Leaving Luminate Online: 4 Tips to Get Started

If you’ve decided it’s time to leave Luminate Online, you’ve probably weighed several factors.

You might have heard that that Blackbaud will be ending support for and shutting down Luminate CRM in June 2022. You might be concerned that Blackbaud is not investing in Luminate Online product development, signally that the company might eventually sunset the product. You might find that Luminate Online no longer offers the modern functionality your organization needs.

These are all valid concerns.

But what are your options? How will you go about replacing Luminate Online for your organization?

Here are four tips to consider as you prepare to move away from Luminate Online:

1.  Forget about what “tool” will replace Luminate Online.

Luminate Online is a collection of modules, including tools for building and managing web pages, online donation forms/surveys, email marketing, peer-to-peer fundraising events, and advocacy. At one time, this approach made sense for many nonprofits. But today, it’s an outdated way of thinking about the systems you use to support your digital strategy.

Today’s best-in-class point solutions deliver better, more modern functionality in each area of digital marketing than all-in-one solutions like Luminate Online. They also work well together.

So, the question to ask isn’t about what one tool you should choose to replace Luminate Online. Instead, start by identifying your biggest pain points with Luminate Online. Ask yourself what your organization needs to accomplish that is cumbersome (or even impossible) with Luminate Online.

2. Determine the highest areas for return on investment (ROI).

Prioritize the Luminate Online pain points you’ve identified. Then, plan to start with the first one or two to demonstrate ROI.

For example, email marketing is often a key aspect of a nonprofit’s daily and weekly activity. Dealing with challenges in your email marketing tool can be a big obstacle to staff productivity.

Moving to a modern email marketing tool with greater functionality can help you demonstrate a quick and clear ROI seen in time savings and email marketing effectiveness. This demonstration of ROI can make it easier for your organization to get on board with making the move to other point tools as you move away from Luminate Online.

3. Identify what tools will meet your needs.

Today’s technology market offers a wealth of options for each of your organization’s needs. Here are examples of just a few of the commonly used, yet effective, tools that can give you the functionality you need for each area of your digital strategy (Note that some tools are highly specialized by category, while others have combinations of functionality. The key is to find the solution with the functionality that best meets your organization’s specific needs.):

    • Marketing automation – HubSpot, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Pardot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud
    • Donation forms – Classy, Donor Drive, Engaging Networks, Fundraise Up, OneCause, Springboard
    • Peer-to-peer fundraising – Classy, DonorDrive, Neon Fundraise, OneCause
    • Advocacy – Springboard

4. Consider your CRM.

Your choice of digital tools impacts more than just one area of your organization. The fourth edition of the Nonprofit Trends Report by Salesforce.org suggests that digital channels are the linchpin to future marketing and fundraising success for nonprofits, stating, “It is hard to separate marketing from fundraising in the modern nonprofit world. In both cases, technology appears to be the cornerstone for success.”

As you choose digital tools, think about where your nonprofit’s technology ecosystem is headed. For example, are you using Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge? Do you plan to eventually move from Raiser’s Edge to Microsoft? Or how about from Raiser’s Edge to Salesforce?

HELPFUL RESOURCE: Thinking about moving off of Raiser’s Edge? Read the guide, Leaving Raiser’s Edge: How Nonprofits Make the Change

Be sure to select best-in-class digital tools that align with the vision and direction of your entire technology ecosystem. This will help to ensure your entire technology stack works well together to help ensure your nonprofit’s success for years to come.

Take the next step

If Luminate Online no longer meets your needs, the Heller Consulting team can help. We can work with you to evaluate your use of Luminate Online, choose the right solutions to meet your needs, and implement those solutions in a way that serves your organization now and keeps you going strong for years to come.

Contact us today to get started

Photo by: Christina @wocintechchat.com

About the Author

Jett Winders
As the Director of Business Development, Jett works collaboratively with nonprofits to map their business needs to CRM tools and functionality so that organizations can deliver their missions more effectively and raise money more efficiently.  With more than 15 years... Read More
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