The Bible takes promises pretty seriously. By my count, the word Promise appears at least 160 times. But when God makes a promise, it is a certainty it will be fulfilled.
With people, though, we understand that “promises” have varying degrees of intent. For example, when my kids were little, I avoided the word “promise” because of the potential disaster: “But Dad! You promised…!”
Now I have teenagers, and I look at their commitments as “potential intentions”. Not that they intentionally forget/forego promises, but they haven’t quite got to the point where a commitment is a rock-solid “You can count on me!” statement.
And so it is with ministry partners. TntConnect has to wrestle with so many different nuances of commitments.
In TNT, there is the “pledge” which in TNTese means, “an ongoing, recurring commitment, such as a monthly gift”. But it does not mean “legally-binding” (which a person does when they pledge $100 million to a hospital, for example).
And until now, TNT had no way to track a commitment for a one-time gift. Until now.
With the expansion of the Campaign features to include new “Promise Tracking”, it was essential to come up with a term different from “pledge” or “commitment” which were already in use. So by new definition, A “Promise” is a commitment to give a certain amount by some due date. This could be a monthly increase, but in most cases will be a one-time or special gift. (Or, in some cases, it is a one-time commitment fulfilled over time, such as a $3000 commitment given in three $1000 installments.)
The most common scenario for this is a new missionary raising both their initial support as well as significant one-time support for their initial expenses (training, relocation, etc.). A campaign can track the response to both of those.
But regarding a large, ongoing campaign, this week I had a perfect test case for this profound new feature in 3.2.
Last Fall—just before the release of TNT 3.2—my office held a special event where a group of potential partners heard about several opportunities. They filled out commitment cards at the event. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way I could track both the commitments and the progress towards fulfilling them? 🙂
Here’s how I handled this in TNT:
Before you start: The Promise tool is an advanced setting. Go to Tools | Options and check the box “Display extended information (TntConnect Pro)”.
1. In the Campaign Tracking / Manage Campaigns area I created a separate campaign for each project that received a commitment. (Tools | Campaign Tracking, then New Campaign button. This is only in TNT 3.2).
2. For each partner who made a commitment—that is, a Promise—I right-clicked in the Gifts list and selected Add new promise.
3. I then entered the details of their promise… amount, Date the promise was Made, Date the Promise is due (e.g., when the donor intends to fulfill by), and any memo they may have written on the commitment card. The “Fulfilled” box fills automatically as the donor gives.
4. If they have any gifts I can already link to the Promise, I just need to press Apply, and then I can assign the gifts right then. The promise will appear Yellow in the Gifts list until it is 100% fulfilled.
5. Otherwise, when the gift does come in, I can assign them at a later date. As the promise is partially fulfilled, the amount outstanding will update.
When the promise is 100% fulfilled, the promise row will no longer be Yellow, and the text will be gray.
Okay, so all of this Promise and Campaign Tracking can be a bit overwhelming. I’m not really trying to teach you all about it… just whet your appetite so that someday you’ll think, “Hey, I need that feature!”
Note: Campaigns are SO powerful and SO significant that in the upcoming TntConnect 3.3 release they will receive their own Menu link and their own Contacts View tabs so you can manage the Campaign activity for any individual contact: