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Gift Amendments - tell us what you think!

Hello ImportOmatic Users!

We are hard at work in the lab on version 2.3, currently scheduled for release in March. We're renovating the duplicate search and autopick functionality in a way that I'm pretty sure will make you stand on your chair and cheer (oblivious to the stares of your coworkers), and we have a few other additions that I hope will make you just as euphoric (and equally annoying to your coworkers). But for this particular discussion thread, we need your assistance with adding the top-requested feature on our UserVoice site:  the ability to import Gift Amendments on Recurring Gifts. As we began to design this feature, we were adding a record type of "Gift Amendment" to the IOM profile field-mapping and it seemed that we were duplicating a lot of what we already had baked into IOM for gifts. This led us to ask "Do we add another record type for Amendments, or do we add the ability to update existing gifts and a checkbox option that says 'Add amendment when updating a recurring gift'?" The upside to this is that you don't have to have separate columns for new RG gifts and amendments to existing RG's (like having one "amount" column for a new gift and a separate "amount" column for an amendment) - and the fact that you could now use IOM to update existing gifts. The downside to this is, well... it's a lot of work (just think of all the different gift types and statuses) and it could add a bit to our timeline. Also, it's possible that users might want amendment data in separate columns because that's how they get their data. Thoughts? Feedback? Ideas?

Also on this topic... we're planning on matching imported amendments (or gift updates) to the original gift by the original gift's Gift ID or Gift Import ID value. Any thoughts here?

Finally, if you're pleased that there is a company dedicated to making the lives of Raiser's Edge users easier, we would be honored and grateful if you would post a review of our software on the LinkedIn ImportOmatic page. And if you're really in love with our software, please consider joining our "Omatic Fanatics" group!

As always, thank you for your support... we simply couldn't do it without you!

Sincerely,
Jeff


Hi Jeff

My two cents worth -

I don't see there being a problem with having an "update" button and "addition" button. Generally when importing, I would either be Updating (and therefore using RE import) or Adding (and using IOM Import for gift info). As long as this function was easily accesible and visible it would be a great addition - and definitely save us time!

As for updating the gift using the original Gift ID, i think this is a fine solution. It is what you have to use when updating a gift using RE Import in any case, so it is definitely not out of the ordinary. When created an Amendment Import (i.e. to change gift amount), Re requires an unique GiftLinkID - this we create by concatenating the user ID and date of import.

Hope that feedback helps!
Erin
Hi Jeff,

From my point of view, the option of a checkbox would be great as it's better to keep the number of columns in an import file to a minimum. As Erin says, I would use RE import for updating gifts but IOM for adding amendments. Maybe it could be set to where there is a Gift Import ID add on an amendment? Linking to gifts through the Gift Import ID or Gift ID would also be great too.

Thanks,
Adrian
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for asking! We are definitely keen to see this functionality added to IOM!

I envisage that if you go down the path of adding the ability to update gifts and also adding a checkbox option to ‘Add amendment when updating a recurring gift’, then we might be able to make many updates at once - including changes to Credit Card or Direct Debit details, as well as amount, appeal, split gift info etc all in the one import. This would be great for us when we import our telemarketing upgrade or reactivation files. I understand that it would involve a lot of work to implement, however.

One question that does come to mind for our upgrade imports - we record upgrade amounts on the Recurring Gift as split gifts. So when we import an amendment to an existing RG with the new upgrade value, ideally we would just need to add the upgrade amount as well as the upgrade campaign, fund and appeal codes - and this would be created as an additional split on the existing gift, and wouldn't override any existing splits (potentially from previous upgrades). Would this be feasible?

And with regards matching an existing gift, we generally use Gift Import ID to match to an existing gift - so this would work for us.

Thanks so much!
Kind regards,
Sandra.
Jeff

I would echo Sandra's comments above as we also process OBTM imports as she described with amendments being added as additional splits on existing recurring gift records. Geraldo is away for a couple of days but I will get him to respond on Monday because he will be able to speak in more details to his particular needs. I just wanted to get my vote in now in case your "polling" closes on before that!!

