The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.
When entering a gift in FundRaiser, the Mode Code is used to differentiate not only between methods of payment (cash, check, charge, etc.) but also between monetary or in-kind donations. When you create a Mode Code you must specify whether that code will be monetary or in-kind. A Mode Code is always one or the other, and each gift requires a Mode Code. You may have multiple codes, as is usual in FundRaiser, which allows for specific types of in-kind donations. For instance, one of our users is a diaper bank, and, while they accept many infant-related types of in-kind donations, they need to keep diaper donations separated from others. The easiest way was to have, simply, a "diaper" Mode Code. When running various reports, you can specify to include monetary, or in-kind, or both types of donations. Use these codes to your advantage. And check out the Coding & Spare Fields training video in the Customer Portal section of our website.
On each gift record is a "Letter Notes for Merging" section. It is primarily used for notes that will then be merged into thank you letter templates. And for monetary gifts, these are usually personal greetings, of sorts, like "Gee, it was great to see you", or "Glad to see you've recovered from surgery", or something else to more personalize the thank you letter. For In-Kind donations, this is a great place to put a description of the items (or services) that were donated. It makes a permanent record as well as an easy way to pull that description in to a thank you letter. More information on entering gifts is available in both the FundRaiser Overview and Recurring Gifts training videos available in the Customer Portal section of our website.
As mentioned in Tony Poderis' recent blog post, you cannot arbitrarily assign a value for IRS purposes, but you can certainly assign a value for purposes of estimating retail worth, so you can thank the donor properly. Remember that you will always be able to do reports that are based on only monetary, or only in-kind, or a combination of gifts. If you simply do not want ANY record of value on in-kind contributions, you can also elect to enter them with a gift amount of ZERO ($0.00). In order to do this however, you'll need to first change an option setting. Go to the Options menu, then to the Gifts tab, then to the General tab, and you'll see a checkbox labeled "Allow 0.00 amounts". With this checked (remember to Save), you can enter gifts with NO value, and could, in fact, enter negative value gifts, although this is rarely needed or done. This article revised from the original written by Larry Weaver, 2013.
Anytime you have questions about how to use FundRaiser to your advantage, simply contact FundRaiser Support at Support@FundRaiserSoftware.com or 800-543-4131 or check out the training calendar full of classes to help you use FundRaiser.