DonorWise TM
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DonorWise Concepts / Glossary



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Because DonorWise -- like any software -- uses specific terms to function, it may be helpful to understand some of these basic concepts before proceeding.


A contact is a person or organization. The following can all be entered into DonorWise as contacts:

Users of the system
Prospective donors
Friends of the ministry
Newsletter recipients
Report recipients

Contacts can have multiple roles in the system:

A staff person is a designation (receives donations) but he or she can also be a donor, a newsletter recipient, and report recipient, etc.
A CCC Ministry (University of ABC) is an organization and a designation and can also be a report recipient, a newsletter recipient, etc.


A designation is a contact that can receive donations (a staff person or CCC ministry only), and is associated with a Responsibility Centre in your General ledger.
During donation entry, every donation is entered as being from a donor (contact) and to a designation (contact).

Re-directed donor contact

DonorWise makes it easy to re-direct a donor contact to another contact, such as when:

A duplicate donor contact is discovered
Two current donors get married and want to have one contact id
A married person dies and the surviving spouse is given a new contact id

When a donation is entered using a re-directed donor contact, the directed-to contact will be used instead and a re-direction reason will appear on the receipt to the donor about the re-direction.

Re-direction always causes a related contact relationship (see below).

Related contacts

Donors can be related to each other, even if there is not a redirection involved. One contact is a "master contact" and can have multiple related contacts. Examples of related contacts:

Any re-directed contact.
A couple who has a separate contact id for each person.
A donor who gives individually and/or through a company.

The related contact feature provides improved lookups and reporting.

Re-directed (“inactive”) designations

Designation numbers cannot be inactivated; they are always redirected to another designation number. When a gift is given to a redirected designation:

The gift will be recorded with both the original and the new designation
The donor's receipt will show the new designation and the reason for the redirection

Unknown donors

When a gift is received but the donor is unknown, the Unknown Donor contact is selected.

The Unresolved Donations screen shows all of the donations that have used the unknown donor and have not yet been corrected. These must be resolved within 6 months.

Anonymous Donors

When a donor indicates they wish to be anonymous (unknown to the recipient), the Anonymous donor contact should be used.

The address of the actual donor on the receipt will have to be written manually (after the receipt is printed).
If a gift is from an unknown donor and no donor can be found, the gift is then assigned to the Anonymous donor.

Unknown/Suspense designation

When a donation is received (perhaps through the bank) and the designation of the donation cannot be determined, it is initially recorded using the Suspense designation.

The donation will be recorded in Suspense in the General ledger.
The Suspense account will need to be reconciled and the items in it corrected to be recorded to the proper designation, once the donor can be contacted as to the designation of their gift.
All donations that were receipted to the Suspense designation, and have not yet been resolved, will appear on the “Unresolved designations” screen.

Corrections and reversals

After a donation batch is marked as “approved” it cannot be edited or deleted. If an error is discovered, a new correction batch will be created to fix it. A reversal generates a new batch, reversing the original amounts to both the donor and the designation. When a correction or reversal is used:

A refund needs to be given to a donor.
The original batch was a duplicate.
The Suspense designation was used due to not knowing the designation of the donation.
The entire batch was keyed in the wrong period.

A correction generates two transactions, a reversal to undo the previous donation and also a copy of the original item that will be edited to change what ever is wrong with it.

Donation refunds

Donation refunds may need to happen for several reasons:

The ministry does not want to receive the gift or honour the designation of the gift.
A designation is closed or inactive for various reasons.
The donor requests a refund, and your policy allows it.
The designation is unknown.

Two-step process to create a refund:

1.Create a reversal in DonorWise – see corrections and reversals.
2.Create a cheque or other payment to the donor, recorded in the General ledger.

Fiscal Periods

Because DonorWise and the General ledger are two separate systems, it is possible for both systems to be operating in different fiscal periods; this will occur regularly, as a donation period typically closes prior to an accounting period.

How periods operate in relation to each other:

There are controls to ensure that the periods defined in DonorWise match how they are defined in the General ledger.
DonorWise batches will always post to the appropriate period in General ledger, even if that means posting to a future or past GL period.
The open DonorWise period can be one period ahead of the General ledger.
DonorWise can have up to two periods that are future to the open period.
DonorWise can create a batch in “Temporary Open Period” (a period that is behind the current open period in DonorWise). This may or may not actually be posting to a closed period in the General ledger since the General ledger period can leg behind DonorWise.


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