What is Bloomerang?
What is Bloomerang®? Who uses it? Why should I consider it for my organization?
You might be asking these questions if Bloomerang is on your organization’s shortlist for new donor management and fundraising software. Bloomerang’s wide range of features make it a great fit for most organizations, but you still want to be sure that it will work for yours.
If you’re a current Bloomerang user, you might be wondering if you’re using Bloomerang to its fullest potential, and if it’s the right system for your needs.
Let’s explore answers to some of your most pressing questions.
What is Bloomerang?
Bloomerang is a cloud based donor management and fundraising software for nonprofits of various sizes. Its core functionality includes a donor database and constituent relationship management (CRM) system, dashboards and custom reporting, engagement meters, email marketing tools, data analytics, and integrated online giving forms. Organizations can also connect Bloomerang to over 2,000+ other app through Zapier-enabled integrations.
Users love Bloomerang donor management software because it is easy to use and is focused on the core features required for a solid fundraising strategy without overcomplicating the software.
Who uses Bloomerang?
Bloomerang appeals to a broad spectrum of nonprofit organizations because it is easy and fast to implement, cloud-based and accessible 24/7, and is packed with the majority of features needed to set up and sustain a development office.
Bloomerang deploys nearly any fundraising strategy including memberships, events, major gifts and stewardship, grants, online, direct mail, email, tribute and memorial, recurring giving, and pledge making.
Here are some examples of the types of organizations that use Bloomerang.
- Arts, culture, and humanities organizations
- Education (all levels) and schools
- Health, human services, and social service organizations
- Religious organizations
- Policy and advocacy organizations
- Food banks and pantries
- Historical locations, monuments, and buildings
Why is Bloomerang great for nonprofits of all sizes?
There are seven core Bloomerang features that make it a great fit for a wide variety of nonprofits.
1. Full CRM functionality
Bloomerang is a CRM at its core. It tracks and manages the relationships you have with donors, volunteers, staff, board members, sponsors, prospects, and any other groups of constituents that are important to your organization.
Bloomerang tracks profile information for every constituent including contact information, demographics, characteristics, and preferences. Bloomerang also tracks interaction histories for every constituent including donations, pledges, pledge payments, soft credits, phone calls, emails, and meetings. Beyond that, Bloomerang tracks relationships between constituents like households and employer/employee relationships, among others.
Everything you need to keep complete records on all of your constituents and donors is in Bloomerang. In addition, the data entry screens are user-friendly, making it easy for new users to dive right in.
2. Filter-based reporting
Reporting is the number one donor management software challenge we hear from nonprofits. Time and time again, users get the most frustrated and fed-up with software when they can’t get data out easily.
Bloomerang uses filter-based reporting that requires no queries or math-based statements. Bloomerang provides a straightforward logic-based filtering using four types of filters.
- Include AND
- Include OR
- Exclude AND
- Exclude OR
In addition to filter-based reporting, Bloomerang’s export to households function is almost too easy. Simply check a box in the report settings titled “Export Households?” and the report will export to households.No more de-duplicating lists for households or manually scrubbing lists after they are exported.
3. Engagement meter and timeline
Every constituent’s engagement with your organization is graded in Bloomerang. The engagement meter on the constituent profile displays a constituent’s engagement with your organization on a scale of “Cold” to “On Fire.”
The engagement meter factors in more than a constituent’s giving. Donations, interactions (even those initiated by the constituent), soft credits, and email engagement are some of the factors that contribute to the meter.
We can use the engagement meter to be more intentional with our fundraising strategy and constituent engagements.
- Focus efforts on those constituents who are most engaged
- Target appeals based on engagement to save on mailing costs
- Mine your database for prospective donors
- Track engagement over time for your entire constituent pool
Like the engagement meter, Bloomerang has innovated the constituent timeline from a stale data record, which you find in most legacy donor management software systems, to a vibrant interactive tool for donor engagement. The timeline is formatted like a social media timeline that is visually appealing and is easy to read and digest. It also is smart and contains donor intelligence tools that contextualize a constituent’s history.
The constituent timeline is a useful tool for major gift prospect research, major gift fundraising, and 1-to-1 constituent engagements and interactions. Two minutes spent in the constituent timeline before a call, meeting, or email can contextualize the relationship your organization has with a constituent so you can continue to progress the relationship forward instead of starting fresh with each new interaction.
Many organizations struggle to track whether every donation made to their organization has been acknowledged. Bloomerang removes the stress and anxiety of acknowledging donors by making sure no acknowledgements slip through the cracks.
With a little upfront setup, Bloomerang software will confirm that every donation has been acknowledged or that the donation doesn’t need to be acknowledged. This will streamline your process for generating daily or weekly acknowledgement letters.
