5 Important Topics for Your Bloomerang Curriculum Checklist

Category: Implementation

If you want to get the most from your Bloomerang database, you’ll need training. New Bloomerang users need training to get up to speed with the software and existing users need training to maintain their skills. But what topics are most important and how do you structure a Bloomerang training curriculum? Before you dive into Bloomerang training, develop a checklist of topics you hope to learn.

Developing a curriculum of topics has three benefits.

  1. Focuses your search for training content on the things that matter most
  2. Sets a goal for what you hope to achieve in your training so you can determine if you achieved your goal or not
  3. Helps you manage your time effectively by focusing on topics that are crucial to your development

Bloomerang software has many features, but here are five topics to consider putting at the top of your checklist.

1. Constituent and timeline data entry

Bloomerang donor management software has two primary functions. Data goes in with data entry and data comes out with reporting.

Constituent and timeline data entry are important topics for your training program because good data entry is required for good reporting. Users need to know where to put data and how to properly enter data. Clean data entry leads to a healthy Bloomerang database.

  • Do users know the difference between a pledge and a recurring donation?
  • Do users know when and how to flag a new address, email, or phone number as the primary?
  • Do users know when and why to flag constituents with communication preferences and email interests?
  • Do users know how to process a credit card transaction versus receive a check donation?
  • Do users know when to add an interaction or a note?

A little time spent on data entry training in the present can save you hours of time cleaning data or manually editing reports in the future.

Data entry proficiency also leads to proficiency with Bloomerang reports. In order to know what filters to use or what columns to add to a report, a user must first understand where fields and data objects are located in the Bloomerang database. Users that are proficient with data entry are generally quicker to pick up on reporting.

2. Funds, Campaigns, and Appeals

The fund, campaign, and appeal fields are very simple but incredibly powerful. Each field is located on the transaction record (whether that transaction is a donation, pledge, or recurring donation). Each field is a single-select, dropdown field, which means a user can select only one value from a list of available options.

The fund, campaign, and appeal fields are the primary way your organization segments raised and revenue dollars in reports. They also help determine the strategies that are most effective and the way to manage real-time performance of on-going fundraising tactics.

Each field has a specific definition and purpose. Your goal will be to learn how to add and deactivate them, how to structure them based on your fundraising strategy, and how to report on them.

3. Filter-based Reporting

Reports are the ultimate prize of Bloomerang database software. You spend time entering, importing, and managing data in Bloomerang so you can aggregate that data in meaningful reports.

Adding Bloomerang reports to your training checklist is a necessity. Your training should cover all facets of the Bloomerang reporting system including columns, grouping, sorting, exporting to Excel versus displaying to screen, grouping by households, naming and organization, and filters.

Focus heavily on filters. Bloomerang report filters exist throughout the software. Filters are required to generate letters and send emails in addition to running reports. Learn how to build simple Include and Exclude AND/OR logic statements and dive into complex compounds of various logic statements (i.e. multiple levels of Include and Exclude AND/OR statements). Review the different filters for all data objects (transactions, constituents, interactions, notes) to learn what is available in reports and how each filter operates.

4. Imports

After the conversion and migration to Bloomerang, you may be thinking that imports are a thing of the past. Bloomerang imports will probably be a primary element of your data management activities.

We live in a world of data. Your organization may use Excel spreadsheets and other online fundraising and marketing tools. Moving external data into Bloomerang will be a priority if you plan to use Bloomerang as a central data repository.

Learning Bloomerang’s quirks will ensure that you import clean data into Bloomerang.

Bloomerang doesn’t have an “undo import” feature so anything you import is permanent (unless you manually delete or modify each record you imported). Proper training on the import tool is a great addition to a training program.

5. Acknowledgements and Thank You Letters

Acknowledgement letters are a primary way to save time in Bloomerang donor management software. Acknowledgement letters require some initial setup, but with the right upfront design you can create a recurring process in Bloomerang that saves you significant operational time in the long-term.

This training topic is two parts.

  • Part one is learning about the acknowledgement flagging system. This includes how to enter transactions so they can be acknowledged as well as letter formatting, letter generation, and the creation of mailing labels or envelopes for your letter batch.
  • Part two is designing your organization’s specific acknowledgement procedure. This includes the creation of a letter (or multiple letters), setting up dynamic filters to pull the right transactions for letters in each acknowledgement batch, and user guides for internal staff so staff members know how to run the letters.

Where to Find Bloomerang Training Resources

After you develop a training checklist, it’s time to find the Bloomerang training resources you need to check all of the items off your list. Bloomerang’s knowledge base and the Bloomerang Academy are great places to start.

You may consider personalized training based on your organization’s specific requirements from a professional trainer. If you’re looking for a 1-on-1 training experience with lots of Q&A, we can help.

Our hope is that the suggestions in this post help you define a training checklist so your organization can get the most from Bloomerang.

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