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The festive gift that keeps on giving

By Mark Higgitt | December 5, 2014
Last modified on March 8, 2016

The best festive presents keep on giving long after the tinsel’s come down.

We’re sure our parcel of gifts will still be bringing a smile to your faces throughout 2015 and beyond.

They come in the shape of donorflex Extras, a bundle of donorflex 10.2 utilities that will add even more potential to the data held in your donorflex system – two of them being utilities that most donorflex users won’t have seen before.

The key detail there is ’10.2’. If you haven’t yet upgraded to the new version, we hope this is an extra incentive to do so without delay.

The next step? Find out more about the utilities below, then ask your donorflex Liaison Manager – the colleague with access to the pages that are off-limits to other users – to log in and download the Extras bundle from the Client menu’s Downloads area.

news2mail Unsubscribe Utility

Users of the donorflex news2mail bulk emailing web-service have been able to take advantage of this special utility to update donorflex with details of unsubscribe requests or bad email addresses.

For everyone else, this is new.

It allows records to be set to ‘no mail’, and you can add or remove attributes – and add or remove phrases from the contact memo – to manage supporter preferences.

It also allows you to take a CSV file containing email addresses and see whether they’re already known to donorflex either as the record or record contact email address – which is a really useful means of understanding whether supporters who contact you via email are already on donorflex, even when you don’t have an address.

Finally, the utility allows you to post a global communication for all of the records identified as containing the email addresses.

Cross-Reference Export Utility

Here’s another useful little tool. It allows you to choose a transit file of supporters and either find all cross-references or just ones of a particular relationship type and export the details out into a CSV file for further examination.

The resultant file contains the name and record number of each record in the transit file and the name, record number, nature of relationship and cross-reference memo for each cross-reference.

So, if John Smith (record number 100) has three cross-references to his children, Art, Bart and Fargo, the file would contain three rows, one for each cross-reference.
Since the file contains ‘donor number’, it can be easily transformed into a transit file so that you can run enquiries based on the cross-references.

Cross-Reference Mail Utility

This one’s new to most users too.

In a similar vein to the Cross-Reference Export Utility, this tool allows you to choose a standard mailing file of supporters and either find all cross-references or just ones of a particular relationship type.

The CSV file that this tool creates, however, writes details of the cross-referenced records on one row.

This means you could create a mail merge and, for each record in the transit file, publish all their cross-references in one document, perhaps as a table.

This has proved useful in allowing schools to write to parents about all their children in a single document, for instance.

The information published for each cross-reference is surname, forename, title and record number and it can export a maximum of 20 cross-references.

Tributes Utility

The Tributes Utility is designed to make even more of the huge efforts being undertaken on initiatives like Light Up a Life or Tree of Love.

Until it was launched, the focus had been on allowing organisations to manage books of tribute, or to produce cards for supporters, showing the names of those they wished to remember.

To achieve this, donorflex provides tools to list all the tributes – sometimes several per donation – into files that allow the final documents to be produced.

Since donorflex 10, clients have been able to encourage supporters to take part in these initiatives by:

  • Reminding them what they did last year, and
  • Thanking them for their contributions this year

This means producing a single letter showing all the tributes from a previous year – a complex task using Microsoft Word. What the Tributes Utility does, however, is simple.
It takes the normal donorflex tributes file, where each tribute appears on a separate row, and distils them onto a single row.

Using this new file, a personalised letter can be sent to the supporter showing all the tributes they’ve made.

Quantor Scanning Utility

Gift Aid documents, volunteer paperwork, Disclosure and Barring Service checks, standing order mandates, sponsorship forms, event contracts – and the like – are vital parts of the day-to-day work that donorflex underpins.

For all manner of reasons – space, efficiency, auditability – scanning offers itself as an obvious way to manage them all.

The donorflex Quantor Scanning Utility is key to this happening with Quantor, the West Midlands-based scanning specialists. It’s easy to use and works in two stages.

Export first! You use the utility so that you can send documents to Quantor for scanning with information that will allow the bureau to cross-reference them to the correct donor record.

Import next! Once scanned, on CD, Quantor will send the images they’ve created, along with a database of information that will allow you to create communications in donorflex that link the donor and the image of the document for easy retrieval.