DonorWise TM
Enhanced communication with donors, enhanced ministry credibility...

Can I manually control Contact IDs?

Table of Contents

It is our pleasure to provide this software free of charge to help you in your ministry.  We're so thankful for our partners who make this possible!

About TntWare

Page Details

First published by:
Bob Mac Leod
on 18 May 2010
Last revision by:
Troy Wolbrink
on 24 Aug 2011
1 person found this article useful.

100% of people found this useful
Can I manually control Contact IDs?

There are two primary reasons why a ministry would want to manually create a Contact ID instead of allowing DonorWise to create one automatically:

  • 1. The ministry is switching to DonorWise and the numbers are already in use in their old system (one-time creation)
  • 2. The ministry wants designations to match the responsibility centre (RC) in the accounting system (ongoing creation)

There are to ways to control the ContactID. 

  1. On the View Contacts screen, you can right-click on "New Contact" and choose "With Custom ID"
    (requires DonorWise 2.0 r22 or newer). 


      2.    It is also possible to import a Contact ID when importing a contact.

Import numbers from an existing system

When your ministry is using a donation system with numbers already assigned to donors and designations, it can be helpful to retain those numbers in DonorWise. Here is an example of part of a contact import that includes donors, staff members, and ministry designations:

Contact ID

Last/Family Name

First/Given Name

Organization Name

Middle Name

Spouse First/Given Name










Campus Ministry






Univ of Monaco






Univ of Monaco Scholarship






Film Project






General Staff Fund























Mary Jane


























Import numbers on an on-going basis

Some ministries would like to manually assign contact ids on an on-going basis. There are two primary reasons for doing this:

  • 1. To match the contact ids to existing Responsibility Centre in the accounting system. This can help reduce confusion staff may experience, leading to the question, "Why do I have two different numbers?", especially when they did not have two numbers before.
  • 2. To keep various designation IDs in a range. For example, some ministries have staff member designations starting with 2 (like 20001-20999), and ministry designations starting with 5 (like 50001-59999).

There are many disadvantages to importing designation ids after the DonorWise system is up and running:

  • 1. It is possible that a desired designation number may already be in use
  • 2. A new staff member may already exist in your system as a donor, and creating a new designation for them would duplicate them in your system.
  • 3. Responsibility Centres can be recycled/reassigned for the needs of the ministry, but Designation numbers are permanently assigned.
  • 4. Two single staff members with existing designations may marry and their designation numbers become out of sync with their RC.
  • 5. When a staff spouse dies, a new ContactID is created for the surviving spouse, but the underlying RC does not change.
  • 6. Contact IDs cannot be edited or reassigned once they are created.
  • 7. There is not a one-to-one relationship between designations and RCs. It is possible for one RC to have many designations, only one of which would match.
  • 8. Assigning ranges is not a good practice because the reasons behind certain ranges blur over time, or in growing ministries, it is actually possible to run out of numbers within the range.


We recommend importing existing Contact IDs if they are already in use in your system, but letting DonorWise randomly assign Contact IDs once DonorWise is in use.


Recent Comments

By: GregorySmith Posted on 30 Mar 2011 12:11 PM

We are lamenting the fact that the designation and staff RC are not the same number. This is especially confusing when the designation of one staff member is actually the RC of another staff.  We should have done something to make sure that would never happen.  It would be one thing if they only had to know one of them. However, they do need to know both. The RC is used for Reimbursements, Salary, and is often used as an ID number in other databases.  They also have to know their  designations for Donations.

We actually do retire the RC number when staff resign so we could not have matched the Designation to the RC. We could make the RC longer if we ran out of RC's.

At the very least we need something in the setup instruction to keep a designation of one staff from becoming the RC of another. How could do that be done? Setting Ranges? Adding a Letter Pre-fix?

So how do I deal with what I have?

Any ideas of how to deal with the problem of the designation of one staff member being the RC of another staff member?

Do you know of anyway the staff would only have to know either one number or the other?

Could we even now add a "D" as a pre-fix to the designation number so the staff recognize it as different number?

Greg Smith


© 2024 TntWare, Inc. | Privacy | Terms of Use