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What Does it Look Like to Work With CharityEngine?

Wondering what it would look like to work with CharityEngine? Well, worry no are the steps we will take together!

What Does it Look Like to Work With CharityEngine?

It can be nerve-wracking to think about a new CRM. New people, new technology, new features, and, if the sales guys are to be believed, fantastic fundraising and donor management success. 

But just as no one likes jumping into a pool blindfolded, no one really wants to commit to an entirely new relationship without knowing what they’re getting into.

So let’s bring our processes into the light! This article will walk you through exactly what it looks like when a client comes on board with CharityEngine. If you’re considering a move to our software, this overview will highlight our customer care and the ease with which we will implement your new system.

The Cast of Characters

Clients finish the sales cycle when they sign the contract. You move into an onboarding phase that’s managed by a different team. This is the Customer Experience Team, and it is dedicated to making sure your implementation is smooth and all your questions are answered.

Your team will include:

  • A Director of Customer Service oversees the customer service team that will provide support for the contract duration. They will address any issues with the system after implementation, provide educational opportunities to share best practices for taking advantage of the power of CharityEngine, and look for potential product improvements based on clients' needs.
  • A Project Manager will be your main point of contact throughout this implementation phase. They will drive the project to meet milestones, coordinate resource support, and provide weekly updates to clients on the project progression.
  • A team of Implementation Specialists is responsible for managing and executing the back-end work of the implementation.
  • A Customer Experience Manager will stay with you after the implementation concludes. This team member will know your system, serve as a resource if you have post-implementation questions, and partner with you to find ongoing success. This role is a little technical, a little managerial, a little consultant-y, and this team member is always ready to help.

This all-star cast is supported by veteran training and IT experts.

The CharityEngine Customer Bill of Rights

It’s helpful for our clients to know what they can expect from us and what we expect from them. We developed this bill of rights to state all expectations clearly.

The CharityEngine team promises to:

  • Provide documented resources and tools for success
  • Create and manage the project timeline
  • Stick to agreed-upon timelines and deadlines
  • Deliver agreed-upon requirements
  • Keep you updated on progress
  • Arrive to all meetings prepared and with a collaborative spirit
  • Respond to all emails within 24 business hours
  • Coordinate introduction and complete transition to our Client Success team

The Customer team promises to:

  • Ask questions and seek clarity, but understand we may have to ask for more detail
  • Stay within the purchased scope of service
  • Come to meetings prepared with a collaborative spirit
  • Own their data and business process
  • Speak up as things are happening so they can be adjusted quickly
  • Stick to agreed-upon timelines and deadlines
  • Provide a lead point person for the project

Five Phases of Implementation

The project plan moves methodically through five phases: Discovery, System Build, Training, User Acceptance Testing, and System Acceptance.


The Discovery phase is a getting-to-know-each-other time. 

  • The customer will be asked to complete a requirements gathering form, so we have the data we need in one place.
  • We will coordinate the setup of your payment processing.
  • We will work with you to understand the critical data fields to ensure smooth data migration.
  • Finally, we will review project goals, requirements, timelines, and due dates and sign an agreement to solidify these details.

System Build and Data Migration

This is where the fun starts! We begin in the back end, and there are four major milestones we meet before we move on.

  • Payment processing is set up and tested. CharityEngine has pretty unique capabilities when it comes to ACH processing, which we do in-house.
  • We set up your domain.
  • We will offer guidance and support as you map your data and add it to a template for importing.
  • We import the data, and you review it.
  • Finally, we review the configuration and build, import the data, and modify and test all forms, templates, and payment processing functionality. 


We pledge to our clients that we will train you until you are comfortable, and then we will continue to offer product support over the life of your contract.

The CharityEngine team will train you on your specific instance of the software. You will not simply be directed to a library of resources or given general training that may or may not apply to you. We will train you on your modules and your system.

  • All clients have in-classroom training on Online Forms, Emails, and Campaigns. 
  • We offer self-guided training on Contacts, Donations (Gift Entry and Management), Reporting, and Peer-to-Peer (if it’s in the contract). 
  • If applicable, in-classroom training is available for Events, Advocacy, E-commerce, Online Auctions, Advanced Fraud, and CAU (credit card updater). 

Off-the-shelf modules include:

  • Email Marketing
  • Online Forms and CMS
  • Payment Processing
  • Reporting and Analytics

And available “add-on” modules include:

  • Event Registration and Online Auctions
  • Major Gifts
  • Text-to-Give
  • Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
  • Sustainer Management
  • E-Commerce
  • Membership Management
  • Advocacy Campaigns

User Acceptance Testing

The CharityEngine team will guide you through User Acceptance Testing, which is when you kick the tires of the system. We ask that you thoroughly test every form and bit of functionality.

We then make edits and revisions to ensure the implementation is successful and as you expected.

Don’t forget that we’re with you every step of the way. You can always call and email your project manager, and we promise a quick response.

System Acceptance

This is the day we’ve all been anticipating! We will review the system and prepare to go live. Ever your partner, we will have a series of customized checklists to walk you through your new system. This is yet another opportunity to review the system and make sure it’s functioning as you expect before we sign off.

What Does the Project Timeline Look Like?

Our implementations run from 60 - 90 days. On average, this is how much time we budget for each project phase:

  • Discovery (Week 1 to Week 2)
  • System Build (Week 2 to Week 7)
  • Data Migration (Week 2 to Week 7)
  • User Acceptance Training (Week 3 to Week 5)
  • Training (Week 5 to Week 6)  
  • System Acceptance (Week 7 to Week 8)

What Happens After Implementation?

We’re still right by your side! You move to the last team, and the one you’ll be with the longest: Customer Success.  

To give you an idea of what to expect, we have compiled a list of clients' top questions after implementation. We also offer a more comprehensive guide showing you what it's like to work with us. It’s important to know that we are by your side from the moment the contract is signed, and we won’t stop until your questions are answered.

The CharityEngine Promise

As our CEO, Phil Schmitz, explains in this video about CharityEngine, our company was created because technology was holding nonprofits back and inhibiting their ability to shine a light on areas of need. Every member of our team is dedicated to the success of our clients, and we pledge to offer the technology and customer service that will enhance our clients’ abilities to make a difference in the world. We will work tirelessly for your complete satisfaction.