Enhanced Constituent Matching for Donations
In the Convio Fundraising module, constituents are normally matched solely on the email address that they provide when making the donation. Clients can now, however, choose to configure Fundraising so that constituent matches are based on name and address fields as well as on the email address.
While this enhanced matching option applies to all donation forms in Donations2 (Online Giving) and TeamRaiser once enabled, it was specifically designed to address user behavior that can make appending the proper transactions and generating accurate tax receipts difficult.
This topic covers:
Understanding the Enhanced Matching Strategy
If you decide to use the enhanced matching option, the following matching strategy will apply to donation forms in Online Giving and TeamRaiser:
- If the donation form is configured to ask for both Donor and Billing information, the Donor information will be used for matching. If separate Donor information isn’t requested, then Billing information will be used.
- If multiple matching records are found, the system will use the oldest record based on creation date.
- The system will try to match records in the following order:
- Match based on email and name.
- Match based on address and name.
- If no match at this point, create a new record with the name and email provided.
- If a matching record is found, the donation will be credited to that record and a tax receipt issued (if you are using receipting).
- If there is no match, the system will create a new record with the name and email provided, credit that record, and issue a tax receipt (if tax receipting is enabled).
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Enabling Enhanced Matching for Donations
To place increased emphasis on the name rather than email address when determining the source of a donation, contact Convio Support to enable the DON_USE_NAME_MATCH_STRATEGY site option. Once enabled, this matching strategy will apply to all donation forms in Online Giving and TeamRaiser.
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Deciding if Enhanced Matching is the Right Option for You
While the intended way for a TeamRaiser participant to enter an offline gift is via their Participant Center, it is not realistic to think that constituents will always follow that practice. The following scenarios suggest possible alternative ways that participants might enter these donations:
- Joe Doe is a TeamRaiser participant. Sally Doe gives Joe $100 cash. Rather than taking cash to the event and submitting it there, Joe keeps the cash and decides to use his credit card to submit the donation on Sally’s behalf. Joe goes to his Personal Page and clicks on the "Donate to Joe" button. Joe enters his email address as part of the donation form along with his credit card and his billing information. The system sees that the email address matches the Joe Doe record in the database. Because there is a match on email address, the $100 transaction is credited to the Joe Doe account and a PDF receipt is generated indicating that Joe Doe made a donation for $100 (when, in fact, the donor was Sally).
- Joe Doe is a TeamRaiser participant. Sally Doe says that she wants to donate $100 to Joe and asks if she gives him her credit card information, can he just fill out the form for her. Joe goes to his Personal Page and clicks on the "Donate to Joe" button. Joe enters Sally’s credit card information and billing address, but decides to enter his own email address because he doesn’t want her to be bothered with email. The system sees that the email address matches the Joe Doe record in the database. Because there is a match on email address, the $100 transaction is credited to the Joe Doe account and a receipt is generated indicating that Joe Doe made a donation for $100. (Again, Sally was the actual donor.)
Relying on name and address matching, as well as email, may help determine the actual donor more accurately in situations such as these. In the case of the second scenario, the system would generate a new record using Sally's name and address and Joe's email address. While the receipt would still be emailed to Joe, it would (correctly) contain Sally's name and address.
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Additional Steps to Help Insure Accurate Receipting
The following steps can also help insure that your receipting is as accurate as possible:
- Educate Users About Offline Gift Entry: These complicated use cases can be significantly mitigated if your fundraisers are using their TeamRaiser Participant Centers to log their gifts.
- Ensure You Are Asking for both Donor and Billing Info on Donation Forms: If you are faced by the challenges in the preceding section, this enhancement will be a big improvement to your data, but we strongly recommend that you also configure your donation forms to request both Donor and Billing information. By clearly asking for donor information vs. billing information you are minimizing the risk that the forms will be completed incorrectly. However, there may be perceived conflicts with "asking for too much information" and/or "making the form too long." Each client must determine the better path for their organization, but the system does permit you to use the billing information as the donor information to minimize user data entry.
- Add Language To Your Donations Forms: If you are faced with these challenges, please consider adding language to the page that explains to users the importance of completing these forms properly. Users need to understand that this form generates the tax receipt that should ultimately go to the donor. Additionally, we recommend that if you are using both the donor and billing fields, you make clear that the donor fields are for the individual who actually made the donation and who is entitled to a tax receipt.
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