You feel like a goddess when you master a task in Raiser's Edge. I have worked with Raiser's Edge for six years and feel so proud whenever a query, export, or report is run correctly. Mastering Raiser's Edge is like mastering a difficult equation or learning a new language. Once you unlock the peculiarities and mysteries of Raiser's Edge there are few limits to what you can do with your data. I like Raiser's Edge because I know it, and I wrestled with it and came out victorious, but it is certainly not my favorite database system.
The gray, clunky user interface. It is 2018 and I cannot figure out why Raiser's Edge has not had a meaningful update to its UI. It is difficult to navigate. The tech revolution of the past decade has swept right past Blackbaud, leaving stuck in the early days of the web. Adding photos or newspaper articles or links to stories should be so much simpler than it is, and are not easy to access.
The program is not intuitive. The program is difficult, and costly, to customize and maintain. Few people in an organization are properly trained on Raiser's Edge and the database, and quality of data, suffers. It is robust, but most of the organizations that use it only take advantage of a fraction of its potential. It is great for tracking fundraising but is lacking on the donor management side of development. Actions are often underutilized and puzzling to figure out.
Raiser's Edge will dazzle you if you properly train staff who will be using it and put the time and energy into set up. Like all fundraising relationships, this is not a relationship that can be rushed.
Raiser's Edge is a wonderful tool for tracking fundraising at large and small organizations. Once you invest time in setting up properly you will be able to track contributions across multiple years and campaigns, but it tasks a lot of work in the beginning to get it up and running properly.