- We have migrated to the Raiser’s Edge CRM and although we still have a number of configuration tasks that have to be made, we are in production with it.
- We have migrated and published the new NPCA site. Some advanced features are still in development but it’s up and running well.
- We will be moving forward with publishing affiliate sites ASAP. How long it will take depends on things like whether you signed up for Merchant Services or whether you are using a custom website/domain name (and have the login credentials to update where your website name points to).
- We have spoken in great detail to Blackbaud’s Merchant Services regarding the requirements for affiliate groups to create their own account. As stated before, the contact/personal information of the affiliates president is indeed required, however, this is only for verifying the account and they are not financially responsible in any way. In fact, Blackbaud suggests updating the information whenever a new president comes into office.
- We have learned of one final requirement, which is a signed MOU (contract) between NPCA (with Dan’s signature) and each affiliate (with president’s signature). The reason for this form is just so NPCA can verify (vouch) in writing that each affiliate group exists and is legit. We are working on the MOU and will be sending out more information in the coming days.
- If there are any affiliate groups who want to speed up the migration time… if you have your own payment provider (PayPal, Stripe, etc.) and want to switch to Merchant Services at any time in the future, you are welcome to do so. Just let me know.
12/9/23 – Affiliate Website Support Information!
– FatLab has asked me to provide everyone with the link to their NPCA Affiliate Website Support page.
– Please keep in mind that this is a growing resource and they will be adding more information as we progress forward.
– IMPORTANT!! Ignore step 2 of the “Taking Your Website Live” section. Do not make any changes to the A Records of your website’s domain settings until we request it!
– I highly recommend that everyone who is migrating to WordPress, bookmark this page:
Table of Contents
12/8/23 – Additional Merchant Services Information
Below is the final list of items needed to set up a Blackbaud Merchant Services account for affiliate groups. Unfortunately there is no way for groups to sign up themselves because it has to be done through the NPCA admin environment in order to associate the accounts with NPCA. Therefore, the only option is for groups to provide this information directly to NPCA so we can create the account in our environment.
If the ‘principal employee’ of each group is comfortable sending me the information below (using any method you are comfortable with. I recommend either creating a Google doc that contains all the information requested below and then share the doc with only me ([email protected]) or create a password protected PDF and send the password in a seperate email. Once I receive all information, I will turn around and create the Merchant Account account ASAP. Otherwise, we are trying to determine the safest alternative for groups to provide this information to us.
In order to save time and reduce errors, please provide all information in text format so I can copy and paste
- Your organization’s Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Bank account information where funds will be disbursed
- Bank name
- Account holder
- Account number
- Routing Number
- Estimated monthly processing amount (for planning purposes only)
- Estimated average transaction amount (for planning purposes only)
- Principal employee information:
- First name
- Last name
- Org. Title
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Social Security number
- Affiliate mailing address (no PO Box addresses)
- Website URL
- An electronic version of one of the following:
- A scanned image of a voided check, pre-printed with your organization’s legal name and address
- A bank statement from the account, including all pages
- A bank letter, including your organization’s legal name and address
- A scanned image of a voided check, pre-printed with your organization’s legal name and address
- Statement options
- Name to appear on statement (22 characters, including spaces)
- Main phone number to display on statements (extensions not supported)
- Email address (the general affiliate email address)
Migration Resource Links
12/7/23 – Two Updates
1. WordPress Website Previews
I had previously mentioned that groups will be able to preview their websites before we migrate. FatLab (the company migrating the websites) will be notifying me over the next couple of days as each site becomes available for preview and then I will forward the address for the new website to the respective group.
We have one request: When viewing your new website, please keep in mind that there may still be minor adjustments or cosmetic changes that need to be made.
In most cases, these updates will be implemented before we go live. However, depending on the workload we have leading up to the migration, in some cases these minor updates might not be made until shortly after the migration. These minor updates that I am referring to might be a color, font size, or specific wording, for example.
Thank you for your understanding. We are trying to avoid using valuable time right now by answering numerous emails about issues that are not production related.