Bloomerang offers a standard field on the donation record that tracks an “Acknowledged” status of Yes, No, or Do Not Acknowledge. By default every donation is flagged with “No.” Streamline your acknowledgement processes by
Configuring an acknowledgement letter with filters that look for all transactions with “No” in the Acknowledged field will ensure you do not miss a donation. Whether the donation was made five months ago, five days ago, or today, the filters will dynamically update on the acknowledgment status, not the date. Because the Bloomerang system runs on this field, and not a date, your process won’t miss backdated transactions.
When you run the acknowledgement letter in Bloomerang, the system will automatically update all of the donations to an Acknowledged? status of “Yes” so they will fall out of your dynamic filter set. Bloomerang will also create an interaction record on the constituent’s timeline with a copy of the letter. This is helpful as you won’t need to rerun the letter if it is misplaced or the donor wants a copy.
You still need to run the letters manually (i.e. push the button to run them), but Bloomerang simplifies the process and removes the worry, stress, and concern that a donor’s donation was missed.
Bloomerang is a very functional, user-friendly, and intuitive donor management and fundraising database. It has a simple layout and easy-to-understand features. However, don’t let its user-focused design and simplicity fool you. Bloomerang has a robust structure on the back-end that allows administrative users to customize the database.
Bloomerang allows you to add an unlimited number of custom fields, giving your organization a blank canvas to track and report on data about constituents and the interactions you have with them.
Bloomerang custom fields expand the data that can be tracked and reported on. With custom fields, you can track information on volunteers, events, major gifts, planned gifts, grants, surveys, memberships, and more. In addition, you can segment constituents with demographics, preferences, and qualities with custom fields on the constituent profile. Custom fields make the Bloomerang database flexible and scalable so it can be a nonprofit donor management software your organization will love for years to come.
6. Development timeline
The software development cycle is something that often gets left off of nonprofit software purchasing decisions, but it shouldn’t. The software development cycle is how quickly a software vendor pushes out new releases, incorporates user feedback, and improves the software. This is especially true for SaaS (software as a service) platforms like Bloomerang.
Bloomerang’s development timeline is continuous. They are constantly pushing out new improvements. Major releases and feature upgrades aren’t as quick as minor patches and updates, but overall, Bloomerang’s pace of innovation is commendable and is an assurance that they are committed to make the software better in the long-term. You can feel confident that Bloomerang donor management software will be better in the future than the day you purchase it.
7. Zapier-enabled automations
Your Bloomerang database is the central donor management and fundraising platform for your organization, but Bloomerang likely isn’t the only app that you use day to day. Instead of spending hours each month manually entering data between two or more systems or running tedious spreadsheet imports, let automation do the work for you.
Bloomerang allows you to connect your database to Zapier, a modern tool for automating workflows between one or more apps. Zapier is connected to 2,000+ other apps, making Bloomerang extensible. The combination of Bloomerang and Zapier offers an all-in-one integration platform for automating your Bloomerang tasks.
Integrations make Bloomerang easier to use and more capable by automating repetitive tasks and saving you time.
Our team of Bloomerang integration experts can help you design and configure solutions to automate repetitive tasks and save you time. Contact us to learn more or download our Bloomerang Automation Playbook for tips and insights to automating your Bloomerang workflows today.
Further reading and other resources
If you are taking a deeper dive into Bloomerang and completing an intentional search for new donor management and fundraising software, check out these additional Bloomerang resources for more information.
- 3 Important Bloomerang Implementation Questions
- How to Manage Custom Data with Custom Fields in Bloomerang
- How to Mass Edit and Mass Update Constituents in Bloomerang
- How to Use Bloomerang for Major Gift Fundraising
What are my best next steps?
If Bloomerang makes your organization’s shortlist of viable software options, you will need more information to determine if it is a good fit for your organization.
Consider these next steps.
- Identify your organization’s needs – What do you need Bloomerang to do for your organization? Are some items higher priority than others? How do you need Bloomerang to interact with your website? Think through your organization’s day-to-day work as well as longer-term goals and identify how they align with Bloomerang’s tools and features. This can be as simple as a bulleted list, but it will help you understand your organization’s requirements for a CRM and how Bloomerang can support those requirements. Be sure to provide the resulting information from this task to your vendor before your demo, so they can address your needs in the demo.
- Schedule a demo – A demo will be valuable if you have a vision of how Bloomerang will support your organizational needs. Take your features list into a demo. Be prepared to ask questions and gather the information you need to complete your Bloomerang software evaluation. Personalized Bloomerang demos usually last between 45-60 minutes, and depending on the outcome of the first demo, you may request an additional session for follow-up questions and topics.
- Solicit peer reviews and references – Your initial research and the Bloomerang demo will provide one perspective on the software. Validate or disprove your initial impressions by soliciting feedback from peer organizations that use Bloomerang. Peer reviews and references are the best way to gather practical, unfiltered information about Bloomerang from primary sources. Current Bloomerang users will understand how to be successful with the system, what pitfalls to avoid (if any), and what they wish they would have known when they were in your shoes evaluating Bloomerang for the first time. Whether the outcome of peer reviews and references are positive or negative, the insight gained will be invaluable.