2011 Review of Blackbaud, Inc. — Fundware

Blackbaud, Inc. - Fundware

From the November 2011 Review of Not-for-Profit Accounting Systems


Best Fit
Fundware is best suited for mid-sized to large nonprofit organizations that have qualified staff available to set up and maintain the program for optimal functionality.


  • Available in two editions for increased scalability
  • Excellent reporting options
  • High level of customization
  • Solid Project/Grant tracking
  • Strong track record in nonprofit segment

Potential Limitations

  • System navigation can be challenging for new users
  • System setup & customization can be time-consuming


No stranger to the nonprofit world, Fundware has been a solid fund accounting solution for nonprofits and government entities for more than 27 years. This is a complex system that can be customized to suit the needs of nonprofits of any type.

Basic System Functions - 4.5 Stars

Fundware is currently only available as an on-premises solution, with an uncluttered main navigation screen. Access to system modules is available from the top of the screen or directly to the left, with modules expanding to display all related functions. Users who choose to access modules from the menu bar at the top can navigate using the drop-down menu options. The Home Page function allows users to setup a main system navigation page where frequently used functions, reminders and report options can be displayed for easy access. All data-entry screens contain necessary lookup options, and data-entry fields can be automatically populated using previously saved data.

Fundware modules include GL/Project Grant, AP, AR, Payroll, Budget Preparation, Allocation Management, Fixed Assets, Classic Budget Forecasting, Classic AR, Classic Cash Receipts and Report Manager. Various add-on modules are available, as well, including Bank Reconciliation, Import Expert, Electronic Timesheets, Advanced Security, and F9 Financial Reporter. All modules can be added as needed, and those that outgrow Fundware can easily migrate to the vendor’s top-tier system, The Financial Edge.

Core NFP/Fund Accounting Capabilities - 4.5 Stars

Fundware utilizes a table-driven chart of accounts designed for complex fund accounting. Users may create custom accounts with as much or as little detail as desired. The Account Builder function makes it easier to build a solid chart of accounts by allowing users to create complex account structures to better track project and grant activity. Multiple transaction types can be entered, including standard journal entries, recurring and reversing entries, interfund account transactions, and standard entries such as cash posting, automatic vendor invoicing and allocation processing. Two budget options are available. The Budget Preparation module allows users to create multiple budgets for each project or fund, and multiple budget revisions can be performed, with all budgets able to span multiple years. Solid budget reporting is available, as well.

All grant and project activity can be tracked with the Project/Grant module, with full integration to Fundware’s financial modules, eliminating the need for duplicate data entry. Fundware also offers automated fund balancing, which can be utilized for both direct and indirect cost allocations. Cross-fiscal year capability allows for customization of year-end closing by choosing specific funds and accounts to include. Excellent audit trail functionality records alls system transactions along with transaction details such as date and system user.

Management Features - 4.25 Stars

Custom dashboards can be created for each user. The Classic Budget Forecasting module offers the ability to create and monitor budget scenarios, including forecasting capability. I found this particular interface to be a little cumbersome. Security features include multi-level access settings where users can be placed in a specific workgroup or assigned individual rights. Each user must be assigned to at least one workgroup. Access to the system is task-driven, and the optional Advanced Security module offers even tighter controls, with user restrictions by account number.

The AP module offers three levels of budget controls when entering both purchase orders and invoices. The control levels (message, warning and full lock out) are user-defined. A complete customer history allows for tracking of outstanding balances and creation of invoices and statements for overdue accounts when needed. Integration with PaperSave allows users to easily manage a variety of document types for easy retrieval when needed.

Financial Statements & Reporting - 5 Stars

Fundware is a completely customizable program that offers some of the best customization capability I’ve seen. Users can easily add different types of reports while editing various reporting attributes. The Advanced Financial Reporting module creates even more customization options. Sixty pre-defined reports are included with the Report Writer function, which is standard in Fundware, with each report easily customized to suit user needs. Necessary financial reports such as FASB 117, GASB 34 and IRS 990 are easily produced, and the Project/Grant module allows for both standard and custom grant reports, including Grant Expenses, Grant Activity and a good selection of user-defined reports. Reports can be exported to a variety of third-party applications.

Integration & Import/Export - 4.5 Stars

Payroll and other data can be imported into Fundware, with the system providing a full error-check prior to posting. The System Administration Guide provides the detail needed to import data. All Fundware standard modules integrate with each other, as do all available add-on modules. Fundware Connect can be used for a higher level of import/export capability.

Help/Support - 4.25 Stars

Fundware offers standard Help functionality in each module, with assistance for common concerns such as system setup and customization. All Fundware downloads are available on the Blackbaud website to all users with an active service contract. A knowledgebase can assist with both general software issues as well as module-specific problems. Blackbaud also offers a variety of training options, including self-paced and classroom training, as well as a subscription service, which promotes a wide variety of classes and seminars. A variety of support plans are offered, with all plan options providing access to telephone support, the knowledgebase and user forums.

Summary & Pricing

Fundware pricing varies, depending on the modules needed, with individual module prices ranging from $1,295 to $3,995. Available in an edition for up to five users, as well as an Enterprise Edition, Fundware is scalable is optimally designed for larger organizations with more complex customization needs.

2011 Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars