Getting to Know You

Fact: Your partners are an incredible source of fascinating information.

Fact: TntConnect stores lots of information about your partners.

Problem: You don’t have that information to put into TntConnect.

Solution: The “Getting to Know You” sheet.

Although this is “old school”, simply bringing this sheet on a support appointment and actually asking—yes, using real words—can help you get to know your partners better.

Here are two versions you can download:

Blank “Getting to Know You” sheet

Mail-merge “Getting to Know You” sheet. This version you can use with a Mail Merge, and TntConnect will fill out any information you already have on the selected partners.

  • You can bring that with you and just fill out the missing information.
  • You can save it as a Mail Merge Favorite for ongoing use.
  • Use this anytime as a great way to refresh your memory on the way to an appointment (to remind you of their names, children, hobbies, interests, prayer requests, etc.), even if you do not use it during the appointment.

View the short video on Mail Merge.

View the short video on Mail Merge Favorites.

Note: If your ministry does not link directly to TntConnect, you can quickly and easily enter gifts every week or month. Learn more here.


Don’t send it twice!


** Secret feature alert! **

Faced an interesting dilemma this evening: I needed to print and send our current newsletter. But unlike normal months, there was a group of partners I did NOT want to send the letter to, because I had just sent them a special update just a week ago.

How did I solve this dilemma? By using one of TntConnect’s “secret features”: I looked up my newsletter list, then went to my History and selected the history entry for last week’s special update, then “removed” those people from the list.

Here’s how (screen shots below):

  1. Use the Newsletter Tools Helper to find my newsletter recipients
  2. Go to the History View and right-click on the update recipients
  3. Select “Remove from Current Lookup

The Newsletter Tools Helper filters the 22 paper newsletter recipients:


I then go to the History View and right-click on last week’s special update to 30 people (only some of whom are regular newsletter recipients):


After removing the Special Update recipients, there are 10 people left who still need a newsletter this month:


A little splash of colour

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” [Genesis 9:12-13 NIV] 

Contact List

Colour helps bring a little clarity to a long list of names. Notice the difference between the list with colour (left), or not (right).


Quick tips about the Contact list colours:

  • Right-click inside the contact list to Color Code the Contact List. Using the TNT Phase, this makes financial partners Green and Not Interested/Never Ask Gray.
  • Go to Tools | Options | Contacts to turn on/off the strikethrough for the “Not Interested” TNT Phase
  • The coloured Status Dot will always appear whether colour is on or off
  • The “Undeliverable” newsletter preference will always be red… because not communicating with your partners is a very bad thing!

Unreviewed Account Info

In the Name & Address bar and/or Address box, you will see contact info Bold & Orange when your information in TNT does not match what your organization has for this partner AND you have not told TNT which one you want to keep.


By default, TNT always chooses YOUR data over your organization’s info (the assumption is that you know your partners better than the ministry office does).

A bold/orange address is a hyperlink, so click on it to see the disparity—then you can choose which one to keep. (Or, select Lookup | Unreviewed Account Info to see all contacts like this.)

Note: TNT does NOT automatically update donor addresses or even automatically download them from your organization. YOU have to initiate the address check using Tools | Update Donor Info.

Read More > Color Coding (not just for contacts, but also for tasks & history)

Note: If your ministry does not link directly to TntConnect, you can quickly and easily enter gifts every week or month. Learn more here.

Export Giving Details

In my previous post, I introduced the flexible Lookup By Giving which helped find a donor who had given a specific gift—I knew the amount and month, but not the person. The Lookup By Giving showed me all donors who gave during a certain time frame and/or gifts of a certain amount.

The Lookups in TntConnect are just “filters” that narrow down my list of contacts based on any of hundreds of criteria. But Lookups do not return “amounts”… only “names”—the contacts who meet the filter criteria.

For support raising, it can be very helpful to know the amounts that people give. This helps me answer questions like this:

  • Who are my Top 10 partners?
  • What is the total given to my personal ministry this year/last year/last 12 months/lifetime?
  • What is the largest gift each partner has given? (Helps me know what amount to challenge in the future.)
  • When was the first gift each partner gave?
  • How many gifts has each partner given?

TntConnect stores contact information in a place called the “Contact Table”, which is where all of the name and address and email and 150+ other fields are stored. These fields I can export to a spreadsheet for making mailing labels and/or doing analysis.

TNT also stores more than 25 “partner-specific” calculated fields based on their giving as well as my activity with them (last call, last thank, last appointment, etc.). I will often export these fields to give me a snapshot of my support team.

