How to Track Donor Recognition Preferences in eTapestry

Category: Best Practices

When it comes to good donor stewardship, honoring a donor’s communication and recognition preferences is critical.

A donor may request to remain anonymous, not be recognized at all, or to have a specific name listed in your annual donor list. As a development professional and relationship builder, you are responsible for taking this request seriously and accurately recording the donor’s preference in your Blackbaud® eTapestry® database.

Types of donor recognition in eTapestry

The default recognition type in eTapestry is a donor’s Account Name. The default is set automatically and requires no action by you (the eTapestry user).

If a donor has special preferences that do not match the Account Name format, eTapestry offers two ways to record these requests:

  • Unique recognition type set globally for the account
  • Unique recognition type set specifically for each transaction

The way you record donor recognition preferences in eTapestry will impact how your data is presented in donor recognition reports. To streamline reporting and maintain consistent, accurate donor data, follow these eTapestry best practices.

1. Recognition type by account (donor)

Your eTapestry database tracks recognition name and account name separately. They are separate for situations where the account name and recognition name are different. You have four choices if you modify an account’s recognition name:

Donor regcognition on eTapestry account

Account donor recognition options in eTapestry

  • Use Account Name. This is the default. Adjustments you make to the account name will carry through to the recognition name.
  • No Recognition. Choose this if the donor should never be recognized. This is best used for donor-advised funds or other pass-through organizations whose gifts you do not want to recognize as theirs.
  • Anonymous. Select this if the donor prefers that all of their donations remain anonymous. The word “Anonymous” will appear in recognition reports that include this account, masking the account’s identity.
  • Custom Recognition Name. Enter a custom recognition name in the text box if the account should be recognized but the recognition name needs to be different from the account name. This is best for situations like when a family foundation wishes to keep their foundation name anonymous and instead be recognized by their given name (i.e. John and Sally Smith instead of the The Smith Family Foundation).

2. Recognition type by transaction (donation)

Your eTapestry database can also track recognition information on a transaction-by-transaction basis. This is done when a donor makes a gift and wants only that gift to be recognized differently than the account’s default settings. For example, a donor may make a gift in the name of someone else or they may make a large one-time contribution that they want to keep anonymous.

Record these transaction-specific preferences on the gift data entry screen in the section for Recognition Information under Transaction Recognition Type. The selections you choose here will not impact the donor’s other gifts, only the one you are modifying. When updating transaction recognition, choose from:

Transaction donor recognition in eTapestry

  • Use Account Recognition Setting. This is the default. Do not modify this setting unless the transaction needs to be recognized separately from the donor’s account defaults.
  • Anonymous. Select this if the donor wants this particular donation to remain anonymous.
  • Use Transaction Recognition Name. Select this Recognition Type and enter a unique recognition name for this transaction in the text box. This is commonly used if the donation was made in the name of someone else or should be recognized under a different name than what is selected as the account recognition default.
  • No Recognition. Choose this if this single transaction should not be recognized, contrary to the account’s default recognition preferences.

How to note recognition preferences with online forms

As with donations by mail or in person, eTapestry best practice is to assume online donations can be recognized by account name unless the donor requests otherwise.

Unfortunately, there is no way to automate the collection of recognition preferences from online donors because you cannot add recognition type to an online DIY form. Best practice is to allow donors to note their recognition preferences in the comment box of an online form or to add a custom user-defined field to capture this information.

As long as you review all online donations as they come in and manually update the account or transaction recognition preferences to reflect their request, your recognition reports will be accurate.

How to report on donor recognition

Your eTapestry database offers three standard Recognition Reports for reporting on giving by donor recognition name.

eTapestry donor recognition reports

  • Recognition According to Gift Amount Ranges. Use this report to view donors by recognition name grouped into custom gift amount ranges based on the transactions in your query. Transaction recognition settings will overrule constituent recognition settings in this report.
  • Recognition According to Funds/Campaigns/Approaches. Use this report to view donors by recognition name grouped by the Fund, Campaign, or Approach values selected for the transactions in your query. Transaction recognition settings will overrule constituent recognition settings in this report.
  • Recognition Account to Tribute Types. Use this report to view giving for donors by recognition name grouped by the Tribute and Tribute Type they donated for. Results will only include gifts with a Tribute account linked. Transaction recognition settings will overrule constituent recognition settings in this report. This report is especially useful for memorial gifts when your organization was named as a beneficiary.

You cannot customize standard recognition reports to include contact information or giving history fields, but you can create custom donor lists with these additional details.

Include Recognition (Journal), Account Name, Received, and all other fields you need for your donor list and group and collapse your report template by Recognition (Journal). Run this report with a query of all transactions received for a date range and your report will display one row for each recognition name with received totals for each.

Streamline acknowledgements and design custom annual reports

If you struggle to run acknowledgements in eTapestry or you need to run custom annual reports with donor recognition names, we can help.  Speak with one of our eTapestry consultants to learn how to streamline acknowledgement procedures and build the perfect end-of-year report.

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