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Can I manually control Contact IDs?: Revision #4


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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.
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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)

It is not possible to manually select a Contact ID from within DonorWise. However, it is 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

10071

Parr

Bob

 

 

Helen

10082

 

 

Campus Ministry

 

 

10093

 

 

Univ of Monaco

 

 

10106

 

 

Univ of Monaco Scholarship

 

 

10117

 

 

Film Project

 

 

10128

 

 

General Staff Fund

 

 

10139

Kent

Clark

 

 

 

10140

Wayne

Bruce

 

 

 

10151

Parker

Peter

 

 

 

10162

Watson

Mary Jane

 

 

 

10173

Lane

Lois

 

 

 

10182

Luthor

Lex

 

 

 

10191

Kent

Jonathan

 

 

Martha

10200

Olsen

Jimmy

 

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.

Recommendation

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.

 

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