Look me up sometime!

This post is an overview of the amazing Lookups feature.

When you open TNT, it actually does a Lookup immediately. The default is simply to lookup “Everyone” in your list. This is the “Current Lookup“, and the result is the “Current Group“:

What is a Lookup? Some software call lookups a “Filter”. This helps you narrow down all possible items to just the few you want. It’s how we shop for things… stores have countless items. As we search for one item, a variety of helpful filters appear on the left to help us further filter down to a manageable list.

Lookups help me filter a list of unlimited items into a manageable list. When shopping, I can successively size, type, colour, brand, etc. to narrow the list to something more useful.

In TntConnect, the default lookup is “Everyone”—all contacts in your database. Any other lookup will search ALL contacts in your database who fit the criteria you ask.

  • You can filter on all 175+ contact fields, as well as on all giving activity and other criteria. After each lookup, you can do Successive searches to further narrow down your results. (Think “All products > Hockey Sticks > Youth > CCM Brand).
  • You can also save a Lookup as a favorite for future reference or to be the default lookup when you open TntConnect (in Tools>Options).
  • You cannot harm your database in any way by doing Lookups, so use trial-and-error to learn to use Lookups more effectively.

The Lookup menu is simply a list of lookups pre-written for you, where you add the specific criteria. When you choose a Lookup from the menu, the “Lookups” box appears. To the left of the box are the various lookup options (by field, by list, by giving, by group).

In the big box in the centre is the “Filter” box where you select the specific criteria. For example, if you are doing a “Lookup By Field” and the field you are searching for is “Home City”, then the criteria is the city you are looking for (such as “Calgary”).

In the top of the Lookup box is the action you want TntConnect to take when doing this lookup, in relation to the Current Group. There are four options:

  • Replace the current group. This means, “Ignore the Current Group and search all of the contacts in the database. Then give me a new current group.”
  • Lookup within the current group. This means, “Of the Current Group I already have, now search only within those contacts.”
  • Add to the current group. This means, “Search within the entire database, then add any I find to the Current Group I already have.”
  • Take away from the current group. This is the opposite of #3 and means, “Of the Current Group I already have, take away any that meet the criteria I have selected.”

As an example, let’s say you wanted to call donors in Calgary, but not any who have given a gift in the last 3 months. In words, then, you would…

1. Do a Lookup>By Field for Home City = Calgary, and Replace the Current Group. You now have a Current Group of all contacts in Calgary. (Tip: This particular lookup is also pre-written in the menu: “Lookup>City…”)

2. Then you do a second Lookup>By Giving, Within the current group, so that only Calgary donors are represented. I leave the starting Date Range blank to capture all donors up to the desired date. (Tip: When you do a Lookup>By Giving without entering any criteria, TNT automatically looks up all contacts with lifetime donations > 0.)

There is no “correct” way to do lookups. In fact, while writing this post I actually had it written differently and then realized I could do it in two steps instead of three.

I am often asked, “How do I get back to ‘Everyone’ like when I open TntConnect?” It’s easy… just press the “Lookup Everyone” button on the button bar (it looks like a funnel or filter). Press it again, get your other lookup back… it’s a toggle switch!


Finding that lost Donor Acct #

About 10% of the donors who are in my TntConnect database have more than one account number with my organization, and sometimes I want to find all of them (for reasons I describe later). This is so easy I’ll show you first then explain it.

How to find contacts which have more than one Account #:

  1. Lookup | By Field
  2. Organization Account IDs | contains | ,    [comma]


TntConnect stores the Organization Account ID(s) with the contact so that you can easily export them using Group Actions | Export Current Group. If a donor has more than one account #, TNT just separates them with a comma.


How this exports:


There are several reasons why a donor is issued a new account #:

  • They gave by cheque previously and have just given online for the first time. Not surprisingly, they did not have their Donor # handy so they left that box blank on the online screen (if they even saw it!)
  • They have moved and given a new gift without using a return slip that had their donor # on it
  • The spouse gave a gift and his/her name was not on the original account, which is even more likely if the husband/wife couple has different last names

But there is one big reason why a donor in TntConnect may have two donor account #s NOT because of my organization:

  • *I* linked them during a gift download… sometimes accidentally.

So if I have two donor account numbers for a contact and one of them is in error, I cannot find it easily because I may not know which donor I linked it to! This lookup helps me quickly locate all contacts with multiple donor account #s, so I can then find the incorrect one.

Read More: Merge/Unmerge Donor Accounts

That old breakfast appointment

I was trying to find a specific comment from a note I wrote years ago. I knew the name of the partner, but I could not remember the exact appointment. Was it in 2005 or 2010?

That is to say, I KNOW I talked to Wile Coyote about “Acme Anvils”, but I just cannot remember when.

Fortunately, TntConnect makes it very easy to search through history–not just all history but even for one specific contact.

  1. In the Contact list, I selected the specific contact in question
  2. Select Lookup | This Contact to filter the list to just that one contact
  3. Go to the History View
  4. Check the box at the bottom Filter by Current Group
  5. Change the date range to All
  6. Type in the word I am looking for in the text filter

1. Select Wile Coyote


2. Select Lookup | This Contact


3 & 4. Go to the History View and check the box Filter by Current Group. Notice a blue bar appears that says, “Only items related to contacts in the current group are shown.” In this example, Wile Coyote has no History in the “Last Week”, so the list is blank.


5. Change the Date Range to All


6. Type the desired text in the Text filter. This searches any text in either the Description of the history OR in the actual notes of the logged history. In this case, the words “Acme” are in the notes.


Here is the actual history entry:


The fun thing about this blog post is that I actually did this just this morning before writing this post, which is what gave me the idea for this post. I had to re-create the details for this sample, but I truly did search through my entire database for one specific history event many years ago.

Being able to filter on one contact in the Contacts View (Lookup | This Contact) allows me to do two helpful things:

  1. Perform a mail merge on one specific contact only (such as to prepare a giving submission form for my organization, or for printing a Getting to Know You sheet)
  2. Use all of the six History filters. I cannot filter (much) on the History Tab for the contact, but when I view the contact’s history in the History View, I can filter by all six filters (date, type, current group, data changes, text-in-notes, etc.).