Easy to Learn, Use and Manage.
We began using GiftWorks in 2009. We are an older, established agency and needed to upgrade from a database that had been created by a volunteer who no longer worked with us. We needed a fresh start. GiftWorks gave us that and more. We love its ease of use and the smartlists and reports we can generate so easily and quickly. Fundraising databases for small nonprofits need to be very user friendly since most agencies with less than a million dollar budget require employees to wear many hats. We see GiftWorks as a strong partner for us. Support has always been available when needed. We hope GiftWorks maintains what drew us to this company in the first place...trust in the software and reasonable pricing. Thank you.
Good, but missing features
It's good for what it is. But there are a few functions that could be added that would make it a more robust program that I would feel more loyal to :)
Learning curve is decent. The ability to train someone to help add information after an event and have them put in accurate data is less than an hour.
Missing functions... like the ability to multi-level queries is limited. I truly hate that the names of fields changes through the program is frustrating... in one area is a Donor Category, in another its simply Category. Please. Pick a name, stick with it!! And when selecting columns to show in a spreadsheet.... there is NO LIST ANYWHERE! Please, help out people and provide documentation that lists all the columns and a short description!!! Would also love to have the option to pull cumulative data!
Definitely not the best...but getting better at least
Long story short, while I wasn't impressed with Giftworks Cloud by any means it did get better. I wasn't pleased, however with my monthly price going up (they said this wouldn't happen). I can understand that when you roll out a new program it costs money, but when one of your "selling points" for your current customers to switch from old Giftworks to the new one was that our price wouldn't increase then that's a bit misleading? When I buy software or anything for that matter, I rely heavily on user reviews. I would not go back to Giftworks, I did find a donor management system that is more powerful, user-friendly and overall better in every way for HALF the price. Before you decide on Giftworks or the, even more, pricier systems, I would look into Little Green Light (LGL for short). LGL has turned my reporting around substantially. Writing acknowledgment letters is so much better now and it's so much easier to use. In closing, there are better options and there are worse options...Giftworks cloud seems to be "middle of the road" and hopefully will be getting better as they introduce more features.
I do like that they decided to go with the cloud instead of their Giftworks Anywhere software. With Giftworks Anywhere you had to have Citrix Receiver which never seemed to work right. While I didn't have a very long time to check out the features of their new cloud database, (they only allowed me a week even tho I was already a longtime customer) I still wasn't able to check out all the features that I felt they needed before because they weren't enabled in the 1-week trial or they just weren't available.
Giftworks was the first donor management system that I had ever used but I had constant problems with it (mainly Citrix I think, but at that time you needed to have Citrix installed to use Giftworks Anywhere). The reporting features were confusing and didn't report like I felt they should. For example, It took me several tries to finally come up with a decent list of monthly donors...you wouldn't think that should be too hard right? I never found an easy way to build a monthly donor list, but I ended up making a list of donors that had donated 10x or more the previous year... although it also gave me other donors on this list that didn't fit any of my criteria? The filtering was terrible and I would end up with partial data or too much like I just said.
Created far more problems than it solved. I should have backed out of the contract within weeks of signing it.
Rumor has it that the server-based GiftWorks was a solid and useful product. Not the Cloud version. What I liked was that by migrating to GW I was able to regain (from a GW file in our own electronic archives) 15 years of donor history that my predecessor abandoned when he transitioned to a different product.
Everything! Endless "known bugs" that weren't scheduled for fix. A tech support team that, while awesomely kind, also appears to have been trained to "resolve" issues by postponing the solution. Having zip codes and state codes randomly disappear from my records. Having it "integrated" with a peer-to-peer product that has a different default Constituent name protocol, so every single individual who was uploaded from that product generated a new record -- most of them duplicates.
It is self-explanatory and easy to use. I only needed direction once, and was able to figure everything else alone.
Sometimes the grids can get complicated and hard to see, and sometimes it is difficult to look things up if you are unsure what the exact spelling of something is.
