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Teaching Outline-Expanded



Teaching Outline-Expanded

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DonorWise training curriculum

Conceptual overview

The purpose of this overview is simply to introduce the students to DonorWise. During this overview you will not have anything showing on the screen. That is, do not walk through the overview using the screens as a resource, since you will be showing them in greater detail during appropriate parts of the training.

What DonorWise is

Why we have chosen to use DonorWise

Explain the benefits of using DonorWise

Explain how some of their processes may change as a result of DonorWise

Student Notes: DonorWise Roadmap

1.Accounting Features

Highlight that DonorWise is designed to integrate with a General ledger system, either seamlessly if it is an integrated General ledger, or manually if otherwise. Either way, DonorWise requires appropriate General ledger and Responsibility Centre setup in order to process donations correctly.


Explain how DonorWise may expand how the ministry will manage contacts. Many ministries, for example, maintain multiple systems, separated for donors, staff members, and maybe even non-donors/non-staff.

Explain the various types of contacts:

Donors (people, churches, organizations)

Staff Members

Hourly/Salaried Employees

Non-donors (such as newsletter recipients, conference attendees, or anyone you want to have name and address information on).

Highlight some of the basic contact features, such as: Multiple addresses, multiple phone numbers and email addresses, other personal info.

Explain that DonorWise attempts to prevent adding duplicates through its Potential Duplicate Alert feature. (If possible, indicate how many duplicates were in the previous system.)

Explain that DonorWise makes finding contacts quick and easy using lookups and searches.


Explain how DonorWise manages donations and receipting.

Explain how DonorWise synchronizes with an integrated General ledger, eliminating duplicate data entry.


Explain the various types of reports DonorWise offers: Donation/batch reports, Receipts, Leadership reports, Mail Merge (such as labels).

5.Security (username / password)

Spend a few minutes explaining the importance of the security features. Specifically, explain the importance of each staff member using only their own username and password and not using others' logins or a "generic" login.

Software Introduction

Now open DonorWise so that you can introduce them to the software interface.

Student Notes: DonorWise Interface

1.DonorWise interface

Log in to DonorWise and show the screen that they will see when they log in.

Accounting setup

1.Defining assessments

Describe how assessments are defined at the Designation level. You can show the Assessments screen to show how an assessment is defined.

2.Setting up GL and RC codes

Show the GL/RC screen to explain how donations are posted.

3.Managing currencies

If donors give using multiple currencies, show the Currencies screen to show how the respective currencies are setup.

4.Managing payment types

Show the various payment types set up for the donations. This is important because the different payment types are used during the donation process.

5.Managing periods and closing

Explain how donations are posted in the open period or upcoming period.

Contact Management


The bulk of your first day will be spent managing contacts. Do not rush through this section.

Start by showing the View Contacts screen and explaining the various components (as numbered on the example and the student handouts).

Student Notes: View Contacts. The students will fill in the descriptions of the 6 items featured on this screen.

1.Screens pane. A list of all the screens the user has access to (will not be as complete as they see here.

2.Contact List. This is the "current group".

3.Contact tabs. Explained in greater detail in next step.

4.Name & Address bar. Displays the name and address and contact ID of the selected contact. Also indicates if this contact is a designation.

5.Current Lookup. The Lookup that resulted in the Current Group. (Explained later.)

6.Information bar. Indicates database name, user name, and any special update messages. When doing a contact search, this bar also indicates how many contacts meet part of the search criteria.

Walk through each of the tabs one at a time, explaining the function of each tab.

Student Notes: Each tab has a separate page in the student notes for the students to write down any notes from your descriptions.

Note that the "Potential Duplicates" tab will appear in a slightly modified format when you enter your first contact below.

Explain one concept that can be exceptionally difficult to grasp: The "Current Group" -- the displayed list of contacts. The current group can be sorted.

uLeader: Using your data sheet (#20), add contact #1 (single male), walking through the process slowly.

Reiterate the importance of maintaining data integrity, that each field needs to be used exactly and only as intended.


