Educate

LESSons from LESS: Delete multiple queries #blkbre

 Lessons

Managing the Query page has come a long way since the Raiser’s Edge for Windows (a.k.a RE 6). In RE6, Queries lived in their own little node, and you couldn’t even open a record from the results tab! Anybody remember Groups in Constituent Management?  Horrors!

Now, in  the Raiser’s Edge 7,  we have great tools for managing the Query page, including filtering by query type and/or format, sorting by any of the header rows, and even a little checkbox to show only queries that you created. My favorite in the Query search screen is to search by date created. And how about those Query categories, introduced a few builds back? Nice job, Blackbaud J

Even with all of these great tools, the number of Queries can grow overwhelming, making it difficult to find what you’re looking for, especially from other areas of the software. If you’re using the system as recommended, you end up with a TON of output queries from Batch, Global functions, and Donor Acknowledgement letters alone (hint: put those in a separate category ;)). That’s why it’s recommended best practice that monthly or quarterly, someone be responsible for cleaning out unused or no longer relevant queries. Do you really still need that gift query created from Batch #239 in January of 2003?

But really, Miss Sandy, who wants to sit there and click delete, delete, delete to get rid of them?

Is that really what you’re suggesting is the highest and best use of my considerable talent and limited time?

Of course not, little lambs. As usual, I’m going to let you in on a little known tool in the Raiser’s Edge 😉

On the Query page, hiding under Tools on the menu bar is a nice tool called Delete Multiple queries. This will open a beautiful list view of all the queries in your database with pretty little checkboxes, allowing you to mark many queries to be deleted all at once!

Notice that you can filter by query type and/or format, and check the box to only see your own queries. Unfortunately, the Category is not available as filter here, or anywhere else for that matter. Maybe in the next build.

Regardless, this is still a great tool to help you keep your query listings up to date with relevant, easy to find groups.

Keeping you on the Leading Edge,

SandySmile

Blackbaud Certified Raiser’s Edge Professional

ABCs of the Raiser’s Edge: W is for wild cards #blkbre

ABCHands

One-eyed jacks and deuces are wild! I’m all in!!!

No, not those kinds of wild cards, silly! Wild cards in the Raiser’s Edge are special characters that you can use to replace characters when searching or querying on  information. There are 2 wild cards available when searching and querying:

  • A ? (question mark) replaces one character at a time (Last name Sm?th returns Smith or Smythe)
  • A # (pound/hash tag) replaces a series of characters (Last name Jo*son returns Johnson or Johnston)

Say what? Let’s look at an example from Query. Suppose we want query on ZIP codes that begin with “12”. We could query on:

ZIP Code is like 12???

OR

ZIP Code is like 12*

If my ZIP code is 12345-6789, I will  meet the criteria in either case, right? WRONG! 

In the first case, I would not because my ZIP code is not 5 characters in length. The ? literally replaces one character at a time.

In the 2nd case, I would meet the criteria since my ZIP code begins with 12 and is  followed by a series of any number of characters (or NO characters). See the difference?

In addition, there is a 3rd wild card available in  Query that is not widely known. The [ ] (brackets) can be used in Query to group records based on a range of characters or specific values. I use this alot when I’m cleaning up a database to export smaller groups of records based on Last Names. I can query on Last Name begins with [K-O]. It can also be used with commas to isolate records based on multiple, singular values like Last Name begins with [S,W,T].  This will return a group containing records where the last name begins with S, W, or T.

The first 2 wild cards are widely available on record Search screens; the 3rd is only available in Query. It is also important to note that all not all Query operators will accept wild cards.

Wild cards are available in Query with the following operators:

  • Begins with
  • Contains
  • Does not begin with
  • Like
  • Not like

So, if you want to get wild in the Raiser’s Edge, now you know how 🙂

Keeping you on the Leading Edge,

SandySmile

BlackbaudCertified_Icon Blackbaud Certified Raiser’s Edge Professional

What a great way to say thank you!! #blkbre #annualgiving

Humbolt State U. Postcard Image_Front

I just LOVED this clever idea shared by the folks at The Annual Giving Network from Humboldt State University! I will definitely be sharing it with my private school and higher ed little lambs! Check out the clever name they’ve given to their group of student callers 🙂

Would you know the best way to track these hand written Donor Acknowledgement Letters in the Raiser’s Edge?

Keeping you on the Leading Edge,

SandySmile

BlackbaudCertified_Icon Blackbaud Certified Raiser’s Edge Professional

LESSons from LESS: Summaries in the Raiser’s Edge #blkbre

Lessons

I’m a big fan of using what you know to figure out what you don’t know. Likewise, I’m big on things that work the same way or mean the same thing everywhere you see them, especially in the Raiser’s Edge. (There’s that consistency thing againJ). So, you can only imagine my utter delight with and total affection for the Sigma button in the Raiser’s Edge.

sigma

If you remember waaayyyyyy back to your Accounting 101 days, you’ll recall that the Greek letter Sigma is universally recognized as a Sum function. Even if you never took  accounting, you’re probably familiar with it in Excel, where it also means AutoSum. It should come as no surprise then, that in the Raiser’s Edge, when you see the Sigma on the toolbar, it represents the opportunity to produce some kind of Summary for the record you are currently viewing. How cool is that?

 

It’s available on all top level records in the standard version of the Raiser’s Edge. Time out, Miss Sandy, you promised when we started this way back on A that you wouldn’t do Geek speak, so please explain what a top level record is. It’s simply a record that can survive on its own without being attached to or supported by another record. Top level records in the Raiser’s Edge are:

  • Constituent
  • Campaign
  • Fund
  • Appeal
  • Event (optional module)
  • Job (optional module)

 

The Giving Summaries have all the usual suspects available for filtering like dates, gift types, and Campaign, Fund, or Appeal (on the Constituent Summary). Additional Participant filters are also available on the Event Summary, if you have the optional Event Management module.

 

All of the Summaries display metrics that development professionals love, like:

  • First, Latest, Greatest gift
  • Total number of Gifts (Number of Donors on the fundraising summaries)
  • Total given
  • Average, Median, and Mode gift
  • Top Donors by Count or Percentage

 

In addition, the Appeal Summary can display a Cost Analysis view that displays:

  • Total Cost
  • # Solicited
  • Cost per Solicitation
  • Cost per Response
  • Cost per Dollar Raised

Development types love this stuff!!! Of course, it can only produce these metrics if you’ve entered data on the Attributes/Expenses tab of the Appeal. Even the Raiser’s Edge can’t divide by zero, little lamb 😉

 

The Giving Summary can break down Total Given by:Thermometer

  • Campaign, Fund or Appeal
  • Calendar or Fiscal year
  • Gift type
  • Solicitor

Additional Summaries available include:

  • Honor/Memorial Summary (on the Constituent record with the optional Tribute module)
  • Solicitor Performance Summary (Constituent)
  • Goal Summary (Campaign, Fund, and Appeal)

The Campaign, Fund, and Appeal Summaries even include a thermometer!!! Who doesn’t LOVE a thermometer???

AND all of these fields are queryable!!!

See why I get so excited about the Sigma button??

 

Keeping you on the Leading Edge,

SandySmile

BlackbaudCertified_Icon Blackbaud Certified Raiser’s Edge Professional

PS All of these are also available under View on the Menu bar if you’re not a Toolbar kind of person 😉

 

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sandy@lessllc.com