Altru

(15)
3.6 out of 5 stars

Altru makes it simple! Whether your organization is growing, and ready to take that next step, or established, and looking for strategic solutions for complex issues, Altru arts and cultural nonprofit management software has you covered!

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Altru review by <span>Adam C.</span>
Adam C.
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Great browser-based platform for managing your patrons and donors

What do you like best?

It offers a complete, cloud-based, front desk POS system (runs in a web browser) and online checkout solution for all your ticketing and admissions needs. Altru is also a robust tool for managing memberships and donations. We love that tickets sold from our front desk and online all pull from the same inventory, in real-time. When the last ticket is sold out, it's sold out everywhere --no accidental overselling.

Adding programs and events is easy. You can set up a new program and be selling tickets in a few minutes. You can also take donations either at your front desk or online. There's also a robust backend system for doing batch deposits of donations and payments you receive in the mail.

As mentioned before, this is a cloud-based, browser-based system, so there's no maintenance or backups needed on our your end. Blackbaud has fantastic engineers who take care of everything for you. Blackbaud also handles installing all the regular product updates.

Altru is also a complete tool for managing facility rentals. You can manage your rental clients with Altru, including generating contracts and taking security deposits. You can manage their itineraries and deadlines too.

That all runs on top of a complete CRM database where we can keep track of all our donors.

What do you dislike?

Altru has the ability to automatically create online forms for selling tickets and taking donations. It's basically an e-commerce checkout system, and it works great. However, modifying the default web form templates takes some web coding skills that likely only someone with moderate experience with HTML and CSS will be able to figure out. There's not really a design WYSIWYG for the web forms; you're on your own. We rely on Altru web forms a lot, so we've invested a lot of time to get ours designed correctly.

Altru's Merchandise module is not developed enough to be useful for even a small gift shop operation. If your organization is just selling a few shirts, mugs, hats, and stickers (maybe at your front desk), Altru will work fine for that. If your gift shop already has a POS and inventory system, don't expect Altru to replace it--keep what you have.

Also, while Altru can completely manage your rental clients, including processing credit cards, it does not currently offer an online invoicing and payment system. Your rental clients won't be able to see their invoices and pay online. Apparently, many other rental locations allow for this. Our clients need to call us to give us their credit card information. I've heard this feature is in the works, but there's no anticipated date for it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Don't just talk to an Altru customer, go visit their site and see how they're using it at the front desk and the back end. Especially listen to how their senior staff feel about the tool. Also understand that there's not really another tool like Altru that's remotely competitive.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Before we used Altru, we were using several tools to do everything Altru can do, and it was costing us way more than we are paying for Altru. We were running VISTA by TicketMaster for ticketing, CounterPoint for our gift shop, Raiser's Edge for our donor database, and other proprietary web software for online ticketing. It was a mess to manage all those systems and impossible to get all those systems to talk to each other. When we migrated to Altru, using just that one tool, we saved around $50K in the first five years. Altru combined so many business operations into one place, it made managing the connections between all our patrons and donors much easier. Every interaction we have with our patrons and donors is in one place at a glance. We can see every time someone visits our museum or makes a donation or buys a shirt. After six years of using Altru, we are now in a position to leverage all the data we have about our patrons and donors and start making better business decisions.

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Altru review by <span>Lori H.</span>
Lori H.
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Great All-Around Product That Will Address Many Organization-Wide Issues

What do you like best?

Altru is a good platform for complete front-to-back organizational needs, especially for a smaller organization. The Blackbaud teams is great to work with from the setup during pre-migration all the way through to making sure your organizational needs are met with your staffing team. Ticketing on the front end through the donation backoffice are efficient, reporting is good. Membership application is great to work with and the majority of Altru is very intuitive.

What do you dislike?

Main issues that have come up throughout our organization are the group sales capability, the Membership renewal process is cumbersome and convoluted. The lack of a way to connect to Financial Edge has been an issue with our finance dept and our CFO.

Recommendations to others considering the product

if you have a need for an all-in-one to cover needs from Front of House to back office donations, I do highly recommend it. Good solid product and those things that are desired that Altru currently doesn't offer - the Community is great for finding workarounds until those issues are addressed in update releases. I definitely recommend the product.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We've been able to efficiently track more activity within the organization, which has been great for identifying weak programs vs strong programs, plus easier to track member and donor activity through the reporting. The discount report was a huge help.

