The query feature in Blackbaud CRM™ is a powerful list building tool. But sometimes it can be a little intimidating for the average user - especially when trying to pull
revenue information. Here are three tips that can help you ensure that you are pulling the correct fields and filters to get the information you need:
1. Decide if you want to pull from the Revenue or Recognition side.
In a constituent record, under the main Revenue tab, there are two separate areas that show giving history for the constituent - Revenue History and Recognition History. It is important to understand the difference between these two sides, especially when pulling this information in a query.
Revenue: This side shows only hard credit gifts to a constituent, or only gifts where they were the legal donor. (For example: they sent in a check from their personal bank account, or gave online with their personal credit card.)
Recognition: This side shows both hard and soft credit gifts to a constituent. Soft credit gifts are those where the constituent was recognized as being partially responsible for the gift. (For example: gifts made by their spouse, a family foundation, or matching gifts from their employer). Pulling from the recognition side can give you a more holistic view of a constituent's giving, as many donors (especially major donors) give through a variety of mediums.
Below is a screenshot of a constituent query, showing the nodes where you can pull Revenue and Recognition giving.
2. Know what gift types you want to be displayed in your query results.
It’s important to be aware of how your organization codes gifts within Blackbaud CRM™ , so that you can specify this in your query and make sure you are getting accurate results.
For example, say you are trying to pull a list of gifts to a specific fund. Before you build your query, think about what gift types you would like displayed. Do you want to see only “cash in the door” - like outright gifts and pledge payments? Or do you want to count pledges that have come in to the fund? If you are trying to report a giving total, you will want to make sure you don’t display pledges AND pledge payments, as it could result in double counting funds and inflating your giving total.
Gifts related to special events are also something that should be considered. Often, these transactions will have a charitable and a non-charitable portion. If you are querying gifts to a fund that contains transactions related to events, do you want to see just the charitable portion, or the entire transaction?
The three main fields that determine whether a revenue transaction is an outright gift, pledge, pledge payment, or other type of gift are the transaction type, application type, and gift type. Below is a table that shows how some of the most common types of revenue transactions are coded in Blackbaud CRM:
3. Make sure split gifts display correctly in your output.
Many donors give split gifts - meaning they send in one payment, but split it between different funds or designations. If you are including an amount field as a filter or output in your query, you need to make sure you are using the field that will display split gifts correctly.
Here’s an example to help you better understand this concept:
Jane Donor sent a gift into your organization this month of $100. She specified that she wanted to split it $50 to your Annual Fund and $50 to your Scholarship Fund.
At the end of the month, you are building a query to show you all of the gifts that have come into the Annual Fund. You build the query below, thinking this will get you the information you need.
Although this query might look correct, it will actually cause you to get some inaccurate results. That’s because you’ve used the Amount field found under the main Revenue node in your output, which shows the total amount of a transaction and doesn’t consider any gift splits. With the query built this way, it will show that Jane Donor gave a gift of $100 to your Annual Fund, when in reality only $50 of her gift went toward this fund.
Here’s the correct way to build the query from this example:
This time, we’ve used the Amount field found under the Application node in our output. This amount field correctly shows revenue amount by application or split, and will show Jane Donor gave a $50 gift to the Annual Fund.
Keep these three tips in mind when your are building a query in Blackbaud CRM™ , and you will be a query whiz in no time! You can also reach out to the query whizzes at BrightVine to get more help.