Before you begin entering gifts into Crimson, we recommend some best practices for your contribution processing that will make your balancing, data hygiene, and compliance follow-up easier.
Start by segmenting the contributions into "like" groups. Recommended segmentation categories include:
- Payment Type – Separate checks from credit cards. Separating credit card contributions by credit card type can be helpful for the balancing/reconciliation process as well.
- Fund Code – Segment Primary and General contributions into their own batches. If a single contribution represents a gift to both funds, include it in a Primary batch and redesignate the remainder of the gift to the General. More information about this process is available in our Crimson 3: Contributions - Data Entry guide.
- People Type – Process Partnerships, Multi-Candidate PACs, Individuals, etc. in their own batches.
- Program Type – It is often helpful to segment high dollar event money from low dollar direct mail contributions.
Each grouping of gifts represents a unique Batch. Crimson requires each contribution to be part of a batch – even if the batch only consists of a single gift – regardless of whether you are inputting these gifts by import or data entry.
Here are our recommended next steps for batching your gifts:
- Assign each batch a four character (alpha and/or numeric) code. This is what we call a Batch Number. (Example: 1001)
- Record the batch number, along with the date, number of pieces in the batch, and total amount of money with any other relevant information in a log. This log can be in excel or on paper, just as long as it is consistent and on-going. Example log below:
- Include a Header on your batch that references the log information. If you ever need to search for an original document, these headers will make it much easier to locate a specific transaction form. Example header below:
Preparing for Deposit/Processing
- Separate your checks from their documents for each check batch and confirm the totals in the check stack match the total recorded on your batch header.
- Prepare the checks for deposit. If possible, indicate on the deposit slip which batches are included in that deposit. This will be extremely helpful to locate an error if, while balancing you find that your data doesn’t match your deposits.
- If you are using a method outside of Crimson to process your credit cards, be sure to run them prior to data entry, so that you can adjust your batches to reflect any declines.
Ready for Data Entry
Now that your checks have been prepared for deposit and your credit cards have been cleared (unless you are using Crimson’s credit card processing, in which case they will be cleared during data entry), you are ready to record your contributions in Crimson.