Category: Database Management

Internal Assessment: Donor Management Software Conversion

Like all good projects, a donor management software conversion should begin with a thorough analysis of your fundraising departments needs, goals and resources. In fact, an Internal Assessment should be conducted prior to seriously considering conversion, since a rigorously honest assessment may find a software conversion isn’t the best solution for your fundraising department at this time.

Keep it Clean: Tips for nonprofit mail list management

Nonprofit are moving toward the cheaper, faster email-centric communications model–but print is still king in the fundraising industry. And whereas mass email services like MailChimp and Constant Contact magically suppress duplicate emails and opt-out addresses, your organization’s back office is most likely still managing the print mail list–and most likely up to their elbows in address updates and returned mail pieces. Below…

Fundraising Benchmarks for Small Nonprofits ($2M and under)

Fundraising Benchmarking is the process of comparing your nonprofit’s performance metrics to industry bests, or the best practices of peer organizations. By analyzing normal and average results across the nonprofit sector, fundraisers can more effectively evaluate their past performance, and set appropriate goals. This Benchmarking tutorial focuses on four common fundraising performance measures: Dollars Raised Average Gift Amount Response Rate Retention Rate

Creating new household donor records in GiftWorks

All users should be provided some documentation for entering a new records, but this is especially true in GiftWorks. Not because it’s difficult, but rather because the software makes it so easy you don’t even realize you should be making decisions along the way.

The most seductive of the wrong procedures is failing to populate the First and Last Name fields when entering a new record with two members in the household, such as “Jan and Joe Rees.”  GiftWorks will make a very good guess at how a compound name should be displayed, but it won’t automatically populate the First and Last Name fields for you, which will causes complications whenever the data is screened or sorted based on name fields.

Below is a step-by-step guide for correctly creating a Household Donor record. This example will walk you through setting up an individual Donor Record with a related spouse Affiliate Donor record (in Giftworks, an affiliate Donor won’t show up on donor reports).

Creating records for a two-spouse Household in GiftWorks:

  1. Select: Donor with Household profile
  2. In Household Name field type the name as you wish the household to appear in reports (Joe and Jane Household).
  3. Click Next and confirm display name
  4. Click more details and complete name fields of head of household
  5. This will ensure the First and Last name fields are populated, as well as preserve a combined name for reporting.
  6. Addressee and Salutation options may be updated under Edit Donor options
  7. To create a separate record for spouse, from within the Edit Donor screen, navigate to relationships.
  8. Select the Add a household member option and Enter spouse First and Last Name.
  9. Check the box that indicates “Create members as affiliate donors” to avoid creating duplicate records in reports and mailing lists. Consider selecting the check boxes to copy all contact info from Household record to new member’s record.
  10. You can always activate affiliate donors as donors by deselecting the “Affiliate” option under Change Profile option (at the top of donor page). You may wish to do this if they leave the household, or you decide to manage their relationships separately, such as soliciting and acknowledging gifts independently.

Questions or Comments?

Splitting compound name fields in Excel

The following name parsing example uses an export file from GiftWorks that shows Display Name, but the same process can be applied to any exported field with a compound name (Mrs. Jan and Mr. Joseph Rees), such as a Salutation field. Use the following process to parse the compound field and move the newly created names into appropriate fields. Be sure to include the Donor ID number in ALL donor exports.

  1. Create an Excel export of your data.
  2. Sort records so that those with no First/Last Name are grouped together.
  3. Copy the Display name column and paste a duplicate column next to it and create the header TempLast.
  4. Insert a blank column to the right of the TempLast column and create the header TempFirst. Select the data in the TempLast field and click the Data Tab of Excel.
  5. Select the Text to Column option
  6. Select Delimited and click Next
  7. In the next check box menu, select Comma
  8. Click Next and Finish
  9. Now Move the data from TempLast to the blank Last Name field, and data from TempFirst to the blank First Name fields.
  10. Repeat this process to parse the First Name field into Primary and Affiliate Name fields. To adhere to the best practices of donor record householding, you will want to import a new affiliate donor record using the Affiliate Name (which is the spouse’s first name), the Last Name and address fields.
  11. Delete blank columns and resort list as desired.

If you are planning to use this export for a mailing, conduct this parsing process in Excel prior to running the NCOA update to ensure the best possible screening results. When you import the NCOA changed file, you will update the name fields and addresses at the same time.

To correct this issue permanently, and to avoid similar difficulties related to name sorting and inaccurate householding, be sure to institute the protocol for creating new donor household records when entering a compound record .

If, after correcting the blank name field issue, you are finding your NCOA changes cannot be imported back into your database, it is likely that there is one important missing field in your export–the Address Identifier field.


Questions or Comments?