Entering New Donations

<< Click to Display Table of Contents >>


Entering New Donations

There are three ways to enter donations in this program:


-The first way is one at a time, by finding a donor, and entering one or more lines of donation for them on the main window, then going on to another donor.
-The second way, described in the section on Entering Multiple Donations for One Date, is to bring up a list of all donors in order by name or Member/Envelope #, and enter donations for all of them for one date. This is called "Batch Entry". Churches would commonly use this second method for entering their Sunday collections.
-The third way, described in the section on Importing Donations or Regular Donations is for one-time imports when you first start using the program, or for handling regular (for example monthly) donations from the same donors.


This section describes only the first method - using the main window.


Whenever a donor has been selected on the main window's Donor List, their donor details are displayed on the right, and any existing donations for them are displayed on the bottom, along with an "empty" line for entering a new donation. (The order those donations are displayed in is based on the Sort Order setting in the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Menu Options window.) The "empty" line for a new donation will have the current default Date already filled in, along with the default Category and optionally default Cheque # / Paid By field, as set on the options in the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Menu Options window. Unless you edit and save the "empty" line, it will not be saved in the database and will not be included in any receipt you create for this donor.


To edit that empty line in order to actually enter a new donation, either click into it with your mouse, or press F2 (which is the same as the menu option File ⇒ Edit New Donation). There are up to six fields to fill in: Date, Amount or Total Amount, Category, Cheque No / Paid By, optionally Eligible Amount, and optionally Description. The Recpt # field, which is displayed, is not editable - it gets filled in automatically when you create a receipt for that donor, and print it. (You can make the Description field disappear, if you don't want to use it, and the Eligible Amount field appear, if you do want it, via options in the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Menu Options window.)


Note: Pressing F2 merely moves the cursor into the line for the new donation, so you don't have to use your mouse. By default, it moves you to the Date field, but this can be changed to instead move you to the Amount field by changing the Cursor Field after F2 setting in the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Menu Options window. If you do make that change, which is useful if you often enter a number of donations for the same date on the main window, instead of using the One Date Batch Entry window, please be careful to check that the Date field, which you are skipping over, has the correct date in it!


Donation Fields




This is entered in the short date format set in the Windows Control Panel's Regional and Language Options (usually either MM/DD/YYYY or DD/MM/YYYY). (See Currency and Date Formats for more details.) This defaults to today's date (or the last year end if you are still entering last year's entries) for the first entry you make after starting the program. Subsequently, it defaults to the date you used with the previous donation you entered. If you like the default date, just press Tab to move right on to entering the Amount.


Normally, only dates in the current calendar year are allowed. However, if you are in a country like the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand and you are Using Fiscal Data Entry and Receipting, and you are working on a year that is a fiscal year, only dates in the current working fiscal year are allowed.


You can type donation dates in directly, or you can click on the down arrow to the right of the date, which pops up a calendar that you can use. Details on how to use the calendar are in Using the Popup Calendar to Enter Dates.


You can also use the + and - keys, either on the top row of your keyboard or on the numeric keypad, to increase or decrease the date by one day respectively. (This is similar to a feature in Quicken, QuickBooks and perhaps other accounting programs.) For the + on the top row of your keyboard, you can actually also use its unshifted form =, so you don't have to press Shift with it. Also, pressing the "T" (for "Today") key on your keyboard changes it to the current date, as long as that is in the current year you are working on. Further special keys for dates are listed in Keyboard Shortcuts.


Finally, you can optionally enter only the month and day parts of the date, and leave off the year - the program will fill in the year for you. For instance, if your date format is MM/DD/YYYY, and you enter just 1/31 when you are working on the 2016 year, it will replace it with 1/31/2016 when you Tab or click out of the field.


Note: You can only enter donations dated within the current calendar or fiscal year that you are working on, as explained above. That year is indicated in the title bar of the program (for example "DONATION 2016 data for Your Organization Name", or "DONATION FY2015/2016 data for Your Organization Name" if you are working on a fiscal year). To start entering donations for a new year, please see Year-End Procedures.


