Onboarding steps

How to get up and running in LGL

This article is an annotated guide for how you can get started using your new Little Green Light account.

You may have already taken the following steps to evaluate if LGL is a good fit for your organization:

The next step is to get started using your LGL account. Jump in by reading through the following sections in order or linking to the one/s you're interested in:

Learn your way around your LGL account

  • Review your account settings in Settings > Subscription settings > General. Set your fiscal year start date; enable the email dropbox so you can bcc LGL from emails; choose your salutation/addressee options; turn on membership and school settings, if applicable, and more.

  • Add a team member. Invite someone from your organization to join your LGL account. You can add unlimited team members to your account, at no extra cost.
  • Familiarize yourself with your Dashboard. You can customize which widgets to display, move them around on the page, and re-size them.
  • Go to the My profile area (top of the page). Check that your timezone is correct in "Edit general info" and that your LGL Communications are set as you'd like them to be.
  • Activate three enhancements that are included at no extra cost in your LGL account. Turn these on in Settings > Integration settings:
    • LGL forms, so you can create forms of all kinds. Try building a simple form.
    • Direct Email, so you can send emails to one or more constituents right from LGL.
    • Address Verification, so your U.S. mailing addresses are automatically updated and formatted properly.

Get comfortable with constituent and gift records

  • Create a constituent record for yourself. While adding your record, add your contact information and check off any values in Groups that are relevant for you (or add a new value).
  • Add a gift to your record (for a gift you've actually made to your organization). Use appropriate gift coding, such as payment type and gift category.
  • Create constituent records for around 10 board members and staff. Go to Settings > Menu Items to add attributes as needed. Learn more about Constituent Categories.

  • Add some recent gifts for these constituents. Expand on your use of gift coding to include appeals, events, and funds. Our guide to gift coding will be helpful as you enter the gifts.
  • Create an acknowledgment template. Read about acknowledging gifts and create an email template.
  • Edit a gift record to apply your email acknowledgment, and then review the email draft.
  • Join or watch Basic Training: Constituents 101. This hour-long webinar will help you get comfortable with constituent tracking.
  • Join or watch Basic Training: Gift Management 101. This hour-long webinar will help you get comfortable with gift entry and coding.

Move your historical data into LGL

  • Review our high-level overview of data migration. Visit this web page about data migration, watch the video, and read the short FAQ at the bottom of the page.
  • Preparing for Data Migration will help you get ready to import data to LGL.
  • Download the Data Dictionary from your account by navigating to Home > Flex Importer.

  • Research how to pull your historical data into spreadsheets. If you are coming from another donor management system, find out what kind of export options they offer.
  • Assemble and import a test file of 5 to 10 constituent records. Compare your spreadsheet to a sample import file.
  • Decide if you will do your own data migration or if you need a consultant. You can request bids from the LGL Consultant Network.

Using LGL day to day

  • Begin using LGL to add new constituents and gifts. Make a daily habit of adding new data to your LGL account as you find out about prospective donors and as gifts come in. Add a template for sending acknowledgments via physical letters.
  • Prepare a "Procedures" document to keep track of your data entry process and your work practices. List the steps you take and the category values you use for constituents and gifts, so you can refer to this and share it with your colleagues. 
  • Now that you have some interesting data in your LGL account, spend some time learning about reporting. Join or watch Basic Training: Reporting 101. This hour-long webinar is a great way to get up to speed quickly, as is this article on Common reports and how to create them.
  • Hidden gem: Fundraising Views. You’ll love how Fundraising Views let you see your gift data rolled up in multiple ways. Read Quick searching and reporting with fundraising views to see how.

Getting deeper into LGL

  • Appeals and events. You have probably already tagged gifts with appeals and events, but these areas become even more powerful when you use them to run new appeals and events.
  • Mailings. The mail merge function in LGL is really powerful. Send highly customized appeal letters and other mailings to segmented lists. These articles will help get you going.
  • Build additional forms. You can add unlimited forms to your LGL account. Try creating an event invitation form or volunteer hour submission form. Please also review how to heighten the security measures in your forms.
  • Integrations. Our Integrations page lists the major services we integrate with. You can activate any of these in your account in Settings > Integration settings.

  • De-duping and data cleanup. If dupes do get into your database, you can find and merge them in Constituents > Duplicates. You can also bulk edit constituents and gifts.