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If you are a Blackbaud Luminate CRM customer, you are likely aware of the June 30th, 2022 end of support announcement. You may, however, still be in the process of making a major "now what?" decision. With the clock ticking, here are 8 key factors to consider as you’re choosing your replacement donor database; the heart and soul of your mission.

Existing Functions and Features

What are the core features you absolutely must retain in your new database? In a perfect world your answer could be "everything" but in reality no two systems will ever provide the same suite of features. Non-profits are better off thinking critically about the core functions of their database (which ideally will reflect core functions of your business process) and should be willing to place some in the "nice-to-haves" bucket. For example, the ability to accurately classify donors is probably non-negotiable, right? What about that custom feature that notifies the development director whenever a donor makes a donation more than twice the size of their previous largest donation for a particular campaign, complete with custom animated graphics? Or the individualized custom reports/dashboards for each person/role on the development team? You might want to define some criteria for identifying which features are mission-critical and which are not. 

Read our blog post: A Difference of Needs vs Requirements

Net New Functions and Features

As you’re prioritizing your needs, be sure to consider issues that are not addressed at all by your implementation of Luminate CRM. These include specific limitations of the current system that you want your new solution to address as well as new business processes that have yet to be incorporated into your technology stack. Whether these needs are non-negotiable or nice-to-have, it's worth discussing them now to help you create a technology roadmap that will extend beyond the initial rollout of a new donor system.

Connecting Third-Party Tools

As you’re looking at your migration plan, it’s important to understand how your data is captured and managed throughout your entire digital ecosystem. Many organizations today rely on a multitude of third-party tools that integrate with or connect to a core donor system of record. The most common examples of this are found with digital marketing and/or peer-to-peer fundraising tools. Be sure that you understand which third-party tools you’re going to need (new and existing) and how they’ll connect with your new system. Tools that offer built-in or off-the-shelf integration with your new CRM will generally deliver better data quality and data integrity than those requiring a custom integration or manual data import.

Think Beyond the Product Itself to the Implementation

There is really no such thing as a "turnkey solution" anymore. Leading donor management platforms like Salesforce.org’s Nonprofit Cloud are designed to be configured for each organization’s unique needs and processes. To help clients through this process, companies like Salesforce rely on a network of certified implementation partners. As a result, choosing the right implementation partner is one of the most important choices along your path to a successful migration to a new CRM. So, if you’re moving from Luminate CRM, select a partner that specializes specifically in migrating organizations from Blackbaud to the Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud.

Migrating Luminate CRM Data

Luminate CRM and the Nonprofit Success Pack are both built on the Salesforce Force.com platform. However, there is enough of a difference between their underlying data models that your legacy data will need some transformation before being migrated. Make sure your chosen implementation partner has expertise in transforming and migrating data like this.

Read our blog post: 5 Questions To Ask a Potential Data Migration Partner

Read our guide: 6 Pro-Tips for Migrating Data to Salesforce

Maintaining Data Integrity

With a change of some kind being inevitable, it's worth thinking critically about your data and how it will survive its pending migration from the old system into the new one. Assuming your data is in the best possible shape at its source, and is migrated by a competent data team, it's important that your new database has the necessary features to maintain the integrity of your data. Are there built-in features or options that spur your confidence that duplications will be quickly identified and remedied? Your organization cannot afford a dip in the quality of your data in addition to other changes that need to be managed.

Data Security

Pay close attention to the software vendor’s track record regarding data security. Does your research reveal any incidents of data breach, code flaws and/or vulnerabilities? If so, what caused them and, more importantly, how were they handled? Your donor data is precious but could quickly become your Achilles heel in the wrong system.

Change Management

Migrating to a new donor management system will have an impact on almost everyone in your organization regardless of your specific technology choices. You can improve user adoption with proactive change management steps that include things like creating internal champions, paying attention to user interfaces and building comprehensive training plans. A good implementation partner will incorporate change management best-practices into their scope of work. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how KELL Partners can help your organization migrate from Luminate CRM to Salesforce, please contact us.