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This manual covers release number 6.10c of the DONATION program for Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11, or Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later. DONATION is a product of Software4Nonprofits.


To see the changes between successive versions of DONATION, see the Revision History.


The program is used to track donors and donations, and issue receipts, for charitable organizations in Canada, the U.S.A., and elsewhere. This Windows version was first used by Toronto Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in January, 1999 and had over 5,500 registered users as of December, 2015.


There are several versions of DONATION - the Standard, Local Network Versions, and OnDemand versions.


If you also need to do more general bookkeeping, including tracking expenses and creating Income Statements, possibly with fund accounting, we encourage you to consider our companion ACCOUNTS software program. Of course, DONATION can also be used in association with other bookkeeping software, or more manual bookkeeping solutions. DONATION and ACCOUNTS (or also Intuit QuickBooks Desktop) can interact through the Bank Deposits feature in DONATION. That feature allows you to specify which donations are part of a bank deposit, then export that as a summary transaction (summarized by donation category / income account) and import it into ACCOUNTS or QuickBooks Desktop.


The following are some of the general features of all of the versions of DONATION.


Data Entry


It records names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of donors.

It allows for the use of member or envelope numbers, if desired.

It allows for the specification of various categories of donor and donation.

It allows for the recording of 6 user-specifiable fields about donors, plus a comments field of virtually unlimited length.

It allows for the specification of a list of Groups or Committees that donors can be members of, and recording which of them each donor is a member of.

It can record a simple annual pledge amount for each donor, or switch to more complex pledging options - annual with start date and category, or multi-year with category.

It records dates, amounts, donation categories, cheque numbers (or how the donation was paid) and optionally descriptions for individual donations.

It is very quick and simple to use - donors can always be picked from a scrolling list, or searched for with two different Find features.

There is a special data entry form to speed entry of weekly donations, collections or offerings for churches. See Features for Churches for details on this and several other helpful features for churches and places of worship.

There is an optional limited-entry password for volunteers to do entry without seeing full details on donors or donation history.

You can identify which donations are part of one bank deposit, and export a transaction representing that bank deposit to Software4Nonprofits ACCOUNTS or Intuit QuickBooks Desktop.

You can memorize recurring donations and set each one up to be automatically inserted on a weekly or monthly schedule.

It automatically records information about all communications with your donors, including all emails sent to them (for receipts, statements or letters, or just individual or mass emails), and receipts, statements and letters printed or saved to PDF for your donors. You can also manually record communications such as phone calls and visits, with your comments.




It prints over 30 different reports on donors, donations, receipts, categories and fiscal year donations.

It has two different ways to create custom reports.

It allows you to export reports to various file formats, such as Excel, tab-separated text, or CSV (comma-separated value).

Customized reports can be memorized for later re-use.

It has a powerful ability to create mail merge letters or receipts for one, all or some donors.




It prints numbered charitable receipts in a simple standardized format, plus mailing labels for those receipts (Note: In Canada, you must have a charitable registration number to issue charitable tax receipts. While other organizations do send receipts, they cannot be used as a tax deduction, and the receipts printed by this program may not be suitable for that use.)

It can print a receipt for just one donor, or for all donors with unreceipted donations, or for a selected subgroup of all donors with unreceipted donations.

The receipts include a section to send with your tax form that just gives the total, an optional 2nd section with the details of each individual donation during the year, and a 3rd section with the totals by category of the donations.

It has different receipt formats for users in the U.S.A., Canada, Quebec Australia, and other countries.

It can optionally print bilingual (French/English) or French-only receipts, for users in Quebec, with an extra copy for the donor's provincial tax form.

You can email receipts or statements to donors with email addresses.

Canadian receipts properly handle what the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) calls "split receipting" - the handling of donations where the donor receives an "advantage", using an optional Eligible Amount field.

Canadian receipts also properly handle what the CRA calls "non-cash gifts", or gifts in kind, even ones with an appraisal.

It can print duplicate receipts (for example if someone loses one).

It can print corrected receipts (if something in the receipt was incorrect).

It can print receipts in a format of your choosing instead of the built-in formats, by using the mail merge features.


Other Features


It has context-sensitive help and a full manual online.

It uses a powerful open source SQL-based Firebird database, and thus the data can be accessed for other purposes (with appropriate tools).

It can be used to store donations for multiple organizations on the same computer.

It has simple options to backup all of your data to a local drive (preferably a USB memory key), and to restore such backups. Those backups can also optionally be followed by an encrypted backup to a secure Internet location, and those Internet backups can be restored.

It lets you send encrypted backups to yourself or a colleague by email, and restore those backups.

It reminds you to do backups of your database weekly, or at a frequency of your choosing.

It can import files of donors from assorted file formats.

It can import regular (for example monthly) donations.

While the program is entirely in English, limited entry of accents and characters for foreign languages should be possible.

Dates and currency are displayed in your regional format, as defined in Windows Control Panel's Regional settings.


Limitations / Requirements


It can generate at most 99,999 numbered receipts per year.

It is probably best suited to small to mid-sized organizations, because many larger organizations might want a more full-featured and customizable program.

It is not a full-featured fundraising system, although the Recorded Communications features introduced in 5.06 will be very helpful to users who are doing fundraising. Use a larger and more expensive system if that is your requirement. This program is intended primarily for record-keeping of donors and donations, issuing receipts, reporting and mail-merge.

It runs under all recent versions of Windows: Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Windows 11, or Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later.

It is possible to run successfully on a Mac using the Parallels program (which allows you to install a copy of Windows and then run Windows programs on a Mac). However, we cannot support any problems that are specific to using it on a Mac.

It requires your screen properties to be set to 800 x 600 or higher, with Normal size Fonts selected in your Display settings, or to 1024 x 768 or higher, if you are using Large size Fonts. This program will not work on a 640 x 480 display, and part of the main window will be hidden if you use 800 x 600 resolution and Large size Fonts.


This topic was last edited on Jun 3, 2024