Trail Blazer Campaign Manager Reviews

Trail Blazer Campaign Manager

Cloud-based political campaign management software

4.3/5 (50 reviews)
Jesse A.

Little-known standout product!

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/09
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
John H.

Trail Blazer for Member based Nonprofits

Used Weekly for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/09
Review Source: Capterra

Outstanding. I wish the vendors in other areas that I deal with were this committed to customer support and satisfaction.

Pros

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!

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Michele E.

Trailblazer for Our Pro Life Nonprofit

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Dustin V.

Trailblazer

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Jesse A.

Good experience with Trail Blazer product and team

Reviewed on 2015/01/08
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

Customer support, particularly during the training and start-up phase, has been excellent. They are quick and responsive. And their solutions have nearly always been positive -- almost never a "Sorry we can't do that" or "It doesn't work that way" or "We don't have that feature."

Cons

It was not clear to me before I signed on -- and I can't say whether it should have been clear -- that as a Mac user, Trail Blazer is "non-native" in the sense that I have to use Microsoft Remote Connection to access the Trailblazer server and then use a Windows interface. It's reasonably fast. There's almost no lag time with this setup, and it's not as clunky as it could be. But it makes the experience of using Trailblazer a lot less pleasant. I frankly hate the way Windows looks, acts, and feels, and the remote connection is a couple extra steps each time I use the database. The whole reason I use a Mac is so as not to use Windows!

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Kathy M.

good donor management, but needs improvement on function

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros

All the Attribute options to pull reports & labels and group for mass emails. Search options. Addition of gifts function in records and more.

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Melissa H.

Reviewed on 2011/12/19
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

We use Trail Blazer much different than the intent for the software just because we think it works better the way we have it set up. We have adapted how the software currently functions to our needs. Therefore, we cannot go to Trail Blazer staff to do training on everything. When there are updates, our staff that aren't very tech-savvy sometimes have a tough time. When we do not have a lot of time for database maintenance in the first place due to budget constraints, it can be quite frustrating.

Customer support is great, but we kind of have to bend a database to our needs and there is also a learning curve, mostly because nonprofits have to train not only staff who struggle with technology but also volunteers and interns.

We appreciate that Trail Blazer is constantly striving to improve, but I would love to see a personalized email or call go out with big updates.

Response from Dan

At Trail Blazer, we are committed to the long-term development and refinement of our product. Our goal is to be nothing less than the software product of choice in the non-profit arena. Yes, the ongoing changes can at times be frustrating, but after the adjustments are made, the net result is a tool that allows you to be even more productive.

The particular issue that presented a problem for NCPTC was the change in our attribute (aka groups or flags) facility. The original design allowed for any number of attributes within nine (9) folders. For many organizations, as their list of attributes within a specific folder grew longer, this eventually grew cumbersome. We enhanced this system so that now the data is stored and presented hierarchically where a folder can contain any number of folders or attributes, and those folders can contain any number of folders or attributes, ad infinitum. It's a far more flexible, logical, and powerful structure.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Tracey V.

Wonderful Product

Used Daily for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

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.

Pros

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.

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Barbara P.

Good Starter program

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/13
Review Source: Capterra

We are able to track donations by events and have a great database for marking!

Pros

the program is very easy to use for donation tracking and works well with Vanco for online donations and events

Cons

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.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

7.0/10
Joanne H.

Help Desk Excellence - Trail Blazer Campaign Software

Reviewed on 2015/05/06
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

Amazing tech support from incredibly patient people - can't say enough how important this is. Seamless integration with FEC for super easy electronic filing.

Cons

I can't compare it to other software that does the same thing, but increased user-friendliness would be greatly appreciated by all. YouTube videos are helpful, but they, along with the knowledge base, don't make it easy to find what you need. Fortunately, tech support goes above and beyond. They could definitely use more developers to work on improvements or known issues.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

8.0/10
Felecia M.