Give this a try—lookup all of your financial partners, then export their giving snapshot:

  1. Lookup | TNT Phase | is PARTNER-Financial
  2. Select Group Actions | Export Current Group
  3. Press the “Uncheck All” button to clear out any saved export fields
  4. Select just “File As” from the top of the list (to get their name)
  5. Then scroll down and select some or all of the Giving Details fields (in the red frame, see picture below). These include several fields related to their most recent gift, as well as a snapshot of their overall giving to your work.
  6. Click OK, then export the list to Excel. You can then sort it by any of the fields you chose.


It is this sort of “power analytics” that really sets TntConnect apart and makes it so useful for support raising.

Read More: Giving Details

Note: If your ministry does not link directly to TntConnect, you can quickly and easily enter gifts every week or month. Learn more here.

Lookup By Giving to find a specific gift

This morning I was looking for a specific gift; I knew when it had come in (June), but I did not know who the donor was.

I used TntConnect’s flexible “Lookup By Giving” to narrow down the contacts to only those who have given since June 1 (see red arrow below). By leaving the end date (“To”) unchecked, it means, “Any gift from June 1 onwards.”


Returns 16 contacts in my database:


The Lookup By Giving box offers a number of helpful options:

  • I can pick a date range: start date (or not) and an end date (or not)
  • Amount of gift: (minimum and/or maximum). Leaving blank returns all gifts.
  • Currency: (if I am managing gifts in more than one currency, it can be helpful to lookup gifts only for the specific currency)
  • For users managing multiple designations (TntConnect Pro), this Lookup By Giving box will also show both a Designation and a Motivation Code.

The Lookup By Giving scans the Gift table, meaning it is looking at all of the gifts in the database. When it finds a gift that matches what I’m looking for, it returns the contact for the lookup.

In the next blog post, I will share how I can filter contacts by giving summaries, such as lifetime total, lifetime number of gifts, largest gift, first gift, etc. TntConnect stores several [exportable] giving totals for each partner, and updates those numbers each time the partner gives a gift–that is powerful analytics!

Continue reading

Entering Gifts Manually: It’s easy!

About 40% of all TntConnect users serve with an organization that does not have a way to send gifts to TntConnect via the web or via a file. Or, you may serve with an organization that formerly offered one-click gift input, but due to a technology change on their part, that link is no longer working.

It may surprise you to learn that TntConnect was invented before the Gift Input feature was created. That is, all users had to enter gifts manually in the very beginning!

Because of this, TntConnect makes it super easy to enter gifts manually.

One option, of course, is simply to right-click in the Gifts box and “Add a Gift”—which you would do any time you add a single gift from a donor. But that is time consuming if you are entering dozens of them every month.

If you cannot download gifts at all, then your best bet is to use the Manual Gift Entry Form from the Tools menu.


This quick-entry form allows you to enter all of your gifts in just a few moments.

  • It displays every partner who has given a gift in the past 12 months.
  • You just enter the date and the amount.
  • You can lookup and add a New Partner to the form from your entire list of contacts.
  • You can press Another Gift if a partner has more than one gift in a month.
  • If you are working from a printed list or printed email (a little easier than toggling back and forth between TNT and your email or ministry web site), you can probably enter 25-50 donations in just a few minutes.
  • Also, if you receive gifts in more than one currency, you can enter all gifts from one currency at the same time. (If you do not have multi-currency turned on, the Currency box will not be shown.)
  • Whether you download gifts, import from a file, use the Manual Gift Entry Form or just add gifts individually using Add a Gift, TntConnect runs the same Automatic Actions for New Gifts features so you can take full advantage of TntConnect’s powerful analytics.

Read more about the Manual Gift Entry Form.


Reverse or “Negative” Lookups (a.k.a. Filters)

Many web tools (such as shopping sites) use the word “filter” to narrow down the displayed list of items. In TntConnect, filters are called “Lookups”, because it is doing more than just filtering down a list to a smaller number. You are “looking up” contacts based on a virtually unlimited number of criteria.


Question of the Day: “How do I do a negative lookup? That is, I have a list of contacts, but I don’t want to filter the list by a certain criteria. Instead, I want to ‘take away from the list’ anyone who meets that criteria, leaving everyone else.”

The quick answer is a simple one:

  1. Select Lookup | By Field,
  2. Select “Take away from the current group”.
  3. Enter your criteria (whichever field and value you wanted to remove from the current group)
  4. Press OK.


The details:

You can lookup contacts based on more than 180 Contact fields, as well as by giving activity, history activity, membership in saved groups, or even filter based on the results of a saved etc. But TntConnect’s filters don’t just narrow down your contact list. You can also lookup within a lookup, take away from that lookup or add to it.

Lookups cannot harm your database at all, so the best way to learn them is by simple trial and error.

Here’s the TntConnect help topic that explains “successive” lookups.