If you download gifts from your organization, you are familiar with the Starting Date / Ending Date calendars in the gift download:
In the above example, the start date is about six weeks before the end date. The default is not “six weeks back from today”, but roughly six weeks “before your last download” as you may only download periodically. The ‘back in time’ feature is because it is common for organizations to have adjustments or corrections or even late-posting gifts. (In our ministry, for example, credit card gifts take longer to process than cheque gifts.)
The challenge with this practice, though, is that sometimes your ministry may correct a gift that was six months ago. It is not uncommon for a partner to get a year-end giving statement and notice a mistake from months earlier.
For this reason, once or twice a year I reset the Starting Date on my calendar all the way back to the first available date. (The first available date is the oldest gift in your ministry’s system.)
Quick tip: When you go way back for the first time, you may see some new gifts come in, some gifts may be slightly changed (e.g., date of gift, amount, donor name), but you may also see some gifts deleted from your database.
TntConnect will alert you when a gift is about to be deleted. Pay attention to this! Once you click Sync, that gift will be removed with no record of it. So if you see this red message, you may want to ask yourself “Why?!” before you sync.
As a reminder, TntConnect does not download address corrections when you download gifts. If a partner has changed their address (with the ministry) but not told you, you need to select Tools | Update Donor Info to see those changes.
Why doesn’t TNT just download all gifts and/or all addresses every time? Because of how long it would take. (You would not want to download all data every time!)
Tip: Technology changes can sometimes affect how gifts can be delivered to support raising software, in one of two ways:
- Your organization may be adopting a new system that is not compatible with TntConnect. If this will happen, while you still can you may want to do a download back from the first available date to ensure all gift data is correct.
- Or, some organizations only keep so many “active” years (e.g., 7-10) in the data warehouse, so periodically going back in time makes sure you have the correct data even after it is no longer downloadable. When I first started using TNT in 2002, my organization offered donations back to 1994. But they dropped off one year at a time and now only go back to 1/1/2004.