Explain how common it is for duplicates to appear in the system.

Explain how DonorWise attempts to find duplicates and alleviate them before they are entered.

uLeader: Since you cannot control who will see duplicates, use this as a learning opportunity and ask any who encounter duplicates to raise their hands.

3.Other Contact Features


Show the Greetings box and explain how DonorWise automatically formats greetings specific for the country of the contact.

b.Phone numbers

Show the Phone Numbers box and explain how DonorWise offers multiple phone numbers for contacts. (This feature may be less relevant in this situation than it is for users who are using TntMPD.)

c.Email addresses

Show the Email box and explain how DonorWise offers multiple Email addresses and other Internet-related data fields. (This feature may be less relevant in this situation than it is for users who are using TntMPD.)

uStudents: Add contact #1 on their list.

Student Notes contain an Adding a New Contact tutorial.

As they are doing this, walk around and observe them.

If they encounter difficulties, where possible let them attempt to resolve the problems themselves or amongst themselves, rather than just looking to you to solve their obstacles.

If you observe them making an error, do not interrupt or correct them. Instead, make a mental note and then come back and help them learn from that error.

uAfter the students have entered their first contact, get feedback from them about their experience. Once you are satisfied that they understand the basics of entering a new contact, enter your contact #5 (married couple) to show how married couples differ from singles.

Explain how the Greetings will vary from a single person's Greetings.

Show what would happen if a contact had a different last name.

uStudents: Enter contacts 2-7 in your list. These are the other singles and married couple contacts.

uLeader: While they are adding their contacts, add your contacts #2-7 (except #5 which you have already done).

4.Non-donors & organizations

You will discuss "donors" in an upcoming section, but the principle here is that a contact can exist in DonorWise that neither gives nor receives donations. This is a paradigm shift for many ministries.

Explain how organizations differ from individuals in terms of contact information.

uLeader: Enter contact #8 (church) to show how an organization is entered.

Explain how an organization can have a Contact Person, but that this name will not appear in the contact information or in the mailing address.

Organization Contact Person is factored in to the Search Names feature that you will describe below.

Organization Contact Person has its drawbacks: While the organization may not change over the years, the contact person most likely will; most ministries do not have a means of keeping organization contacts updated.

Explain why a ministry would want to track non-donors. This may seem irrelevant to people who process donations and are not used to sharing their database with non-financial people.

Explain how the contact management features and the ability to track not only donors but also all who have any relationship with the ministry. These can be churches (or people or students) who have participated in events, potential donors, etc.

uStudents: Enter contact #8 (church).

uStudents: Enter contact #9 (business).

uLeader: Enter contact #9 (business).

5.Ministries/departments as contacts

Explain how ministries and departments are also entered as contacts, for two reasons:

1.In order to receive donations, each ministry or department that receives donations must be a contact. A single ministry location may even have separate contacts; for example, a campus ministry may have an operating responsibility centre that receives donations as well as a scholarship designation for students.

2.The Ministry Tree displays the hierarchical structure of the ministry (explained below). Therefore, even departments or ministry locations that do not receive donations should be contacts and appear in the Ministry Tree.

uEnter your contact #10.

uHave students enter their contact #10.


You will be using the Donor tab and Donation tab primarily to explain these concepts.

Student Notes: Have students refer to the Donor Tab page (page 11) during this discussion.

Explain that a donor is any contact (any person or organization) that gives contributions to the ministry.

Once a contact has given a contribution to the ministry, they cannot be deleted (using Contact | Delete).

Show the Donor tab and the button "Make a Donor". Explain how this does not convert a contact into being a donor but rather just 'reveals' the Donor features of the donor tab, which are not relevant (and therefore hidden) for contacts that are not donors.

It is important to understand this because once "Make a Donor" is pressed, it cannot be 'unpressed' or hidden again. Since no conceptual change has taken place, it does not matter that the Donor features are displayed and the contact is not, in fact, a donor.

Explain that


Student Notes: Have students refer to the Designation Tab page (page 14) during this discussion.

