Gift Entry - There are many options. Which is right for you?

Salesforce’s NonProfit Success Pack (NPSP) gift entry and payment flexibility was certainly not a strength a few years ago, but NPSP has come a long way over the past few years.  We thought it would be good to provide an update.    
This tip is going to focus on traditional gift (check) entry.  If you're interested in automated processes like recurring gifts online transaction processing please shoot me an email, I’d love to discuss it, but you won’t find it in this tip.
At the highest level, there are three ways to enter gifts (check):
1. One at a time entry
2. Batch
3. Uploading from a spreadsheet (Lockbox) 
One at a time:
Most smaller nonprofits navigate to contact/account and enter an opportunity directly.  It's simple and easy to learn the process.  A few tips or things to consider for those using this process.
Tip 1:  Stop doing one at a time gifts!
  • Salesforce introduced a built-in batch gift entry tool in early 2019.  The tool is easy to use and configure.  We highly recommend trying the batch entry tool.    Not only is the grid interface easy and fast, but you can change the fields to meet your needs and use the built-in matching logic to reduce errors.  Also, before entering in your gifts, you’ll enter the total gifts and dollars as a control point, then as you enter gifts, you see a count of gifts and dollars as compared to the control point.  It should make your check entry easier and it will provide better controls.
Tip 2: Set payments to be automatically created when entering most gifts.  
  • Automatically creating payments can be turned on/off by Opportunity Record Type.  Typically this is not turned on for Major Gifts, Grants, and gift types that have multiple payments or potential future payments.  To update, navigate to the Nonprofit Success Pack Settings and click on payments.
Batch Gift Entry
For most nonprofits with fewer than 30-100 gift entries per day, batch entry is a must as it saves time and allows for much-needed control. 
Tip 1:   Consider Apsona’s gift tool
  • Up until recently, nonprofits needed to purchase a third party gift entry tool.  We recommend  Apsona’s Gift Entry tool.  This tool has been around for several years and has quite strong functionality and supports all opportunities and payment fields.   
Tip 2: Consider the new Salesforce batch gift tool
Tip 3: Consider requiring Campaigns for each gift
  • Campaigns can (and should) be set up with a GAU Allocation to ensure that gifts are allocated to the right general accounting unit (GAU).  If all gifts have campaigns and all campaigns are allocated to a default GAU(s), then you’ll only rarely need to update gift GAUs directly.
Uploading from a spreadsheet  (Lockbox)
For organizations regularly receiving more than 30 or more gifts a day, a lockbox or 3rd party processing organization could be considered to save staff time and money.  Generally, you’ll receive a .csv or spreadsheet file to upload into Salesforce.  Uploading one spreadsheet with all your gifts should be a big time saver.
  • It installs quickly, it is intuitive, and it works great.
  • Map your opportunity import once and you're set. 
  • You’ll probably find many other uses for the connector 
Tip 2:  Use the same process for payroll imports
  • If your organization has automated employee payroll deduction, using a batch import tool from a spreadsheet should work great. 
Tip 3:  (advanced) Consider updating the built-in Automatic Payment Process
  • The Automatic Payment Process only updates a few fields.  We’ve found it helpful to add a few additional payment fields to the Opportunity record (like check #)  and then have those fields automatically updated on the payment record.   This should eliminate any need to make two uploads (one for Opportunities and one for additional payment fields).
If you want to review any of these tips or any fundraising processes, please contact me at

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