What Museum solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Altru review by <span>Shannon K.</span>
Shannon K.
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Top 10 Reasons Altru is Awesome

What do you like best?

There's a great deal to like about Altru! Here's the Top 10 List:

(10) Everything is in one place so information entered by, for example, someone in the Education Department is immediately seen by someone in Membership. You never have to worry that something is out of date.

(9) Altru is in the cloud. You can let the experts worry about server maintenance and upgrades.

(8) Setting up the product can be a little complicated, but the technical staff at Blackbaud are extraordinarily helpful. And there's a great deal of online documentation/videos.

(7) Moving to Altru forces you to evaluate your existing business processes and improve everything, not just the software you're using.

(6) The product is easy to use once it's configured. For example, Visitor Services staff that I've worked with have no trouble getting the hang of processing basic transactions.

(5) There are often multiple ways to do something in Altru so you can choose which best fits your particular business needs.

(4) The Altru Community lets you connect with other organizations that use Altru to share ideas, best practices, etc.

(3) Tech Support is very responsive. They may not always know the answer, but they know where to find it.

(2) The product is continuously improving. The Altru Development Team frequently asks for input from existing customers as they're designing and building new functionality and releases come out at least every quarter.

And the #1 reason that Altru is awesome...

(1) Altru helps streamline business processes and increase efficiency so that staff can move beyond dealing with the database and focus on their real purpose: building relationships with visitors.

What do you dislike?

There are a few specific things that Altru doesn't handle: online merchandise sales, online discounts on special events, newsletter sign-ups. It's also difficult (not impossible, but not straightforward) to set up multi-day programs, such as summer camps, when there are a lot of different options.

Recommendations to others considering the product

When you buy an enterprise product, you're buying the process, not just the software. So make sure it fits how you want to do business.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I first moved to Altru in 2012 while working at the RISD Museum in Providence, RI. At that time, processing a membership took at least three weeks from the time the application was received until the member's card was put in the mail. After switching to Altru, that time dropped to a maximum of 2 days! As I said above, Altru helps to streamline business processes and increase efficiency so that staff can move beyond dealing with the database and focus on their real purpose: building relationships with visitors.

Altru review by <span>Melinda T.</span>
Melinda T.
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Great product with limitations

What do you like best?

I like th ease of use with Altru. It is very user friendly and for the most part intuitive.

What do you dislike?

Some of the features need improving. Like payments on group sales and memberships. Camp registrations and accurate snap shots on constituents records

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We now have Altru managing our entire database including payments and memberships. However, we have had to enlist another database for camp registrations.

Altru review by <span>Courtney B.</span>
Courtney B.
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For museums

What do you like best?

The program made what used to be a complicated process very simple. It's great for POS transactions as well as keeping track of constituents. This software is great because it allows administrators to really customize the layout/functions to fit the needs of the business.

What do you dislike?

Sometimes there were bugs (as there are with any program) that would slow the sales process down. Also there were times that we wanted to add/remove a feature but couldn't.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

It's a great tool for pulling relative data from constituents to build a report to track sales, trends, etc.

Altru review by <span>Gillian A.</span>
Gillian A.
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worked well so far

What do you like best?

It's worked well for our newly-expanded museum over the past year. We've got a growing membership program (~12,000 members) and our highest visitation and we can find that information we need for reporting from the reports and queries. For the most part, we've been satisfied with what Altru has to offer.

Our entire organization (children's museum) uses Altru to help manage daily sales, group sales, memberships, fundraising, merchandise sales in the museum store, and events/programs. We've been using the program for just under a year and have had success in keeping track of nearly every department of the museum.

The support team is very knowledgeable and readily available and the Altru Community is full of other users who can also help you through your specific question or issue.

What do you dislike?

We'd love to see more reports available. I initially spent a lot of time building queries to get the information we needed, and we often use queries for regular reporting. We do not use Altru for volunteer management because of its limited functionality, and feel the merchandise module could be filled out a bit more. We've run into some software issues not limited to our organization, but these have been resolved in a timely manner.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Overall, we are satisfied in the 10 months we have been using Altru. In a few years time, I am confident it will become even more tailored to our non-profit needs, especially in terms of reporting required for funding.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Membership management, fundraising, admissions, museum store/merchandise, programs and events-- comprehensive data tracking and analysis

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Kate from G2 Crowd

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