Amount (instead called Total Amount if the Eligible Amount field is also displayed):


This may be any amount, and is usually required to be over $0. You can't enter the dollar sign, and you don't have to enter commas or any decimals if it is a round number. I.e. for fifty dollars, just enter "50". For one thousand dollars, just enter "1000".


If you wish to be able to enter amounts of $0, you can check the "Allow $0.00" checkbox on the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window. If you do this, entering $0 is still only allowed if you also enter a Description for this donation. You might want to enter $0 for Gifts In Kind for which you are not providing a valuation (though not in Canada), or for cheques that you have entered, and then come back NSF from the bank. (More commonly, however, you would handle that case by just deleting the donation.)


If you want to be able to enter negative amounts, for instance to enter "reversing entries" for cheques that come back NSF, you can check the "Allow Negative Amounts" checkbox on the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window. If you do this and enter negative amounts, this will be included on receipts as long as the donation is receiptable. (We recommend instead just deleting donations that come back NSF.) Donations with negative amounts will never be included in a Bank Deposit.


In the case where the Eligible Amount field is also displayed, please see the details on that field (below) in order to understand the difference between the Amount or Total Amount field and the Eligible Amount field.


All currency fields are displayed in the format shown in Windows Control Panel's Regional and Language Options tool.




You can select values from this drop-down list that have been set up on the Maintenance ⇒ Donation Categories window.


As with the Donor categories, "autocomplete" is used: you can type in a letter or letters that are the initial part of the value you want to select and have the rest appear. For instance, if you have both General and Garden as categories, typing "g" or "G" will cause it it to show Garden (with "arden" highlighted so it will be overwritten if you keep typing), and then typing "e" will cause it to show General.) Alternatively, click on the small down arrow button at the right of the field and select the category from the scrolling list that appears. The categories are displayed in alphabetical order.


There is also always an "<Add New>" option on the drop-down list of Categories. Selecting it brings up that window, pre-set to add a new category. On return from that window, the last one you added (if any) is immediately put into this field.


The Category field for a new donation defaults to whatever has been set as the Default Category in the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window, or to "General" if you haven't changed the Default Category there. If that default value that comes up is correct, you are done.


See Non-Receiptable Donors and Donations for ways to mark Donation Categories as Non-Receiptable, so that donations with those categories will never be included in a charitable receipt created with the Receipt menu options.


Donations for Multiple Categories


If a donation is for multiple categories, for instance $100 for General and $50 for Building, you need to enter it as two rows of donation, one for each category and corresponding amount.


Cheque No / Paid By:


This field allows you to specify how the donation was paid. It can be left blank if you aren't interested in tracking this information.


For a cheque, you can enter the cheque number. You can also enter any text that you want to enter, but by using the drop-down button (or just typing the first letters in one of the entries on the drop-down list), you can choose from several pre-defined standard entries, which are initially "Cash", "VISA", "MasterCard", "Money Order", "Credit Card" (for ones other than VISA and M/C), "Debit Card", "Gift in Kind", "PAC" (Pre-Authorized Chequing), "PAR" (Pre-Authorized Remittance - a specific program of the United Church of Canada), "PayPal", "Non-Receiptable" or "Pre-Receipted".


This field also has "autocomplete", as for the Category, so if you type the first letters of an entry on the drop-down list, it will appear.


You can change the list of pre-defined entries in this field, whether you wish to add entries or delete ones you don't need, with the Maintenance ⇒ Donation Paid By Values menu option.


The field also has an "<Add New>" option on the list. Selecting it brings up that same window, pre-set to add a new Paid By value. On return from that window, the last one you added (if any) is immediately put into this field.


Both "Non-Receiptable" and "Pre-Receipted" are special "magic" entries that will prevent this donation from ever being included in a charitable receipt created with the Receipt menu options. Use them for types of income that are not eligible to be part of a charitable receipt, or for "flow-through" money that came to you from this donor but which has already received a receipt from a 3rd party source, such as an Internet charitable donation service or the United Way. (For other ways to prevent individual donations, or all donations from a given donor, from being receipted, please see Non-Receiptable Donors and Donations.)