A solution for nonprofits

Used Weekly for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

We have zero regrets working with Trail Blazer.

Pros

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.

Cons

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!

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Charity S.

Trail Blazer was a perfect choice for my non-profit

Reviewed on 2015/02/11
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

We are a small staff, and I am the only one with any experience (limited) with software like Trail Blazer. Trail Blazer is intuitive to use, and if I get stuck, I have software support at my fingertips through the support team at Trail Blazer, but also through step-by-step instructions on the site. The staff has been very helpful, and they get back to me right away, so I'm never stuck for long.

Cons

The software is a perfect fit for us, so I have not had a negative feeling toward anything specific. We have not yet rolled out all the functionality (web and event modules), but that is primarily because we are taking our time in learning one part of the software before moving to the next.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Scott F.

Useful, affordable, flexible and improving

Reviewed on 2015/08/07
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

The customer support! That may sound silly, but having attempted support with other databases, this is the best. The people on the phone are VERY helpful. With the software itself, my favorite feature is how easy it is to have multiple log-ins all of staff can use and update the contacts with no access to financial and other confidential information.

Cons

While improved and improving, I still find some of the backend items a challenge-- some HTML and SQL knowledge remains helpful.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Bekka B.

Totally satisfied - Outstanding customer service

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

Simply put this is a perfect data base system.

Pros

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.

Cons

There is nothing we dislike about this software.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Riley G.

Good product, great support

Reviewed on 2014/06/12
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

Their customer support definitely. It is always easy to get in touch with them, and they've developed an extremely helpful online bank with screenshot photos to easily walk you through the process.

Cons

The email system isn't set up the best. In order to get a professional-looking email, which we've gotten from other sources, we have to know how to code in the technical aspects. This isn't our strong suit and makes mass emailing difficult.

It would also be much simpler if it could interface with our accounting software (Peachtree). We wouldn't have to do a lot of the duplicate work recording donations and such.

Additionally, it would be very helpful if the notification feature could send an email to the responsible party and not just notify their Trail Blazer account.

Response from Dan

Trail Blazer has addressed this email building concern. In October of 2014, Trail Blazer added an entirely new mass email editor called CK Editor. Now, it’s far easier for customers to create their own mass emails than before. It has been well received by our customers.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

6.0/10
Miranda D.

Trail Blazer is GREAT!

Used Weekly for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2017/05/02
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

I love this product!

Pros

- The Customer Service is #1! They really do answer within three rings and they will walk you through any issues, big or small.
- The interface is simple, clean, and pretty easy to use after a few tutorials/instructions.

Cons

- It's not cloud based, but do your really need it? Only consider a cloud system if you REALLY need it. Otherwise you paying for something you barely use.

Response from Dan

Trail Blazer is a cloud based client-server software package. Your donor data is stored securely in the cloud on our servers. You access your data using the Trail Blazer client application that runs on your PC. If you are using a non-Windows machine (i.e. phone, tablet, Mac) our application is served using Remote Desktop Connection. Plus, Trail Blazer gives you a web app that allows you to access portions of the database from any devices connected to the internet.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Joanne H.

Trailblazer - it's the tech support that makes it work.

Reviewed on 2013/11/05
Review Source: Capterra

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?

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Verified Reviewer

Could be more user-friendly

Used Daily for 1+ year
Reviewed on 2018/11/02
Review Source: Capterra

Donor management and email blasts.

Pros

The mobile app and the support from the staff.

Cons

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

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

5.0/10
Laura P.

Reviewed on 2013/01/04
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

We have been disappointed by the system thus far as we are a MAC/Apple office - the smaller screen and need for Remote Desktop App is cumbersome and frustrating. When I did the demo at home on my PC it was crisp, clear and easy to navigate. We might have made a different choice if I had used the demo on my MAC.

Great customer support - they really do answer by the second ring and they don't give up until you are satisfied. In the first week, I must have called 10 times - Joel and all of the folks were helpful, polite and informed.

