Add Pictures

TntConnect is not really a “picture” program, so its picture features are pretty rudimentary. Still, having a little snapshot of your partners can be really helpful.

The Pictures Tab allows you to add one or more pictures of your contacts.

  • If you have more than one picture, the one you click on this tab will be the one that appears in the Name & Address Bar.
  • To add/delete pictures, right-click in the open space of the Pictures Tab or on the picture in the Name & Address Bar.
  • You can see all of the Pictures in your database, and the contact they are associated with, using Tools | All Pictures. You cannot modify or delete pictures from that box.
  • You can control the default maximum size of an imported photo in Tools | Options | Pictures.

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Lookup Recent Givers

Today’s question: “I’m working on sending an end of year ask. I’d like to filter for a list of ‘Everyone who gave a gift in the last 12 months’. How do I do this?”

This is a great idea and it is super-easy. In fact, in TntConnect there are multiple ways to get this same information. For one thing, TntConnect stores (in the Contact Table) a number of gift “details” for every contact. That is, these fields are stored in the same table as the names, addresses, emails, church names, etc., which means they are exportable. The list of exportable fields is at the bottom of this post.

Do a Lookup | By Field | Twelve Month Total / is greater than / 0.

Or, another way is to use the Gift Table, using a Lookup by Giving.

Lookup | By Giving | [date range].

Doing lookups by giving offers so much flexibility. My wife and I, for example, send cookies to any partner who gives $50/month (that is, $600 / year). Now some partners may have missed a month, so their “average” is under $50, but their pledge is $50. Or their pledge may be $25, but they gave a $300 extra gift last summer, pushing their total giving over $600 for the year. So I’ll do a series of lookups to capture any contact who meets any of these four criteria:

  • Twelve Month Total / is at least / 600
  • Monthly Pledge / is at least / 50
  • Average Monthly Gift / is at least / 50
  • By Group / ‘Always gets cookies’ [e.g., includes relatives who do not give at all, a few neighbors and co-workers, as well as some long-term partners whose giving has dropped below the automatic $600 cookie threshold]

Helpful “Giving Details” fields that TntConnect stores for every contact in your database:

  • Pledge Amount
  • Pledge Frequency
  • Pledge Received
  • Monthly Pledge
  • Pledge Start Date
  • First Gift Date

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Most recent gift fields:

  • Last Gift Date
  • Last Gift Amount
  • Last Gift Organization
  • Last Gift Donor ID
  • Last Gift Payment Method
  • Good Until (or ‘Current Until’… when their next expected gift is)

Giving Summaries

  • Prev Year Total
  • Year Total
  • Twelve Month Total
  • Lifetime Total
  • Lifetime Number of Gifts
  • Largest Gift
  • Average Monthly Gift

You can view these gift details right on the TNT Tab by clicking on the little drop-down arrow next to the “Individual” button:

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Lookup using the Contribution Report

Another way to lookup donors by time frame is by using a brand new feature in TntConnect 3.1: The “Lookup” button on the Contribution Report.

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More about Lookups from the F1/Online help

Quick link to Staff Portal

About 60% of TntConnect users are able to download gifts from the web using the Gift Input button. Most of those organizations have some kind of web site that their staff can use to view either donation information and/or staff account Income & Expense reports.

For many ministries, this web host is called the “Staff Portal” because the software they use calls it that. Other ministries call it their “Staff Web”, and still others have their own custom name.

What many users do not know, however, is that they do not need to rely on their browser and bookmarks to get to that Staff Portal.

When you click the Gift Input button, TntConnect quickly links to your ministry to open the channel to download gifts, as well as display your ministry account balance (if applicable).

The big ministry logo at the top of the Gift Input screen is actually a big hyperlink to the Staff Portal:

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Now, about your organization’s ability to send gifts to missionaries:

Any ministry that wants to send gifts to their staff online must have a web-based host to do that. A few very large ministries have their own tech teams to host those servers, but many other ministries (from tiny to quite big) use a web hosting tool provided by TntWare, the same ministry that makes TntConnect available for free.