2. Donations & Payment Processing
*The following does not apply to affiliate groups who do not receive payments/donations through NPCA
– To be able to accept donations/payments directly (instead of being routed through NPCA), affiliate groups have to create a free Blackbaud Merchant Services account. Once an account is created, groups can add their bank account and begin accepting payments.
– To clarify, Merchant Services is Blackbaud’s version of PayPal or Stripe. While the service is free, it does require each group to designate a ‘principal employee’ who will have to set up the account.
-The principal employee will have to provide their DOB and social security number (the same as setting up a PayPal or Stripe account) in order to have the account set up. We have NO control over this. It’s required by law and will only to be used for the initial setup of the account.
– We realize that providing a DOB and social security number may be very concerning for some so here is the link that Blackbaud provided that explains Why is a Social Security Number (SSN) required to set up a BBMS account? (blackbaud.com)
*This is really the final (and biggest) task that we will need affiliates to complete prior to the migration. I will follow up with the link to create your Merchant Services account tomorrow but I wanted to get this information out ASAP so groups can start discussing/gathering whatever you need.
Stay calm, stay strong, we’ll get there together…
12/6/23 – Blackbaud University
Updated Training Information!
We recently sent out information about the four Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Fundamentals courses that all CRM users are required to complete before logging into the production environment. However, we were unaware that these instructor-led classes are not being offered until January. You can access the same four foundation courses but in the eLearning (self-guided) format.
In order to gain access to the new CRM, all users are required to complete this fundamentals course: Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Fundamentals (eLearning)
Finally, here is the entire NXT training catalog. This shows all the paths (topics) available for Raiser’s Edge NXT: Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT and Raiser’s Edge Catalog
*If you have trouble opening the links, try logging into the Blackbaud University website first and then try opening the link again.
12/3/23 – Email sent to many groups today with the following…
1. Important steps regarding your new Blackbaud account:
– You will be receiving an email from Blackbaud today with an invitation for your new Blackbaud training account.
– This account will be used to access the Raiser’s Edge NXT training through Blackbaud University.
– As a reminder, this temporary account should be shared with any member of your group that will be requesting access to Raiser’s Edge.
– After you receive the email, accept the invitation, and finish setting up the account, the account will then have access to Blackbaud University and you can then proceed with the next step…
You can find the instructions for accessing the training environment and the four initial required courses: How to Access Blackbaud University
12/1/23 – Two Updates Provided Below
UPDATE 1 – ACTION REQUIRED: Affiliate Group Custom Website Domain Names
Almost all affiliate groups use a custom domain name for their website. What this means is that your website is not using the default SilkStart address that contains peacecorpsconnect in the name but rather a personal, customized address.
For example, instead of the address RPCV.peacecorpsconnect.org, the address would look like RPCV.org. Right now, your domain name (website name) is pointing web traffic to your SilkStart site. Once we migrate all the websites during the December 9/10 weekend, all domain names will have to be “redirected’ to the new WordPress website.
There are two very important things that groups need to know:
- NPCA does nothave access to update affiliate group domain names. This is something that each affiliate group purchased at some point so groups will have to make the extremely simple updates themselves. The only challenge that many groups may face brings us to the second point…
- What we are asking ahead of time is for groups to ensure they have the login credentials needed to update the IP address for your domain name. Some examples of popular websites that groups may have purchased a name from are GoDaddy, Domain.com, NameCheap, etc.
*We will send out extremely simple, detailed instructions on what and how to update but groups have to be able to log into the environment first. Again, this is more of a heads-up right now to allow groups to inquire within. More to come…
UPDATE 2 – ACTION RECOMMENDED: Downloading Affiliate Group Member Data
Many affiliate groups have asked how they can download their SilkStart member data for archiving purposes or just as a precaution. We are recommending that groups run two reports in SilkStart in order to download/archive their membership data before the weekend of December 9/10. While this is not required, it is highly recommended. In most cases, the two files that you download will not be very large and can be kept on a computer, in Google Drive or any other cloud storage, on an external or USB drive, etc…
You can find the instructions on how to run the reports to download member data in SilkStart here:
RESPONSE REQUIRED… BY FRIDAY!
If your affiliate group has not yet provided an email address for us to use in creating a temporary Blackbaud account, please email us ASAP with the email address and full name of your affiliate group. If we do not receive an email address by this Friday 12/1, groups run the risk of not having a BlackBaud University training account created in time for the migration on 12/9 (tentative).
