Search results start with the broadest answers. If you don't find what you're looking for after your first search, refine your search: use different words and/or filters. You can save your filters, exclude filters, and even use Boolean operators.  For a quick overview, take our short online Knowledgebase tour

Searching basics

Knowledgebase (KB) knows many acronyms and automatically includes variations of words. For example, if you search for the word report, KB will search for report or reports or reported or reporting or reportable.  If you want to restrict the search to only the word you entered, use quotation marks around the word, such as "report".

We recommend not including the name of your Blackbaud product in your search criteria; instead, mark the product filter checkbox for your product to restrict results to a specific product (see below): the product filter will include all documents that are tagged with that product so you'll receive the full set of results for your search criteria.

Searching for error or warning messages

  • If the information you're looking for pertains to an error or warning message, search for that error or message.
  • The titles of Knowledgebase articles about errors follow the same naming convention: the word Error, a colon, the exact error message (unless it's exceptionally long), a hyphen, and when or where it occurs.
  • For example:

Error: No records meet specified criteria - when running a query


  • Filters are very powerful; you can use filters to include and/or exclude content from just one search or all searches.
  • When viewing your search results, you'll see Content Type and Product filters on the left side of the page. Mark one or more checkboxes to specify exactly what you're looking for and drill down into search results accordingly. 
  • The number of pieces of content which pertain to each product based on your search criteria display in parenthesis.

There are 2 types of search filters in Knowledgebase on Content Type and Product:

1. Content Type

  • Our Knowledgebase contains four types of content:
    • Articles: our support analysts write articles about the questions they're asked and answers they provide.  
    • Documentation: this category includes user guides, help files, release notes, and system requirements. 
    • Videos: typically short video demos on Blackbaud Support's YouTube channel
    • Web Pages: other website pages
  • Content filters display both on the left side of the page and also as tabs on the top of search results. The default Knowledgebase tab includes all content.
  • To restrict your results to only one content type, either select that tab above search results (see screenshot below) or mark its Content Type checkbox.
  • To restrict your results to more than one content type and/or to exclude a content type from search results, use the Content Type filters along with the default Knowledgebase tab.
KB content type tabs

2. Product:
  • Select a product filter when you want to see information only about a product. You can select multiple product filters.
  • The products with the most results for your search criteria automatically display at the top of the Product list. To find another product, either click More or start typing its name in the "Find your product" field.
Find your product or click More
  • Some products expand to reveal sub-products. To filter your ​search results by a sub-product, click the down arrow beside the top-level product to expand it and then mark the checkbox beside the specific sub-product. For example:
1. Click the down arrow beside Raiser's Edge to expand and display the list of Raiser's Edge subproducts
Subproducts filter arrow
2. Mark the checkbox next to the subproduct you want information about, such as Raiser's Edge NXT.

Select a subproduct

Removing your filters
There are several options to clear your filters:

  • Click the “X” from the top of the search results or beside each individual filter
  • ​Click the “X” beside the filter(s) on the left
  • Unmark the filter checkbox(s) 
Options to clear search filters
Excluding content
You can exclude content from search results by hovering your cursor over a filter and clicking the circle with the slash.  
Exclude content

When you exclude a filter, the filter displays with a line through it. Simply click the excluded filter to include it again.
Excluded content

Saving your filters
Here's how to save a product filter for future searches:

  1. Mark the checkbox beside the name of your product(s)
  2. Click the icon with three horizontal lines to expand the filter settings fly-out menu
  3. Click Save This Filter
Save filters

Adjusting your search settings
Click the icon with 3 horizontal lines to control the filters:
  • You can sort the filters by occurrences (number of results), score (proprietary ranking), or label (alpha order).
  • You can save your filter for subsequent searches. See above for steps and a screenshot. Saving your filters is handy if you use only one or two Blackbaud products.
  • You can collapse the filter
Search settings

Searching PDFs

There are two ways to search product documentation PDFs for a specific word or phrase:
1. Click the up or down arrow after the highlighted search term at the top of the Quick View to scroll through each reference in the PDF.  You can change the individual search words into a combined search phrase to quickly locate that phrase in the document by closing the Quick View and searching again using quotes around the words (i.e. "constituent report"). 
Search for multiple words

2. Press CTRL+F on your keyboard to open the search box in your browser and type the words or phrase there.

Browser search

Boolean Operators
You can also use the OR and NOT Boolean operators to refine your search. You must type Boolean Operators in all capital letters in order for the search engine to recognize them as Booleans.

  • OR: the content must contain at least one of the words separated by the word OR. For example:
    • For this search: vendor OR report 
    • Search returns content that contains the word "vendor" or the word "report" or both the words "vendor" and "report"
  • NOT: the content must not contain the word following the word NOT. Use the word NOT in front of each term you want to exclude. Note: the minus sign operator doesn't work as NOT because because the dash is frequently used in error messages and would negatively affect the search. You must capitalize the word NOT (if you type Not or not, the search engine won't see the word as a Boolean Operator).  For example:
    • For this search: vendor NOT report
    • Search returns content that contains the word "vendor" but not the word "report"
Note: We recommend not using the AND or NEAR Boolean operators because they won't return results as expected due to the search configuration.  

For more information about how to use KB, including answers to frequently asked questions, review Knowledgebase Help.