Explain what a Designation is.

Explain how a designation is a unique indicator. A designation number is assigned to a single responsibility centre, but a responsibility centre may have multiple designations.

Explain that a designation may be a person (such as a staff member or couple), a department, a ministry, a branch of a ministry, a memorial account, a building, etc.

A contact must be set up as a designation prior to receiving contributions.

A designation can be "undone" until it has received a contribution. Once a designation has received a contribution, it will always be a designation.

uLeader: Turn your contact #1 into a designation. He is a Staff member, with a Staff assessment and Staff Designation Type. Leave the "Ministry" field unassigned.

Explain what the fields on the New Designation box refer to:


2.Default Donation GL Acct

3.Assessment Scheme

4.Global Designation Code

5.Designation Type


uStudents: Assign your contact #1 in the same way.

Ministry Tree

Explain how the Ministry Tree defines the organizational structure of the national ministry.

Explain how departments, and ministries, outreaches and projects, as well as staff members, all are assigned to the tree.

Show how the contacts they have entered appear in an unassigned part of the ministry tree.

uLeader: Drag your Contact #1 to Metropolis University campus team.

uStudents: Drag your Contact #1 to Metropolis University campus team.

uStudents: Create a designation for Contact #2 and assign her to Gotham University.

uStudents: Create a designation for Contact #5 and assign them to the Gotham Executive Outreach.

uLeader: Create a designation for Contact #10 and assign that ministry to the "Other Campus" folder.

uStudents: Create a designation for Contact #10 and assign that ministry to "Other Campus" folder.

8.Finding contacts (using Search and Lookups)

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topics for both searches and lookups.

Explain how a Search differs from a Lookup.

A Search enables you to find and select one contact using only name and address criteria from the following 14 fields only:

1. Contact ID

2. First / Middle / Last Name

3. Spouse First / Middle / Last Name

4. Organization Name

5. Organization Contact Person

6. Search Names field

7. Street Address / City / State / Postal Code

A search allows approximate matches. For example if you typed "Art Frazier" but the contact was actually "Arthur Frazier", you would find him easily. Adding part of the address would increase the likelihood even more.

The "Search for a Contact" is the same process as the Duplicate.

A Lookup allows you to search for criteria on hundreds of fields, including 140 contact fields, as well as based on contact actions such as date or amount of gifts (given or received), membership in groups, presence on the ministry tree, or even custom criteria.

An important principle regarding Lookups is that the criteria is often not biographical (for example, all donors who gave $500 or more last year) but the results are always a list of contacts.

Current Group impact: A Search adds the contact to the Current Group. A Lookup replaces the Current Group with the results of the lookup.

9.Redirecting donors & designations

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topic on redirect activity.

Explain the reasons why designations are redirected:

Staff Designations

One staff member marries another (single woman redirected to husband)

Spouse dies (surviving spouse redirected to a new contact id)

Single/Widowed Staff member dies (account redirected to other fund)

Non-staff Designations

Project / event is completed

Ministry location is closed

Ministry is restructured

in all these cases, the closed designation is redirected to another designation, typically within the same ministry

Explain the reasons why donors are redirected

Donor marries another donor (single woman redirected to husband)

Donor is inadvertently given a new Contact ID (e.g., duplicate; new number redirected to old)

Married donor dies (surviving spouse is given a new contact id)

a.Marrying staff

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topic on When Contacts Marry.

uLeader: Marry contact #1 and contact #2.

Explain why a Reason must be written for a re-direction and how that will appear on receipts.

Explain what Merge Gifts does. (This feature will not work in this instance because no gifts have been entered for these two contacts.)

uStudents: Marry contact #1 and contact #2.

b.Marrying donors

This is a simple process: Redirect the wife's donor ID to the husband's, and add her name to his contact.

uLeader: Marry contact #3 and contact #4.

uStudents: Marry contact #3 and contact #4.

c.When staff members die

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topic on When Contacts Die.