I think it is a great system that can do a wide variety of things - our challenge now is to dedicate a staff person who will be responsible for learning all of the "bells and whistles" and making it worth the money invested.

Response from Dan

This points to a deficiency in our documentation. We have since updated our documentation and contacted Laura. If you select “View” from the Remote Desktop Client (RDC) menu bar and choose “full screen,” the Trail Blazer window will occupy the full physical screen, and you’ll get the image clarity Laura referred to.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Matt C.

Trail Blazer: great product and great customer service

Reviewed on 2015/09/15
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

We had been using an expensive product that was unreliable and very touchy, and charged a fortune for tech support. Unfortunately, we were so invested data-wise that change was fearful - until that last problem pushed us over the edge.

Trail Blazer meets our needs with none of the issues the other product gave us. We have been impressed with the customer support in both the sales and the tech support arenas. We are happy with Trail Blazer. It is affordable donor management.

Cons

We are pretty heavily customized. There were some challenges getting set up and it took longer than we anticipated. But this had more to do with our data and needs than it did with Trail Blazer.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Miranda D.

Trail Blazer is intimate and helpful

Used Monthly for 6-12 months
Reviewed on 2018/03/21
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

This is a solid product, and they are constantly upgrading the software to look neater, work faster, and become more customizable.

Pros

TrailBlazer is a small company that treats its customers like family. Their customer support picks up every time I call and they are incredible helpful no matter what question I ask.

Cons

The platform is not cloud-based, but this is fine for small organizations. We loved the customization that is available, though some of the features are not very intuitive and taking longer than anticipated to setup.

Response from Dan, Trail Blazer Campaign Services

Trail Blazer is a cloud-based client-server software package. Your donor data is stored securely in the cloud on our dual mirrored servers. You access your data using the Trail Blazer client application that runs on your PC. If you are using a Mac, our application is served up using Remote Desktop Connection. Plus, Trail Blazer provides a free app called Mobile Base Camp that allows you to access portions of the database from any iPhone or Android phone.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

9.0/10
Dennis E.

Very Happy With Our Decision

Used Daily for 1-5 months
Reviewed on 2017/05/18
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

The customer service is outstanding, always available and quick to respond. We're finding the features easy to learn and navigate, and our first try at a donor renewal mailing went off without a hitch.

Cons

Would like to have the ability to record a person's name along with the company they represent in a donor record more easily. They have patched together a solution for us that remains a little awkward in searching records and mail merging.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Mildred R.

Used it for two years

Reviewed on 2015/05/21
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Pros

the customer support and ease of using the software. It's easy to find all the data

Cons

that it doesn't have a connection to a general ledger

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

10.0/10
Verified Reviewer

Bare bones, but affordable

Used Daily for 2+ years
Reviewed on 2018/11/09
Review Source: Capterra

Pros

The price, it's a fraction of other CRMs. The support generally is very good as well

Cons

It's not very intuitive to use, time-consuming, and does not sync with Constant Contact or other major e-mail service.

Rating breakdown

Value for Money
Ease of Use
Customer Support

Likelihood to recommend

5.0/10
Sam R.

Reviewed on 2013/01/17
Review Source: SoftwareAdvice

Operation Rebirth is a Christian Boarding School ministering to boys and their families for 37 years. Before purchasing Trail Blazer, we used several different programs to track donations, maintain mailing lists and communicate with our supporters. Now all of of our information resides in one, easy to use database that can be accessed by any of our staff at anytime, in the office or from remote locations.

The implementation of the database took very little time- we were up and running on Trail Blazer the very first day.

While we are still learning to fully use Trail Blazer, it has already allowed us to track campaigns effectively and communicate with our donors instantly! Their customer support is excellent from the simplest questions to the most complex issues they are patient and yet quick to help.

Rating breakdown

Ease of Use
Customer Support