Essential Blackbaud Training Resources For Nonprofits

June 13, 2024
This is the feature image for our blog post on Blackbaud training resources.

So, you’ve invested in one of Blackbaud‘s products? Great choice!

There are a lot of great nonprofit software options out there, from Salesforce to Blackbaud and everything in between, so choosing one that meets your organization’s specific needs is no small feat.

Blackbaud is a well-known software provider, with 45,000 customers and millions of users around the globe. It stands out for its nonprofit focus, out-of-the-box functionality, and user-friendliness. However, if you’re new to Blackbaud, you may be wondering how to make the most out of your new tool. That’s why it’s important to take advantage of the many Blackbaud training resources available.

To help you get started with your training, we’ve put together a guide that explores your options. We’ll cover:

With the right resources, you’ll quickly see a positive return on investment (ROI) from your Blackbaud purchase and experience the full benefits of having a robust donor management or fundraising tool as part of your technology stack. Let’s dive in.

Click through to learn more about getting Blackbaud training from Team DNL!

Why You Need Blackbaud Training

As a nonprofit professional, you know that, as with any new tool, it will take a little time to familiarize yourself with your Blackbaud solution’s functionality and understand how to use it in your day-to-day operations.

While there are some free training resources out there to help you get started (more on these below), the best Blackbaud training will require an investment of time and money on your part.

But is it worth it?

The answer is a resounding yes. Free online resources from Blackbaud and careful googling will only get you so far. With high-quality Blackbaud training, your nonprofit’s team can:

This image and the text below list some benefits of taking advantage of Blackbaud training resources.

  • Maximize your investment by making use of all the relevant features offered by your solution.
  • Improve how you collect, manage, secure, and use donor data.
  • Strengthen your fundraising efforts.
  • Enhance donor engagement by personalizing outreach and involvement opportunities.
  • Boost your team’s productivity and efficiency when performing day-to-day tasks.

Also, note that you won’t become a Blackbaud expert overnight. An extensive, successful training process takes time and effort.

Our Top Training Recommendation: Work With a Blackbaud Consultant

Imagine having a Blackbaud expert you can turn to who will walk your organization through every part of the implementation process for your new product, including training your team and providing clear documentation you can refer to in the future. And not only is that person an expert in Blackbaud, but they’re intimately familiar with your organization, its mission, and its technology needs.

This is what it’s like to work with a Blackbaud consultant! Instead of just being directed to an online class or a customer support line, you’ll get the individualized attention you need from someone who is deeply invested in helping your organization understand the ins and outs of its Blackbaud product.

Let’s look at some top Blackbaud consultants so you can find the best fit for your nonprofit:

Top Blackbaud Training Consultant: DNL OmniMedia

Screenshot of DNL OmniMedia website

At DNL OmniMedia, we’re well-versed in the ways of Blackbaud. From migration to configuration to implementation, we can guide you through everything! This includes designing custom integrations and configuring applications and product add-ons to enhance your Blackbaud system.

As for our training services, we’ll first help your team transition to working out of your new solution. Then we provide thorough training sessions and create documentation you can refer to when you have questions or when you’re onboarding a new team member. You can also retain our services so we can continue assisting you with your Blackbaud tool or any other technology needs. With our help, you won’t just learn how to use your software; you’ll learn how to make the most of it.

Our expertise doesn’t stop there. Here are some additional services we offer to provide holistic technology stack support:

  • Web development and maintenance
  • Fundraising strategy development
  • Marketing strategy development and execution
  • Advocacy assistance

Click through to learn more about DNL OmniMedia's services!

Other Blackbaud Training Consultants To Consider

For more third-party Blackbaud consulting help, check out these firms:


Screenshot of the SYNC REsults website

SYNC –REsults provides specialized Blackbaud training and implementation assistance for education and community outreach organizations. They offer customized training courses in Raiser’s Edge NXT, Financial Edge, and OnlineExpress/NetCommunity. They can also assist your organization with data maintenance, social media marketing, and donor relations.

Leading Edge Software Solutions

Screenshot of the LESS website

Run by Sandy Wilder, Leading Edge Software Solutions has expertise in Raiser’s Edge NXT and Financial Edge. This consulting firm helps nonprofits address common issues in integrating and implementing Blackbaud products. They can also perform a database audit to determine areas for improvement in data maintenance and work with you to establish best practices going forward.

Sidekick Solutions

Screenshot of the Sidekick Solutions website

Sidekick Solutions understands the ins and outs of Blackbaud’s CRM solution for small nonprofits, eTapestry. This firm provides an exclusive consulting coach to walk nonprofits through the eTapestry implementation process. They can also provide database administration, guided support, custom reporting, and database cleanup support. Additionally, they offer custom integration support for products like QuickBooks, Eventbrite, PayPal, and MailChimp.

