Annual Tips to Start Your New MPD Year, Part Two

New Years Postcard from 1915
This is the second in a series, inviting you to follow along as I do my January MPD tasks. Comments on how some of this could work with MPDx are encouraged and welcomed.

MPD Tips, Part One Reviewed

In Part One, I recommended taking some time to check the Online Reminder System to make sure your ministry partners are receiving automatic reminders for missed donations.

For TntMPD users, I recommended:

  • downloading Gift Input and Donor Information for the year,
  • using the January 13-Month report to mark the Direct Deposit field.

Your MPGA Report

The MPGA report is a moving window (the data changes “daily”), that’s why I recommend printing a copy now, as early in January as possible, to get a good idea of what the previous year in MPD looked like for you. The MPGA report is also actually a collection of reports, so let’s look at each one.

Current Partners

Notice the different ways you could sort the information in this report. You’ll be able to print in whatever sort order you choose. These fields are also in TntMPD and MPDx, but if you don’t use one of these helpful databases, why not sort on “First Gift Date” and also on “Lifetime Total” to see who you might want to call or send a thank you gift to, commemorating this milestone in their partnership with you? I do thank you gifts at 5 year increments and $5000 total increments. (By the way, if you aren’t using TntMPD or MPDx yet, why not make that your New Year’s Resolution? See Have (Only One) Database.)

Lost Partners

See under Categorizing Your Ministry Partners for one suggestion.

Top 50%

This is one of my “must see” reports every January.

I use TntMPD’s User Status field in the last tab on TntMPD to “prioritize” my connections with ministry partners. (You could also use a different user field.) See Categorizing Your Ministry Partners below for how to set this up.

Statistical Analysis

I don’t use this report much. Do you?

Giving Range Analysis

In addition to the Top 50%, I include my version of the 80 – 20 rule. Using this report, I can figure out which average monthly giving accounts for 80% of our funding. If you’re like us, about 80% of your monthly income is from half of your donor names. Besides looking at the report, I also did some lookups on TntMPD and concluded that, this year, our Top 50% of donors average $90+ monthly and our 80% average $40+.

See Categorizing Your Ministry Partners below for what you could do.

Giving Frequency Analysis

This is a great report to get an even better view of your ministry partners. For us, 52% of our partners give 11 + times per year, providing 57% of our monthly income.  I’ll call these donors “Faithful.” Scroll down to Categorizing Your Ministry Partners for instructions.

Income / Expenses

I won’t elaborate much on this report. I’m sure you’ve used it for deciding about healthcare coverage and for making your MPD plans at the beginning of the year. I just noticed in looking at our income / expenses that we have a recurring charge I need to stop, so I was glad I looked it over.

Categorizing Your Ministry Partners

Why go to the trouble of categorizing donors? Because, as much as you’d like to, you can’t devote equal time and attention to everyone.  My levels and frequency of communication increase as I work regularly with the following four levels of ministry partners. See Who Wants to Hear from You? for further thoughts on this.

Here’s what to do to categorize your ministry partners, assuming User Status is currently blank:

  1. Go to Lookup / By Field / Average Monthly Gift is at least 100 (this is my Top 50% value, substitute yours). “Replace the current group“. Hit OK.
  2. Do Group Actions / Mass Change a Field. Select User Status. Enter “50% Top” as the value and hit OK.
  3. Go to Lookup / By Field / User Status is blank. “Replace the current group“. Hit OK.
  4. Go to Lookup / By Field / Average Monthly Gift is at least 30 (this is my High 80% value, substitute yours). “Replace the current group“. Hit OK.
  5. Do Group Actions / Mass Change a Field. Select User Status. Enter “80% High” as the value and hit OK.
  6. Repeat step 3.
  7. Go to Lookup / By Field / Pledge Frequency is monthly. “Replace the current group“. Hit OK.
  8. Do Group Actions / Mass Change a Field. Select User Status. Enter “Faithful” as the value for the third category and hit OK.
  9. Repeat step 3 in order to have all remaining donors from last year.
  10. Do Group Actions / Mass Change a Field. Select User Status. Enter “Other” as the value and hit OK.
  11. All contacts who gave in the past year have one of the four values in “User Status.”

Now, all your ministry partners are divided into 50% Top, 80% High, Faithful, and Other. Of course, go through your names to make any adjustments, such as for new ministry partners. You might notice these values are also alphabetical, which makes them easier for sorting in future use. If you want more values in this field, you could use “Lapsed,” “Potential,” or whatever would work for you.

And More…

In a few days, I’ll write about what you could do in January with your data from your EOY ask. I’ll also post next week with more ideas on what you can do with the User Status categories.

I hope this January emphasis is helpful to you. Got any other ideas to start off the new year?


  • Bold instructions are to help you filter accurately in your lookups.
  • While looking for New Year’s images for several of my January posts, I found this 100-year-old post card with some great New Year’s resolutions.

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