Contributions - The Basics¶
This article is an overview explaining the various components used for processing contributions. There are links to more specific help articles.
See the video below for a short overview of how to enter contributions manually, including how to split a contribution into multiple funds.
Roles Needed for Contributions¶
- Finance and Access
- These are the only roles required to view and work in Contributions, view results in Search Builder for conditions relating to contributions, run any reports under the Contributions menu, and print statements. Edit role would also be helpful, so the person recording contributions can also make corrections to a person’s record.
Secondary Functions and Roles¶
- FinanceDataEntry and Access
Assign these 2 roles to someone that is just going to create Bundles, post individual contributions, or post individual Pledges using the Post Bundle Edit page. This user will not have access to any other contribution features, and cannot view individuals’ contributions beyond what he is posting at the moment. He will not have access to Closed Bundles. However, he can also create a new people record, if needed, after searching for someone and not finding him in the database.
Once the FinanceDataEntry user role is added to your database, any Bundles created by the normal Finance user will not be seen by the FinanceDataEntry user. This is because the Status of new Bundles that are created by the Finance user will be Open and a FinanceDataEntry user can only view Bundles with a Status of Open for Data Entry.
If you want that user to view the Bundle in order to post contributions, you will need to change the Status of the Bundle from Open to Open for Data Entry or let that user create the Bundles himself. When a Bundle is created by the FinanceDataEntry user the Status is Open for Data Entry.
This person is also able to use the Check Scan application and can view all Open for Data Entry bundles in it.
If you want a user to only create Bundles and post contributions, give that person only the roles FinanceDataEntry, and Access. Do not give a user both FinanceDataEntry and Finance or FinanceAdmin roles. They will conflict with each other.
- FinanceViewOnly and Access
- This role will allow a user to view summary contribution reports, but not view contributions for an individual or view reports that give individuals’ giving. This user cannot enter contribution data nor access/edit Fund Management or Managed Giving. Do not assign this user Finance role as it will override this one.
- Admin, Finance, and Access
- Only a user with these roles can assign another user the Finance role. Many churches prefer for their Admin not to have access to contributions. If that is the case, and you need to assign Finance role to another user, submit a support request and the TouchPoint Support Team can assign the user the appropriate role.
- Finance, FinanceAdmin, and Access
- In order to open a closed bundle, a user must have these roles. Or they can have Admin, Finance, and Access roles. We recommend that the person handling the normal day by day activities not have FinanceAdmin role. Let that person’s supervisor have those roles. That way, a second person is required to be involved when opening a closed bundle to make any changes.
It is not necessary to re-open a closed bundle in order to make corrections or to record a returned check.
Before you continue, you might want to look at the list of terms that we use in TouchPoint relating to Contributions. That might help you understand the help articles.
Before contributions can be entered, the contribution Funds must be created. If your church converted an existing database, your Funds will be in your new TouchPoint database. You may need to close any that you are no longer using. If your church used an InsertPeopleSpreadsheet or if you are populating your database manually, you will need to create the necessary Funds. See the help article about managing funds, and pay close attention to the difference between contributions and transactions.
Fees vs Contributions
TouchPoint also processes payments for events, trips, and other types of activities, using our online registration feature. Do not be confused; these fees are not contributions. Those fees do not go into a fund or a bundle. Fees are tracked on the Transactions Log, where you will also find special reports that you will use to account for these in your general ledger.
Exceptions - special online registration receipts which are tax-deductible:
- Mission Trips - All money the church receives for mission trips is considered tax-deductible. That includes fees paid by the person going, as well as donations made by supporters to help off-set the cost for the goer. You must use the special Online Registration feature for Mission Trips in order to take advantage of the special handling of these in TouchPoint.
- Ask Donation - This is a special option that can be used in a normal online registration. While the fee for the event is not tax-deductible, any extra donations are tax-deductible and are treated as such in TouchPoint.
The only real overlap between fees and contributions is when you reconcile your bank statement. We have separate reports to help you reconcile everything that has gone into your bank account that went through TouchPoint. Please carefully read the Monthly - Reconcile your Bank Statement. for this below.
Loose Change / Offering Plate¶
Before you begin using TouchPoint for Contributions, you should have a people record created so that you have a place to post contributions that come in from the offering plate and the donor is unidentifiable. This would be cash and change.
The record should be named something that identifies its purpose, such as Loose Change, Offering Plate or Unidentified Cash. Set the Statements option to None, so a statement will not be generated when you run them for the entire church. Also, set Marital and Gender to Unknown, and set the flags for Do Not Visit, Mail, or Call. You can either omit a date of birth, in which case, the age will be 0. Or you can assign a DOB that makes the ‘person’ well over 100 years old. This will help you identify donations that were unidentified when looking at age range reports.
Process / Workflow¶
This is our recommended process for handling contributions. You can vary this to meet the needs of your church, bearing in mind that the major components and reports are the same for every church.
- Count the Offering
This first process takes place apart from TouchPoint and can be handled by volunteers or staff. They do not need a user account.
