I love TrailBlazer! It is the best single decision I've made for my non-profit in the past 10 years! The customer services is outstanding, and I love the system.
It does SO much! It is light-years beyond Excel and serves us better than any other online system that we've looked into! Everything we do can be exported to an Excel form, it tracks people, finances, events, emails, relationships and so much more. It is easy to use and navigate and keeps us organized. I can run thousands of reports and customize all of it to meet my needs. Training is easy to understand and straightforward.
The email creation tool could be easier to use for those not skilled in HTML. It can do a lot but it isn't drag-and-drop easy like other systesm.
Little-known standout product!
Generally good. It does what we need for a reasonable price, and with great support by the Trailblazer team. The downsides--remote Mac access, ugly interface, manual importing--are a hassle, but we're used to it.
Fantastic customer support. Pretty intuitive to navigate. The right level of features for my fundraising program--all the functionality I need, but not too much to clutter my dashboard or brain. Easy to train colleagues.
Quite challenging to use on a Mac platform, which seems to be the predominant OS in educational/university settings and also among many non-profits. You have to use helper "remote connection" software even to reach the Trailblazer server, and then it looks and works like you're on a PC.
Which leads to my other con: The interface is unimaginably ugly. Looks count, and most other CRMs are now clean and beautiful. Definitely affects the user experience to use attractive sites and software all day, but then to have to switch to early-'90s Windows land for database work.
Also, Trailblazer doesn't work directly with the payment gateway required by the university where we're based. (Cybersource/Secure Acceptance) That means donations aren't entered automatically, but rather we have to import them manually. I see this as more of a limitation by our university than by Trailblazer, but it's still a hassle.
Could be more user-friendly
Donor management and email blasts.
The mobile app and the support from the staff.
It feels "clunky" and probably was not the best software choice for our industry application since it was created for political campaigns. I'd also like to be able to categorize people into "donors", "adopters", "media", etc.
Response from Trail Blazer Campaign Services
In regards to your need to categorize custom lists/contact types, that's one of our main specialties. You can utilize the attribute tree to create unlimited "tags" or sub-groups, which are easily searchable. This article walks through the steps (but please call us if you need a hand): https://trailblz.com/kb/?action=view&kb=182&cat=0&qq=attribute
You can also customize many labels throughout the system, so if something is political in nature by default, you may very well be able to change it as needed: https://trailblz.com/kb/?action=view&kb=60&cat=0&qq=label
Trail Blazer for Member based Nonprofits
Outstanding. I wish the vendors in other areas that I deal with were this committed to customer support and satisfaction.
The software has many features that have worked well for our group which is a membership based nonprofit. Over the few years that we have had it, the company has made substantial improvements on a continuing basis. However, the assumptions underlying the software's design and features must be a close match to your real world operations or you will likely need to adjust how you do some things to make the software work for you.
However, the software is very adaptive, it has many features we need and quite a few we have not implemented. Also, and this is critical for us, the software support, training and consulting is worth every penny you pay for the annual license and more!
There are some issues but these are the nature of the beast with a product with so many features. One is the learning curve (although you can restrict access to certain features on a user by use basis to let them "grow" into the system). Another is that for a membership based system there are design assumptions that we have had to "work around" - but the programmers and tech support have been wonderful to make changes, tweaks and suggest alternative ways to get things done.
Trailblazer for Our Pro Life Nonprofit
Now that I've been using it for a while, I'm able to get things done very quickly and efficiently. I greatly appreciate the ability to sort donors into super specific groupings. Trailblazer has allowed me to segment my donor base with amazing flexibility, with just a few clicks.
The best thing about Trailblazer is the customer service. The guys are extremely accessible and helpful. They are willing to walk me through a process, or just do it for me - whichever I request. After trying two other donor management softwares that offered little or no help, Trailblazer's amazing service is a welcomed benefit.
The learning curve for Trailblazer is long. Therefore, whenever I wanted to do something new, I'd run into a wall. It seems like the first six months - at least - were pretty frustrating because there was always a glitch and I could never just get something done quickly. The glitch was in the training, not the software. I'd like to see a series of training videos that we could have our staff watch, in order, so that a general level of proficiency could be attained up front.
good donor management, but needs improvement on function
We've had TB for 2 1/2 years and it has offered us improvements in various ways. Well worth the change for the additional cost. Tech support is fantastic (quick replies and helpful). Knowledge Base online also is helpful. Less glitches/problems with the software in 2018 than when we started in 2016. One issue I found this year that I reported and it was addressed/corrected soon after.
All the Attribute options to pull reports & labels and group for mass emails. Search options. Addition of gifts function in records and more.
Still waiting for spell check icon/option to function in letter templates and mass emails. In letter templates can't wrap text around pictures; so there's wasted space around pictures.
Very positive. Customer Service has been EXCELLENT. You won't find a better team anywhere. I am a raving fan and I have used Blackbaud, DonorPerfect and many other fundraising or donor tracking software.
Trailblazer is used for our non-profit. It is easy peasy to export the data you need. You don't need complicated codes or reports, you can access what you need quickly including event information & ticket sales. It does all we need and then some.
That it won't allow you to sell tables or golf foursomes and include the names of the guests. This needs to be revised and I submitted this request in October of 2018. You need to be willing to learn some coding to make the features work really well. The mobile piece needs to allow you to open a record and read notes etc. It isn't just for canvassing any more.
Totally satisfied - Outstanding customer service
Simply put this is a perfect data base system.
