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Fund Structure

  • 1.  Fund Structure

    Posted 02-24-2020 03:15 PM

    Currently we have multiple "accounts" set up for one fund and we would love to simplify.

    For example:

    Fund Name – Capital Fund

    We have multiple accounts set up for this

    ·         Unrestricted

    ·         Restricted

    ·         Endowment

    ·         Pledged

    ·         Board Designated

    Finance has assigned numbers to each of the above to help report on which creates more work on our end.

    Wondering if anyone is willing to share how their funds are set up?

    Thanks in advance!







    Eydie Boor

    Supervisor Foundation Operations

    Mail Stop 010605

    Gillette Children's Hospital Foundation

    200 University Ave E

    St. Paul, MN 55101





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  • 2.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-24-2020 03:25 PM
    This looks very strange.  Sort of a combination of old accounting rules and then other stuff!

    But a single fund really cannot be all these things!  What is not clear to me is whether you are talking about your internal accounting system or your fundraising system - or both!

    The finance office generally sets up funds in their GL to follow GAAP rules.  FASB changed those rules a couple of years ago and so from that perspective, there are only two kinds of accounts.  But in the fundraising world, there are essentially unrestricted funds and restricted funds - with some of the latter set up as endowment funds meaning you can never touch the principal.

    Of course, there are also quasi-endowments where you can touch the principal but that's another story.

    A "capital fund" can only be one of these - assuming you mean capital in the sense of  a capital expenditure.  That's going to be "restricted," generally.

    "Pledged" isn't a fund type at all.  It's just when someone pledges to make a gift to a specific fund.  And I don't know what is meant by "board designated," but that's not a fund type but rather how the money got to a fund.

    Can you tell us more?  Like what systems you are using and how and what do you report on?  Or, if too complicated you are welcome to call!


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

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 3.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-24-2020 04:25 PM

    You are correct J

    Here is an example of a report that our Finance Department provides us with our fund detail:




    0121 is the fund number

    000,040,041,071,050 is a component of the GL # which informs Finance of the "restriction"


    Here is what the GL code would look like


    50000  Revenue GL Code

    '00     Is the department (Annual Giving, Major Giving, Planned Giving, etc...)

    '000  The "restrictions" above     (Unrestricted, restricted, endowment, etc)

    '0000  Is the fund number

    Clear as mud!


    This all started because of the archaic system Finance used to have, but currently they are using Great Plains (which they have been on for at least 5 years)


    We in the Foundation are using Raisers Edge and have been on it for almost 4 years. So we may have 4 iterations of a fund in our fundraising database to match all the various categories above.


    Hope this helps clarify a little?  I would be more than happy to set up a call if you would like – That is very kind of you to offer.


    Thank you so much for your time on this!



    Eydie Boor

    Supervisor Foundation Operations

    Mail Stop 010605

    Gillette Children's Hospital Foundation

    200 University Ave E

    St. Paul, MN 55101





    Support amazing children – Donate now!


    Gillette Logo


  • 4.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-24-2020 06:09 PM
    Hi Eydie,

    It looks very much like a 'hacky' way to work around the issues your org faced in dealing w the old finance system.

    The first question is what do you need RE to track. Board designation, for example, is typically something Finance tracks. It's not about the donor intent or the funds raised, it's about how the money will be spent. But it also seems like you're not fully leveraging the campaigns/funds/appeals structure in RE to categorize your giving. There are a few different ways to build those structures, but it sounds like you'd benefit from a review and realignment. Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about the specifics of your situation by phone.

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

    Schedule a 30-minute consultation now:

  • 5.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-24-2020 07:00 PM
    Indeed, you are not using RE the way it was designed to be used!  There should be a single "account" that maps to the proper GL fund and that's what you feed to nightly.  Most of all the other coding you are using does not belong in the account number string but within other fields within the fund set up.

    My advice is to contact Blackbaud.  You may need to pay for a "consulting pass" for a specific number of hours.  You really need (IMHO) to blow your entire RE fund structure up and start from scratch.  I've done this with I can't remember how many organizations that found themselves in a similar pickle.  And it's not just RE.  In 1991 when I helped convert Duke to the DB2 version of Advance, we did just this.  And when I say we, it was really me.  I personally restructured the Advance fund tables and accounts.  The good news is that we drop to 3,000 funds in Advance from an original 9,600!


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

    Serving the Advancement Community Since 1987

  • 6.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-24-2020 03:28 PM
    Alot to probably know about how those funds are being received and used to fully answer

    But let me give you how I'm interpreting your question and how we would implement as we do have a 'Capital Fund' that is used to house the $$ raised for capital purposes . . . so we would have one fund/account for dollars that is used for that purposes - that would allow the money to flow to the correct General Ledger (GL) and then report externally/internally on dollars raised for the capital fund.

