For this post, I’m using a photo of cairns (stacks of rocks to mark a trail) in Tibet because I’m thinking of each of your fund appeals as if you’re hiking a trail… you’d want to put up some cairns to help guide you when you travel that way again. In my 2014 fund appeal series (see NOTES), I promised to write about tracking fund appeals in TntMPD, so I’m yanking on my sherpa hat to help you track your fund appeals today. Get ready for a little “high altitude” TntMPD!
For those of you nervous about the altitude, please don’t give up. Tracking fund appeals encourages you when you see the responses and will help you be more effective in sending future appeals. Give this a try. You can do it!
Know the Basics of Appeals in TntMPD
To understand the rest of my post you need to know these steps in TntMPD:
- How to create a fund appeal
- How to log group history that an appeal was sent out
- How to log fund appeal gifts
If you aren’t “up to speed” on these fund appeal tracking steps in TntMPD, visit this training article on the TntMPD main site. When you’ve learned these steps, you’ll know who received your appeal and who responded and what amount their gift was.
Come back to this post when you’re ready to trek higher in keeping a record of responses and ready for help with identifying responders. I’m assuming (at minimum) that you recorded the fund appeal donations in response to your recent end-of-year ask (EOY), and that you have written your thank you notes, logging them to History. This is true for me, too, before I proceed.
Tracking Fund Appeals in TntMPD
The objective in this post is to encourage you to know how your ministry partners respond to appeals and then to act on this knowledge in an informed way. For instance, if someone never responds to your summer project appeal, but often to an end-of-year ask, wouldn’t it be better for both of you if you used that information to tailor your appeals? Your friend would appreciate receiving requests that are more “appealing” to him and you would spend the right amount of effort on the right people.
In my directions I’m assuming you haven’t done this before (for the rest of you, you may find a few tweaks for what you’re already doing).
Saved Groups for Fund Appeal Responses
Now, you’re ready to have a way to plan what kind of appeals to send, and to whom, in the years ahead. Over time, you’ll have a variety of groups for fund appeal responses. This screenshot shows the ones I created. The groups you will want, at minimum, might be: training, summer project, EOY, and medical.
Here’s the steps to create Saved Groups for different fund appeal responses:
- Go to Tools / Special Gift Appeal Tracking.
- Double-click on the End-of-Year appeal you just sent out. TntMPD will list all contacts who were sent an appeal under the History tab; the gifts, if any, will appear under the Gifts tab, which I’m showing below. We had 31 responses.
- Click on the Gifts tab and Lookup. Our 31 names show up with the Contacts view.
- Click on the second button in the left sidebar to open the Groups view.
- Make sure the Group Editing Tools is clicked on the top so you see your current group of names in a column to the right which I’ve highlighted in blue.
- Create a Group Category called “Fund Appeal Responses” and a Group called “EOY” as part of that category. If you’ve never created Groups, learn how on the TntMPD website here.
- Click on the EOY group in the left column. You see my EOY group highlighted as the fourth type of group under “Fund Appeal Responses.” (If you need to, click on any images in this post for a larger view of them.)
- Going back to TntMPD, I have other contacts’ names in this group showing in the center list; this area will be blank if you’ve never done this before.
- In the editing section on the right, click on Select All to add all 31 names to the EOY group. You’ll see a prompt to confirm that you want to do this.
- Now, you have names in a Saved Group for people who responded to an EOY fund appeal.
As you add names to this group you’ll know which of your ministry partners like to send extra donations in December. Use the “Lookup this group” button at the top to open up these names in the Contacts view. That’s how you’d pull these names up next November when you’re ready to put your EOY fund appeal together.
The Giving Trends Report
As you track fund appeal responses over the years, then you’ll also be interested in the Giving Trends Report. I’ll save the details about this for another post, but here’s a suggestion, why not set some time aside to track some older CSU and / or EOY appeals so you’ll be ready this summer or at the end of the year to know who to challenge for these appeals? I used the report to show only CSU responses in this screenshot:
None of these folks responded 100% to a Staff Training appeal, but you’ll notice quite a few who do half the time or more. I include these ministry partners in a Saved Group called CSU and mark them as “Most Likely to Give” in the Likely to Give field.
If you’re interested in going through past fund appeals so you’ll be more knowledgable about who to send appeals to for future appeals, why not write me or comment below and I’ll put up some posts to take you through the steps. This could be a bit time-consuming for both of us, but I’m glad to do this if there’s an interest or need.
Other TntMPD Fields To Use
As you start tracking, you might like to use some other fields:
Likely to Give ~ how responsive is this contact to appeals or other challenges? The Giving Trends Report can help you mark this field for your ministry partners.
Appeals Since Last Gift ~ another good reason to track your fund appeals. We have a few names that have received numerous appeals over the years, but are unresponsive. TntMPD keeps a count of how many appeals have been sent with no donations.
Never Ask ~ is obvious, but based on Appeals Since Last Gift, I’ll check this field for unresponsive contacts.
Challenges Since Last Gift ~ is a fairly new feature and deserves a full post some day.
Congratulations! You’ll thank me over time as you begin to track fund appeals and responses regularly. Not because you’re nuts for data, of course, but because you want to be intentional, considerate, and efficient when sending fund appeals to the precious partners you care about and who care about you.
- The 2014 Fund Appeal Series:
- Need help with Lookups and Groups? Read Lookups and Groups in TntMPD.
- The striking photo of cairns from a Tibetan trek is available on Wikimedia Commons.