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"We love the program, and donations are increasing! Our MAC-based nonprofit bought a PC to run your software, and we have no regrets."
-- Keith, Imagine That Ministries
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What information you choose to record as categories depends on what is important to you and your organization. This varies, but there are some general categories that many organizations find useful to record.

Donor category is one, and might include items such as Board Members, ex-Board Members, Staff, Volunteers. The reason to record the donor category is that you will sometimes want to send mailings to only those people who fall within certain categories, or to everyone who does NOT fall intoa particular category.

Another common category is donor source. This code shows how you first obtained the name or the first contact you had with that person. Maybe they attended an event, or you got their name from a friend. You might have swapped lists with another nonprofit, or received the name through the United Way or Chamber of Commerce, etc.

One reason to record donor source is that if you know that 60% of your new names came from a special event, and that only 1% came from talks given to the Kiwanis, then you might want to concentrate on special events. On the other hand, if you found that the 1% from Kiwanis gave as much money as all of the 60% who attended the special event, you might want to look for more opportunities to talk to civic groups.

Your group’s specific work might determine which categories to record. For instance, schools want to know whether someone is an alumnus and what their graduation year is and animal shelters want to know if someone is a pet adopter, and if they prefer cats or dogs, or both.

Donors may fall into several categories, needing more then one code, such as board member AND volunteer AND event participant. In FundRaiser Basic you are limited to three category code fields. Needing more code fields is one of the many reasons organizations  move up to FundRaiser Select or Professional.


Code maintenance: what's in a name?