- Start by putting your contributions together into groups (basically a handful or so) of contributions. That would be either envelopes, checks or cash, depending on how your contributions are given. We will refer to these as bundles.
- Use an adding machine (calculator with a tape) to get a grand total for each bundle.
- Run a separate tape for cash, checks, and coin if you need to break it down for your bank deposit.
- If the bundle contains contributions going into multiple funds, we suggest running a total for each fund within each bundle.
- Attach the calculator tape to the corresponding bundle.
- Continue with the steps below after all contributions have been counted for that day’s offering.
If you use a check scanner from your bank to electronically deposit your checks, do not follow the steps below. Instead, follow the instructions for using the Scanning Checks.
A bundle is a group (batch / handful) of contributions that will be processed together in TouchPoint. You can have one bundle for the entire day’s offering or many bundles. If you have multiple campuses, you can create separate bundles for each campus.
Individual contributions are posted within the bundle, using Post Bundle / Edit. That is the main function of a bundle. It has no other major importance. Bundles are not used to reconcile to your bank or to your general ledger. They are merely a way to organize contributions for posting purposes.
There are several instances in which the bundle is created automatically:- Check Scanning- Online Giving- Extra Donation during a registration
Record Contributions in TouchPoint Manually¶
By manually, we mean these are not online contributions and you are not using a check scanner. This process must be done by the person with Finance role.
- Step 1
Create a bundle in TouchPoint for every physical bundle you have for that day’s contributions.
- Step 2
Once all bundles have been created in TouchPoint, you can process the actual bank deposits, using the Deposit Report as a reference.
We recommend sending the money to the bank first, then posting contributions using the envelopes (or copies of the checks if there are no envelopes). These become your source documents that you will store in case you need to refer to them at a later date.
- Step 3
Post individual contributions.
After all the bundles have been created in TouchPoint and the bank deposits have been made, you are ready to post the contributions on the records of the contributors.
- Step 4
Close the bundles after all contributions have been posted. We recommend you do this at the end of the week. That gives donors time to call and make any changes regarding funds or for you to make sure you have created any necessary records for new donors.
To close a bundle:
- Go to Administration > Contributions > Bundles.
- Click the Bundle ID # for the bundle you wish to close.
- Click Actions > Edit and change the Bundle Status from open to closed.
- Click Save.
In order to close a bundle, each contribution in the bundle must be associated with a person, and the bundle’s Total Header amount must match the Total Items amount.
Regardless of how contributions are entered, either manually as described above, or using a check scanner, or whether they were online donations, the following processes apply.
Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly Processes¶
Please pay close attention to how you get the numbers to record in your general ledger and how to get the information you need to reconcile your bank statement.
Weekly - Enter Contribution Summary Totals into the General Ledger¶
You can choose to do this either weekly or monthly, using the Totals by Fund report. You do not need to enter every bundle into your GL, only the totals for each fund for the time period (week or month).
For online registration fees, you will use the Totals By Description report that is run on the Transactions Log. This gives you a total for each event / description.
Monthly - Reconcile your Bank Statement¶
There are 2 parts to this process. One is to reconcile the money that was received online (contributions and online registration fees). The other part is to reconcile the manual (and scanned checks) deposits.
The online receipts are reconciled using the Reconcile Report that is accessed from the Transactions Log.
The other receipts are reconciled using the Deposits Totals report which is accessed from Administration > Contributions > Deposits Totals. Enter the date range that matches your statement.
Contribution Bundle for more about the Deposits Totals
- Online Receipts
Online giving and online registration fees
- Go to the Administration > Manage > Transactions, select the date range of your monthly statement, and press Filter.
- Select Other Reports > Reconcile Report.
- Match the totals on the report to the receipts that have gone into your bank account.
The report will have 2 rows (one for eft and one for bankcard) for each day’s deposit (this is the day it settled), and will have the following:
- Batch Reference
- Settled date
- Type (eft or bankcard)
- Count of the Items in that batch
- Total dollar amount
The Total dollar amount for each type will match a deposit you see on the statement.
The Reconcile Report is pulling information from your merchant provider which lets you know the date the items settled. Do not try to reconcile your online receipts using your bundles, as the items may settle on different days.
- Manual Deposits
Anything that was not received online
- Use each day/week’s Deposit Report to match the total deposit for specific days.
- The report shows the total deposit for that day, excluding Online Giving.
Online bundles do not have a Deposit date for this reason. It keeps them out of the Deposit Report for that date.
Quarterly or Yearly - Send Contribution Statements¶
You can do this quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. My Data users can also access their record and generate their own statements.
Be sure to look at the article about Contribution Statements, so that you have the correct header, notice and settings (such as Minimum Contribution Amount) before you begin using TouchPoint for contributions.
TouchPoint has a number of other features and reports relating to contributions. You will want to take a look at the list of help articles for the documentation section name Contributions & Finance, and also experiment with the various reports, so that you understand where to find the information you need.
As mentioned above, TouchPoint allows for online giving and for scanning checks directly to the bank. You will want to explore those options as well.
Update to FinanceDataEntry role