DONATION v. 3.39 released, but not announced

I have just released version 3.39 of DONATION to the website, and you can upgrade to it with the regular Help -> Check for Updates menu option.

However, because there was a release only about a month ago that was announced to all users, and there is nothing crucial (for most users) in this version, I’m not going to announce it. I will add its list of features into the announcement of whichever is the next version that I do announce to all users.

Having said that, I would very much appreciate your comments on the changes, and your testing results if you have a few minutes to test the changes. Here is what was changed:

  •  The Find Donor window (Ctrl-F from the main window / Alt-F from One Date Batch Entry) now allows you to find by phone number or address, as well as by name or member/envelope number as it previously did. It also allows you to find by a combination of any of those four fields.
  • In the One Date Batch Entry window, added a popup tooltip, when you hover your mouse over the Name field for a donor, that displays the donor’s phone number and address, if they have been filled in.
  • Renamed Tools -> Register by Email to Register Online, and changed it so that it forwards the information on your window to the REGISTER page on the web site, which you can then review and Submit there.
  • If you try to delete a donor that has donations, you have always received an error message saying that is not allowed. That error message has been expanded, to explain how to delete it, by first deleting the donations and then the donor, or by using the Database -> Merge Duplicate Donors menu option.

The change to the Tools -> Register Online window, to forward the information to the REGISTER page and let the user submit it, rather than submitting it directly by email, may have you wondering why I added that extra step. The reason has to do with tracking marketing efforts.

If you come to the website from a marketing source, say a Google ad on the right-hand sidebar, a bit of text is added to the URL to show where you came from, for instance it might change to “”. That source information is then stored in a cookie in your web browser, and when you register using the REGISTER page, the same value is retrieved from the cookie and sent to me as part of a registration information email. That way I know you found DONATION through that Google ad source, and if you buy the program, I can see whether the money I’m spending on Google ads is worth it!

When the old Register by Email function in the program submitted the registration directly by email, however, it was impossible for it to access that cookie, so there was no way for it to transmit the fact that you found DONATION through a Google ad. And so it took away from my ability to assess the value of my marketing dollars. By making the new Register Online function in the program forward the registration back to the REGISTER page on the web site, the cookie is now accessible and I get that information, just as if you used the REGISTER page directly in the first place.

As usual, thanks in advance for any comments or testing results you can share with me!

5 thoughts on “DONATION v. 3.39 released, but not announced

  1. Hover solution to multiple people with the same name in batch update is very clever. Register by email tried. Delete of donor with existing donations working as described.

  2. Checked all update features except the final step in Register by Email as I am not home right now but in Vancouver where Email Backup failed because I was not on my own ISP. However, I like all the updates.

    • Acutally, Robert, since the renamed Register Online does not actually use your email, like Register by Email did, it doesn’t matter whether your email is working. As long as your web browser is working (i.e. you have some Internet connectivity) Register Online will work. I guess that’s arguably another advantage of it.

      Thanks for testing!

  3. Also, I probably should have mentioned why I added the finding donors by phone # and address. It was a request by someone in a faith community that doesn’t use envelope numbers, and has a large majority of donors who all have the same last name, making the normal search on the Donor List by just starting to type the last name pretty useless!

    Also, it was actually pretty easy for it to add, because I’d done it before! A few years ago, I made an altered copy of my DONATION source code that tracks all of you registered users of DONATION, where the concept of “donor” changed to “user”, and the concept of “donation” changed to “activity” (such as registration, payment, unsubscribe etc.). I have maintained that program alongside DONATION, but with many independent features in each. I call it the Users program.

    I had already added finding by phone # and address into the Users program, because I had a similar problem – I have over 40 “First Baptist Church” users, for instance, so just searching by name is not enough. Also, sometimes I get only partial information from someone, or say a 2nd registration from a new person in the same organization, but who enters a different variant of the organization’s name. So being able to search on phone # or address allows me to figure out whether it’s the same organization as one I already have on file.

    Because I had virtually the same feature in the Users program (though it also allows searching on email address, and has no envelope # concept), I was able to virtually just copy the code into DONATION and have it work quickly.

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