If you read Marcia Grimm’s post last week mentioning she wished she would have recognized the value of reports (where she even shared a few), you may be wondering about what other reports are available. Here are a few common ones I like to highlight.
ResultsPlus reports are divided into a number of categories. I’ll focus on one or two reports from the most popular categories.
Batch reports are printed by using the batch number associated with each donation. These reports tend to work really well for reconciling deposit slips, for comparing against accounting systems, and for use by auditors.
Reports in the Folder category are based on various types of constituents in your database. You can run lists by constituency, type (individual, corporation, foundation), etc. You can also run your Top N Donor lists. These lists are great tools to have in campaign planning meetings when you wish to identify lead donors for new campaigns.
The Activity reports are great reports to use for Board meetings. The Activity Report by Campaign is especially helpful at various checkpoints throughout your campaign lifecycle. It can be run by date range, so you can view the entire life of the campaign, or compare two different periods.
The Gift category contains Donor Recognition reports that are great for printing or submitting to printers for inclusion in newsletters or annual reports. Another set of informative reports is the set of Gift Constituency Analysis reports. The Gift Constituency Analysis by Campaign is an excellent report to use if you’d like to see how much a specific segment is contributing to a specific campaign effort. It will display the number of donations, the total given, the average gift amount, and the largest gift. What’s really nice is that it also displays the percentage of people in the segment (Constituency, in this case) who have contributed, helping you identify if your messaging to the segment is as effective as you intend. When run periodically, you can tweak your messaging to help you get to your goal. If you want to get really fancy, you can run the Gift Constituency Analysis by Appeal for the appeals that are a part of your campaign to evaluate each appeal for its effectiveness.
These reports provide summaries of various types over a period of time, showing you increases and decreases in giving so that you can identify trends you want to nurture, or perhaps trends you’d like to nip in the bud. A nice, easy-to-digest report is the 5 Year Trend Summaries report. It is a graphical report showing total giving, averages, medians, and acquisition over 5-year timeframes. You can select the start date to see various 5-year chunks of data.
Beyond the above categories and reports, the ResultsPlus help system can be very informative in your search for reports that provide meaningful metrics. Open the system by clicking the Question mark in the upper right corner of your ResultsPlus ribbon. From there, open the topic, “Running Reports.” The reports, descriptions, and parameters are identified by each report category. There is a screenshot of each report so that you can see what it looks like before running it. After you’ve narrowed the list to a few that appear interesting, print or schedule them to run for a “test drive.”
Are there reports I didn’t name here that you find extremely useful at your organization? In what ways are you able to use them to evaluate your performance, ability to meet your goals, and make decisions?