This web-hosting service is called DonorHub. DonorHub connects to the ministry’s donation software and hosts that data on the web. The missionaries can then view it online using DonorHub’s “Staff Portal”. Or the missionaries can also download the gifts into TntConnect or any other support raising software. (In other words, because DonorHub offers an online web screen for the donation information it sends to TNT, that means it can be used by ANY missionary in the ministry, no matter what computer, tablet, or other device they are using!

DonorHub frees the mission organization from the burden of delivering any donation or account expense information to their staff.

(Note: DonorHub is a web-based tool for the organization’s home office, and does have a small cost for those ministries that use it, to cover the costs of the service itself. But the value it returns is significant.)

Google Maps & TntConnect. Wow.

Cannot help but love the integration between TntConnect & Google Maps! So much so, in fact, that for two years I used the Google Maps view as the background for a TNT page I was managing:

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Map View button

The Map View displays an integrated Google Chrome browser (which works even if you do not use Chrome on your system). This flexible feature allows you to change display to show five different views, based on the contacts you currently have up in the Contacts View.

Most of these are based on the Current Group of selected contacts. But not all contacts will appear in each option as the display is based on if they fit the display criteria (for example, whether they get your newsletter or not).

  • The currently selected Individual

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  • All contacts in the Current Group

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  • The Status Dot of all the Current Group

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  • The Newsletter preference (if they have one)

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  • Any Pictures in the Current Group

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In addition to the Map View, TntConnect also has the original Google Maps Button on the Contact View that will locate the selected contact in Google Maps in your internet browser. This can be helpful if you want to map directions to the partner’s house:

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The first time you view contacts in the Map View, it will take some time as the map attempts to locate the addresses. Once it finds them, TNT actually stores the GPS coordinates in that contact’s hidden info area, so the next time you look up the map it will be instantaneous. As always, some addresses cannot be found (e.g., P.O. boxes or an otherwise unmappable address), so TNT will simply label them in the map as “Approximate” based on information it can find (such as a city or postal code but not the exact address).

F1 Help on the Map View and Google Maps features.

Organization Gift Details

About 70% of TntConnect users are able to download gifts directly from their organization’s web site, and this post is for you.

One of the hallmarks of TntConnect is being to completely trust the donation data—you need to be confident that what you see in TntConnect matches your organization’s donation data. (If you never quite trust TntConnect, you’ll always be asking, “Is this right? How can I be sure?”)

By double-clicking on any gift on the TNT tab, you can see the details for that gift—both the details you can edit and the ones that are downloaded with the gift.

GiftDetails

Gift Details for a single gift in TntConnect. Displays the unique information from the ministry’s donation system.

The most important piece of gift information is the “Donation ID”, which is the unique gift number for that specific gift. Every time you download gifts, TntConnect matches each gift’s ID with every other Gift ID in your database; if there’s a match, it then checks to see if all of the details are the same. (Secret: This is how you can download the same gifts every day and not end up with duplicates!)

While you can edit the Appeal associated with the gift or write your own memo/note about it, there are several things the system sends that are “hard coded” with each gift:

  • Designation (your account number); if you are using TntConnect for fund-development (that is, managing multiple designations in one database), that Designation # is key.
  • Motivation Code. Most ministries do not use this code, but some larger ones do as it can identify what donor representative, event, or direct mail piece prompted the donor to respond.
  • Donor ID, which is how TntConnect knew to connect this gift with the selected contact.
  • Account Name. How this donor’s name appears in your ministry’s system (and which may vary from how you have it in TntConnect)
  • Gift Memo. Any note that your ministry received from the donor and wanted to pass on to you.
  • Payment Method. What method the donor used for this specific gift (such as cash, credit card, EFT or bank transfer, etc.).

The most recent gift information (date, amount, and payment method) is also stored on the contact’s View Details (click the little drop-down arrow next to the Individual button on the TNT tab):

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Welcome to www.TNT.tips!

