Web Page Manager (Blackbaud NetCommunity) Review

Selecting the right CMS solution for your nonprofit organization - Blackbaud's NetCommunity

Blackbaud offers many different content management system (CMS) solutions for their users including PageBuilder, Luminate Online CMS (LO CMS) and NetCommunity (BBNC). We’ve already reviewed PageBuilder and LO CMS and today we will be reviewing the Blackbaud NetCommunity solution, which is the only CMS on the market that is natively designed to integrate with Blackbaud’s Raiser’s Edge® (RE) and Education Edge® (EE) applications.

BBNC Packages

BBNC comes in three packages (Spark, Grow and Pro) and while each package provides a complete suite of user-friendly web, email and online fundraising tools, full CMS functionality is not introduced until the mid-range package: BBNC Grow. With all three packages, RE and EE clients will appreciate BBNC’s ability to sync information between their CMS and donor management system.

Templates

BBNC’s CMS is broken down into the following:

  • Layouts – which is the HTML structure of your site
  • Templates – which include header, footer, menus and any content you want to appear across multiple pages
  • Individual Webpages – which will make up your site
  • Parts – which are the individual components like text or donation forms which can be added to templates and pages

You can create multiple stylesheets, layouts, and templates and use them across multiple pages.

Customization

The look and feel of standard BBNC parts, such as event registration forms, calendars and polls can be customized to match your branding using CSS. Content and image parts can be further edited using BBNC’s built in WYSIWYG editor. Javascript and jQuery are supported using custom content parts, and many clients use this feature to overcome the limitations of BBNC’s standard parts. All three BBNC packages (Spark, Grow and Pro) support responsive design, and Grow and Pro also support mobile-optimized design, which rearranges your page so that important content can be displayed more prominently on mobile devices.

Tutorials and Guides

Like other Blackbaud products, BBNC comes with user manuals, help files, video tutorials and a dedicated support team that operates during Blackbaud’s normal support hours. You can access support options from Blackbaud.com or directly from your BBNC site. BBNC also has an online user community where clients can report problems or offer suggestions for new features.

Bottom Line

The integration between Blackbaud NetCommunity and RE/EE makes this a good choice for existing or potential RE/EE clients that want to leverage their constituent data with their online marketing tools. However, BBNC’s packaged suites may not be the best choice for clients who envision adding a lot of custom features, or for clients who are only looking for CMS functionality.

To read more about administrative controls and SSL Certifications, please see our CMS paper that includes more information on Blackbaud’s NetCommunity, Blackbaud’s PageBuilder, Blackbaud’s Luminate Online CMS (LO CMS), Drupal, WordPress and Site.com.

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Monika McMahon

About Monika McMahon

Monika joined Heller Consulting after spending 8 years in the Boulder technology startup scene. She is an expert in Social and Digital marketing, adopting and implementing new (and old) platforms for organizations ranging from ecommerce, SaaS, and nonprofits. Monika not only understands how these platforms work but how to use them to meet business objectives. When she is not educating and sharing her online talents, she can be found enjoying the music scene in Denver.

3 comments

  1. Hi Monika,

    Just want to note the Big River platform is able to integrate with Raiser’s Edge and other donor databases and it offers tremendous flexibility and ease of use at a price that works for most nonprofit organizations. I want to be sure people know that there is a BB alternative out there! http://www.gobigriver.com

  2. Susan Kenna Wright

    Agreed. The integration is great for Raiser’s Edge customers but if you’re not using the Raiser’s Edge, this probably isn’t the tool for you.

  3. BBNC is a pretty popular tool. A nonprofit I work with noted Layouts, Templates, and Parts have really helped them streamline processes. For organizations considering BBNC alternatives, many CMS platforms employ similar tools as well.

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