While this database doesn't come with lots of pretty buttons to click, the staff at Trail Blazer walks you through every step of set up and is there for you - ongoing - within 2 rings of the phone and email response within the hour - every time. The system is robust.
There is nothing we dislike about this software.
Trail Blazer gives me back my time.
It has really helped me keep better track of campaigns and LYBUNTs. Mailing is a lot easier now as well. It has automated several things that have helped me spend more time working on what matters.
The Trail Blazer team is so helpful and getting started is so easy. It is easy to search for the information I need.
There have been a few things that have been hard to do find to edit.
You guys rock! No nonsense powerful software and great support = You guys rock!
While the interface has a steeper learning curve some other programs, it allows for much more customization and analysis than the other programs I have played with. The support staff (Kevin) is lightning fast to respond to any issue or question. I have been using Trailblazer for almost a year now, and can't imagine switching to another database.
Good Starter program
We are able to track donations by events and have a great database for marking!
the program is very easy to use for donation tracking and works well with Vanco for online donations and events
Needs some software improvements. Templates don't save the margins for envelopes and do not allow you to have a left sided letterhead. Extracting information for year end letters can be cumbersome but customer service is very good at helping out to get what you need.
A solution for nonprofits
We have zero regrets working with Trail Blazer.
As a nonprofits that tracks donations, volunteer hours, programs, events, and outcomes, Trail Blazer is easy to use for all individuals in our organization, and if affordable compared to most CRMs. We no longer use numerous excel spreadsheets to track information - rather we can look at the comprehensive pictures of people who are involved with our organizations. (IE Do they attend events, volunteer, and donate?) We also use Trail Blazer to house detailed and complex data to pull for reports. The support team is also very responsive, nice to speak with, and always willing to help immediately.
Because Trail Blazer was originally created for elections, you have to be creative on how you categorize and define certain data points. IE All individuals are called donors even if they don't donate. But if you can be flexible in how you define certain elements, it works great!
Trailblazer - it's the tech support that makes it work.
I used Salesforce for non-profits in the past, and, although the software was free, we spent thousands and thousands in customization and tech support. Trailblazer (which I use for a different organization), by contrast, is a bargain, primarily because of their live tech support. There is simply no replacement for Mark, Kevin, Joel, Pat, and the team that, essentially, keeps us up and running. They are quick to pick up the phone, quick to respond to your problem, and ENDLESSLY patient. While the user interface leaves much to be desired, and I am often wishing that multi-step tasks could be simplified, it's a really powerful program that, once learned, does the trick. Certainly, if you're running a political action committee, it makes sense only to use software like Trailblazer, which makes filing FEC reports a cinch. And while it may not have one or two third-party APIs I might like, it does work seamlessly with our credit card processing company, so that donations go right into our database. If the company invested more resources in development, I'm sure they could make the product easier/better to use. But isn't that true of all software, especially databases?
Bare bones, but affordable
Awesome contact management system, communication, events and more!
Not having any coding experience I thought it might be difficult to use HOWEVER, the customer service is AWESOME!
They created our first template for us and it was exactly what we had envisioned.
They have a quick turnaround on any email (Joel!) and are always available by phone (Kevin)!
The you tube videos are helpful too with the graphics as I am a visual learner.
We have several upcoming events and look forward to using the event portion of the system.
As I said we are still in the learning curve but so far it has been a positive experience.
With so many programs available and us being a new nonprofit it's hard to know which one to go with- I'm glad we chose TrailBlazer.
Best customer service
We've used Trail Blazer for the past year and the customer service is incredible. I watched all the tutorials but anytime I had a question or I couldn't figure out something TB staff would reply to my email within minutes of sending the request.
The TB system is robust and allows you to streamline all of your donors, grantors, volunteers and events in one place. It is easy to use and if you are stuck on something there are many tutorials and FAQ pages to help you out, and if that fails the customer service will get you on track.
Great company to work with.
This product is easy to use even for those who dont use software. But the most outstanding feature is the customer support; no question is too small, or even strange. They take their time and dont rush through. I had a customer support person on the phone for 2 plus hours as we worked out a problem that really wasnt theirs. They are a great group of people to work with. I would suggest this produce to anyone needing software to deal with FEC filings and all other things related with the election process. Thank you for making my job easier.
The ease of use. The customer support.
Some processes seemed redundant
I highly recommend Trail Blazer to any non-profit! The capabilities of the system are incredible and the support from the staff/team is unbeatable.
Trailblazer can do just about any data tracking you need. The program allows you to query a million different things so you can get the right donor list.
Not always the easiest system to use. Thank God for the support team. Everyone is helpful and goes above and beyond to help and answer questions.
Trail Blazer review
Also, I haven't had time to really learn the program, so I end up forgetting how to use the software between sessions. It is not super intuitive and can be difficult to use.
The staff are super helpful. I would like it to perform as our donor management tool, but we haven't gotten to that point yet.
Honestly, this platform has been difficult for me because I have a MAC and it doesn't translate well. I have had a hard time using the features because of that.
highly recommend for anyone working in political campaigns.
easy to use and allows unlimited data to be stored. easy interface with louisiana's voter files. customer service is amazing. if they don't have what you need, they will create it for you.
none that i can think of. if i could, they'd fix it.
Response from Trail Blazer Campaign Services
I have and will continue to recommend TB to anyone and everyone. The ease of FEC filing and searchable fields makes TB better then anyone else out there.
A great campaign tool for any size team. The uploads are easy, mass emails are fairly easy and support staff is the best.
The difficulty is HTML emails with photos is a challenge.