Visitor Giving in CDM+

As Easter Day approaches, we hope that your church will be filled with people. One of the results of an Easter crowd can be donations from visitors in the offering plate. Do you know there are two ways to track gifts from non-members or visitors in CDM+?

However, before we begin with what to do in the CDM+ Contributions program, let’s first examine how the church understands the receipt of these funds. There are basically two thoughts on receipting of contributions. Some churches want to send a statement to all people who give, regardless of the dollar amount. Other churches decide to only send statements to those givers who give over a fixed dollar amount. Often this is tied to the IRS requirement to receipt any single gift of $250 or more. Anyone giving less than the pre-defined amount does not receive a statement unless it is requested.

If your church sends out statements to all people who give, regardless of the dollar amount, then an Address Record and Giving Unit Record must be added in CDM+ for each donor, even if there is only a single gift given. When a church adopts this practice, it is helpful to identify these Address Records as non-member contributors, which is easily done using the mailing code field. If you also use the Visitor Records feature in CDM+ Attendance to track visitor attendance, if and when that visitor’s information is transferred to an Address Record, CDM+ will see the existing Address Record you created for giving purposes and ask if you want to use it in the transfer. This prevents adding a duplicate Address Record (provided the last name and the first 8 characters of the address line of both the Address and Visitor Records match exactly).

The second option to track non-member/visitor donations is to establish a special non-member/visitor Giving Unit Record. Since giving units need to be tied to an Address Record, we suggest adding a generic Address Record with the church’s address. You can also tie loose offering, donations from church organizations, etc. to this same record. In this case the contribution is assigned to the generic Giving Unit and the giver’s name and address is noted in the Contributions Entry Memo field. This option provides several benefits. First, it helps to streamline the entry of these contributions. Often the person entering contributions does not have permission to add Address Records. Secondly, it is easy to review the generic giving unit record and transfer gifts to other giving units at a later time. For example, if an occasional visitor becomes a regular visitor and active in the church then at some point an Address Record will be added or transferred from the Visitor Records. At that time a Giving Unit will be created. Then, using the Contributions Maintenance window, a search can be done on all non-member/visitor gifts assigned to that generic giving unit and the list sorted on the Memo field. This allows you to easily transfer gifts to the newly created Giving Unit.

By using this second option of tracking non-member/visitor giving, at the end of the year this same principle can be used to identify gifts over a certain dollar amount. You can add an Address Record/Giving Unit for those persons in order to send giving statements.