Here is the original request:
We are asking all groups to provide a single email address for us to use in creating a temporary Blackbaud account. Once created, the account will be shared with your group to allow for early access to Blackbaud University training. This is temporary and once we migrate, each Raiser’s Edge user will have their own ID to log into the CRM.
TENTATIVE CRM & WEBSITE MIGRATION DATES: 12/9 & 12/10
CRM Migration Update
- We’re happy to announce that Blackbaud has just delivered our data in an environment where NPCA can test functionality and give the final approval for the final migration.
- We are asking all groups to provide a single email address for us to use in creating a temporary Blackbaud account. Once created, the account will be shared with your group to allow for early access to Blackbaud University training. This is temporary and once we migrate, each Raiser’s Edge user will have their own ID to log into the CRM.
Website Migration Update
The website freezes will start at the end of business on Friday, Nov. 17
- This Friday is the last day that groups can make changes to the content on their websites before all changes are “frozen”. Freezing a website does not mean the site will become unavailable or that you won’t capture donations, you just can’t make any unnecessary changes to the public facing content on the website.Only critical content changes are permitted and changes have to be reported to [email protected] or the changes won’t be copied over to the new site.
- FatLab is hard at work migrating the website data for all affiliates to the new WordPress environment. We will notify you once your website is ready to view and test before the migration. We do not have an exact date it will be ready to view; it will most likely be during the week before the migration.
ACTION NEEDED – Blackbaud Training Account
- We are asking each affiliate to send us an email at [email protected] and let us know your group name and provide us with a one (1) email address which will be used to create a shared, temporary Blackbaud University account within your group in order to access the Blackbaud University training. This is temporary, only until all individual accounts can be created.
We will be posting any follow-up details immediately!
Up until now…
- As previously mentioned, we requested a copy of our data from SilkStart and after several months of waiting, I’m pleased to report that we finally received the data. We immediately sent it to Blackbaud to analyze.
- We provided the pricing and a signup sheet for the new CRM and/or Website. Thank you to everyone who responded!
- We provided FatLab, the company who is migrating the websites and will be providing support, with the list of affiliates who are migrating to WordPress.Right now…
- We are working with Blackbaud support on “mapping our data” in preparation for the migration. Data mapping is the process of matching data fields or elements from a source, such as SilkStart, to their related data fields in another destination, such as Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge. This process also involves defining the many fields in Raiser’s Edge (a robust fundraising system) that do not exist in SilkStart (a less comprehensive membership database). It’s how you establish relationships between different data models.
- We are also working with Blackbaud Merchant Services on setting up payment processing for NPCA and affiliate groups. More information to come…
- We are in the process of configuring security and creating user accounts for NPCA and affiliate group members. Once we have the user accounts set up, individuals can begin using the Blackbaud University training website. We are working to have the accounts set up as quickly as possible to give people as much time as possible to view the training. In the near future…
- FatLab is hard at work copying the data from the NPCA website to the new WordPress environment. They are hoping to be able to migrate the NPCA site towards the end of October/beginning of November.
- After the NPCA site is migrated, we will begin migrating affiliate group websites in small batches. We will send out notifications a week or two before we plan on migrating your website so you can plan accordingly for the website freeze (freeze meaning no changes can be made to the site during the time leading up to the migration). More details to come…
- Mapping the data is a time consuming and extremely important process so it’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take to complete this step. However, according to Blackbaud’s timeline (shown below) it’s estimated to take 6-8 weeks from now to complete the conversion. This is only an estimate that is based on the information we have now. Please understand that it may take more or less time than expected and that we will be sending out additional notifications as we establish details of the timeframe.
Is there a demo or any way we can see what Raiser’s Edge looks like or what features it has?
Yes, here is a 30 minute video provided by Blackbaud that introduces Raiser’s Edge NXT and details some of the most useful features:
How much will the new CRM/Website cost us exactly?
