Fundraising overview

In this article:

The Fundraising tab

The Fundraising tab is home to all of your campaigns, funds, appeals, events, gifts (including in kind, soft credits, matching, in memory, and in honor), pledges, installments, and goals (scheduled, pending, and declined asks).

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff! Before we get too deep into the details (in other articles in the Fundraising section of the Knowledge Base), let’s review those terms and what they mean within Little Green Light.

Fundraising terminology

  • Campaign: A campaign is typically the broadest category that can be assigned to a gift, serving as an umbrella or container for the purposes of tracking progress and reporting. Campaigns come in all shapes and sizes, but in our examples we have two general-purpose campaigns (Operations and Endowment) and one capital campaign (Big Capital Campaign). In LGL, you can optionally have funds, appeals, and events that are directly connected to a specific campaign. Doing this can help ensure you have good categorization of gifts, because the gift entry form will restrict assignment based on the selected campaign.

  • Fund: Funds provide you with a mechanism for describing how a specific donation should be used at your organization. In our examples, we have an Unrestricted Annual Fund (no campaign association), two funds that are tied to the Operations campaign, one for the Endowment campaign, and one Restricted fund for the Big Capital Campaign.

  • Appeal: Appeals define a specific fundraising initiative (like a mailing). The most common use of an appeal is for an annual appeal of some kind or other. In our examples, we have two instances of the annual appeal, each of which is open (can be associated with any campaign or fund) and one that is directly connected to the Big Capital Campaign. In LGL, you can easily create the list of constituents you want to reach, generate segmented mailings or lists, and track how they respond.

  • Event: Events can be fundraising dinners or any other gathering through which you hope to raise money. Events can also be tied to a specific campaign, if applicable. As with appeals, LGL allows you to easily create the list of constituents you want to invite and to track their responses, including who RSVPs and actually attends.

  • Gift: Gifts are monetary donations (cash, check, credit card, stock, etc.). Gifts can have several different kinds of related gifts assigned to them, all of which are a kind of soft credit, which is to say that they contribute to the constituents’ giving history but are easily kept out of your standard gift reporting. Each gift can be assigned to one campaign, fund, appeal, and event.

    • Soft credit: A straight soft credit is useful for ensuring that every constituent responsible for a particular gift gets the proper attribution. For example, if a family foundation gives $10,000, it is common practice to attribute a soft credit to each constituent who is directly connected to that gift (in this case, the family members).
    • Matching: Matching gifts typically stem from corporate donations on behalf of their employees who have also given, but they may originate from a kind of matching promise made by a major donor as well, such as in cases where a person offers to match every gift over $100 dollars given during a certain time period.
    • Peer credit: A peer credit can be used in cases where peer-to-peer fundraising has been set up on a site such as Give Lively. When the gifts are exported from there and imported into LGL, there is a gift attribute for whose Give Lively page it came through. To record this gift attribute, you can assign a peer credit to the person whose page it was. This option is available in place of using a soft credit or tying a named tribute to that gift, which would create it as an "in honor of" gift in the latter case.
    • In kind: In-kind donations can be used to track donations of goods and services that may or may not have monetary value; for example, a constituent who donates 10 hours of consulting time that might be valued at $1,000 (assuming a normal consulting rate of $100 per hour) or who donates items for an auction or for some other purpose.
  • Pledge: A pledge is a promise to contribute a certain amount of money over time, or on a specific date. While adding or editing a pledge, you can create installments for the pledge payment schedule according to different schedules (one time, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly).

    • Installment: An installment is a record that helps you keep tabs on the money you can count on receiving from a particular pledge. For example, if someone pledges to donate $100 per month in 2019, you can create a $1,200 pledge with twelve $100 installments, scheduled monthly throughout the year (January 15, February 15, and so on). Installments do not automatically close but can be set to "Received", at which point they become gifts.
  • Goals: Goals are useful for planning and tracking major gift requests (asks) and grant proposals. You can set a goal with a target ask amount and an expected amount.