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Bloomerang Review

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Bloomerang is a user-friendly donor management system with extensive options for record-keeping. Its array of engagement features can help nonprofits who don't want to build a stack of different tools. Bloomerang's free and small shop tiers are great for a test drive or a brand new nonprofit.

Bloomerang

    Bloomerang is a donor management system with extensive options for record-keeping and an array of supporting features that can help nonprofits who don't want to build a stack of different tools. This platform is great for tracking all the important information you need to know about donors, volunteers, and other supporters.

    Besides creating in-depth constituent records, Bloomerang empowers you with reporting features that help you make sense of the data. You can choose from tons of report templates or use their step-by-step process to build your own report. Because Bloomerang is cloud-based, you can always pull the most up-to-date entries or specify specific date ranges.

    When it comes to donor communications and engagement, you can create and manage both email and direct mail letters. Bloomerang comes with a variety of letter and email templates to cover all the most common nonprofit needs. Their Twitter Listening Hub is a clever bonus feature, allowing you to dip your toes into social media monitoring.

    For startups or small nonprofits, Bloomerang's website integration features can empower you to collect important details (and donations). You can create forms in Bloomerang and embed them on your own website. Then all the information collected goes right into your database. More mature organizations, however, might need greater flexibility or more advanced functionalities from their donation pages.

    With many pricing tiers (all of which include unlimited users), Bloomerang software can work with any budget. But the many tiers, based on number of records and file storage, could be a hassle for rapidly growing organizations. Bloomerang's free tier and special small shop pricing might be just what a budding nonprofit founder needs.

For nonprofit organizations, their donor management software is home base. It's where all their relationships with donors (and often volunteers and other supporters) are cataloged, tracked, and evaluated. From nonprofit accounting to marketing, there are few tools more important than the right donor database.

For many small and growing nonprofits, cloud-based Bloomerang is an intuitive solution that packs a lot of other aspects of nonprofit administration under one roof. If your organization is seeking to optimize donor web experience for a large and varied audience, Bloomerang may be less fitting.

Who is Bloomerang for?

Bloomerang is a comprehensive, but not overwhelming, tool for small and midsize nonprofits. The platform's ease of use and wide range of pricing tiers means it can serve a one-person shop up through a complex team of fundraisers, marketers, and administrators. By providing extensive custom fields, its constituent profiles allow you to know almost anything you like about donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders.

Bloomerang’s features

Bloomerang's best assets are its constituent profiles and reporting features. Additional direct mail, email, and social media monitoring features are helpful for organizations who want to do more with fewer tools, although you do sacrifice some sophistication for this convenience.

Constituent profiles

To better appeal to and steward donors, you need to know more than just their addresses and phone numbers. Bloomerang makes it easy to create new records (for individuals and organizations), and although you can add unlimited fields to the records, they're not overwhelming to look at.

A donor profile page in Bloomerang showing a profile picture and donation graph.

When you open a constituent record, you start on the Summary tab, but you can see more with just one click. Image source: Author

From the Summary tab, you can see at a glance how engaged the constituent is. You can see their most recent donations and other activities as well as Bloomerang's Engagement Level score, which is calculated based on all recorded interactions, and any available wealth-screening data.

Form to create a new donation in Bloomerang.

When you add a new donation to a record, you can include soft credits or take note of tribute gifts. Image source: Author

From the Summary tab, you can quickly navigate to add a donation, pledge, or interaction. When you add a new donation, you can specify details, such as the associated campaign or what the program the gift is directed toward, vital for fund accounting.

The profile tab contains not only contact information, but also volunteer information, board involvement, planned giving, and moves management details. You can also add any of the 100+ available fields or simply create your own. Depending on your needs, you can keep track of T-shirt sizes, membership benefits, or even a donor’s favorite beverage.

The timeline tab of a constituent profile in Bloomerang.

You can view a donor's Timeline to see how your relationship has developed. Image source: Author

To see a supporter's chronological story, click on the Timeline tab, where you can filter by year, events, or donations.

The Relationships tab allows you to not only link records of spouses, but also those of children, coworkers, and friends. This is especially helpful for understanding and nurturing large or longtime donors.

Reports

Along with its large range of field options, Bloomerang offers many report templates to identify at-risk donors, first-time donors, and the LYBUNTs (who gave Last Year But Unfortunately Not This one). There are also templates specifically for reviving lapsed major donors, identifying average gift size, and fiscal year summaries.

The report building tool in Bloomerang, with buttons and text.

When building a report from scratch, you start by choosing what kind of record you'll be looking for. Image source: Author

Building a new report can be done quickly if you know what you want. When you start from scratch, you begin by looking at all the applicable records, whether you are searching for supporters, transactions, or interactions. You then use filters (such as fields) to home in on the data you really want.

Letters and emails

Bloomerang has separate functionalities for email and direct mail communications. Direct mail is created in Letters, which offers templates but also allows word processor-style editing. The fields from constituent records are then pulled in to personalize the message. After designing your letter, you use filters to create the recipient list.

Preview of a letter built in Bloomerang with a number of letters to be generated.

Filters enable you to create a list of letter recipients. Bloomerang removes records with bad address data. Image source: Author

The email tool works similarly, with a variety of templates for common emails such as newsletters, thank-yous, and donation appeals. With an interface similar to popular tools like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, being able to build, send, and track emails all from within your donor database could make life much simpler for small nonprofits.