    Any money 'pledged' to this fund would be in the 'pledged'/receivable component of the GL but to the same fund/purpose for advancement purposes.

    If dollars are being raised for endowment to support a capital project, then that would have it's own fund/purpose on the advancement side since those dollars are distinct from dollars going directly to support capital and need to flow to an endowment and therefore distinct GL #.

    Not sure exactly what is meant by 'unrestricted' vs. 'restricted' in relationship to capital but if I can assume that 'unrestricted' is for ANY capital project and 'restricted' is for a distinct capital project, then we would have a fund/purpose for the 'capital' project (e.g. same one as described above) and one PER restriction (i.e. per capital project) to assure dollars are allocated to the specific project.

    Board designated in my experience could mean one of two things:

    1. $$ allocated by the board of quasi endowment to be spent on purpose x

    2. board designating that the university/organization raise $$ for a purpose and those would go toward the purpose that the board indicates

    In #1, since it's money allocated by the board, advancement wouldn't have anything to set up.

    In #2, then those funds/purposes would have a special attribute indicating that it is board designated.

    I know I made alot of assumptions in my answers but see if that either helps, confuses, or warrants further conversation.




    Thomas A. Chaves
    Saint Joseph's University
    Associate Vice President for Advancement Operations
    p/610-660-1255; c/610-316-6541

    Live greater. 

  • 7.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-27-2020 01:47 PM

    At my prior institution (higher ed), our funds numbers/names mapped to what Finance had, and new funds were added when Finance created them (we also requested new ones as needed) and old ones that were being phased out were inactivated in our RE db. The inactivation vs. deletion of old funds ensured we retained history. In some cases, to keep the # of funds down, extremely old fund numbers with no activity for a specified time (I think it was 5 years) were repurposed and made available for new purposes. The fund name was also changed to align with the more current purpose.


    The overwhelming majority of our funds were restricted –scholarships, endowments, program or department funds or initiative-specific. And we had a specific fund set up for our board-related annual support. It made reporting out so much easier.










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  • 8.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 02-27-2020 02:25 PM

    Hi, Robin.  Can you expand on, "we had a specific fund set up for our board-related annual support. It made reporting out so much easier."?


    Gifts from board members that were consider annual gifts where put into a separate fund?  Was the fund unrestricted or restricted? Was there ever a time when a board member did not want to give to the board designated fund and how did you manage this?




  • 9.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 03-10-2020 11:29 AM



    I should have been more specific. Annual Board dues were placed into a specific fund – a restricted fund. Other gifts throughout the year from board members were applied to whatever fund/program/ etc. they deemed or was part of the appeal/outreach to which they responded. For their board dues, we would book pledges at the beginning of each new FY and send quarterly reminders. I'm remembering that about 85% paid off those pledges by the end of the fiscal.


    Yes, there were some board members who wanted their annual 'dues' to go to another effort. I want to say that was accommodated some years back but gently discouraged in more recent years. I'm remembering there was a long-time board member who had that arrangement when other campus administration had been in place.




  • 10.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 25 days ago

    I would also like to get everyone's feedback on our fund structure. We're currently considering restructuring things because it's too confusing to pull reports. Right now our set up has a mixture of entity based, purpose based, and membership based funds. An example of what that looks like

    Annual Fund Campaign
    - Gifts from Board members
    - Gifts from Corporations
    - Gifts from individuals less than $1,200
    - gifts from individuals $1,200 - $10,000
    - gifts toward our spring music festival

    I'm not sure the best way to set up campaigns, funds and designations that'll allow me to pull reports based on entity, purpose and source. Would love to hear everyone else's ideas. Thank you.

    Leah Heit
    Development and Special Events Coordinator
    Philharmonic Society of Orange County

  • 11.  RE: Fund Structure

    Posted 25 days ago

    We are in the process of auditing all or our funds and making sure they are set up for easy reporting.

    We use RE and FE.


    The Funds are connected to the different units at the college. We are not using campaign yet so that is blank. If we want to pull all the gifts from the Board members we use the constituent code on the donors record. If we are looking for all gift from individuals giving to a department (which is an attribute on the fund) we would use the constituent code on the donors records to pull in all the individuals, and then the attribute on the fund that would let you know what planning unit or department they gave to.


    Because we use FE we have to have a different fund or project (what it is called in FE) for each designation.


    If we are trying to keep up with cash in the door and pledges we do that with the gift type.


    I am not sure if this is any help or if you are using a different system. If you have more questions I would be happy to see if I can answer them my contact information if below.



    Cindy Hornbeck

    Gift Processing Specialist

    University Advancement