FundRaiser Blog

The FundRaiser Software Blog is an excellent resource for nonprofit organizations looking to learn more about fundraising, donor management, membership management, and much more.

3 Dead-On Grouping Tricks to Treat You Right

3 Dead-On Grouping Tricks to Treat You Right

1. Standard exclusions for print mailings

Whenever you create a Grouping intended for the sole purpose of sending out printed correspondence (letters, labels, envelopes), it's a good idea to use multiple lines of criteria in the Grouping, with the first line consisting of things you DON'T want, and subsequent lines for things you DO want. It makes no sense, for instance, to include in a mailing Grouping anyone who doesn't have a complete mailing address, since they'll never receive it. It makes less sense, perhaps, to include those records marked as "Deceased". And you *may* want to exclude those who are marked as "Inactive", as well. In this case, then, you could start the first line of criteria using the Common Patterns | Exclude section and mark "Inactive" and "Deceased", and then use the Finish Criteria button to save that line. Then you would need to use the AND separator to start a new line of criteria and go to the Donor | Geo 2 section and select "Has An Incomplete Primary Address". I know, we don't want incomplete addresses, so once you click the "Finish Criteria" button for this line, you'll use the NOT button (to the right of the criteria display), which will change it to say "does not have an incomplete address". If you are okay with this method, then you'll just click the AND button again to start a third line, and use this line for any other criteria, such as donation information, or something else. This will make certain that, no matter what other criteria you use to select people for the mailing, you'll have no "dead" mail (pun intended) costing you resources while doing no good. Consider using this scheme for each mailing Grouping.

2. Easily track mass mailings

An easy way to keep track of all the non-thank-you-letter mass mailing correspondence you do will also revolve around Groupings. Normally you don't mail to everyone in your database at any one time, but, rather, target records for mailings by creating Groupings. So, since you will normally have a Grouping in place, take an extra step or two and use the Groupings menu choice of "Assign Category Code to All" while you have the Grouping open. Then, create a Category Code that reflects the mailing you are doing. You don't need to create the Category Code first, but can do it "on the fly". So, say I'm doing an Appeal Letter in October of 2013. I might call the Category Code "October 2013 Appeal Letter", with a code of "AL1310" (no quotes for either, by the way). When I assign this code to all the records in the Grouping I've created for this mailing, I remove any doubt as to who received the mailing, and I have an easy one-code identifier for them. This means that, even though the Grouping may be lost, destroyed, or changed over time, I will always have a means of pulling together the records of those who received my October appeal letter. It only takes a couple of extra steps to accomplish, and can be quite useful in the future. One other suggestion: once you've mass-assigned a code, consider marking the code as no longer active (Windows | Codes menu), so that no one will accidentally assign it to anyone else.

3. Using Code "Formulae" to manage code usage

In FundRaiser there are a lot of codes, and that is a good thing, but can be a little unwieldy if they aren't managed well. Of course, the menu choice of Windows | Codes will get you to the codes maintenance window where you can easily add, delete, and edit codes; you can even merge codes together if you have some codes that really mean the same thing as each other. But Code Formulas (the way I prefer to say it, since Latin is a "dead" language) can help to ensure that codes are applied consistently. Let's say, for instance, that you ALWAYS want name records to have and entry in the Donor Source code. Well, you could go to the Options section and make it a "Required" entry when adding a new name record. But, if you haven't yet done that, you may first want to see how many records don't have any source code. To create a Grouping like that, the criteria you use will be in the Donors | Codes section, and you'll see an area to the right of the dropdown for code selection. That's the Formula area. And to find records with NO codes, type in "ISEMPTY" (without the quotes) and "Finish Criteria". This can be used anywhere a Formula area exists next to a code dropdown, including Gift related codes. So, if you want to make certain that a particular code type is NOT being used, you might go to it's formula section and type in "ISNOTEMPTY" (again without quotes) and then "Finish Criteria". These two simple formula entries can go a long way in grouping together records for closer examination to see why they do or do not have a particular code. Consistency in data entry is one of the hallmarks of a well-kept database, and will make the whole system easier to use, so take advantage of the tricks to maintain your data, and don't get "spooked" if you can't figure out exactly how to do something: call us, or check out the training videos in the Customer Portal section of our website.

Learn more about how Groupings and other core FundRaiser features can help your organization    Register for a free live online tour

Changing from Membership to Non-Member Organizatio...
Case Study: What to Do When You Inherit Fundraisin...

Related Posts

Wait a minute, while we are rendering the calendar
Codes spare fields merge notes change of address updating foundations data analysis GivingTuesday user interface donor relations disaster relief add ons product news security new version major gift prospects on site training passwords Constant Contact Resiliency merge fields direct mail holiday letters case study accounting software holiday giving levels corporate sponsors Excel SYBUNTS appeal letters auction brick campaign charity golf tournaments donor recognition Reporting to IRS donor attrition training donor source recurring gifts PayPal small donations word processor community supported gardens Facebook campaign grants operating systems new donors large donations role of nonprofits membersip benefits importing csv mailing membership benefits Volunteer module donor slip ticketsales happiness mission driven tribute gifts Reminders phoning donors motivation code texting donors arts Congratulations NCOA processing segmenting donors backing up data development director New Year Thank You relationship tracking Donor Portal ticket sales overview solicitors giving history appeal Network for Good Company culture publicity materials letter templates motivation planning banquet Snow Birds FundRaiser Basic nonprofit fundraising increasing giving amounts Cloud gift notes field Tickles flash sales data entry how-to videos the Ask features holiday giving Personalizing Importing Data planned giving new leadership anonymous donors upgrade moves management technical support pledges salutation board members volunteers gift acceptance policy In-Kind gifts raffle mode code Facebook FundRaiser Hosted campaign management customer portal tax summary letters lapsed donor annual campaign password protection how to handle auction gifts data conversion in honor of donations grassroots campaign donation history pictures major donors premiums donor attrition rate reports endowment campaign correspondance campaign donor targeting FundRaiser Spark government grants user spotlights Groupings letter understanding giving trends training tip general donor engagement donor retention rate customer service Thanksgiving GoFundMe project donor online donations follow up operational costs donor preferences new features community broadcasting gift entry upgrading donors donor advised funds ROI legacy giving email annual maintenance plan prospects adding personal notes to letters look and feel spreadsheets personalizing letters office communications vacation memorial giving donor contact information social media membership programs alumni repeat donors End of Year Letters LYBUNTS new nonprofit targeted mailings budget fundraising letters transparency event management fundraising online donations donor profile donor retention capital campaign correspondence updates donor prospects Alternative Addresses Task List thank you letters community arts nonprofits announcements donor loyalty building donor relationships National Change of Address entering auction gifts volunteering tech tip Crowdfunding Campaign animal rescue custom page advanced tab monthly giving #GivingTuesday support welcome packet

Connect With Us

  800-880-3454 ext 3
  Email Us
  Request More Information
  Monday-Friday
      8:30AM-5:30PM CST

Customer Portal Login Form

User Name:
Password:

If you are not sure about your Customer User Name, please call 800-543-4131 and we will be able to help you.

Or you have lost your password, Request Password