Here are a few guidelines in determining which report you should run:
 

     
    • Determine what information you need — It may seem obvious but it's important to start with a clear picture of what you need. Are you reporting on constituent giving? If so, consider the Financial Reports category. Do you need information about pledges? If so, consider the Pledge Reports. For database analysis, consider the Analytical Reports and the Demographic and Statistical Reports categories.
       
    • Review the Sample Reports Guide — The Sample Reports Guide divides the standard reports into the same broad categories and, for each report, you'll find:
      • A brief overview
         
      • Parameter descriptions
         
      • A preview of what the report looks like.

      To access the guide, select Help, User Guides from the menu bar, and highlight Reports. Visit User Guides from the Support menu of our website to download the latest version.
       
      • Use a test query — So that you understand how a report processes, first run it using a small test query that contains only records with which you're familiar. Consider including a few records with complicated giving histories, so you can see how their gifts are treated. In version 7, you can also click the Layout button to quickly preview a report using just a few records. Make sure you experiment with the report parameters — you'll learn how different parameters impact the report totals.
         
      • Save and document your report parameters — Once you've determined what report to run, document and save your report parameters. When you do so, if you re-run it later, you'll be comparing apples to apples. You'll save time and your totals should be more consistent.
        • Version 7:
          1. Select the Format tab
             
          2. Highlight Criteria
             
          3. Mark the Print Report Criteria checkbox
             
          4. Click Save and name the parameters
             
           
          • Version 6:
            1. Select Edit, Preferences from the menu bar
               
            2. Mark the Autosave Report Parameters checkbox
               
            3. On the Format tab of the report parameters in the Report Criteria frame, select First Page or All Pages to print the report parameters.
               
            • Document it in a policies and procedures manual — After taking the time to determine what reports to run, create an office policy and document it in your policies and procedure manual.