Keeping track of how much a participant has raised

Our Non-profit (a school) holds many fundraisers each year. I need to keep track of how much money each student raises in each fundraiser. I’ll need to report on which student has raised the most for each fundraiser and also which student has raised the most overall.
These fundraisers involve the students getting sponsors to donate a certain amount.
I will need to issue receipts to each donor (the payer). So I can’t put the student’s name as the payer (since they aren’t anyway).
I thought of using a tracking code for each fundraiser and adding a custom field on the receipts where I’d input the name of the student sponsored for that amount.

I hope this set-up will allow me to see which student has raised the most for a given fundraiser. Will it also let me see which student has raised the most across all the fundraisers ?

Also, I don’t really know how to generate these reports.

I really want to avoid having to create a separate spreadsheet to keep track of amounts I’ll be entering into Manager anyway.

Your help would be very much appreciated.

Your ideas would work, but probably create problems for the future. Tracking codes were meant for divisions of businesses, of which there would be a few. They also work well for various recordkeeping desires like separating a few product lines that are somewhat static (not necessarily the actual products, but the product lines, such as computers versus audio systems versus household appliances).

With fundraisers, you’ll perhaps have several this year, but also next year, and the year after that, etc. So you’d constantly be creating new tracking codes. And your P&L reports would be getting more and more cumbersome.

Instead, I suggest just using another custom field. In one custom field, you can enter the student’s name as free text. In another, you can enter the specific fundraiser, such as “2016 Winter.” These could be free text, or you could add specific designations to a dropdown list for consistency. You can mark the custom fields to show up as columns in the cash account ledger, but not on documents. Or have it show on both. Thus, depending on what you want, the recipient could see the student through whom s/he donated money and the event it was for. Or not.

The information you want to extract would be readily available by sorting on the custom fields, though for any particular fundraiser, you’d have to scan the list to see who gave the most. I don’t think you’re going to avoid having to export to a spreadsheet, because this is a fairly specialized analysis desire. But each year you can reuse the same spreadsheet once you’ve built it. So it seems worth the effort.

Thanks Tut,

I see how complicated things could get with using tracking codes for each fundraiser.

I’ve created a custom field for receipts, but I don’t see the option to mark them to shop up as columns in the cash account ledger, the only option if to have them show on documents.

Is there another place to activate additional columns in the cash account ledger ?

You are correct. My mistake. I thought you could do that. I don’t know if there is a technical reason why that can’t be done or if it was just overlooked. I’ll invite @lubos into this topic to ask.

Without the custom fields showing in the ledger, obviously you won’t able to do anything I said. Custom reports could be the answer, but there is essentially no documentation on how to use them yet.

Having done some fundraising myself, I’m not sure the spreadsheet approach is so bad. I dislike having transient aspects of an accounting system, such as constantly changing students, fundraisers, etc. It all seems great the first year, but you’re stuck with everything you ever create because it becomes part of your records. A spreadsheet can still be filed away for historical purposes without cluttering an organizations records with everybody who ever showed their face, if you know what I mean. So 50 kids raise money…how many times do you actually make bank deposits of those contributions? Probably only 2-3 times. And how many times do you change bank accounts? Not frequently, I’d guess.

Thanks for your insight, Tut.
I’d still like to avoid having to enter all the numbers twice (once in a spreadsheet then once in Manager).
I’ve figured out a workaround. In the description field, I’ll put “fundraiser | name of student”. Then when I export into the spreadsheet, I just tell excel that | is a divider and voilà! I’ve got my list without having to enter each donation twice.

I haven’t really given it much thought, but you might find if you create “Fundraising Income” as a Control Account and then the fundraisers as Sub-Accounts you might have a workable solution.

You can’t create Income - Custom Control Accounts.
Custom Control Accounts only relate to the Balance Sheet

That’s true. I should know better.

Don’t use tracking codes. The best approach would be to have a custom field on receipts form so you capture the information who each receipt relates to.

The main issue right now is that custom fields created on receipts cannot be set to be shown as columns on the list of all cash transactions. But this is coming soon.

Then you would be able to export this list to spreadsheet anytime you need which would contain all the information you need to summarize raised amounts by person.

  • Date
  • Amount
  • Person (custom field)

So you are not tracking amounts in spreadsheet, you are tracking it in accounting system. The key is that accounting system can generate spreadsheet you need on-demand. Then spreadsheet can be thrown way once you summarize what you need.

When the improvement @lubos mentions is added, you will be able to use the solution I initially recommended, @DorisG. I just mistakenly thought the capability was already there.

Thanks @lubos,
I’m looking forward to seeing those custom fields as columns. In the meantime, I think my little workaround will work.

If I shouldn’t be using tracking codes, would creating a subaccount for each fundraiser in the chart of accounts (and grouping them all under “fundraisers”) be a solution ? I would still like a quick option to see how much each fundraiser brings in, but I don’t want my chart of accounts to get too long.

Is this a case where the upcoming Job Costing module would be more appropriate ?

That approach will work, @DorisG, but will cause you problems downstream. Once there is a transaction posted to an account, you cannot delete that account. So your chart of accounts will progressively get longer, and longer, and longer…

This is worse than using tracking codes.

This could be resolved if the feature of “inactive” was extended to the COA.
Currently, the inactive feature only functions within Cash Accounts, Customer, Suppliers and Inventory Items.

Hopefully, it can be fully implemented right through out, COA, Special Accounts, Capital Accounts etc - where ever there can be redundancy

It actually could be having thought a little further about it - without needing the COA to get longer.
In the first year you would create the account for each fundraiser and record as per your workaround.

In changing the “Set Period” date for the next year, the P&L accounts all get zeroed out so each fundraiser account becomes available for re-use in that year.

So the account for Chocolate Fundraiser 2016 becomes Chocolate Fundraiser 2017

However,the preferred option remains the extending of the “inactive” feature to COA

That would work, as we only have a handful of fundraisers, mostly the same every year.

However, that would only let me see the income for each fundraiser, I wouldn’t automatically see the expenditures associated with each fundraiser.

Which brings me back to tracking codes, which allowed me to see the income minus the expenses to get a more accurate picture of the net proceeds from each fundraiser.

Or is that something the upcoming Job costing module will do ?

Now that you have introduced to the illustration - expenditures and net proceeds - then tracking codes would be relevant and appropriate. Definitely not Job Costing

OK, thanks, I’ll leave the tracking codes in then.