If most of your donations use the same Cheque No / Paid By value, you can set that up as the Default Paid By value in the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window. If you do so, it will be automatically filled in whenever you create a new donation, whether on the main window, or on the One Date Batch Entry window. Of course, if you use a default in this way, be very careful to change the value for individual donations whose Cheque No / Paid By value doesn't happen to correspond to the default value.


Warning: If you do not have a Default Paid By value, so that the field comes up blank for new donations, do not just use the down arrow key to navigate through the list of options without actually dropping down the list by clicking the drop-down arrow. If you do that, because the first item on the list is always "<Add New>", that will immediately select that item, and then pop up the window for adding another Paid By value! Just using the arrow keys to navigate through the list of options is not efficient in any case: dropping down the list and using your mouse to make selections, or typing the first letters of your desired selection until it comes up, are both far easier.


It is up to you whether the Cheque No / Paid By field is printed on the charitable receipts. You get it if the "Also Cheque Number" radio button in the section for Details Include on the Maintenance ⇒ Receipt Options window is selected.


For U.S. users, "Cheque" is spelled "Check" throughout the program, including in the name of this field, and on receipts if the field is being printed on them.


Recpt #:


This is a non-editable field. It will be automatically filled-in with the receipt number after a receipt has been created for this donation and printed, emailed or saved to a PDF file. Note that if the issued receipt number is (say) 2017-00012, you will just see "12" here. If one receipt has been issued covering several donations from the same donor, the same number will appear in the Recpt # column for each of those donations.




This optional field, that can be left blank if it not needed, allows you to enter up to 50 characters of description for this donation. That could be used for the description of Gifts In Kind (if you are choosing to enter them) or for annotations such as "In loving memory of my friend, Jim Smith" that you might want to print on a receipt. You can also use it to record anything else you wish to record.


The Description prints on some of the Donation reports that have room for it (including Reports ⇒ Donation ⇒ Current Donor and Reports ⇒ Donation ⇒ Details, One Page Per Donor). It also optionally prints on the receipts, if you select the "Also Description" radio button in the Details Include section of the Maintenance ⇒ Receipt Options window.


You can control whether the Description field is displayed in the Donations area of the main window with an option on the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window.


If you have also selected the checkbox for "Drop-down arrow on the Description Field, for editing the Appraiser" on the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window, a drop-down arrow (as for a drop-down list) appears at the right of the Description field. If you click it (or if you right-click in the Description field) a popup menu appears, with an option to edit the appraiser information for this donation. To the best of our knowledge, this is only applicable to Canadian Gift in Kind donations, and only required for largish donations. (See Gifts in Kind for more details.)


For Canadian donations with Advantage, a description of the Advantage is also required. It can be entered in this Description field, as long as the donation is not also a Gift in Kind, in which case the description in this field is for the Gift in Kind, and the description of the Advantage must go into the Advantage Description field described below.


Eligible Amount:


This optional field allows you to enter the amount of a donation that is eligible for a tax deduction, when part of the donor's total amount donated is for goods or services that the donor receives in return for their gift. (Note: this has nothing to do with Gifts in Kind.) The Canada Revenue Agency calls the value of the goods or services that the donor receives an "advantage".


An example of this is a fundraising dinner. Suppose the donors buy tickets costing $100 for a fundraising dinner, and the fair market value of the dinner that the donors will receive is $40. That means that only $60 of the donor's donation is eligible to be included on a charitable receipt. The way you enter this is to enter $100 for the Amount, and $60 for the Eligible Amount. The Eligible Amount is what the donor can claim on their taxes.


If a donation does not involve an "advantage", for example the donor has not received anything back in exchange for their donation, do not enter the Eligible Amount field - only enter the Total Amount. The Eligible Amount, if entered, must be less than the Total Amount.


