Rise in Donor Advised fund = a need for better soft credit management.

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8 comments

  • Official comment
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    Leigh Kelsey

    Thank you for sharing your feedback.

    Our Product team reviews every comment that is shared on this forum and they have taken note of this one in particular.

    Donor Advised Funds are handled in many different ways and, because of this, an update to this feature will require a large amount of development work. This is not currently on the sprint map but the forum will continue to be monitored for others having similar issues. Again, thank you for sharing.

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    Anna MacDonald

    Annie - How do you currently input your DAFs?  We have them set up as an organization record as a work around.  

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    Annie Scheffler-Levy

    Hey Anna,

    Can you explain further? I'm not quite getting what you mean.

    We enter in the donation into the DAF Org account and then I add the donor as a soft credit. When I am ready to create my soft credit acknowledgment letters I do below...

    Our current soft credit workaround for acknowledgments:

    1. Running the soft credit report.
    2. Sorting report by donation date. 
    3. Deleting all past soft credits up to three months ago. (We do this because the soft credit report is unable to restrict search criteria by soft credit date.)
    4. Manually pull all soft credit donations from a physical stack of donations recently entered.
    5. One by one, find recently entered soft credit donors on report that need to be acknowledged and copy and paste donor information into a new excel spreadsheet.
    6. After completed, mail merge donor data into appropriate soft credit acknowledgment letter.

    I hope this helps. Let me know work-around you use. I need all the help I can get!

    Annie

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    Anna MacDonald

    Oh wow - that's a totally different way to work around!

    We have a different "company" account set up for each DAF and also soft credit to the donor's individual accounts.

    We trigger a mail merge letter when we input the donation on the company account, but since the "system letter condition" feature can't filter by Company Type (only account type), we have to either run Neon merge and manually edit each PDF letter to remove the amount/make a language adjustment so we're not providing a tax receipt or run an external merge.

    Currently we're editing the PDF, which is a pain. If Neon would add ability to filter system letters by Company Type, we could upload the right version of our TY letter for a DAF.  It would go a long way to making this MUCH more efficient.

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    Annie Scheffler-Levy

    Wow, I can't even wrap my brain around that. I found evidence yesterday that Neon has known and received complaints about this soft credit issue for over FOUR YEARS! They keep just telling people that their developers are working on the issue. I can't even believe they can't get their stuff together!

    In regards to the PDF situation, we started just using a mail merge because editing those PDFs was a nightmare. They need to have an option to download those letters into Word, like every other CRM. We have been using NEON for only 5 months and I am highly unsatisfied. I can only hope it gets better. 

     

     

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    Christine Evans

    We too are finding real issues with soft credit handling. DAVs are particularly complicated when there are multiple levels (donor gives to their private DAV which gives to institution fund which gives to us). Technically the donation comes from an organization like Fidelity Charitable, but we want to thank Mary & Joe Smith. Our CURRENT process (it has changed a few times) is to credit the Smith Family Fund (the private DAV), soft credit Mary and Joe (often two separate householded accounts, as both may be volunteers) and soft credit Fidelity (really only so that we know how many of our donors use that Financial institution).

    We do our thank you letters via the built-in email (which doesn't work at this point for these cases - although I think we can now set Mary OR Joe up as acknowledgees and send auto emails, but need to figure out how to distinguish these DAV ones from honor/memory ones) or through external mail merges. We export the recent donations and then have to manually go back and get the correct address information for the thank yous (although often the private DAV has the same address as the recommending donor). 

    The further problem then comes in trying to report on these - gathering lists of current donors shows those that are now using DAVs as being lapsed. Soft credit information is not available in some reports or in formats that we need. And things are further complicated when householding and soft-crediting multiple members of the household is taken into account. 

    This is becoming more and more of an issue for us as more of our donors move to DAVs (which is good financially, as it often means larger donations). We are almost at the point of needing to look for a new donor management system.

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    Fern Watters

    Just started with Neon and this, along with very slow responses to help requests, and the super awkward process for creating system emails and letters has me ready to move on to another CRM.  

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    Emily Taylor

    We've done another workaround, which is perhaps not the best. We list the DAF fund on the individual's account (unless it is an actual Foundation that has a separate contact.)

    When entering a gift, I enter the donation on the primary household member's account, with the payment note "Thank you for this gift from __ fund, a donor-adivsed fund at [fidelity charitable, or whereever]" Then I also add a note on the donation itself. That way, I don't have to go through the soft credit nonsense, which is terrible when it comes to reporting. This is for DAFs where we do not need to acknowledge the DAF in any way, and the contact info is the same as the donor contact info. This is mostly for Schwab, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, etc DAFs.

    For personal foundations, it's much trickier. Usually we have to acknowledge both the foundation and the household. For that I create an Org for the foundation. Then I'll soft credit the contact who needs to be soft credited. Usually I'll include the Donor as the primary contact, and the foundation administrator in a note on the page AND as another non-primary contact. The issue with pulling reports for Foundation gifts, is that the report will only list the primary contacts name (NOT the household salutation.) So when puling a mailing list, you must go back in and add the spouse name. OR you can use the account ID and try to get the Household information that way. 

    When you have foundations with multiple trustees and/or who are shared by a family of donors (of multiple generations, for example), I have very little advice. It is a nightmare with all of the soft credits. If you are also adding memberships to all of these accounts, it's really time-consuming, and there's not a great way to check.

    We've also had an issue with figuring out a donor's history (for example, they personally gave for 10 years, and the last 5 has been through their foundation.) This looks like two different accounts in Neon, and it's not easy to discern that it's really one donor for 15 years without a lot of manual work. 

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