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"I sent out about 600 letters in December, thanking people for their gifts that year and asking for a year end gift.... We generated $4,500 in less than a month, with more coming in. FundRaiser Basic makes it so much easier to track and work on these kinds of 'personal' fundraising approaches."
-- Jenifer S., Bogus Basin Lifetime Sports Education Foundation, Boise, ID
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Category codes, as we know, can be assigned to donors (and non-donors, for that matter), and they may, at first glance, seem to be the right place keep track of major donors. But what happens when a person's giving habits change? We would then need to identify that change and make the corresponding change to our donor codes. This can quickly become a major donor major pain. Here's a better way:

Queries & Groupings

FundRaiser keeps track of all donations, so you can create Queries based on giving totals during a specified time period. You can create queries based on single-gift amounts or aggregate amounts during the time period you specify. You can limit the gifts to be considered to only those with a certain code, for that matter.

If your wish is to have a group of people you consider major donors, then first you must define what a major donor is. Is it someone who gives X amount during a particular time period? Is it someone who gives X amount for a single gift? Will you need different definitions for different purposes, such as "major building fund supporter" or "major golf event supporter", and so on? To read more, see how to define major donors for your organization.

Once you define what a major donor is for your purposes, it will be an easy task to create a query that will contain those people who meet your definition.

You may find it of benefit, for your solicitors of major donors and yourself, to create a letter template that is a mini-report, to be able to print out critical information about major donors and have that on hand when soliciting funds. Use the Generic Donor Profile that came with your FundRaiser as an example of what you can do. Armed with the proper information, your solicitors will be better prepared to ask for gift amounts that are in line with past giving, as well as thanking them for past giving using accurate figures.

In FundRaiser Basic 2.x, you’ll be limited to a single source code on the gift but you now have 3 donor codes (normally labeled Category, Donor Source, and Newsletter, but you can change those labels), while both Select and Professional allow unlimited category codes and several different gift codes.  In addition, you can "Refresh" a query in Select/Pro as data changes so that you don't need to recreate it each time you want to find individuals with your 'major donor' parameters.

Larry Weaver is an A+ certified computer technician, a Microsoft Certified Professional, as well as the training manager here at FundRaiser Software. He has worked with FundRaiser Basic software off and on since the mid-'90's.  When not operating computers, he enjoys operating motorcycles and musical instruments, and watching his grandchildren grow and prosper.