Searching by date
In this article:
- Setting up a gift date search on constituents or on gifts
- Understanding date-related search criteria
- Date-related search criteria definitions
You may have noticed that LGL offers many options for how to search on dates in the Advanced search area at the top of both the Constituents and Fundraising pages.
If you haven’t yet explored searching by date and you select to search on "Gift dates" on the Constituents page or “Dates” on the Fundraising page, you’ll notice that the dropdown list of criteria you can select from includes a long list of options such as "Last week", "Last week rel.", "3 fiscal years ago", "3 fiscal years ytd", and so on.
This article explains what these search criteria, or search terms, mean and tells you what each can be used for.
Setting up a gift date search on constituents or on gifts
When you search on “Gift dates” or “Dates” and you select one of the many date-related criteria, the search boxes will appear as shown below (without the labels in red text).
Constituents Advanced Search box
Gifts (Fundraising) Advanced Search box
From the Constituents Advanced Search box, you can search on people (constituents) who gave gifts on particular dates or during a combination of different time periods by structuring your search to capture that information. You can do the same for gifts from the Fundraising page.
If you want to create a report using the data pulled into your search, please refer to these articles on reporting.
Understanding the date-related search criteria
Keep in mind that date searches follow these conventions.
A week is defined as any seven-day period beginning on a Monday and ending on the subsequent Sunday.
A fiscal year is a 12-month time period used to calculate annual financial statements, often beginning either on July 1 or on September 1. The fiscal year may or may not be the same as the calendar year.
An abbreviation for year to date, YTD refers to the time period beginning on the first day of the current year and ending today. This can refer either to a calendar year or a fiscal year.
|Fiscal YTD||Calendar YTD|
|Often runs from last July 1 or September 1 through today||Runs from last January 1 through today.|
Absolute versus relative dates
There are two types of date search criteria you can choose from, depending on the type of search you want to create:
- Absolute: Refers to a specific calendar date
- Relative: The date search with respect to today, whatever today happens to be
When you search on any specific date, you are searching on an absolute date. Please be aware that the two date search types differ in practice only when a search is saved and re-run in the future, because the relative date will change based on when the saved search is run.
With relative dates, a start date is always the beginning of the period, and end dates will track to the end of the period (e.g., this month to this month is the start of the month to the end, and this year to 2 months ago is similar).
Say the current date is November 7, 2016. If you select “This month” as the time period for your search and then save the search:
...this query will always refer to these absolute start and end dates, regardless of when you run this saved search in the future.
If, however, you select “This month rel.” as the date range you are searching on:
...and then you save this search, future searches will always refer to the current month in which the search is being run, because the search criteria is relative to the date when you are searching.
Additional ways relative dates can be used in search fields
The list below shares numerous examples of relative dates you can type into your search's date fields:
- two days hence
- 1 week hence
- 5 weeks hence
- 7 days from now
- 1 week from now
- next week
- next year
- next month
- last week
- last month
- last year
- You can type the numeral or spell it if a number is part of your relative date--either is fine.
- If you use a relative date such as "this fiscal" in the first date field and "this fiscal" in the second date field, the search will range from the first date of that time period to the final date of that time period.
Date-related search criteria definitions
This list includes all available search criteria and provides a definition for each.
- All Dates - No restriction on dates
- Custom dates - Customizable start and end dates for a search, whether absolute or relative
Absolute date search criteria
- Today - Today
- Yesterday - The day before today
- Tomorrow - The day after today
- Last week - The 7-day period starting 7 days prior to last Monday
- This week - The 7-day period starting last Monday
- Next week - The 7-day period starting next Monday
- Last month - The month preceding the current one
- This month - The current month
- Next month - The month following the current one
- 3 month view - 2 months before today’s date through 1 month after today’s date
- 6 month view - 4 months before today’s date through 2 months after today’s date
- + 1 month - Starting one month from today’s date
- Next 3 months - The 3-month period starting with today’s date
- Next 6 months - The 6-month period starting with today’s date
Relative date search criteria
- Today - The day the search is being executed
- Yesterday - The day before the search is being executed
- Tomorrow - The day after the search is being executed
- Last week - The 7 days starting 1 week prior to the most recent Monday before the search
- This week - The 7 days starting on the most recent Monday before the search
- Next week - The 7 days starting 1 week after the most recent Monday before the search
- Last month - The calendar month before the current calendar month
- This month - The current calendar month
- Next month - The calendar month after the current calendar month
- Last quarter - The calendar month before the current quarter
- This quarter - The current quarter
- Next quarter - The calendar month after the current quarter
- Last fiscal - The fiscal year prior to the current fiscal year
- This fiscal - The current fiscal year
- Next fiscal - The fiscal year following the current fiscal year
- 2 fiscal years ago - The start of 2 fiscal years ago to the end of that year
- 3 fiscal years ago - The start of 3 fiscal years ago to the end of that year
- 4 fiscal years ago - The start of 4 fiscal years ago to the end of that year
- 5 fiscal years ago - The start of 5 fiscal years ago to the end of that year
- This fiscal YTD - The start of this fiscal year through today
- Last fiscal YTD - The start of 1 fiscal year ago to 1 year ago from today
- 2 fiscal years ytd - The start of 2 fiscal years ago to 2 years ago from today
- 3 fiscal years ytd - The start of 3 fiscal years ago to 3 years ago from today
- 4 fiscal years ytd - The start of 4 fiscal years ago to 4 years ago from today
- 5 fiscal years ytd - The start of 5 fiscal years ago to 5 years ago from today
- This year - The current calendar year
- Last year - The calendar year prior to the current calendar year
- Next year - The calendar year following the current calendar year
- This Year YTD - Jan 1 of this year through today
- Last Year YTD - Jan 1 of last year through 1 year ago from today