Unfortunate surprises when migrating to the cloud
For anyone who has used Firstgiving event software, I would not recommend the GW cloud platform.
The desktop version was intuitive, worked well for us for 10 years. Mailings, report functions worked well. Integration with FirstGiving for events was bumpy, but worked with GW tech support. The customer support staff - in the past and since the migration to the cloud format - have been responsive, even when they don't have good news to report.
We discovered a month after the migration that the developers had brought over 4 years of past (and unwanted) data from FirstGiving events, and now we have over 200 duplicate records, and 200 duplicate payments that we're being told must be manually removed thru a process that will take days. As a small nonprofit, we don't have the manpower to resolve. Trying to shake a thank you letter out of this system is difficult and in no way intuitive, and the reporting function is buried in "smartlist" constructs, leaving us with many manual steps. The documentation is inadequate.
GiftWorks is a good platform for the basics on donor tracking
I enjoy the ease of use for entering donations and making new donor profiles. The search engine in accessible and has useful links incorporated when donors aren't found. I also enjoy the ease of being able to pull up information sing smartlists for tracking donation amounts.
It isn't easy to figure out how to use the other features of GiftWorks. I have tried using the video tutorials to increase my capacity on GiftWorks, but it just isn't an intuitive program. Therefore, I find myself limited in what I use GiftWorks for, and constantly frustrated about paying a large sum for a program that we only use for donor tracking.
Giftworks Cloud is Horrible
Absolutely frustrating and horrible.
Being able to have multiple users on at one time.
The Smartlists for generating reports are absolutely horrible. I have been using Giftworks desktop for over 13 years. We don't even get close to using all of the functionality. However, we do use reports like generating how much money has come in for a particular fund. Giftworks Cloud CANNOT do this if the donor gave to more than one fund on their donations. Not only can it not do this, it doesn't even give you totals when the donor has one fund. Trust me, you DO NOT WANT to use this software. It is a total train wreck.
If I was starting out I would not choose this software. I feel stuck because I have been with them so long and have a large amount of info that would have to be moved if/when I move to another software.
I like the desktop version very much. It is easy to use and learn. It has all the reports and fields that I need.
The cloud version was released before it was ready and it is a train wreck. Many important features are not working yet.
Good product for good price
The price makes it accessible and it's fairly easy to use. It gets the job done and that's ultimately what matters, especially at this price point.
The interface feels a little clunky, which is what you'd expect in a way, but I think it can make it hard to navigate sometimes.
Do Not Upgrade or Buy This Product
Before being forced to upgrade to the cloud the software worked very well for our organization. We have been a customer for over 10 years.
I can't print mailing labels for a standard Avery 5160. I was told in March it would be fixed by the end of April and it is now September and not fixed. Items were not transferred from Giftworks Anywhere correctly. The smartlists are a disaster and not helpful. I have entered new donors and only half the information is saved so I have to go back and enter it again. I can only edit one thing without it freezing up and I have to log out and back in after every edit. The "find a constituent" search area does not always show that the person is in the database, which has resulted in double entries. The notes tab is gone.
Easy to utilize and track donors
GiftWorks cloud isn't fully developed yet...
Customer support for GiftWorks is pretty great. They don't always answer when you call, but if you leave a message or send an email I usually get a response within 24 hours.
We are pleased that GiftWorks has moved to the cloud, but there are still things that need to be built out to complete the transition.
The membership feature has not been including in the cloud feature yet. This has been holding us back from transition from desktop to the cloud.
Really awful, so I don’t like much. Maybe of you have a really small, simple organisation without too many donors, something is good about it.
Where do I start? You can’t freakin’ cut and paste from GiftWorks! If you want to cut and paste, say, an address onto a Word document, YOU CAN’T. There is no way to do a simple query, like you can with other programs. If you have a donor who is also a volunteer, you can’t simply click and have their record or name transfer over into the volunteer module. You have to type all their info in all over again. To put together a report, the lists of data sets are disorganised and completely unwieldy. This program is a nightmare! With the amount of time we’ve put in attempting to make it functional, we could have bought Raiser’s Edge and been ‘way more satisfied. Just. Don’t. Buy. GIFTWorks—or as I like to call it—GiftWorst.