Robert

Hmmm, so it sounds like we need a way to indicate that an update to a recurring gift may be an addition to the existing gift rather than a replacement for everything that is currently on it? To illustrate, assume you have two existing recurring gifts with IDs 2222 and 3333. Both gifts have a single fund on them ("Save the Whales") and both have an amount of $50. We then import this file:

image

After the import, Gift 2222 will have a total amount of $150 with 2 splits, the original "Save the Whales" for $50 and the additional "Save the Birds" for $100. Gift 3333, because it's "RG Addition?" value was "No", will have an amended amount of $200 with a single split for the fund "Save the Birds". Am I understanding this issue correctly? Will the "RG Addition" field scheme work to handle this?

Thanks everyone for your input!

Jeff

Hi Jeff,

This is great news and will definitely be an improvement. I think the Tick Box option is good. However, I did want to ask the following:

  1. 1) We always have variable outcomes in our Upgrade Files (as do I believe many of the other NGO's) for example some Upgrades, Refusals, Not Contactable, No Upgrade but updating payment details etc.
  2. If we go with the tick box option will IOM add an amendment to each record regardless of the Outcome, potentially creating amendments of $0.00? For example if we leave the Gift Amount column in our CSV file blank as the donor refused the Upgrade but provided new Credit Card details will this option still work? (I only ask in the past I've unintentionally added a blank RG to each record in a file, however that was using "virtual fields" and an error on my behalf as I didn't understand the logic there).
  3. Ideally an option where a file with variable outcomes doesn't have to be split into separate IOM Imports would be preferable.

2) We do use our Amendment data to generate our Upgrade data files however we only populate the mandatory fields, which I'm assuming will happen via IOM Import still?

3) If a RG has previous Amendments, therefore RG Amount is greyed out,  will IOM still be able to apply the new Amount to the RG?

That's all for now.

Many thanks, Chanelle

 

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Hi Everyone, thanks for your feedback this far...this is certainly a complex topic. What I think we may need is some sample import files from you with a few illustrative data rows in them. If you have variable outcomes in the file (ie, some rows that should create an amendment, some not), please show multiple types in the sample and let us know what you would expect the outcome of each row to be in RE. If you have splits that either A) overwrite existing splits or B) are "additive" to the current split(s) already on the RG, please show us that too. Also, are your amendments in the same source file as your new RG's? If new gifts and amendments are in the same file, do they use the same columns or (for example) would a new gift have a different 'Fund' column or 'Amount' column than an amendment? We're looking to make a design decision on this issue tomorrow, so if you care to weigh in on the subject we'll need to hear from you pretty soon (Sorry to add to your already-busy day, but I hope we can save you a LOT of time down the road. :). As usual, please give us the raw-est file you have (rather than massaging it first) so we have the chance to save you as many manual steps as possible.

Thanks again,

Jeff
Great question, sorry! Send them to me and I'll compile for our team: my email is jeffm AT omaticsoftware. Thanks!
I'm coming late to the dance. Apologies.

I'm looking forward to this functionality as we've had to improvised awkwardly around it at the moment.

2 things that have come up for us:
1) RE can't import the Amendment Notes. We'd really like to be able to do this. If IOM could do this, that'd be a big help for us in reconciling are imports.
2) When import payments against recurring gifts, you have the option to pull everything across from the parent gift. If you don't, you have to import everything. For the most part, pulling everything across from the parent works, but it doesn't for the gift reference number. Even though we have the (new) gift reference number mapped in the import, it pulls the one across from the parent. I imagine amendments working similarly, so: If it's possible to pull everything across EXCEPT where you've mapped something new, that'd be useful for here as well as the payments.

Happy to send some samples files over if still useful.
I'm well past the cut off, sorry!
Just wanted to say though that everyones comments have covered our needs, specifically being able to:
Add a split and leave existing splits in place on the RG
Add updated details, even if the actual gift hasn't changed eg change in financial info only

Many thanks!!
Thanks everyone for the feedback. There is a lot of detail here, we're going through it to come up with the best design we can!

@Chris, thanks for mentioning the Gift Ref Number issue when pulling defaults from the parent gift. I found your case in support and will see if we can get that issue knocked out for the 2.3 release. Regarding #1, you know I can't resist when someone starts a sentence with "RE can't..."! I'll see what we can do. :)

Hello Everyone,

Thanks for all your feedback and questions so far on adding the ability to import Recurring Gift Amendments. After a fair amount of research and correspondence with our clients, I have good news and bad news. The good news is we are going to do it and I think we're going to be able to satisfy nearly everyone's requirements (which are fairly diverse!). The bad news is that we will not be able to get this update into the forthcoming IOM 2.3 release (scheduled for general release late March/early April). We will, however, move up the schedule to get an IOM 2.4 released with this capability. Below is a detailed plan of what how we intend to implement these changes, I would love to hear your feedback on it.