Note: The Canada Revenue Agency regulations calls this "split receipting". They require the separate display of the following fields on a receipt:


- the total cash amount of the donation received by the charity

- the value of the advantage (what the donor received), and

- the eligible amount of gift for tax purposes.


All receipts for Canada or Quebec show all three of these lines, but only if an Eligible Amount has been entered. If there is no Eligible Amount, and thus no advantage, only the last of those three lines is required, only it is printed on receipts.


You can control whether the Eligible Amount field is displayed in the Donations area of the main window with an option on the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window.


Note for users in the U.S.A. and other countries: Very few users in the U.S.A. seem to want to do this type of "split receipting" that is used in Canada, so at this point the DONATION program's receipts for the U.S.A. always show just the regular Amount (or Total Amount) field. If you do want to do split receipting, you can use the Eligible Amount field, but you will need to contact us for a special version of the mail-merge receipt for the U.S.A. that displays it.


Receipts for all other non-Canadian countries use the Eligible Amount, if it is entered, and otherwise use the regular Amount (or Total Amount) field.


Please see Donations and Receipts with Advantage for full details on this.


Advantage Description (shown as "Descr. of Advantage" on the main window):


This can be used to enter the description of the advantage, as explained in the previous section on the Eligible Amount field, which is required by the Canada Revenue Agency to be printed on such receipts. However, unless the donation is also a Gift in Kind, the description of the advantage can alternatively be entered in the regular Description field. So this field is only really necessary for donations with advantage that are Gifts in Kind.


This is field is only displayed if you select to do so with an option on the Donations tab of the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window.


The Eligible Amount and the Advantage Description can be only entered when you do your entry of donations on the main window, not via Batch Entry.


As with the Eligible Amount field, please see Donations and Receipts with Advantage for full details on this field.


Finishing Editing Donations


Just like when you are editing donors, when you are done you press Enter or F10, or click the Save button, or select File ⇒ Save Changes. If you decide you did not want to enter a new donation after all, press ESC, or click the Cancel button, or select File ⇒ Cancel Changes. (Note that you can't do anything else in the program until you choose one of those two options to finish or cancel entering the new donation.)


You will see that two totals are always displayed at the bottom of the donations area. The one on the left, titled "Total", is the total of the donations for this donor this year. The one on the right, titled "Total for MM/DD/YYYY", is the total of the donations for this donor that were made on the date of the currently highlighted donation. (This can help you confirm that you have entered all of the required lines for a donation that is split up over several categories.)


If you want to double-check the total donations you made on one day (with the same entry Date), you can use one or more of the options in the Reports ⇒ One Date Donation report.


Donations in Multiple Currencies


DONATION has no special features for accepting donations in multiple currencies. Here are some hints for how to use the program if you do have donations in multiple currencies.


Some of our users who have charitable registrations in two countries (such as Canada and the U.S.A.) have set up two databases, one for each country. The Help topic Switching Databases explains how you can set that up, and switch between the databases. That would allow you to use the appropriate receipt formats for each one, set in the Maintenance ⇒ Receipt Options window.


If you only have a charitable registration in one country (I will use Canada as an example, with currency C$) and get some donations in another country's currency (say US$), there are actually two cases:


1.Those donations are from Canadian donors, who should thus get a tax receipt. In that case you should probably deposit the donation in your bank and determine the Canadian dollar equivalent, and enter that into DONATION. (If it's some form of online or electronic payment, determine the C$ equivalent in whatever way makes sense for that payment method.) Then the receipt will properly be for the C$ amount.

2.Those donations are not from Canadian donors. They will not be able to use a Canadian tax receipt, so you should set the donor to be Non Receiptable. Then what some users have done is first, enter their donation as the original amount in the other currency, such as US$. Then send them a mail merge thank you letter for that amount. Then after that is done, change the amount to the converted amount in C$, so that your totals in reports add up correctly.


This topic was last edited on Sep 16, 2022