Thank you for sticking with me! These two posts are very key to managing yourself well in relation to your partners.
First of all, you might not know that MPDx comes out of U.S. Digital Strategies and TntMPD, the Global Technology Office. Both Paul Alexander and Stefan Dell, respectively, meet regularly and are unified in their commitment to you and to tech tools that will serve you and make MPD easier… and YOU more effective.
Part One of this post gave an overview of TntMPD and MPDx (Beta). Please read it first before reading Part Two. You may even need to start with the first post in the database series to understand why you must be aware of your need for one central database (followed by this two-parter looking specifically at TntMPD and MPDx). So, let’s get started.
More Function Comparisons
This list won’t be exhaustive. I tried to think of the most useful functions you’d want to know about. (If you want lots of details, check out the notes below, especially if you’re a developer or administrator.)
Envelopes It’s easy to make your preferred changes to an address and to switch between partners’ donation address and their winter “snowbird” address. With MPDx, you download separate fields in a CSV file to build your mailing addresses. An undeliverable address is marked with a red envelope icon. TntMPD has address blocks set up to print. If TntMPD detects that the address is undeliverable, you can have a “default to email address” turned on which automatically switches your partner’s newsletter from paper to email. The Newsletter Tools Helper detects these issues, so you should check it the week before and try to resolve issues before mailing. Both MPDx and TntMPD will assist you in delivering your letter to PrayerLetters.com.
Social Media UPDATED 08/05/2015: You’re able to click over to your contacts’ social media profiles from within TntMPD and MPDx. You manually paste the URL for your donor’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn URLs into their contact information. TntMPD also has one other social media field. I use this fourth field to list any remaining social media sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. TntMPD has two fields per couple for website URLs. MPDx also has one field per contact name for a website URL.
Maps Both programs will bring up a Google map for your partner. TntMPD also can bring up a map for a group of names (handy for an MPD trip) and export your contacts to a compatible GPS device. You can view the map by newsletter preference, giving status (see image: our central Florida newsletter recipients with giving status… green is a donor), and even by your donors’ photos.
Merging MPDx allows you to download name, address, and email information to a CSV file to use for merging. TntMPD’s 185 exportable fields can be used with Word to send letters or emails. For instance, we have sent letters thanking our partners by name for $xx.xx per x frequency since x year (e. g., $75 per quarter since 1999). TntMPD can automatically launch your mail merge in OpenOffice or Word on a PC or a Mac, and it can even remember your more common mail merges for quick access.
You can export / import basic contact information between the two, but, currently, you aren’t able to carry your tasks and history information with you if you switch to TntMPD from MPDx. You can bring over much, but not all, of your TntMPD information into MPDx, including tasks and history (not notes within these, however).
If you transfer to another ministry, you can take your donors and your tasks and history with you. If that organization also supports TntMPD/MPDx gift downloads, you’ll still have donations automatically entered for you. But if they don’t, you’ll need to enter donations manually until you convince your new boss their ministry should offer MPDx and TntMPD to their staff.
Which One’s for You?
Your key questions might be: Do you like it? Does it fit with how you like to do things? Is working online or offline important to you? Which will help you find, and communicate better with, current and potential donors? Which one are you willing to learn? Do you need other tools, in addition to it, to get done what you want (you may have to learn these, too)?
All software tools have strengths and weaknesses. Choosing one location for your database over another means consciously accepting different strengths that you feel are most important to you. I purposely didn’t mention planned features for either product so that you know what you read here is what you currently have available. I can always write again in six months or so as significant enhancements are added to either database program. Both developers are aware of needs and continually adding features, so it’s very possible what you’d like to have may actually be available in the not too distant future. You can be a Beta tester for either MPDx or TntMPD and let your voice be heard.
Again, my hope and prayer with this extensive research is to help any staff member make an informed choice about which tool is best fitted to help them be the friend and encourager they want to be to their partners and their families.
Have you invited your friends?
<< First (in series posts)
- An upcoming post in the You-Can-Too series will give you an opportunity to see both TntMPD and MPDx in action in their “101” videos.
- The screenshot is of our newsletter recipients in Central Florida with giving status icons… green is a donor.
- I’m greatly indebted to several people for my research on this post, but particularly to Stacie Fletcher, Bob Mac Leod and Troy Wolbrink.
- Visit Bob’s blog, TNTtips.
- If you want more information, check out these Google spreadsheets:
- MPD Information Sources and Capabilities has two sheets. The first sheet highlights some MPD functions not covered in these two blog posts. The second, will show you where to find the information you need, whether in TntMPD, MPDx, or in a report on the Staff Web.
- Exhaustive spreadsheets, mostly suited for developers, administrators, et al: Exportable Contact Fields: TntMPD and MPDx and TntMPD and MPDx Equivalency. Both of these spreadsheets reflect current features and will be updated when these products have new enhancements.