There’s a tile for that…

Stu Hawkins
Sep 26, 2019 · 5 min read

Does your imagination exceed your CRM’s features? Do you find yourself thinking “if only it did xyz” I could get my job done easier??

Do you get excited when you’re offered a call to see how you’re using the product — cos you have SO many ideas for cool things that would allow you to get back to what you’re really meant to be doing?!

Well today we’re in Blackbaud RE NXT world, and we’re going to talk about how you can do exactly that!!

Tiles just got custom

So you know all the boxes on your Constituent/Gift/Action pages — what you may or may not know is that they’re called Tiles. And they’re pretty cool. And you can move them around and minimize them and stuff to make NXT your own. But here’s something new — it’s now possible to add custom tiles. That’s right! ALL that imagination we talked about up front now has an outlet!

And Pretty much, what they do is limited only by that self same imagination. A custom tile appears on the constituent page (or gift or action — and there will be more in the future) and appears and acts as just like any other of the built-in tiles. It displays information relevant to *that* constituent and feels exactly like part of the rest of NXT.

But underneath, it’s a separate app that displays in that little window. Which is the clever part — because that frees the custom tile to be anything that can be developed in an app — which is essentially anything — so get that imagination into gear…

What can you do with them?

We reckon there are two broad categories of things you can do with this new tool in your toolbox:

1: “Extended Functionality”

Need a feature that doesn’t exist, or is uber-focused to your organisation? There’s a tile for that!

In this category niche functionality is built into a tile, contextualised to the constituent (or gift or action — I won’t say that again — you’re a smart cookie, I think you’ve got it!!) and you’re able to do new things right within NXT

Take a look at these examples…

Relationships Tree

The relationships tile was developed for an organisation for whom the relationships between constituents was a major part of their donor engagement. Consequently they were looking for a way to display these in a graphical tree on the constituent page so that the user could visualize how that constituent fitted into the community.

NZ address validation

This one extends functionality geographically. NZ post offer significant discounts to NonProfits that address mail according to their requirements. But no address validation was available within NXT that followed these guidelines

We developed a simple tile that connects to a NZ-Based address API (that incidentally is free of charge to NonProfits) and allows easy editing and addition of addresses including maintaining a history of primary addresses.

2. “A window to another world…”

Ok, maybe not another world — but it might just feel like it!

Basically, do you need to display information about a constituent that’s stored in another system? There’s a tile for that!

Say you run an online store where your supporters can purchase items to support your cause. Or merch. We love merch btw :) You may never want to report on that in NXT, but you may want that information available so your team can see it if a supporter calls in. A tile would be ideal here — it gives the whole constituent view you’re looking for whilst being significantly more lightweight than a full integration.

Here’s another example:

WWF here in Sydney use Zendesk to handle supporter enquiries — it’s a helpdesk, it’s awesome at that! They didn’t need to report on this in NXT — so we developed a tile that displays a constituent’s tickets in a tile on the constituent page. You see the summary right away, and you can click on an individual ticket which opens that ticket in Zendesk so you can go deeper.

Their team have the info they need without switching between systems. IT doesn’t have an integration to support #nomoredigitalwaste

How do I get one?

Now THAT’s a great question! There’s a growing ecosystem of companies that can turn your imagination into reality and provide a tile that does that ‘one thing’ that makes your job easier and more productive!

These can be off the shelf — where the solution has already been created

OR an actually custom, custom tile! i.e you need a solution that’s unique to your organisation and being able to use the Tile framework and add that directly within NXT is exactly what you’ve been looking for

  • Take a look on Blackbaud’s Marketplace — there’s a growing number of custom tiles to be found on there.
  • We LOVE tiles @ Red Arc — the examples above are from our collection
    + we have developed a framework enabling us to efficiently create new or CUSTOM ones
  • And of course, they are apps — you just need a developer. Maybe you are fortunate enough to have an in-house team even. Either way — go talk to one and share your vision!

Let’s do this!

Hopefully that’s fired up your imagination, or given you the missing piece to make a project you’ve been wanting to do possible. Tiles really are a game changer for NXT — opening up the application to an almost endless possibilities, through an ecosystem of providers, limited only by your creativity.

And next time you’re wishing you could do xyz, remember…


Found this article useful? Come say Hi to #teamredarc at BBCON in Sydney AND Nashville!

Red Arc

Transforming fundraising, one story at a time..

Red Arc

Transforming fundraising, one story at a time..

Stu Hawkins

Written by

Founder of Red Arc, passionate to TRANSFORM fundraising via innovation and technology. Knows the England football team will one day have 2 stars on their shirt.

Red Arc

Transforming fundraising, one story at a time..