1. What type of report do I need?
Visualize the final report. Perhaps an Excel spreadsheet served as the report in the past; use this as a guide. Or, draw a sample of how you want the report to look on a sheet of paper. This allows you to focus on the report.
2. Who should appear in the report?
Board members? All donors of $5,000 or more? All SC residents? All students? Usually, you will group the records you want in Query; however, a query is not required.
3. What fields do I need for the report?
Include the fields you want to display on the report and hidden fields such as the Sort Key field used to sort by last name. You might also include the gift type field in a report like the Gift Detail Report (gift type determines the four columns but the field is not actually shown).
Determining which fields to use is possibly the most challenging part of building a report. It requires you to think through the entire report: formulas, groups, subtotals, etc. It is best to start at the same place in all reports to select the fields. Extract the fields using Export and export them in MS Access Report Writer Database format or Blackbaud Report Writer Database format.
For example, consider the following report:
The first field is Constituent Name. When you export a name field, it is wise to export the associated Sort Key field, which sorts by last name. The amount listed is Gift Amount. You can export this field with a separate set of parameters four times, one for each gift type column; however, this makes it more difficult to set up the export and there are fewer options when you run the report. You can also export the field with a single set of parameters and export the Gift Type field. This allows more flexibility when you create the report. The Campaign and Fund descriptions are listed. These fields are grouped upon, allowing the creation of subtotals. In addition, export the Gift Date when working with gifts so you can run the report for specified date ranges without re-exporting the data.
Fields to Export
Constituent Sort Key
Gift Fund Description
Gift Campaign Description
Gift Date (short)
Now that the export is complete, you can log into Crystal Reports to begin creating your report.
For assistance in creating the report, review the tutorial for your software:
- Crystal Reports XI Tutorial for The Financial Edge
- Crystal Reports XI Tutorial for The Education Edge
- Crystal Reports XI Tutorial for The Raiser's Edge 7 (skip to Custom Reports section)
- Creating Custom Crystal Reports 8.5 Tutorial for The Raiser's Edge 7
- To inquire about our Custom Report Writing Services, contact your account manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- For Support assistance, review our Scope of Support
- If Blackbaud hosts your database, refer to How to access Crystal Reports in the hosted environment for instructions for placing your files.