Twitter Listening Hub

In another bid to keep users in Bloomerang's software instead of other tools, the platform also offers a Twitter Listening Hub. In it, you can track mentions of your account, as well as any hashtags your organization and supporters use. You can even link those posts to your constituent records, giving you an even better understanding of how your donors are engaging with you.

The Twitter Listening Hub in Bloomerang displaying tweets and constituents.

In the Twitter Listening Hub, you can link tweets with donor records or create new records for supporters you discover. Image source: Author

Unfortunately, these capabilities are limited to Twitter. You can link social media profiles to a donor record, but you won't be notified when they mention you on Facebook or Instagram. If you're just starting a nonprofit or are looking to dip your toes in social media monitoring, however, this is a good start.

Website integration

Another feature that may not be sophisticated enough for large established organizations, but could be a huge time-saver for smaller ones, is Bloomerang's website integration options. It allows you to deliver data from donations, registrations, and other activities directly from your website to your database.

Screenshot of the Website Integrations section of Bloomerang's Settings.

You can create donation forms and registration forms to embed in your website. Image source: Author

Along with newsletter and volunteer sign-ups, they also make it easy to track your supporters' visits to your website. For new or small nonprofits, this can make life so much easier. A larger organization, or one with specific data needs, may need more specialized tools.

As more and more fundraising moves online, it has become increasingly important to optimize the transaction experience. Users looking for maximum flexibility in their formatting may be frustrated by Bloomerang's limitations there.

Bloomerang’s ease of use

Customers love how intuitive and user-friendly Bloomerang is. With pleasing design and step-by-step creation processes, it won't take long to get most users started. The wide range of templates are helpful for almost any user and adding custom fields is also a simple process.

The minimal user permissions capabilities, though, could potentially lead to mishaps by less savvy users. All users are either Administrators with full access or Standard users, whose permissions are quite limited.

Bloomerang’s pricing

Bloomerang has a pricing tier for any size nonprofit, from brand new organizations with a dozen contacts to established nonprofits with tens of thousands of donors. The downside of having so many pricing tiers is that small, growing organizations might need to upgrade sooner and more often than they would with other systems.

A table showing four Bloomerang pricing plans for nonprofits.

Bloomerang offers a range of pricing tiers for new or small nonprofits. Image source: Author

Bloomerang's small shop tiers:

  • Lite: Free
  • Grow: $19/month
  • Grow+ : $59/month
  • Grow+TG: $79/month

Once your organization grows past 1,000 records, however, the tiers come in larger increments.

A table displaying Bloomerang’s five pricing plans.

For nonprofits with 1,000+ records, there are five pricing tiers to choose from. Image source: Author

Bloomerang's main pricing tiers are:

  • 0-1,000 records: $99/month
  • 1,000-5,000 records: $199/month
  • 5,000-15,000 records: $299/month
  • 15,000-25,000 records: $399/month
  • 25,000-40,000 records: $499/month

Organizations with more than 40,000 records must contact Bloomerang for a quote.

All pricing tiers include:

  • Unlimited users
  • Free email/chat support
  • Free access to Bloomerang Academy
  • Unlimited giving forms

Besides the number of contacts, the main differences among Bloomerang pricing tiers are the number of emails per month and the amount of file attachment storage. You can purchase additional emails and file storage. From the $99/month tier, you also have the option to add phone support for an additional fee.

Bloomerang’s support

As explained above, all plans come with email and chat support, but phone support is an additional $35-$100 per month (depending on your pricing tier). Users also have access to an extensive knowledge base that covers everything from user permissions to custom fields to setting up a credit card transaction processor.

Bloomerang's knowledge center with lists of help articles.

Bloomerang's knowledge base articles to guide you through many common tasks on the platform. Image source: Author

This is also where users can submit a support ticket or track any existing tickets, as well as access a glossary of product terms.

From this in-product knowledge base, you can also access Bloomerang Academy, a collection of 45-60 minute classes (both live and prerecorded). The sessions cover both product-specific topics, like how to generate year-end tax receipts in Bloomerang, and more widely applicable donor stewardship and fundraising topics.

Bloomerang provides a great deal of self-serve content and help articles, but phone support or personalized coaching are additional purchases.

Benefits of Bloomerang

Bloomerang excels when it comes to ease of use and depth of constituent records. The platform allows you to create detailed donor records with exactly the information you need. And because it is cloud-based, Bloomerang is accessible on any device and is constantly updated.

For small or brand-new organizations, Bloomerang's email, donation form, and Twitter monitoring tools can enable you to address these needs without purchasing or onboarding other tools.

Bloomerang and planning for the future

Bloomerang's ease of use and extra functionalities make it a great fit for up-and-coming nonprofits intent on maintaining a strong community of supporters. Their features will be enough to get you started with email, direct mail, and reporting. Organizations should keep in mind, however, that you may need to adopt more specialized tools down the road.

FAQs

  • Ease of use is one of Bloomerang's biggest selling points. It offers simple, step-by-step processes for creating records, reports, and more will minimize the learning curve and get new users started quickly.

  • Bloomerang's Lite small shop plan is free and allows up to 250 records. It doesn't, however, include attachment storage or email marketing. Those are included in plans $19/month and up.

  • Bloomerang is a cloud-based platform, which means you can access your up-to-date data from anywhere with an internet connection.

  • Although Bloomerang is not a fundraising platform, it does allow you to create donation forms and integrate them into your website.

Bloomerang
If you're looking for a donor database that you can get up and running quickly but also allows you to get started with a variety of engagement tools, Bloomerang could be just what you're looking for.Bloomerang
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