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Gift Documentation Strategies

  • 1.  Gift Documentation Strategies

    Posted 09-15-2020 04:53 PM
    We are reviewing our document retention documentation and strategy.  We have gift documentation stored a number of ways and want to consolidate and implement a solid long-term strategy.  [This is currently complicated and influenced by the fact that our gift processing team is separated by roughly 90 miles.]
    Options we are currently considering:
    - Print it all and store in a highly secured area.
    - Redact and store in a secure network area.
    - Redact and store on the donor's e-record in CRM/database.
    - Redact and store on an encrypted drive in a safe.
    What strategy have you chosen and why?

    Thanks for your insight.

    Joel Clasemann
    Director of Advancement Services
    The College of Saint Scholastica

  • 2.  RE: Gift Documentation Strategies

    Posted 09-15-2020 06:20 PM
    Another option worth evaluating is not listed.  That would be to implement an institutional document management solution and use the same protocol college-wide.  However, absent that, attaching documents to the proper spots in your CRM makes the most sense.

    Redaction should not be needed - at least not much.  However, I gather you are talking about things like credit card and SSN data.  Pretty much everything else, if attached to your CRM, is going to be encrypted and password protected and is not as sensitive.

    However, my gut suggests that you won't find a logical place on specific donor records to store some information you want to retain.  For this, I have seen various solutions employed, including, Dropbox, even Google Drive.

    I suggest that you join forces with IT, and perhaps Finance, who likely is involved in auditing digital storage solutions, and come up with a plan that minimizes manual effort and potentially benefits the entire college.

    PS, other than the holistic and CRM solutions with a supplemental encrypted catch-all utility, I pretty much rule out the rest of your suggestions.  While they might work, they make it difficult for those who need to see the documentation to have access to it.


    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: Gift Documentation Strategies

    Posted 09-17-2020 07:54 AM
    Hello Joel
    At my previous institution, we chose the option John describes. If that is not an option, I would choose either your second option, "Redact and store on the donor's e-record in CRM/database." If for some reason, the cost of space in you database is an issue, then I would choose your third option, "Redact and store in a secure network area," but you'll want to have a solid taxonomy in place and follow it consistently.

    Gregory Amarante
    Director of Philanthropy CRM
    The Trust for Public Land

  • 4.  RE: Gift Documentation Strategies

    Posted 09-17-2020 09:52 AM
    To some extent, your preference for any of these options will depend on your existing infrastructure and its capabilities, as well as the policy framework you have elected for compliance. From a usability perspective, storing in the CRM is an attractive option, whether directly, or through integrated document management toolsets that make the docs available through the CRM even though they're stored in another repository.

    Accessibility is only of the targets you're likely to aim for in a doc retention policy. Disaster recovery goals might call for other, redundant storage as well, like digital backups in other secure locations. But you're likely intersecting with other departments and broader policies at your school, so you'll want to ensure that what you do conforms with all of that.

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

    Schedule a 30-minute consultation now:

  • 5.  RE: Gift Documentation Strategies

    Posted 09-18-2020 11:05 AM
    Hello Joel, for what it is worth, if you were using ReceipterPro for gift processing, each outgoing gift receipt (or Ack Letter) is automatically archived as a PDF in a folder you set up for this.  This was developed this way to give users a secure "paper trail".

    Art Gerstein
    External Affairs
    DonorTek LLC