indicators (KPIs) that mattered and could summarize health and performance in one page. This strategy moves away from the traditional reporting routine of using weekly/monthly reports within a solution that provides a convenient starting point for each functional manager with the ability to drill down into further detail where necessary. This session will cover introductory concepts of how you can implement such a performance management strategy into your organization. We’ll also cover examples of how other organizations have completed similar approaches as Conservation International and built their specific scorecards and dashboards.

Take the "CRY" out of Crystal Reporting!

Molly Maple, Senior Solutions Engineer, Blackbaud, Inc.

The Raiser's Edge is full of powerful standard reports, but sometimes you need something special. Come to this session to discover the flexibility of the Crystal Reports® package and learn valuable skills to take your analysis beyond what you thought was possible.

More than Just a Memorial: Tributes and Naming Opportunities Using The Raiser’s Edge

Jim Wilson, Database Administrator, Development Services, Ave Maria University

Do you receive memorial gifts and acknowledge them manually? Ever wonder if you could do more with The Raiser’s Edge? Do you offer named gifts to your donors? From engraving an inscription on a paving brick to putting a donor's name on the side of building, naming opportunities are increasing sources of revenue for many organizations. This session will cover both tribute gifts and naming opportunities utilizing The Raiser’s Edge. Leveraging one of the most popular modules RE:Tribute can help your staff efficiently and effectively manage your honor/memorial giving program. In the tribute section of the session you will learn how best to utilize RE:Tribute. For naming opportunities, the challenge many face is not only how to store the data, but also how to leverage it. This section will cover all aspects of naming opportunity programs including data structure and data entry procedures, gift acknowledgement, and stewardship.

Getting the Institutional-Changing, Mind-Boggling, Fireworks-Causing “Mega-Gift”!

Jim Hackney, Managing Partner, Alexander Haas                                                                                                   

This session will cover the answers to these important questions:         

  • Who gives a “mega gift” and why?
  • How can my organization position itself to receive a mega gift?
  • How can my organization cultivate donors for institutional-changing gifts?
  • What role does the development staff play in attempting to get a gift like this?
  • How can we set realistic goals for the institution so that there is understanding of what it takes to get one?

Improving Net Income in Your Direct Response Fundraising Program

Ami Fish, Director, Data Management Services, Blackbaud, Inc.
Bryan Terpstra, VP, Fundraising, LW Robbins Associates
Chris Law, Principal, NNE Marketing

Get 30 ideas in 60 minutes! Find out the best, most practical strategies and tactics for increasing net income in your fundraising program. In this lively session, direct response fundraising experts Ami, Chris, and Bryan will share proven techniques that you can use right away:

  • Data management and hygiene tips
  • Acquisition strategies, tools and models to optimize marginal performing lists, trim acquisition volumes strategically, tap into new list universes, and target donors with the best long term value
  • Merge-purge tactics that will boost response and cut costs
  • Interestingly, 7 – 15 percent of your program’s revenue should come from acknowledgements; is yours performing at this level? Find out the fast and sure ways to boost income when you thank your donors.
  • Monthly sustainer strategies — how to get the most out of your most loyal supporters and recruit more of them
  • Mid-level and major donor mail strategies — learn the techniques that are working well in this soft economy— high touch treatments, giving level adjustments, and other special tactics
  • Smart cost-cutting strategies in creative techniques and package formats, data processing, printing, and mailing services…Find out how even small nonprofits can realize significant savings from consolidation and comingling services.

Preparing The Raiser’s Edge for the Internet Age

Molly Maple, Senior Solutions Engineer, Blackbaud, Inc.

As the Internet becomes more and more important in your strategic and stewardship initiatives, constituent and board expectations for your technology are growing. Is your database ready and able to manage the load? In this session, you will learn how to audit your data and prepare The Raiser's Edge to help you and what you should expect from "integrated" website systems.

Fundraising Effectiveness Programs: The Best Kept Secret in The Raiser’s Edge

Jim Bush, Executive Director, Charleston Animal Society
George Durney, Blackbaud, Inc.

In this session, you will learn how to run an annual health check on your fundraising efforts.                                       


Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB) is the world’s leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, foundations, corporations, education institutions, healthcare institutions and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through software, services, expertise, and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility, school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing, and analytics. Serving the industry for more than three decades, Blackbaud is headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina and has operations in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit

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