For that oddly frequent partner

It’s official! TntConnect 3.2 is now available for download. Whether you have already downloaded the Beta version or not, go to the Downloads page and download the most current release. Over the coming days I will be sharing about lots of new features.


It must have been 10 years ago when I first received this request in a training room:

“How do I mark a partner who gives weekly?”

Simple question, but caught me by surprise, since I had never had such a partner. On my team:

  • 82% give monthly
  • 10% give annually
  • 8% give bi-monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual (e.g., 2-3 each)

Then I was in Australia and received a similar question:

“How do I mark a partner who gives fortnightly?”

I’ve read enough British literature to know that term, but I doubt most Americans would know “fortnightly” means “once every two weeks”. (Which is different from “semi-monthly”, since in a year there are 24 semi-months but 26 fortnights.)

Well, good news for those who have partners who give very frequently: TntConnect 3.2 now offers both weekly and fortnightly pledge frequency options.

So here’s the interesting thing: After 22 years in ministry, one of my most generous partners emailed me to let me know they had an unusual change in their finances and that for a couple of years they would be giving… weekly.

2017-03-02-PledgeFrequencies.jpg


By the way, there is also the partner who gives “sporadic gifts”. This is a partner who pledges, typically monthly, but ends up giving inconsistently and “less than monthly”; for example, 7-8-9 times per year. No pledge frequency can accommodate that, nor does TNT allow for you to give an “estimated annual total” where you could enter the amount they usually give over the year… divided by 12.

If you mark them as PARTNER-Special, then you get an auto-task every time they give. If you mark them as PARTNER-Financial, then their giving will always be a little off from their pledge.

My answer to the question on how to handle this has always been: Just be grateful for it. We cannot expect TNT to accommodate every creative way a partner gives. Again, in my own history, over 25 years I have only had two partners who gave sporadically–and kept doing it for several years. But their very sporadic-ness actually generated greater awareness for me… because it was always something new, always a surprise. (For your reference, I marked both of them as PARTNER-Special, because they were too inconsistent to be truly reliable for my monthly goal.)

Here’s a helpful reference guide: Dealing With Gifts. This reference guide covers 13 different ways gifts are given (either from a partner or even from you to a partner), and how to handle those using TntConnect.


One final note: The first time I ever heard about a “sporadic giver”, I was in an orientation for new missionaries in my agency. Problem was, the speaker was using the wrong word. While talking about gifts and thank yous, she asked, “How do you deal with a spastic giver?”

 

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