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Review: Blackthorn.io Featured

Review: Blackthorn.io Erda Estremera

Coming onto the scene in 2015, Blackthorn.io became a Salesforce partner in 2016. As a native app - Blackthorn’s technology sits on top of Salesforce creating a seamless, secure connection. Salesforce users who utilize any native app like Blackthorn can rely on real time and accurate reporting with no integration with Salesforce needed since native apps were created in Salesforce specifically for Salesforce users.

In Use:

Blackthorn employs an array of solutions to help Salesforce users engage with their clientele. With roughly two hundred Blackthorn customers identifying as nonprofits, Blackthorn helps charities of all different sizes take advantage of a robust solution that enables their users to manage events, process payments, comply with data laws and communicate through a SMS messaging app. All within Salesforce’s ecosystem.

While Blackthorn has received accolades for all of their solutions – they are most well known for their event management and payment processing tools. Nonprofits who opt for the event management solution enjoy customizable registration pages, auto-generated event URLs, and integrations with Strike, Zoom, and Doculink to securely share invoices. The app is also mobile responsive, and attendees can check in to events using their mobile device. Living in Salesforce, nonprofits don’t have to worry about data not transferring over or duplicate entries when uploading contacts.

Pricing begins at $575 per month for the payment module and $875 for the event solution. Charites and nonprofits do receive a discount.

Ease of Use:

One reason that Blackthorn.io is easy to use is that there are no bulky spreadsheet uploads or need to sync databases. Data is updated in real time and is always accurate. You’ll never have to wonder why you have ten people registered but only 8 people uploaded to Salesforce.

Blackthorn is also “easy to use” by design. “If you have to read a document, it’s already too complicated,” Matt Frank, Blackthorn’s Director of Technology Evangelism & Product Marketing said on a call. Ease of use is not only important to Frank but Blackthorn as a whole. They believe that “software shouldn’t require an expert to run it.” With many nonprofit organizations relying on volunteers who wear many hats – this is ideal.

Customer representatives are on hand to help users navigate the solution or day-of-event troubles. They have people on staff 24/5 but they are able to have representatives available to monitor and track issues should an event occur on the weekend. They have worldwide coverage from North America to South Asia and Australia.

Technology Used:

Blackthorn.io is a cloud-based technology. The only exception is the event solution that incorporates a mobile check-in application for in-person events.

Recap:

Blackthorn is an event management solution that is considered a “native app” to Salesforce – or a solution that sits on top of Salesforce’s technology. With Blackthorn, users can run an event seamlessly while never leaving their Salesforce instance. This allows the users to feel confident that their data is secure and accurate. They also have a payment and compliance solution and a solution for SMS messaging.

Advantages:

  • Offers a seamless connection for Salesforce users
  • Integrates with Zoom, Doculinks, and Stripe
  • Is mobile responsive and has a mobile check in for events

Disadvantages:

  • It’s expensive – even with a discount for nonprofits
  • There are only three templates to choose from when creating an event page
  • Only for Salesforce users

My Opinion:

Originally, I thought this would be a tool for only large nonprofits because of the price. While I appreciate that Blackthorn gives nonprofits a discount – I still can’t see many small nonprofits being able to afford such a high monthly payment. With only three templates to choose from when creating an event page – there are cheaper options available.

That being said, Blackthorn.io’s biggest advantage is that it’s a native app to Salesforce and many users have commented on how easy it is to navigate. Like Matt Frank, I agree that any nonprofit solution should be easy to use because volunteers wear many hats.

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Danielle Loughnane

Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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