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Offline fundraising

Your organisation may collect donations at events, solicit donations via postal mailings and other offline methods. Any money raised through offline activities needs to be manually entered into CiviCRM in order to ensure that final reporting is accurate.

There are three steps within CiviCRM for offline fundraising: creating your lists, creating your mailings, and manually entering Contributions.

Creating your lists

This process is fairly straightforward if you are familiar with CiviCRM's search capabilities.

Go to Search > Find Contacts to create a list of records to receive your offline postal mail appeal (it could be your entire database).

If you want to track the success of a mailing or who receives certain appeals, save the search results as a group. Use the check box to select all and choose the appropriate option from the Action dropdown menu i.e. Group - add contacts or Group - create smart group). Later, you can mark everyone in that group as recipients of that appeal using the Add Activity option under the Actions dropdown menu.

If you want to create letters for postal mailings you can do this using CiviCRM's internal PDF letters - print feature, or you export the list as a CSV file and use mail merge to a word processor.

To export a list:

  1. Select all records or a subset using the checkboxes, and from the Actions dropdown menu choose Export Contacts.
  2. Choose whether to Export PRIMARY fields or Select fields for Export. If you elect to export primary fields, the CSV file will be immediately generated when you click Continue. If you opt to select which fields you want to export, click Continue and a list of dropdown options will appear.
  3. Select the required fields; if you wish to save the list of exported fields as an export mapping for future use, check the Save this field mapping box.
  4. Click Export to generate the CSV file.
  5. Click Done when you have finished to return to the contact list.

Creating postal mailings

Once your spreadsheet is created, you can do a mail merge using any word processing software (such as OpenOffice, the free software word processor) that will insert any fields you want in the letter.

CiviCRM can also create mailing labels for you. Perform the same search you used in the previous section to create your list of recipients, then:

  1. From the Actions dropdown menu, select Mailing labels - print.
  2. Select the mailing label number, determine whether you want to exclude people with "do not mail" checked in their privacy options (checked by default and recommended), and whether you want to merge two records that have the same mailing address into one label. This last option is very useful when you are mailing a household or organization and you don't want them to receive duplicate mailings. When the records are merged, each name at that address appears on its own line on the label.
  3. Click Make Mailing Labels and a printable PDF document will be created.

Note that CiviCRM prints labels in the order shown on the research results page in a column-by-column pattern.