Good product with a few flaws
Straightforward and uncomplicated but has a lot of really great layer of information. It's the little things that make it easier to use, such as emailing a data pull directly and volunteer hour tracking, that make this a good product.
My only real complaint was the fact that it wasn't cloud-based...until NOW.
We were using Giftworks Anywhere, but after pressure from sales switched to the cloud based app. They assured me the functionality would be the same or improved. This was BS. I wish now we had stayed with Anywhere...at least that was functional. Customer service is terrible. I've been trying to get their help since February and they haven't solved anything. It's going to be a real pain to switch software, but I'm out of options.
I like the interface and the tools. Would be great if things worked properly.
Smartlists are non-functional. They just issued a bug fix and now I'm getting duplicate entries! They take forever to load. You can't run a report from a smartlist or make a graph like before. You have to export it as an excel file or pdf, it doesn't give you an option for portrait or landscape, or show dollar amount TOTALS!
Inexpensive alternative for donor managment
Giftworks - Frontsream Product
I really hated this product. It wasn't worth the money. Also, after a few months, it would tell me that my login information was "incorrect" even though I knew my password and it hadn't asked me to reset it. I would have to call customer support every time to have them manually fix the problem. It happened more than once.
Maybe I didn't have enough training... I joined my organization and was thrown on to Giftworks (it hadn't been set up properly by our previous employee). Giftworks customer support was not helpful and their training videos never helped. If you get Giftworks, make sure everything is created properly before you import all of your data. It had a tough time keeping track of donors and who they were related to, worked for etc.
Not up to snuff with the real workplace
Giftworks is a clunky interface to use and not inuitive at all. Customer service is questionable as well. There have been unexplained datase errors and a mponthly need to contact support for problems related to their "Fixes". Now that Windows 10 is out, if I could give customer support a negative grade I would. I was told to do a clean install of Windows 10, etc. and reinstall Giftworks.
Things worked fine for one day, then Giftworks would not respond. Cutomer Service does not care about the end user. One comment I got from the rep I was dealing with was that our server was the issue not Giftworks. Our server at the time was new. Customer Service did not want to admit, that their software was weak.
Avoid Giftworks if possible.
Gift Works Intuitive yet Useless
More than anything, I hate that FirstGiving is the only compatible donation service. The donate now button from First Giving is prehistoric! There are so many free better options out there I just wish it was easier to have these other options integrate with GiftWorks
I find GiftWorks intuitive to use. All of the customer care representatives are considerate and patient on the phone.
The functionality of this software is terrible! The Volunteer Module is not developed enough to be useful. Smartlists and reports do not give me the information needed. When I try to create a custom report the fields I need to pull are not available. I have talked to customer care numerous times about these issues and while they are patient and understand my complaints they cannot do anything to fix the issue!
This is product does not work as designed.
We recieved no benefits from this product and put a dent into our budget.
There is absolutely nothing I can say that is good about the product. It has so many "bug fixes" it does not work as described. It is clunky at best. For 6 weeks we have tried to use this product and get things accomplished and we can't get anything completed, their support is at best mediocre.
We had high hopes that this product would assist us in raising money forour foundation. All it has done is cripple us.
Everything. The cloud based version is not ready to be used. It leaves so much to be desired. Support is at best poor. They take forever to get back to you. Thier fixes is let me correct that because you can't, it is a bug.
Used product - only because that's what current non-profit had used
I like that you can email someone directly a data pull. You can split contributions into different funds. Never lost any data or had any major problems that would reduce productivity.
Not cloud based, difficult to export data, you would have to scroll through huge lists of query forms to find the exact ones you wanted to pull in that report. Marking acknowledged gifts was a little strange we you didn't use their letter generator. It looks out of date. As if it was built in 2002 and has never had an upgrade.