3 MPD Financial Tips for the New Year

January is an opportunity for Cru staff to look over my shoulder as I’m working on beginning-of-the-year tasks. This post is mainly financial. The next will be about relationships with your ministry partners. The third, and last, will be about organizing your life with a calendar. Some of the content will overlap a bit.

Today, we’ll look at some reports that are useful for you. (One report has an important to-do date of January 10th.) I’ll also recommend you learn from your recent fund appeal. Lastly, I have a free downloadable reimbursement spreadsheet for you. Pick one of these three areas that you’d like to do this week.

3 MPD Financial Tips for the New Year

1. Print or Save Your MPD Reports

Every January, pull together any financial information you may need. I’ve written about this before, so check the various links for more details.


The Ministry Partner Giving Analysis (MPGA) is a moving window (the data changes “daily”). This is why I recommend printing or saving a copy now, after the last December paychecks were processed (January 10). Right now most accurately reflects January through December 2018. I save a copy of this report every year. I used to print it, but today I saved the sections as PDF files.

The MPGA report is a collection of reports, so let’s look at some of them. (You’ll need to print or save each section of the report that you’re interested in.)

Current Partners

Choose one of the different ways to sort this section of the MPGA before saving your PDF version. Saving a copy of this report will give you an overview of your donors for this past year. I’ll write more about this section of the report in next week’s post.

This report looks almost exactly like the Annual Donation Summary Report on the StaffWeb in the MPD & Donations section. (See the end of the reports section for how to save this information for any year.)

Giving Frequency Analysis

I noticed eight ministry partners giving 7  – 10 times per year. Sorting on the “12 Mo. Gift Count” in the first report (Current Partners) lets me know who these folks are. I pop over to the Reminder System to add them, if needed, for regular reminders from Cru when they miss a donation.

Income / Expenses

I’m sure you’ve used this report for deciding about healthcare coverage. And it helps you fill out the Support Goals Calculator for this coming year. (Directions are here.)

I noticed we had a recurring charge I needed to stop, so I was glad I looked it over.

The 13-Month Report

While you’re looking at your MPGA report online also go to and print the 13-Month report before February.  Look it over to see all the great information. I look at the graphs at the end of the report.

By printing the report now, you’ll have a view of the previous calendar year, including the December totals from the year before for comparison.

It’s not so critical when you print this report because you can retrieve it later, but why not print it now and keep the two reports together? You can also go back about five years to get 13-Month Reports. After that, they aren’t available.

The 13-Month Report (MPDX)

The MPDX report allows you to download a CSV file. Consider printing a copy of this report in January. It’s like the Staff Web version of the 13-Month Report. Additionally, it has year-to-date totals for each partner. It does not include these features of the StaffWeb version, however: new ministry partners gifts and addresses, recurring gift codes, and all the reporting listed after the last donor (adjustments, monthly account balances, etc.).

Annual Donation Summary Report

I mentioned this report is like the Current Partners section of the MPGA. If you’d like a copy of this list for any past year, I don’t know how far back you can go. I did a report for 2002 today.

Print these or save a PDF of this report for any year with these steps:

  • Click Change Date and Other Options
  • Enter date range, for example, 01/01/2015 to 12/31/2015
  • Choose sort. I chose “by Partner’s Name”
  • Click print
  • Instead of a printer, chose “save as PDF”

Saving Your Copies

I thought it might be helpful to show how I stored my PDF files. Using a naming convention makes it easy to retrieve them. Since I printed MPGA reports in the past, I didn’t have PDF copies. I grabbed some Annual Donation Summary Reports and named them “mmyy MPGA Current Partners” (since it’s the same). I saved a copy of each section of the 2018 MPGA. I also made sure I had PDF files of each year’s 13-Month Report. I’m going to replace the 2018 copy I have now because I prefer the look of this report in February.

2. Analyze Your Fund Appeal and Reports

Besides the reports, I usually look over the results of our fund appeal. Questions I ask and make note of are:

  • Does this ministry partner prefer end-of-year giving? Keep track of the type of givers they are. (Medical needs.? EOY? Staff Conference? Everything?)
  • Did they respond to the suggested amount? Did they give higher or lower?
  • Who are my 50% donors from the MPGA report? (I will go into this more next week or read How to Divide Your Partners by Priority.)
  • Who should I challenge to EFT (electronic fund transfer) gifts?
  • Do I need to change the reminder frequency for anyone in the Reminder Report?

3. Use My Free Reimbursement Spreadsheet

I’ve kept a reimbursement spreadsheet on Dropbox or Google Drive for years. I create a new one for the new year in January. I seem to improve it every year. Download a version of this spreadsheet from Google Drive. Of course, save it over to your Drive if you prefer.

I wrote Free Reimbursement Spreadsheet and How to Use It more than two years ago. This post should help you with using the spreadsheet. What I’ve started doing since that post is color coding for each submitted reimbursement. Also, tolls and mileage are now line items. You’ll see this in the spreadsheet.

January Tasks

I hope you’re able to do one of these three suggestions to start your new year.

See you next week as I share what I do in January to maintain relationships with ministry partners. The third post, and last in this series, will be about organizing through calendars.


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