Welcome to 50 new subscribers who have joined the new http://www.TNT.tips blog this week (the first “official” week)!

My name is Bob Mac Leod and I serve with Campus Crusade for Christ’s international ministry. (Campus Crusade’s U.S. ministry is now known as Cru, but I work with the international side. This blog is not associated with Cru, but is my personal effort to help other missionaries.)

I really dragged my feet when it came to using TNT. I had a very good—even “mobile” solution—back in 2002. I kept all of my support contacts on my Palm Pilot, and I tracked all of their giving and my activity in Excel. I was perfectly happy! Then my team-mates Jennifer and Julia pestered me for six months to download this great new software. Reluctantly, I finally did… and the next day I never looked back.

Since then, it has been my hobby and joy to help people use TNT more effectively. Because I love to learn software and help others, I originally wrote all of the online documentation for TNT (secretly: just to help me master the software!). In hopes of writing a blog someday I actually wrote a “tip of the week” series that I later included in the help manual. (That is the source of many of my blog entries.) Since that time God has given me the privilege of teaching TNT to missionaries in more than 25 countries while travelling for my regular ministry work.

Many of my blog entries come from something I am doing in TntConnect right now, and it occurs to me it may be helpful to others.

But a major reason I wanted to write this blog is because I know that many people pick up new software skills unexpectedly.

Quick story: While I was teaching a personal financial stewardship seminar at a support raising conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, one of the conference planners had a TNT talk scheduled later in the day. Since I was there, he asked me if I wanted to deliver his talk. The notes were already printed in the notebook, so I used his notes to deliver his talk. Afterwards, he said he learned two new things! This was just because I sprinkled in helpful tips as I gave the talk.

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“I didn’t know TntConnect could do that!”

What I have learned is that sometimes the most helpful little tips make the biggest difference, especially when using a software we really enjoy and use often. You may see 20 tips and find them helpful, then one tip will be ‘the most helpful thing you learned this year’.

It is my hope that this little blog will make a big ‘little’ difference in your enjoyment and use of TntConnect… but more importantly, in your support raising efforts.

Thanks for coming, and I welcome your feedback at http://www.TNT.tips@gmail.com.

You can share this twice-weekly blog with your friends and encourage them to sign up for the email post.

 

It is sad to say “Goodbye”

This week I received notification of the final gift from a very faithful ministry partner. She and her husband gave their first gift in October 1993, and gave the same amount 272 months in a row, never missing even once. He passed away about 10 years ago, and she passed away last month.

I can say with some pleasure that this particular donor actually prompted a feature in TNT that I rely on all the time: The “Send thank you for $X (last thank was 19 months ago).

Until a few years ago, TNT only alerted us when a donor did something unusual, such as above or below their regular gift, missed a gift and/or resumed giving, or gave a first gift. There was no automatic thank for the incredibly faithful partner who always gave the same amount, never missed, and never gave an extra gift.

I had been using TNT for about six years, aggressively recording all of my activity, conscientiously recording all of my thank yous. Then one day I said, “I’m going to spend some time this month writing thank yous to everyone on my team.” I decided to start with the ones who had gone the longest without a thank you (e.g., maybe 10-12 months earlier).

I exported all of my Financial Partners along with the “Last Thank” date field. To my horror, I discovered eight partners who had NO recorded thank you in 6 years! The field was blank! (I will say that some of them at least did have a call or appointment, but no actual written thank you.)

At that point, I developed a personal plan to make sure every partner received a written thank you at least once per year. This actually led to the development of the “thank everyone” feature I mentioned above, which was rolled out in 2007.

Also, since that time, TNT has expanded to allow me to record a THANK for ANY history action (see pic below). And an even more recent task type (“Present”) is also, automatically, a “Thank”, since my giving a present to a partner is an expression of thankfulness on my part.

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Expressing gratitude to our partners is probably the most important thing we can do in support development. And I am SO grateful for all of our partners. Thank you Lord!!!