The CRM/Website pricing worksheet has been simplified and easy-to-follow instructions have been added to the page. You can find the pricing worksheet here: Improved WordPress & Raiser’s Edge NXT Pricing Worksheet
Update to the Raiser’s Edge packages
NPCA has exciting news to share! In order to offer additional savings to our affiliate groups, NPCA has decided to eliminate the Raiser’s Edge Basic and Enhanced packages that were previously being offered and instead offer all groups just one package, with full access, for the same pricing as the Basic package!
Why did NPCA decide against offering CRM packages?
We received many emails from groups who were trying to decide between the two CRM packages and the most common question we were asked was “What is the difference between the Basic and Enhanced packages?”
This is difficult to explain, especially since we don’t have access to our new environment quite yet so we can’t provide any demonstrations for the groups. But now there is only one package for groups to consider purchasing.
Here is one example that highlights a huge reason why so many groups were willing to pay more money for the Enhanced package (which is now the standard package):
Example: You are asked to run a report that shows only the first and last name, home address, and email address for all donors who gave within the past 30 days.
The standard reporting, which might include basic information like first name, last name, and home address, might not include the email address or it might include data that isn’t required, like phone numbers, because of how the report was pre-configured.
Conversely, the enhanced package gives you access to the report builder which allows you to specify exactly what data you want included or excluded from the report. There is no limit to how the reports can be customized.
I understand that now there is only one package (or level of access) being offered for Raiser’s Edge. Is there anything that is not included in the package that groups would have to pay addition in order to use?
Yes, there is one add-on that is not included in the standard pricing for Raiser’s Edge and it’s called the Fundraiser’s Add-on. Group’s that purchase the Fundraiser’s Add-on will have access to the wealth screening tools that are offered by BlackBaud.
More details to follow…
Can we cancel the Fundraiser’s Add-on whenever we want?
Yes, it’s a month-to-month subscription that can be purchased or canceled at any time.
Will an affiliate group’s income be reviewed only when they sign up or will it be reviewed each year?
Affiliate group income will be reviewed each year to determine the most up-to-date pricing applicable.
When should affiliate groups stop making CRM or website changes in SilkStart?
We anticipate that some time in October, NPCA will start sending out notifications well in advance of when the CRM and website will be “frozen” for a limited time.
More details to follow…
CRM & Website Migration Overview
In early 2022, NPCA began the process of searching for a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution to replace our current CRM, SilkStart. We found that over time SilkStart was not meeting the needs of NPCA and our affiliate groups. NPCA hired a consultant to search for a new system and over the course of nearly a year, we selected Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge NXT, a nonprofit CRM industry leader.
- The NPCA and affiliate websites are currently hosted through SilkStart. The benefit of this was that SilkStart managed most of the back-end (behind-the-scenes) settings for us. The drawback is that because we don’t manage those settings, we don’t have the access to them to use in the new website build. Since we can’t perform a standard “full” website export then our only option is to build a new site using the front-end, public facing website as a reference. We have contracted with FatLab Web Support, who will build a new website template for NPCA and a new website template for all affiliate groups. Once these WordPress templates are built, the company will then copy all existing website content to the new sites.
As part of this whole process, we carefully considered the needs of our many affiliate groups on the platform. Each group is unique and uses SilkStart for various tasks, which presents the challenge of finding a new system that would work for both NPCA and affiliate groups. We are confident that Raiser’s Edge NXT will be a solution that not only serves the needs of NPCA and affiliates, but evolves with us over time.
Affiliate groups have put so much time into making SilkStart work for them over the years, and we recognize and honor your efforts. We know that any kind of change is never easy and transitioning to a new software system will likely generate many questions. That is why NPCA is committed to making this transition as seamless as possible for our affiliate groups. We will be migrating the websites and databases for your group, and we’ll ensure that you have the proper training and skills needed to use the new systems. We think you will find the new solutions very intuitive and there will probably be new tools that you didn’t even know you needed.
NPCA signed the contract with Raiser’s Edge NXT and is currently in the process of meeting with the transition team to understand how our new system will be set up. Below, we have compiled a list of FAQs that will help you better understand the new CRM and website changes. As we learn more specific details from Raiser’s Edge NXT, we will update this page and inform affiliate groups.
We are confident that you will find Raiser’s Edge NXT a great resource that your affiliate group will use for many years to come