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Pledge "payments" using DAFs

  • 1.  Pledge "payments" using DAFs

    Posted 24 days ago
    Hello!

    A constituent made a campaign pledge last year, but made a significant "payment" using their DAF this year. We wrote down the pledge for the gift amount and then soft credited him on the DAF gift. 

    The problem is that it has messed up our FY gift totals. Because we reduced the pledge, our FY gift total for last year has decreased by that amount and now we have a large "gift" in our new FY gift total that, while technically received this year, it really goes with the pledge from last year.

    Has anybody faced a similar issue? What did you do? Did you just leave your totals as is or did you come up with some kind of procedure to get your totals to reflect the original timeline?

    Julie

    ------------------------------
    Julie Domel
    Assistant Director of Advancement Services
    Trinity University
    jdomel@trinity.edu
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Pledge "payments" using DAFs

    Posted 24 days ago
    You are sort of mixing apples and oranges.  In one year you counted a pledge.  In another year you counted cash in the door.  On the donor record, the totals remain the same if you look at soft credits plus legal gifts plus pledge balances.

    I understand that overall it could appear as though you are double counting, but it's really different numbers.  And when you are in a campaign it all evens out over time.  Plus, for VSE purposes you only count actual cash so there is no double counting.

    You have acted correctly in how you have handled the current transaction.  I think that with proper training and education of staff you should avoid confusion.  And, no, you do not typically go back and adjust prior year totals.

    John

    John H. Taylor
    Principal
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987






  • 3.  RE: Pledge "payments" using DAFs

    Posted 24 days ago
    John,

    There are concerns about internal reporting. 

    Using made-up numbers: the end-of-fiscal-year report showed $50M in gifts and now the reporting shows $49M. The higher-ups will want to know what happened to the missing $1M. Plus, this year's total gets a $1M boost by the DAF gift.

    We can exclude the DAF gift from our counts for this year, but what do we do about the previous year?

    This gift has a much more obvious effect than writing off a few bad Phonathon pledges.

    Or are we making a mountain out of a molehill and should just let the gifts fall where they may?

    Julie Domel | Assistant Director of Advancement Services  -
    Reporting, Data Analysis, & Special Projects
    Alumni Relations & Development Division | 323 Stadium Drive
    Trinity University | One Trinity Place, Box 49 | San Antonio, TX 78212 
    jdomel@trinity.edu | office: (210) 999-8057 | fax: (210) 999-8489

    Now is the time to continue to make a Trinity education available to the best and the brightest students. Make your gift here.

     

    Businesses and organizations that want to receive assistance on short-term, remote projects from our students who are still looking for real-world experience here. 

     

    Send our graduating seniors some words of support here. #2020TUgether








  • 4.  RE: Pledge "payments" using DAFs

    Posted 24 days ago
    Hi Julie,

    When you say you wrote down the pledge, how did you do it? Did you use a write-off function in your CRM, or did you simply edit the pledge?

    Typically, if you write the gift off (or down) in  FY20 it should still appear in full in FY19, you shouldn't have the problem of your reports changing - that should only happen if you edited the pledge, which essentially erases it from your reporting. If you did that, you should reverse it and then write down the pledge instead of editing it.

    If your reporting is showing the money gone from FY19, it's possible that your report is set to exclude pledges that were written off, or to exclude portions that were written off (in essence, the report is answer the question 'what revenue are we CURRENTLY recognizing from the fundraising we did last year?'). There should be a setting, or at least a method of querying, that allows you to generate a report that includes the full pledged amount in FY19 (a report that answers the question 'what revenue did we recognize AS OF THE END OF FY19?')

    Definitely don't make adjusting transactions to get the output you want - you need to look into your system and its reporting to get what you want.

    Thank you,
    Isaac Shalev
    CRM Expert
    Sage70, Inc.
    (917) 859-0151
    isaac@sage70.com

    Schedule a 30-minute consultation now:







  • 5.  RE: Pledge "payments" using DAFs

    Posted 24 days ago
    Yes, we edit the pledge itself. For example, an original pledge was $5M. The donor made a gift from a DAF for $500K, so we would lower the pledge to $4.5M on our books and soft credit the donor for the $500K gift.

    I'm not entirely sure how write-offs work in Colleague, but I think they get removed from reporting too.

    Yes, my point in asking the group is to see if we should be recording it differently to perhaps prevent the alterations to previous years, but I think the answer is no -- it is what it is.

    Julie Domel | Assistant Director of Advancement Services  -
    Reporting, Data Analysis, & Special Projects
    Alumni Relations & Development Division | 323 Stadium Drive
    Trinity University | One Trinity Place, Box 49 | San Antonio, TX 78212 
    jdomel@trinity.edu | office: (210) 999-8057 | fax: (210) 999-8489

    Now is the time to continue to make a Trinity education available to the best and the brightest students. Make your gift here.

     

    Businesses and organizations that want to receive assistance on short-term, remote projects from our students who are still looking for real-world experience here. 

     

    Send our graduating seniors some words of support here. #2020TUgether








  • 6.  RE: Pledge "payments" using DAFs

    Posted 24 days ago
    But you are always adjusting prior year numbers.  Phonathon pledges aside, you should also be reviewing all major gift pledges annually and writing off those that are no longer collectible - or when a donor has died and did not make provisions in their will.  Or donors that made a bequest that you counted but you ended up getting less.  Or those rare occasions when you return a gift to a donor.

    Things happen.  But the good news is that you can always account for those.

    On the other hand, many institutions look only at whatever numbers were reported at the end of the year and do not worry about adjustments.

    It is possible you are overthinking this.  Or maybe leadership is not recognizing that adjustments happen.  Over the 25+ years, I have been doing this I haven't run into any leadership issues when prior year amounts change.  You can obviously provide reports reflecting adjustments made to prior year totals.  But after a while I do not believe those will be necessary.

    John

    John H. Taylor
    Principal
    John H. Taylor Consulting, LLC
    2604 Sevier St.
    Durham, NC   27705
    919.816.5903 (cell/text)

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987