PAR imports; Wincrafters purchase

Hello DONATION beta testers and advisors. I’m writing about two things: a beta-test version that includes importing data files from the United Church of Canada’s PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance) service, and the purchase of the business of a smaller competitor (Wincrafters).

If anyone is using the PAR service, you may already be receiving with your monthly information about the donations they are processing for you, a text file containing details of those donations. (This is as opposed to a readable report on them.) If you aren’t receiving the text file, you can request it from them. If you have that file, you can now import it directly into DONATION, as long as all of the donors have envelope numbers that PAR knows about.

If you want to try this, it is in the beta-test version 3.36b Beta1 available at As usual, if you do test this, please let me know how it goes!

The other interesting news is that I have recently completed what is basically a purchase of the business of a smaller competitor – another one-man church software business, but he is 71 years old and ready to retire. The software is The Church Assistant from Wincrafters.

The way the deal works is that he has written to all of his about 300 users, informing them of his retirement, that he will be stopping selling The Church Assistant immediately, and stopping supporting it in 6 months, and encouraging them to switch to DONATION (which has been enhanced to convert much of their data after installation). I’m offering them DONATION at a 50% discount for the first 6 months, to make this a less painful switch. And I also get his mailing list, so I can follow up further with those who haven’t switched. If course, there’s a cost to me – in essense, he gets a 50% commission on all sales to his former users, for the first year. Hopefully this will be profitable for both of us, and in addition, it stops his users from being left without support, on an orphaned product, after his retirement.

There is a special website for Wincrafters The Church Assistant users considering switching/upgrading to DONATION, at

If you have any comments, as usual please just Reply to this blog, or email me if you don’t want your reply to be seen by others. Thank you!

4 thoughts on “PAR imports; Wincrafters purchase

  1. Good morning Dan.

    Very pleased to see that you are expanding your business as I often wondered what would happen if you were to retire (or came into a million bucks and moved on).
    Is PAR going to be incorporated into the main “Donation” program? I have never used th PAR service.



    • Yes, sorry if I wasn’t clear – PAR text file importing is now in the beta version, and when I release the next regular version, will thus be in that version. It’s for everyone, though I didn’t mention that it was prompted at this time by the fact that it was also in the Wincrafters program.

      My intent if I were ever to retire (which I don’t want to do any time soon – I’m only 54!) is to do something similar – sell out to a good-quality competitor that can convert everyone to their program.

  2. I like the PAR feature as we are PAR users. I think this may be more useful for United Church parishes who stick to the Local/Mission/Other designations. We are not a United parish, and we have several designations (categories) with different names, so I will probabaly try importing from an Excel file in which I have the various designations set up.

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