Lookups and Groups in TntMPD, Part One

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Have you used Lookups and Groups in TntMPD? You can adapt these features to your needs and keep track of decades of information or change them as different uses come and go. There’s no “one way” to use various fields and features in TntMPD, but some perspective might help to open up the possibilities of these two features for you.

How to Use Lookups

Lookups are filters. Remove or add names with a lookup using data from fields to get the results you need.

This feature really shines when you consider a list you would use often, but the names on the list change, for instance, all your donors in New York. Because people move or because they start or stop their giving, these names change year to year if not month to month! Create a lookup for “MPD Phase contains PARTNER and Mailing State is NY”.  Save this lookup as a favorite to use again and again. TntMPD will populate the list based on the two filters no matter if it’s 2014 or 2020.

Here’s a few ideas for Favorite Lookups:

  • Donors / Top Donors – created by filtering for Average Monthly Gift greater than 47 (or whatever you choose)
  • Location / Southeast – filter for Home State is AL, FL, GA, and SC
  • Location / CSU – if you drive to Staff Training, filter by Mailing State for all the states you drive through

TntMPD also has pre-defined lookups for you which I’ll cover in part two of this post on Friday.

Creating Saved Groups or Logging History

In thinking about how to use Saved Groups, it’s also helpful to consider Log History and User Fields. You might not need to create groups because you can search history or because a group might be best tracked in a User Field (which we’ll cover in part two).

JESUS film group TntMPDDoing a search on History may be all you need to find all the people you saw on an MPD trip or who you phoned last month. Be in the habit of logging history and you can find everything and anything later. If you’re continually looking for a particular history, however, consider saving your results as a Saved Group.

I have a Saved Group for tracking JESUS film gifts to our financial partners; most of our donors have received a JESUS Film in some format by now. Before leaving on an MPD trip, I might check this group for donors who received a JESUS video years ago and haven’t yet received a recent DVD, so I’ll pack some JESUS Film DVDs for gifts and schedule tasks to deliver them.

Another time to create Saved Groups is when the group can’t be created by a filter or by searching history (or if you just prefer to organize in Groups). Some suggested Saved Groups might be: retirees, donors who have visited you, Worldwide Challenge subscription groups (former, asked to stop, etc.), and more. I manage sending holiday cards throughout the year with a Saved Group (read how I send over 250 holiday / anniversary cards per year, not including Christmas or eCards).

I was surprised recently when I filtered for our Top Donors and also checked the Last Appointment Date field to see who we should be visiting. I then clicked on “Map” in the lower left sidebar, selected “current group” and saw a possible north-south route to plan for a donor trip next spring. Without TntMPD, I would never have envisioned this trip along the Mississippi, let alone come up with a plan for it in a split-second! Of course, I saved these names in a Saved Group called MPD trips / 1503 Top Donors Trip.

One general rule of thumb for starting out could be to use Saved Groups for people-focused lists and Lookups for financial and other lists., however, you’re not limited to these guidelines as you’ll see in part two of this post.

If you haven’t tried Favorite Lookups and Saved Groups, why not start today?

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Visit the Table of Contents for the You-Can-Too series posts. This post is part of the database series.  Keep following the series for posts on databases, communication, websites, and social media.


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