Do you send special asks to your ministry partners? Perhaps an end of year ask or a ask related to a specific need? If so, then TntMPD’s “Appeal Tracking” feature may be helpful to you.
Appeal Tracking is a “secret feature” in TntMPD that turns out to be very helpful for staff members. It’s not a secret in that it is hidden, but it’s a secret because it is one of the most overlooked features. You can use TntMPD for years and never use Appeal Tracking, but using Appeal Tracking provides several benefits, including…
1. You can record everyone to whom you sent the appeal
2. You can assign gifts received to that appeal to see the total results. Also, gifts assigned to an appeal are excluded from donor averages. This means a donor who gives $50 per month and a $1000 special gift will still display as giving an average of $50 per month.
3. Long-term, you can see which of your ministry partners are most likely to respond to appeals.
There is a downloadable set of reference guides, one of which is specifically devoted to appeal tracking.
Read the Appeal Tracking reference guide online: http://www.tntware.com/tntmpd/help/en/pages/refguide_appeals.aspx
Printable reference guides: http://www.tntware.com/tntmpd/downloads/p/6340.aspx
In brief, the steps for setting up and using an appeal are these:
Create the Appeal
1. Go to Tools | Appeal Tracking to see the appeals list (which will be blank if you have never done one).
2. Press “Setup”, then “Add” to create your first appeal. I recommend you name your appeals with the date first, such as “2010-12 End of Year Ask”, or “2010-06 Summer Project Ask”. By putting the year and month first, you can keep your list in order, and distinguish the same appeal year to year (such as the year-end ask you send every year).
Log your appeal in your history.
3. When you have the list of ministry partners displayed (the same one you use to print your letters and envelopes), select “Group | Log History”. For the task type, select “Support Letter”. Write the description as you normally would. Now notice that at the bottom is an appeal box. Click on it and select the appeal you created. (Note—you could create the appeal right from this spot, too!).
4. Click OK, and then OK again when TntMPD asks if you really want to log this history for all the selected contacts.
5. When you download your gifts, you can actually double-click on the gift before you synchronize and assign the gift to the appeal before it even goes in your database. Or, if you have already synchronized the gifts, just double-click on the gift in your MPD Tab, and assign the appeal amount there. (If the gift is partly a special gift and partly their regular gift, you can even split it right on that screen.
If you have the gifts mailed to you before forwarding them to your organization, you can even manually enter the gifts on the MPD Tab. Then the “Thank You” task will appear; you do not need for the gift to download before you do that.
Using Appeal Tracking long-term
In general, I choose to send my appeals to all of my ministry partners, even if they have never responded to a previous appeal. I never know when a partner may eventually respond, and the cost of sending it is minimal. Also, my appeals tend to be informative, so I look at them as a type of prayer letter with an ask included. However, I also send some appeals to a specific audience. I once sent an appeal only to 10 partners. And one partner gave a large special gift unexpectedly, so I created an appeal just for that one gift. By doing this, this one gift did not skew this donor’s regular giving.
Having used appeal tracking in TntMPD since 2002, it’s great for me to look back on the Tools | Appeal Tracking list and see God’s abundant provision to the 27 different appeals I have sent over the past 9 years.
Assignment: International Financial Management, Orlando
I have served in the accounting department my entire time on staff, starting in 1992 in the U.S. office and since 2006 in the global office. I graduated from the University of Utah with an accounting degree. I am married to Kathy and have two sons, Colin and Camden.
Although I have an accounting degree, my primary interest and activity is in teaching. I teach financial management systems (both accounting systems and personal finance) so that missionaries can be more effective… and the gospel can go forth with fewer impediments.
(UPDATE: 10/17/2017) I wrote the TntMPD Help simply because I was a user of the software and I wanted others to be able to use it better too. I now have a blog as well, TNTtips, to help you learn how to use TntConnect (formerly TNTMPD) to propel your MPD into the stratosphere.
NOTE: TNTMPD is now TNTConnect.