How to input contributions

optimized giving input screen

Contribution entry through Giving Input allows for recording offline (Cash and Check) donations. As a best practice, while optional, it is recommended to tie entered donations into a batch. A batch is simply tagging a collection of donations that can be reported on later.

Giving Input is found along the left column under Giving → Input.

Giving Batches

Batch Importance

While a batch is optional, there are many advantages to creating a batch when adding giving to the ChMS database. Batches are a tag that groups giving together for reporting at a later date. There is an area of the Giving reports just for batches (Giving → Reports → Batches) which makes finding a particular batch very easy.

Aside from reporting, a batch allows for adding additional donations at another point in time. This can accommodate situations where all the data entry can not be completed right away and saves a running total.

Giving batch report location

Another advantage of using a batch is if there might be a need to Mass delete contributions. The batch action Tri-Dot Icon  makes this a quick process from the drop-down.

Batch Creation

  1. Create a batch by selecting the button Choose a Batch.

button to 'choose a batch'

  1. Once opened, if the batch is new, fill in the fields to add a batch name, a date for when the money was received, and an expected total
    • Name: determine a common naming scheme that fits the organization and makes finding donations easier. I.E: Sunday Donations, Sunday Check Donations, Sunday Cash Donations, etc. This field is flexible and should be consistent.
    • Date Received: Date the contributions were collected. If this is plate offerings from Sunday as an example, enter that date. This auto-fills the 'Date' window at the top of the Giving entry area when the batch is chosen
    • Total: This is an expected total which gives a mark for total contributions entered. The goal is to have a target the contribution amount can be compared against to verify all contributions have been input. This can be changed in the batch reports area once the batch report has been created.

create a new batch or select existing one

  1. Click the button to Create New Batch . This adds the batch to the Giving entry area and starts the process to collect donation records.

 

If there was a batch being used already, select the '  ' on the right side of the listed batches row to continue adding to the running total. The previous donations will not be listed, but the new donations entered and saved against the batch will be grouped in.

batch details listed

If the batch needs to be updated at any point, use the   to edit your details.

Scroll to the bottom for notes on if a batch is missed from being associated with the entered donations.

 

Enter Donations

  Entry Settings

Note that these settings are saved and applied for the specific user logged in every time giving input takes place.

Giving Entry Settings Modal

The  Entry Settings allows for defaults and quick entry methods to be selected which can improve the tab-flow while also allowing for all fields to still be available to be used. Say skipping notes or skipping the check number while tabbing does not keep these fields from being used at another time.

 

Enter Donations


Note the icons on the page. These contain Pro Tips around how to quickly enter donations and other features that are good to know and remember.

 

Another available Pro Tip can be found by hovering your mouse over the "Fund" field for additional info on pledges that have been made towards a particular campaign. 


The giving input area is optimized to use the TAB key to make giving input faster by allowing the admin to keep their hands on the keyboard as long as possible. Review the Pro Tips and some notes below on ways to speed up the giving input process.

  1. Optional but recommended, verify a Batch is associated with the Giving Input area before starting to enter contributions. This is especially important after coming back to enter more contributions after saving some contributions to a batch and picking up where the entry left off.
  2. Begin by typing to search for a contributor's name. Select the name with either the arrow and TAB keys or by a mouse click. If using TAB to select the name, the input will move right on to the Amount field.
  3. Enter the amount(s) for one or many donations in an instant. If adding many donations, use the shortcut in the following format for split transactions: 10/20/40. TAB to move on to the Category-Fund selector.

shortcut to add three transaction splits

 

three splits added to giving input

  1. TAB to move on to the Check Number field if the fund is correct. Otherwise, type the beginning letter of the Category-Fund to find it and TAB or click to select. You can also scroll or use use arrow keys in the dropdown to find the fund. The  Entry Settings allows for a default fund to be populated and you can also arrange your fund's order in the database settings (Step 7) to bring the most common categories to the top of the list.
  2. TAB to or click on the Check Number field to fill in this number. This is a combo field that can be used to note Cash donations as opposed to a check. To note a donation as cash, simply type 'c' and then TAB or click past this field.
  3. (Optional) Notes are used for any special requests made against a donation. This will show on the contribution statement at the end of the year depending on the placeholder chosen. If no Note is needed, use the TAB to move on to enter more donations.
  4. Repeat steps 2 - 6 to continue with the donation entry. Once you use the starting 3 lines for contribution entry, the input screen will automatcially keep adding more lines as you go on.

Giving input fields

  1. To commit the entered lines into the database, click the button to Submit add the donations to the member profiles.

 

Donations from Individuals Not Yet in your ChMS

It is helpful to set up in advance a default Group to which you will add new donors should you encounter a donation from a person not in your ChMS database; something like STATUS - New Giver. That will draw the attention of an Administrator so that decisions can be made as to what STATUS Group the person should be placed in going forward. (You may wish to create a Workflow that responds to people being added to that default STATUS Group, sending an Admin Message, assigning an Interaction, etc.)

As you go about the Giving entry process, enter new donors by selecting "Add an Individual…" in the dropdown below the Search field. Enter as much information as you have, particularly Address (so you can send a Giving Statement).

 

Additional Notes

  1. Entering donations against a donor that has a Pledge will show how much the member has given to this point in a dollar amount under the fund. It will not include the currently entered donation to show that grand total. There is also a line indicator of how much of the Pledge has been fulfilled underneath the fund field once that fund is selected.
  2. A running fund breakdown with totals appears as entry continues with the Top 3 categories and the overall total. To see a listing of all the funds and their totals, use the 'Show All' link.

running totals for funds


Contributions entered into the ChMS without a batch cannot be associated with a batch after the giving entry is completed. Contributions need to be deleted individually from the donor profiles if a batch needs to be applied after the entries are completed.

One can easily correct the issue by exporting the donations through Reports → Giving → Detail. Select the date range and use the to Save as CSV file with the donations. Then, delete the records from the donor profiles as noted earlier. The Giving Import tool can be used to bring the donations back into the software under a batch. The Import tool can match based on donor User ID. Use the ID option for the best matching potential to the correct member profile.

 

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