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7 comments

  • Louise Kelly

    Hi Arlene - I have been dealing with this a lot with one client right now and yes we use soft credits but I would categorize our approach as making the best of a not great situation. Here's our flow: We set up the DAF as a company account but try to put the donor's name in as part of the account name so it comes up with searches. We also have the donor as an individual account. The donation gets logged as coming from the DAF company account, and we give soft credit to the individual donor account. The real issue comes with acknowledgement. There's no good automated way to generate acknowledgements to the soft credit recipient - at least not that we've found. What we've ended up doing is adding a custom field to the donation to track when the soft credit recipient has been thanked. We run a report that shows all soft credit recipients (which unfortunately doesn't allow us to filter on that custom field but does allow us to add that field as a column so we can see who needs to be thanked still). Then we use that report to export to Excel and do a Word Merge. Neon needs to improve their functionality in this area as DAF is a growing giving trend. There was previously a feature request related to this - I don't know if it's still around but if it is please upvote it! Please share what solutions you have used -I'd love to hear how others have resolved this.

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  • Arlene Bryer

    Thanks so much. Ugh that does sound complicated. In the end I spoke to a few professional colleagues and ultimately I decided to go with "follow the money". So if it comes from a DAF, I enter it into the DAF and soft credit the donor. It gets even more complicated when the DAF sends the money through another platform like BrightFunds or other platforms so I decided to consistently stick with 'follow the money' and just add soft credits and notes to explain. We do not have so many donors that we don't know what we get and in the reporting, you can do a Soft Credit report to see who you have to acknowledge. Thanks again. 

     

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  • Michel Vekved

    Hello Arlene and Louise, You are not alone. I have been making several inquiries to NEON to make our process easier.  We enter the funding based upon ownership, in your words following the money.  So a donation is tracked by brokerage DAF and soft credit to individual. I typically send a handwritten note or call, but in some cases I'd like to send a letter immediately. The letter is worded differently than our typical acknowledgment. There's no way to set an email condition for soft credits. The issue I've had recently and with more frequency, are donations from QCD.  The individuals want a letter to confirm the transaction.  I generate a soft credit report with detail and then draft an acknowledgement letter in word, merge with excel and send as pdf in email or print hard copy. If you have discovered a more efficient idea please share. Thank you!

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  • Louise Kelly

    Oh Michael I am so glad you just wrote - because this reminded me to share an update of a new approach we just figured out. It's a little bit of a hack, but it allows us to use the system email / letter functionality in Neon which is huge. Here's what we now are doing for Donor Advised Fund gifts:

    1. Set up a company account in Neon with the name of the fund and include the name of the donor 'influencers' in the fund name (to make it easier to find the account when searching)

    2. Set the primary contact for the company account to be the name(s) of the donors who need to be indirectly thanked. Make sure the company contact is populated with the email address / mailing address for the donor, and make sure you set up the preferred name or salution fields so you can use those as merge fields in your donation acknowledgements.

    3. On the donation: in the Allocation area, we added a 'purpose' of 'Donor Advised Fund' (we aren't using that field much so this worked for us - but basically, look at the system email condition options to find one of the fields you can use to flag donations that are donor advised fund donations)

    4. Set up donation acknowledgements that do not include tax receipt language (since donor advised fund donations almost always should NOT include this language)

    5. Set up a system email / system letter condition so that when the purpose = donor advised fund (or whatever field you use to flag donor advised funds), select the donor advised fund version of the donation acknowledgement

    6. We also still will assign soft credit back to the original donor account, since that is accurate and provides another way to see total giving when you are looking at the original donor household, but this is going to make a huge difference for us because not being able to use the system email / letter functionality for these donations was creating a lot of problems for keeping on top of acknowledging these (often large) donations. 

    As I said - aspects of this are definitely a hack, as it makes it look as though the donor 'works' at the fund, but given that we really doesn't care about these funds except for the fact that they disburse donations for donors, this seems like an OK solution. Oh also if you do need to also track the address for the fund itself, we are just putting that in a pinned note. Most funds don't need direct acknowledgement so this seemed like an adequate solution. I hope this helps others!

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  • Michel Vekved

    Hello Louise,  Thank you for your thoughtful response. I've tried several hacks over the years, I had just hoped there was something more creative and direct. I hacked it backwards--we use to give the legal owner (such as Schwab, the soft credit and then set conditions such that when the tender was DAF it would automatically generate an appropriate letter or email without the usual tax detail.  A compounding issue was our shift to signing up for EFT though such entities. It was also skewing data and making more work for analysis.  I agree, most of the corporate entities do not want nor require the acknowledgment, but for smaller community foundations we do track and send to both CF and advising donor. Thank you so much for your time! Michel

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  • Michael Herrera

    Louis. Thank you for sharing! Adding constituents as contacts for the DAF company is a brilliant work around! The soft-credit reporting and system letter structure in Neon really needs to be further developed. Especially since more and more contributions are coming in through DAFs.

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  • Arlene Bryer

    Thanks all for sharing. In the end, I decided to make the company sending the DAF the main donor and then soft credit the person that it's connected to (aka recommended the donation). Often it is a matching gift so I add that information in the notes for that donation as well. And then like Louise indicated, send a TY letter to original donor without tax info.

     

     

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