ImportOmatic Recurring Gift AmendmentImport Spec Sheet (v2.1)

ImportOmatic will add the ability to import amendments for recurring gifts into the Raiser’s Edge. The imported amendments will match to existing “parent” Recurring Gifts by the Gift ID fields.  With this feature users will be able to either:
A.) Add additional split gift information to existing recurring gift splits, or
B.) Overwrite existing recurring gift splits with a new split(s)

To indicate whether the imported split(s) are in addition to, or replacing, the existing parent Recurring Gift, an import field of ‘RG Addition?’ (Yes/No) will be provided. If this value will be the same for all the rows imported, the default value can be supplied in the Virtual Columns IOM Profile functionality.

Like regular gift split importing, all RG Amendment splits must grouped in the import file in successive lines, using the Gift ID field to identify that the splits belong to a single gift. After the first gift split row, successive split rows for the same gift  will only provide Campaign, Fund, Appeal, Package, Amount and Gift Aid Qualification values (Displayed below in Green).  All additional non-split information will be imported only from the first row of the grouping and ignored in all subsequent split rows for the same gift (Displayed below in Red). 

image


Outside of the standard fields that are available on the RE7 Amendment screen, IOM can also add a new notepad entry that will be added to the original recurring gift record as well as update the gift payment details fields. 

RG Amendment Import Fields to be Addedto IOM

New IOM Record Type

New IOM Value Type

RG Amendment

RG ID (New Value Type for IOM)

RG Amendment

Date

RG Amendment

Gift subtype

RG Amendment

Amount

RG Amendment

Solicitor Constit ID or RE User Name, Solicitor Import ID, Solicitor System ID

RG Amendment

Acknowledge

RG Amendment

Acknowledge date

RG Amendment

Letter code

RG Amendment

Note (New Value Type for IOM)

RG Amendment

Campaign

RG Amendment

Fund

RG Amendment

Appeal

RG Amendment

Package

RG Amendment

Amount

RG Amendment

Gift Aid qualification method

RG Amendment

Pay method

RG Amendment

EFT?

RG Amendment

Reference number

RG Amendment

Bank: Financial Institution

RG Amendment

Reference date

RG Amendment

Chuck number

RG Amendment

Check date

RG Amendment

Credit Type

RG Amendment

Cardholder name

RG Amendment

Credit Card Number

RG Amendment

Expires on

RG Amendment

Authorization Code

RG Amendment

Send Prenotification

RG Amendment

Send Prenotification - days before

RG Amendment

Installment frequency

RG Amendment

Date 1st pay

RG Amendment

Schedule ending date

RG Amendment

Schedule monthly type

RG Amendment

Schedule month

RG Amendment

Schedule day of month

RG Amendment

Schedule monthly ordinal

RG Amendment

Schedule monthly day of week

RG Amendment

Schedule semi-monthly day type 1

RG Amendment

Schedule semi-monthly day type 2

RG Amendment

Schedule day of month 2

RG Amendment

Schedule weekly day of week

RG Amendment

Scheduling spacing

RG Notepad - Date

N/A

RG Notepad - Title

N/A

RG Notepad - Type

N/A

RG Notepad - Author

N/A

RG Notepad - Desc

N/A

RG Notepad - Notes

N/A

Client questions/concerns:

If I do not include all the fields in the import file will existing information on the recurring gift be overwritten with blanks?  No, IOM does not update the “parent” gift information except payment details and possibly adding a notepad.

Will I be able to update existing info on the recurring gift (payment details, ect…) not only import recurring gift amendments? For this initial release only notepad and payment details on the main recurring gift will be available for update, outside of the amendment data.

Will ImportOmatic be able to apply new amendments to existing recurring gifts that already have an existing amendment?  Yes

If I do not map or specify a value for “RG Addition”, does it default to overriding or adding to the existing gift splits? We’re leaning towards adding, but we’re hoping to hear feedback from our users.

If I am importing upgraded payment information on a recurring gift but leave the amount fieldblank as the constituent is not changing their gift amount will this result ina $0.00 amendment? No, upgrading payment info alone will not result in a $0.00 gift.

Can I update the Constituent Appeal with a Result? Yes, using existing IOM functionality you can add or update a constituent appeal.


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