Is your organization tackling the process of recognizing last year's top donors, analyzing last year's giving, and mapping strategies for an even better new year? Let's look at the three key steps you need to take in The Raiser's Edge: querying, reporting, and mailing.


For example, let's say you use an annual donor wall to recognize donors of $5,000 or more, cumulative.

 

     
    • Querying ? Group the records.
      1. Create a constituent query and filter on Summary Information, Summary for Gift, Total Amount greater than or equal to $5,000
      2. Select the total amount criteria's Filter tab to add the date range criteria (e.g., Gift Date between 1/1/2004 - 12/31/2004)


        Note: Summary Information fields include default gift types. To consider your own gift types (e.g., pledge payments instead of pledges), also filter by Gift Type on the Filters tab.


        For more information about querying on summary information, review solution BB60807 

         

       
      • Reporting ? Once you've grouped donors (not a prerequisite) in Query, use Reports to analyze giving trends. As with many things in The Raiser's Edge, you have various options:

         

        • Top Donors Report [version 7]? Identify your top donors by percent or count.
        • Donor Category Report [version 7]? Break down donors into giving levels you set up in Configuration, Tables.
           
        • Constituent Giving History [version 7]? Itemize and subtotal each donor's gifts.
        • Consecutive Years Giving Report [version 7]? Identify donors that have given repeatedly over several years.
           
        • Comparative Report [version 7]? Compare constituents' giving trends across two report periods. Who's giving increased? Decreased?

           


        Each report's General tab includes the option to create an output query [version 7], enabling you to group the records included for future reference.

         

        • Mailing ? After grouping donors and analyzing giving, it's time to thank supporters for their past generosity and appeal for new contributions. Consider using these Mail functions to generate correspondence:

           

          • Quick Letters [version 7]? Use Quick Letters to export names and addresses to a merge file.
          • Donor Acknowledgement Letters [version 7]? If your organization is not doing so already, use Donor Acknowledgement Letters to create thank you letters. Only gifts marked as Not Acknowledged are included and you're given the option to update the acknowledgement status once you're done, so you can make sure each gift is acknowledged only once.
          • Appeal Cards [version 7] [version 6] ? Use Appeal Cards to remind constituents of ongoing appeals or notify them of new ones. You can include information about a constituent's past gifts, and, if you use our standard cards, you can include a suggested gift amount.

             

           


          Note: In version 7, each of these functions features Word integration, which enables you to complete a simple or conditional merge without leaving The Raiser's Edge. For more information, review How to use Mail Merge Wizard in Mail to perform a simple mail merge (BB92696).

          When you're comfortable with the basic building blocks of the acknowledgement process, you can develop an approach that's unique to your organization. When you do, document it in a policies and procedures manual, and update it as your process evolves.