We, at Metafile, wish each of you a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and friends. Know that we are humbled to have customers like you, who spend all year working towards making the world a place for which we can all be even more thankful.

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Poor Thanksgiving

I feel sorry for the little holiday. Before it lays the frenzy of ghoulish costumes and buckets of candy, and then quickly following it is the all-consuming holiday season that eclipses all others in the commercial world. In fact, if it weren’t for the Thanksgiving holiday, marketers would have us jump from Halloween right into Christmas (and actually I noticed a few who did just that). And now with Black Friday starting earlier every year, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to park food trucks near the long shopper lines, sell roasted drumsticks and pumpkin pie bites, and call it Turkey Thursday. Voila - no more worries about the crowded table at Grandma’s!

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Follow Import Laws to Avoid Trouble

If you’ve never done it, importing data into a database can be an intimidating task. But if you plan your work ahead of time and follow a few basic rules, it can be a huge time-saver and an important way to keep your database current and clean.

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Troubleshooting “Missing” Donations

I’ve recently spent time working with our Support team to help them work with customers to troubleshoot “missing” donations.  As more and more data entry is automated, when something suddenly doesn’t work, it can be more difficult to figure out what went wrong and where the data is. Here are a few tips to help you troubleshoot the various ways a donation can go “missing.”

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DIY Training: Take Advantage of Existing Resources

If you’re lucky, things run pretty smoothly in your development office. Each of your staff has their unique area of responsibility and interacts seamlessly with other internal experts. If your luck holds out, this state of equilibrium will continue for a very long time.

If (or perhaps more accurately, when) your luck runs out, then one day you’ll find that a key staff person (like the person who administers your donor management system) has announced they have taken a position with another company or are retiring. They have years of information about donors and gifts, processes and procedures stored neatly inside their head and it’s about to walk out of your building.

Suddenly your big puzzle has a missing piece. And you have a new priority to hire and train a new employee. Where do you begin?

The answer may depend on how much money you’ve set aside in your budget for staff training. If you’ve prepared for this scenario, then you can simply visit the training page of your software company’s website to learn more about what your options are. You may even be able to purchase a training session right on the spot.

But if you haven’t the financial resources to purchase training services for your new employee, consider what you might already have at your fingertips. In the good old days when software came with manuals, you could just dig them up (hopefully) and start reading. Now, software is designed with the help system built right into the product. That means that there is likely a digital version of the old-fashioned manuals waiting to be explored whenever you’re ready. If you haven’t found it yet and you’re using a Windows-based application, look for either of these two fairly-universal tools for Windows-based software applications:

There may be even more ways to get a jump start on training a new employee on a shoestring. Consider the following possible resources:

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