A large percentage of donations still take the form of cash or a personal check. Giving helps you quickly and accurately count physical donations like cash and checks by using batches.
Check out this video for more information about batches, and then read the article for detailed instructions.
Online donations don't get counted in batches since they come in automatically and appear on your dashboard.
A batch can be created, edited, and deleted by an Administrator. A batch is In Progress until it's Committed which means:
- The donations are uncommitted.
- The donations appear on the dashboard and within a donor's history on the Administrative side of Giving.
- The donations do not appear to the donor when they log in or on any generated donor statements.
- Changes to the batch details (name and notes) and donations are not logged.
When counting is finished, Commit the batch. Then, the donations become successful, fully qualified donations and are available to the donor. Email receipts will be sent to the donors, unless you disable this option in Payment Sources. Changes to Committed batches and donations are logged in the master system log.
If a batch is not committed, the donations in that batch will be stamped as Uncommitted, and none of the donations will appear on Donor Statements.
To create a batch, go to the Batches tab and select New Batch.
Use Batch Defaults if you're adding multiple donations, Batch Groups to keep all related batches together, and the Batch Sidebar to view all the batches and batch groups.
Batch Defaults allow you to enter similar donations more quickly.
From a batch, select Batch defaults to set selected information.
- Select the fund each donation was given to.
- If the dates are the same, set the default to that date; if not, leave this blank and add to each donation.
- Select the payment source of each donation.
- Choose the payment method each donation will be.
- Set labels for each donation.
Once your defaults are set, enter the donation by typing the name, email, or phone number or by scanning their check.
The default settings automatically input those fields in the donation, which makes it easier for you to add the extra information: check number and donation amount.
If needed, override those defaults by changing them in the donation itself.
Batch groups are a way to bundle related batches into a single group.
Create a new batch group, give the group a name, and then either add new batches to the group or drag and drop existing batches into the group. Commit or delete all the batches in a single step or export a CSV of the entire batch group.
To create a Batch Group, go to the Batches tab and select New Group.
Name the group and choose Save then choose New Batch to add batches to the group. To add already-created batches to the group, drag and drop them from the Single Batches to the group in the sidebar.
Give the batch a name, perhaps a week or month, then start adding donations.
- See who created the batch, when it was created, and add a note to the batch.
- Name the batch based on a consistent naming convention to keep your records clean.
- As you type the donor's name, the system will try to match the entry with the names that appear in the People database. If they exist, select the matching name; if there's no matching name, finish typing out the first and last name of your new donor, and they will be added to your database.
- Set Batch Defaults for the donations that have a lot in common, like the same fund, date, payment source, or custom labels.
- View the breakdown of each Fund and Label as you add donations.
- Donations will appear in this section when you add them. Select a donation, use the filters at the top to help you find a specific donation, or download a CSV file with all the donations listed in this batch.
When the count is finished, commit the batch using the button in the top right. If the batch is a part of a batch group, the button will not be available; the batch group must be committed as a group.
Batch groups and batches can be deleted at any time, and the action is logged.
When adding a donation, enter all the applicable information and verify the donor's information is correct.
Donation information is listed on a check or even an envelope. If you use donation envelopes, collect this information in order to keep profiles current:
- First and last name
- Email address
- Phone number
- Mailing address
In addition to this personal information, list funds people can give to as well as a place to designate how much to give to each funds and the total amount given.
Due to security and compliance, do not ask for credit or debit card numbers on donation envelopes.
Use keyboard shortcuts too! Hold down
ctrl to view keyboard shortcuts such as
ctrl n to go to the next donation and
ctrl c to cancel the donation.
- The donor's email, phone number, and address will be listed. If one is not listed, add it by selecting Edit.
- Add the amount, breaking down the amount in the appropriate fund.
- Select the date received, the payment source, as well as the payment method. Depending on the payment method, you may need to include additional information.
- Add any applicable labels.
Select Next donation to add this donation and be taken back to the batch. Select Cancel donation to not include the donation.
If you choose check, ACH, or card as the payment method, you can include the check date and number, bank account information, or additional card information.
If you use a check reader, put your cursor in the Add a donation box then run the check reader. The output of the check reader will post right to this input area, and the system will check if the routing number matches a listing for a real bank. If there's a problem, the error will be communicated, and the input will reset. If the routing and account number are correct, the system will then check if there's a matching donor, someone who previously gave using this checkbook. If there's a match, you'll be ushered straight into the donation details entry form for a quick entry.
If the match is not correct, select Associate New Donor to select a different donor for that check.
When someone uses a bill-pay system, verify the correct donor is listed when the check is scanned. If it's not correct, use the button to choose a different donor. Once the donor is chosen the first time, that bill-pay check will be recognized as that donor in the future.
We've intentionally designed batches to be flexible. If you have a pile of checks and cash to count, you may consider the following strategies:
- Split the cash into one batch and the checks in another. If you only have one check reader, this strategy makes adding check donations eaiser.
- Split the pile among different counters, each with their own batch.
- Split anonymous donations into their own batch. Since donation entry is a good opportunity to update donor contact information, processing a bunch of anonymous donations together can be a little faster since the counter isn't having to enter donor information.
- Finish a batch every time you take a break, especially if you're counting alone. There's no advantage to having one large batch over five smaller batches, but there is an advantage to knowing where you left off.
- Use physical envelopes to denote batches: when you've finished a count, write the batch number on the envelope, seal the envelope, and then commit the batch. This strategy lessens the likelihood of double counting donations.
- Think of the batch creator as the batch's "owner." So, when correcting mistakes in a committed batch, have the person that opened the batch make these corrections.
Now that you've created batches, learn how to refund, correct, and reassign donations!