A Few of My Favorite Things about Luminate CRM [Tech Tips]

Useful tips for working with Luminate CRM

Luminate CRM from Blackbaud

Nonprofits today have an exciting world of donor and constituent relationship management solutions to choose from. One such solution, Luminate CRM from Blackbaud, is an incredibly sophisticated system that contains advanced functionality. Built on Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform, Luminate CRM allows for all the standard types of gift processing needed by nonprofits.

Easy Duplicate Management

My favorite feature is the duplicate management functionality, which merges duplicates in the offline and online system at the same time so that users do not need to clean up records in two locations.

Complete Records At All Times

I also appreciate that within duplicate management, you can filter by a specific segment which you are mailing. This allows you to clean up duplicates in a segment prior to it going out, rather than having to clean your entire database prior to sending a mailing. The near real-time integration between Luminate CRM and Luminate Online (Luminate’s “sister” application for online marketing and fundraising) allows users to get a complete record at all times.

Quick Tips

Here are a few quick tips to help you get the most out of Luminate CRM and other nonprofit CRM systems built on Salesforce.com:

  • Learn about custom report types. Custom report types will allow you to expand the standard reports that you have by allowing you to link different objects to each other. This will help you immensely when building reports.
  • Use bucketed reports. A great feature of Salesforce.com reporting is the ability to create groups within your reports. For example, if you’d like a report of people who gave between $0-$100, $100-$500, and $500+, bucketed reports will allow you to do that. You can create whatever groupings you’d like with whatever range you want.
  • Take advantage of page layout flexibility. Salesforce.com allows you to remove fields from page layouts as well as move them around. This makes it easy to put your most important fields at the top of the screen, or to create new sections for key information. You can easily make a special layout for particular users, such as volunteers or less advanced staff. This makes it easy for people to see exactly what they need to, and increases user adoption.

What are a few of your favorite things about Luminate CRM?


The Connected Cause is a place for experts in the nonprofit online space to share perspective, offer guidance and promote best practices for using today’s technology effectively. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive source of collaborative thought leadership for the nonprofit industry.


  1. Smita Vadakekalam

    I love how reports can be scheduled and emailed to users directly. This really helps with user adoption! The dashboard reports are also easy to use and relatively easy to create.

  2. Smita Vadakekalam

    I love how reports can be scheduled and emailed to users directly. This really helps with user adoption! The dashboard reports are also easy to use and relatively easy to create.

  3. Susie Saxten

    I also like the designations functionality. For every designation, you can indicate a different GL code for each type of gift (stock, in-kind, pledge payment, etc.). When you add the designation to the gift, it pulls the correct GL code for you based on the gift type. Makes reconciliation reports easier to build!

  4. I also like how Luminate CRM allows you to use the Opportunity Object to track and manage Major Gifts throughout the entire moves management process, from qualification to solicitation and receipt of the gift. Fields like Stage and Probability make for great pipeline reporting, and Stage History is tracked directly on the Major Gift record. This allows users to see when the Stage has been updated, for example, moving a Major Gift from the qualification to cultivation stage.

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