4 Add-on Features that are Key to an eTapestry Database

Category: Best Practices

Want to make the most out of your eTapestry subscription? Employing these four features will take your database to the next level. One comes standard with your annual eTapestry database subscription, but the other three features may need to be activated, for a fee.

  • Integrated payment processing
  • Executive reporting
  • Advanced import tool
  • AddressFinder NCOA update service

Some of these features are only available with a specific eTapestry license, like Essentials or Pro. Whether you are evaluating higher-level eTapestry packages for upgrade or wondering how to get more from your existing eTapestry license, of all the available features you could activate in your database, these four are by far the most valuable. If you aren’t using them yet, read on to learn more.

1. Integrated Payment Processing

Integrating payment processing with your eTapestry software system allows you full control over how your donors experience giving to your organization, from when you ask for a gift to when that gift is processed all the way to the moment donors hear from you in gratitude.

The ability to link your database with a payment processor comes standard with every eTapestry subscription. One-hundred percent integration means credit card gifts can be processed (and recorded at the same time) directly in the software, thus allowing use of DIY forms and automated processing of recurring gifts and pledge payments.

If you aren’t using integrated payment processing now, there are two key reasons to consider implementing it moving forward.

  • Reason #1 – You can automatically process recurring pledge payments and gifts without having to manually enter each one.
  • Reason #2 – You can integrate online giving with your eTapestry database through DIY forms.

2. Executive Reporting

While some eTapestry subscriptions come standard with this addition, others do not. The Executive Report module is a package of pre-defined, “fancy” reports that provide powerful analysis on your donors and fundraising progress.

Select Reports and eTapestry Standard Reports to find the eTapestry Executive Reports.

eTapestry Executive Reports

Reports include:

  1. Giving Dynamics Report (personal favorite)
  2. Donor Renewals Rate Report (another favorite)
  3. Aging Pledge Summary Report
  4. Approach Analysis Report
  5. Campaign Analysis Report
  6. Consecutive Months Report
  7. Consecutive Years Report
  8. For Impact Master Prospect List
  9. Regency Report

The most integral of these reports is the Giving Dynamics Report, closely followed by the Donor Renewals Rate Report. Learn more about these favorite reports for manging donor retention here.

Executive reports create analytics that are difficult or impossible to replicate in eTapestry custom reports. Even with Excel, some of the calculations provided in Executive Reports are quite advanced. These reports are a major benefit for end users that need insightful analytics, but can’t generate them from scratch.

Bottom line, eTapestry Executive Reports are ready to run immediately (as long as you have data in your database) and are actionable. They provide insight into your data that otherwise would take hours to create in eTapestry custom reports and Excel.

If you’re looking to report on “strategic”, “benchmark”, or “executive” analytics, look first among the Executive Reports—the report you need may already exists in eTapestry.

3. Advanced Import Tool

This feature is a must-have in eTapestry. I cannot stress enough the importance of the eTapestry Advanced Import Tool.

The import tool is a critical data management tool with three major uses.

  • 1. Reducing data entry

    The import tool enters data into eTapestry in batch. It can process up to 2,000 rows of data per import. The import tool is the fastest way to enter data into eTapestry when you have many records of the same type. Rely on the eTapestry import tool to import data after special events or campaigns. Mass enter accounts, journal contacts, journal notes, and gifts all with imports.

  • 2. Integrating with other data systems

    The import tool can help you connect external data with your donor data in eTapestry. Excel spreadsheets are a nearly ubiquitous data format for almost any database platform. If you can get data into an Excel format, you can import it into eTapestry. Use the import tool to merge data from event management software, web form software, external spreadsheets, peer-to-peer fundraising software, or nearly any other database platform into eTapestry.

  • 3. Cleaning up existing eTapestry data

    Finally, the import tool can be used to clean up account data with a process we like to call a “mass edit.” Export existing account data to Excel, edit that data in Excel, and then re-import it back into eTapestry to edit your existing accounts in bulk. This process can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend cleaning up your data. Without the import tool, you’re options for making bulk edits are significantly limited.

As eTapestry consultants and database administrators, we use the import tool constantly. Besides queries and reports, it is the number one tool that we cannot live without. The import tool is a key to clean, healthy, and rich data in your eTapestry database.

4. AddressFinder NCOA update service

The eTapestry AddressFinder NCOA update tool is integrated into every eTapestry system. The number of AddressFinder runs you can complete per year is dependent on your eTapestry subscription.

eTapestry AddressFinder NCOA Update

The AddressFinder service searches your database (based on a query) and flags addresses as either “good” or “bad”. This is a major data quality feature and can reduce mailing costs significantly. You can read more about how to run the eTapestry AddressFinder NCOA update service here.

It is recommended that you update addresses once every quarter (90 days). If you want to take full advantage of this feature, you will need four NCOA updates per year through eTapestry.

Data quality is a top concern for most eTapestry users. This tool helps you keep your eTapestry database clean and healthy.

Standard and add-on features

Most eTapestry features come standard with the software. Rest assured that every database comes with core features needed to track and report fundraising and development data. Every database also comes with the tools you’ll need to improve fundraising performance.

However, there are a few add-on features that you may not be using currently that enhance the capabilities of your eTapestry database. If you are considering upgrades to eTapestry or want to explore new ways to get more from your database, we highly encourage you to consider the four features in this post.

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