Training Courses and Materials from Blackbaud

Online Training Opportunities

Blackbaud offers a variety of online training options for each of their product offerings as part of Blackbaud University. They’ve outlined their curricula so that users of all skill levels can expand their software experience, from learning the fundamentals to fine-tuning their fundraising.

There are two types of online courses:

  • On-demand eLearning courses: These are prerecorded, product-specific training videos accessible at any time for your organization. These resources can be an excellent supplement if your team needs a refresher on a certain aspect of your chosen solution, but since they aren’t tailored to your organization, don’t rely solely on them for comprehensive training.
  • Instructor-led classes: These classes offer a more personalized online training experience. You can select a public course as part of the curriculum for your product or request a private training session just for your team.

The best way to access Blackbaud’s online training courses is to sign up for the Blackbaud Learn subscription that most aligns with your training needs. Your team can select one of the following levels:

  • Universal Learning: As its name would suggest, this Blackbaud Learn option is the most elementary training selection available. With Universal Learning, your team can access basic training videos that are available on-demand through Blackbaud University. (Note: This subscription package may be included with your software purchase.)
  • Learn More:On top of the library of Universal Learning training videos, Learn More offers virtual instructor-led training classes designed to support all skill and experience levels. Plus, Learn More allows you to become certified in your Blackbaud product by completing certification exams (only available for some software).
  • Learn Everything: Learn Everything provides all the training Blackbaud has to offer. In addition to online content, your team will also be able to take advantage of instructor-led virtual training sessions. You can also participate in workshops, which promote nonprofit best practices and thought leadership, and get training for Microsoft products that support nonprofit work.

The pricing for each of these levels will be based on the Blackbaud software solution your organization has purchased. If you want to pay for just one course, that option is available too.

In-Person Training Opportunities

All of Blackbaud’s training resources, including their live instructor-led courses, are offered in an online-only format.

This has its upsides. It allows your team to access training from wherever you work, which for many nonprofits, is several different locations! Online training is also available to watch again and again when you need it.

Still, many organizations may opt for an in-person experience. Your best bet is to work with a Blackbaud consultant who is willing to provide in-person training.

Note that Blackbaud does host in-person events like its annual bbcon, but this is not a training opportunity. Rather, it is a conference that invites the Blackbaud community to get together to share best practices, explore new Blackbaud functionality, and form connections. This is likely an event you would only want to attend if you have an extensive Blackbaud-based technology stack and your organization is large enough to benefit from being at the conference.

Free Training Resources

Aside from online training videos and instructor-led classes, Blackbaud also offers several free online resources to augment your software training.

Let’s look at the kinds of resources you’ll find online outside of Blackbaud University:

  • Blackbaud Knowledge Base: Here you can search by keyword to find free articles and product documentation.
  • How-To Documentation: Blackbaud has compiled an extensive list of free documents available to provide guidance and answer questions on specific products. Keep in mind that a single guide can span hundreds of pages and require serious time and energy to digest.
  • Blackbaud Community: For one-off questions or problems, you can crowdsource help from Blackbaud’s diverse user base by posting in the Blackbaud Community forums. In the Community, you’ll also find blogs, online events, and more.
  • Free Webinars and Product Briefings. Keep an eye on Blackbaud’s Events page to find opportunities relevant to your organization.

You can also unlock tips and insights from reputable nonprofit technology blogs like ours! While reading blog posts is not training in and of itself, you can learn quite a bit about navigating the Blackbaud implementation process whether or not you’re yet a Blackbaud user. Here’s a list of our most recent articles:

CRM Guides

Fundraising Tool Guides

Other Blackbaud Guides

Remember, free online resources can be extremely helpful during training and implementation (and even down the road), but they’re not designed to serve as your only source of training.

For best results, work with a Blackbaud consultant to develop a full training program that completely responds to your unique goals and needs as an organization. Trust us; the upfront investment will be well worth it when you’re able to use your Blackbaud software in the most efficient and effective ways possible!

Training is an integral part of the Blackbaud implementation process. After all, why spend your hard-earned funds on software that you can’t use to its fullest potential? Make training a priority as you get up and running with your new tool, and remember that working with a Blackbaud consultant is the best option for streamlined, holistic training.

Looking for more information about nonprofit technology or technology consulting? Check out these resources:

Click through to learn more about getting Blackbaud training from the DNL OmniMedia team!

Back to the top