Checking the Deceased box on the Personal Info tab marks the entire contact (husband and wife) as deceased. When only one spouse dies, use Contact | Manage Deceased Spouse instead.

Familiarize yourself with the  process. The process is the same for staff and donors, except that staff members has additional complexity. There are several things that DonorWise does automatically when a deceased staff occurs.

Your ministry should have a policy regarding how staff designations are re-directed when a staff member dies. When a single staff member or surviving staff member spouse dies, their designations are redirected to a special fund.

Complexity: When a surviving spouse dies and the staff members were on staff as singles, their wife's single staff designation must be redirected to the special fund first before the husband's and/or the surviving spouse designation. This is because an inactive designation cannot be pointed to an inactive designation.

uLeader: Mark contact #2 as deceased (using Manage Deceased Spouse).

uStudents: Mark contact #2 as deceased (using Manage Deceased Spouse).

d.When donors die

Explain this but you will not do it with your contacts, since you need your contacts for donations!

10.Related Donors

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topic on Related Contacts.

Explain a related donor relationship.

uLeader: Create a related donor relationship between contact #9 and contact #6. Contact #6 will be the master contact.

uStudents: Create a related donor relationship between contact #9 and contact #6. Contact #6 will be the master contact.

11.Managing Groups

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topics on Saved Groups and Creating a Saved Group.

Explain how Saved Groups allow ministries to create groups of similar contacts for any purpose. This is a great solution for "user defined" fields that may have existed in previous system.

Explain the difference between a Saved Group and the Current Group.

uLeader: Create a Saved Group of your set of contacts. (Remember, contacts #1-2 and #3-4 are married, and #2 is deceased.)

uStudents: Create a Saved Group of your set of contacts. (Remember, contacts #1-2 and #3-4 are married, and #2 is deceased.)

Processing Donations

Because the donation process is more linear than the managing contacts process, it is taught segment-by-segment rather than field-by-field or action-by-action. It is also expected that several of your trainees should already be very familiar with the process.

Because some of the students are experts in the donation process, a good way to teach the donation process is to have the knowledgeable students "teach" by asking them process questions.

Student Notes: The student notes contain the Mastering DonorWise topics for creating donation batches and entering donations.

1.Donation batches

Explain how donations are batched, and what are good groups to batch donations together (payment type, deposit, date, etc.).

Emphasize that one of the most valuable groups for batching are bank deposits, because that will speed reconciliation.

uLeader: Create a donation batch.

Explain that payment type and batch total must be identified prior to entering donations.

uStudents: Create a donation batch.

2.Entering donations

Explain the difference between a "donation" and a "gift". (A donation is the amount the donor contributed, while the "gift" is the individual distributions to designations).

As you walk through a sample donation, remember to discuss the shortcuts that appear on the donation screen: F3 to search for a contact or F6 to add a new contact. Similarly, you can start typing a name in a donor/designation box and then hit F3 and it will search for that name specifically.

Note that as you type a designation name, all designations appear in the automatic drop-down. This does not occur when entering donors. This is because the list of designations is relatively short compared to the list of donors.

Show how the batch "current" amount continues to increase as you enter donations (and compares to total).

When the batch is saved and Mark(ed) Complete, you are asked if you want to view the batch report. At this point you can say no, but you will have to print it after the next step.

uStudents: Enter the donations on your data sheet. (Leader, while they are doing theirs, enter yours as well.)

3.Importing donations (bank imports)

Explain how the import process works, using the sample bank import. It may not be feasible or necessary to walk them through this process, and files are not provided for them.

4.Approving batches

5.Posting Batches

6.Resolving unconfirmed / error batches

7.Donation history

8.Reversing / Correcting

uLeader:  You have received a letter from contact #6 that their gift was credited to the wrong staff member. Instead of being for designation #35449, it was supposed to go to #35450.

Explain the process of finding the batch/donation and correcting it.

uStudents: You have received a letter from contact #6 that their gift was credited to the wrong staff member. Instead of being for designation #35449, it was supposed to go to #35450.

DonorWise reports

1.Running reports

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