The gift batch feature in Raiser’s Edge™ (RE) is a great way streamline gift entry and promote quality assurance. Many RE users rely on gift batches to group gifts after data entry or import. Users find that it can be very helpful when it comes to financial reconciliation. But, did you know the gift batch feature offers so much more? In this blog, let’s look beyond the surface to uncover tips and tricks for maximizing your Raiser’s Edge capabilities with gift batch.
Most Raiser’s Edge users are familiar with the batch function. Some even use it for constituents and volunteer time sheets. RE batches are great because they are customizable, allowing the user to specify which columns need to appear and exactly where to appear. They are also consistent. A user can refer to a previous batch for the new batch’s layout using the “load from existing batch” option. In my opinion, the most important thing about a gift batch is the fact that it is often the final line of defense. It is the last chance for either the user or Raiser’s Edge to catch an error before the batch is committed and gifts are sent to constituent records. Hands down, it is much easier to edit a gift before it gets committed to the gift tab in the RE record!
One of my favorite features of gift batch is the “Constituent Window”, which can appear on the right side of the gift entry grid. This window shows the user important pieces of biographical data on the constituent that they have currently highlighted in the gift batch. Here is a link to a very helpful video on YouTube that explains how to use the constituent window. This view of the constituent from gift batch presents some terrific benefits! First, the user may happen to notice something important like a missing constituent code or incorrectly formatted addressee/salutation. If this happens, the user has the ability to adjust the info on the record without ever leaving the gift batch. Users can also right click on the window and choose to drill down into the full constituent record if desired. As you can see gift batch is also super helpful for maintaining and/or updating crucial biographical data of a constituent. Ultimately, gift batch can be used to improve the overall health of donor records in RE!
Lastly, when using gift batch you can save some mouse clicks and better utilize your keyboard. To do so, simply take advantage of some of the helpful shortcut keys available. For example, to easily connect a gift to a membership without having to click on the “Gift” menu item, type “Ctrl+R” when the gift row is highlighted and pull up the membership form quickly. Here is a link to a list of all the available gift batch shortcut keys (as well as some general RE shortcut keys) for you to take advantage of: https://www.blackbaud.com/files/support/guides/re7/batch_shortcuts.pdf
As a best practice, when committing your batches, always validate, create queries, and create new batch exceptions. If possible, also try to print or save the batch commit control report. These options are the top four checkbox items appearing on the “Commit Gift Batch” window after you type “Ctrl+T” or click on the green exclamation mark in the tool bar.
So, as you can see, there is a lot more to gift batch than what meets the eye! These additional functionalities can be a lifesaver. Go give them a whirl! You’ll definitely maximize your time and your usage of Raiser’s Edge.
The Raiser’s Edge™ is a trademark of Blackbaud, Inc.