When to use the Blackbaud Community 3115

When to use the Blackbaud Community

How to decide when to post a question for the Community or when to reach out to Support? 

Search for the answer:

Take 10 minutes to search using global search then product-specific search , finally search Knowledgebase

Still can't find your answer ? Here are a few basic guidelines to help you decide to post in Community or scroll to the bottom of any Community page and click the Blackbaud Customer Support link:

1. Can I still work within my Blackbaud product? 
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the first question to ask yourself when deciding between posting in Community and contacting support is "can I still work within my Blackbaud product"? If the answer is yes, I recommend asking your question in the Community first. That way you can continue working while the awesome members of the Community respond with their ideas, tips, tricks, and feedback. If the answer is no and you are hosted by Blackbaud, I recommend checking the hosting status pages (linked from community) first and then making your decision from what you learn there. If the answer is no and you are not hosted by Blackbaud, I suggest contacting your IT team first and then working with them to determine if you need to engage support.

2. Do I know how to do this?
The second question should be "do I know how to do this?" If you think you know how to do something, but aren't getting the result you expected and you have some time before you need to deliver the result, I'd recommend asking the Community first. Community members are pretty great at helping troubleshoot tricky situations. If you aren't getting the result you expected and you're on a tight deadline, you might consider contacting support. 

3. Are there a lot of potential ways to tackle this project?
This third question comes from the unique scenarios that may arise, based on how your organization works. These idiosyncrasies sometimes cause unexpected results. In these cases, the Community should be your first stop. The volume of users in the site means that there is most likely someone else who has encountered something similar and can help you work through those unexpected surprises. Plus, you'll get the perspective of other users who may have approached the same goals in many different ways. With more information, you can determine what will work best for you and your organization. 

4. Are you looking for feedback?
Do you have an idea that you would like feedback on? This is a purely Community-type question. Post it and then sit back and watch the ideas and feedback roll in!

5. Do you want to talk to someone like you?
And finally, if you are hoping to connect with other people who have similar work experiences to your own, the Community is the place to be! The Community is the best place to build out a network of peers to help you succeed!

News Community News 08/31/2017 8:30am EDT

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Does anyone have any suggestions on a company and some pricing options for our non-profit agency to research donors in our area? I know there are companies out there, that will provide a list for you, but I don't know where to start looking.

We are starting our new campaign and my Custom Reports, built on Crystal Reports are no longer working. We've had them since 2004. As Blackbaud no longer supports Crystal Reports, can anyone recommend someone who does? The canned reports don't give the information our director wants/needs. I've worked with Blackbaud support and they feel the issue is within Crystal. Thank you for any help.

Has anyone created or used an API (Application Programming Interface) to allow RE and FE to communicate automatically for gift posting?

Hi Becky,
This would be a great question to pose or search for within the RE or FE communities.

Chui Chan Chui Chan Sep '17
Thank you, this is very helpful. 
Thanks Holly, for another great Helpful Hints! 
Jen Claudy Jen Claudy Aug '17
Great post, Holly!

I'd add that if you post in the Community when your question should probably have gone to Support, someone will tell you/suggest that!  (Or if you don't get an answer that suits your needs.)

One general tip...just as in RE where you search the database for a name before adding a new Constituent Record, it's good practice do a quick search before posting.  Particularly general or best practice questions.  Even if what you find is old, adding a comment will "reactivate" the post so others will read it and add new answers.
Hi Kim. Thanks for this feedback. I think the distinction we are trying to make in number 2 is that Community is a good place to go to learn how to do new things while support is a good place to go when those things you are trying aren't working.
Kim Berry Kim Berry Aug '17
While I think the community is great, I take issue with number 2 - Do I know how to do this? If I am trying to figure out how to do something, I usually start with the Knowledgebase. Often I can find the answer there.  If I can't figure it out based on Knowledgebase materials, I will contact support.  After all, that is what they are there for and I expect to have that level of support from the vendor.  If I just go straight to the community, I have to wait for folks to read and react to my query. My two cents worth.
This is excellent information for community users, thank you Holly.
Ruth Evans Ruth Evans Jan '17
Thank you for this post. I first try to use the knowledge base as much as possible, then support.
Thanks Holly! This is a great description, and reminder, of the many ways the Community can be helpful.
Awesome questions and answers Holly Herbert!
Thanks for this, Holly! Useful tips and sometimes I find I get different answers depending on where I go as most questions have a ton of different solutions in RE. I sometimes have trouble navigating and searching Community, though, to see if there are posts out there already about my question. Are there any sessions about tips and tricks for using Community?
This is GREAT, Holly! Thank you!
Thank you for addressing this issue...it is hard sometimes to exactly know what approach is approriate. I would say that there are times when waiting for a response and identifying the BEST response on Community is not always the most time-sensitive way to get an answer. I would also say if it is a crucial question that is holding up other processes....you have to then decide to rely on Support. Gathering information and feedback along with a Support inquiry is helpful too.