DONATION version 3.43 beta test

Hello DONATION beta testers.

I have just uploaded a new version, which you can test if you have a few minutes.

Most of the changes were motivated by something I learned at a conference for MicroISVs (tiny Independent Software Vendors, like me) that I attended a couple of weeks back in Las Vegas. One thing I took special note of was a suggestion that the first 5 minutes of use of your software has to “sing”. That made me think about the fact that there are too many windows to fill out the first time you use the program (or create a new database for a new organization), and I was actually able to remove two of them!

Here is the complete list of changes in this beta test version, 3.43 Beta1:

  • The Find Donor window now allows you to also find by email address, as well as the previous fields it allowed.
  • On the main window when you are entering or editing donations, and on the One Date Batch Entry window, the drop-down list for the donation Category now has an additional entry “<Add New>”. Selecting that entry brings up the Maintenance -> Donation Categories window, already set up to add a new category. If you add one and close the window, that new one becomes the category for the current donation row.
  • On the main window when you are entering or editing donors, the drop-down lists for the donor Category 1 and Category 2 fields now each have an additional entry “<Add New>”. Selecting that entry brings up the Maintenance -> Donor Category 1 or Donor Category 2 window, already set up to add a new category. If you add one and close the window, that new one becomes the corresponding category for the current donor.
  • Changed the Maintenance -> Organization Info window, so that when it is automatically shown to you the first time you initialize the information for a new organization, you can fill in a new Receipt Style For field, which could previously only be edited on the Maintenance -> Receipt Options window. This means that you don’t have to visit that Receipt Options window during your initialization for the organization. (On subsequent visits to the Organization Info window, the Receipt Style For field can be viewed but not edited – you still edit it with the Receipt Options window.)
  • Removed the automatic display of the Maintenance -> Donation Categories window that was automatically shown to you the first time you initialized the information for a new organization.
  • Fixed a bug in the Database -> Import -> Donors window, where if you get an error about not being able to import Category1 or Category2 fields because you haven’t set up any of those those values, you can’t try the import again without first exiting the program. (If you do try it again, you get an error message about not being able to open certain files.)

As usual, you can download and install the upgrade to this beta test version from And if you do have a bit of time to test any of that, please let me know any testing results, positive or negative, by adding a Comment to this post, or by email.

If you want to test anything about that first-time experience, you can do so by creating and switching to a new database with the Database -> Switch Databases window. (Click Help in that window if you don’t know what to do.)

Thank you.

5 thoughts on “DONATION version 3.43 beta test

  1. Dan,

    Tested the first three entries :
    find function features
    donation categories
    donor category1 or 2.

    All working AOK.

    Did have time to try the new organization or import donors changes.

    • Thanks, John. I hope you agree that the thing is really good addition (that I should have thought of before!) and does eliminate the need to show the Donation Categories window on the initial startup of the program?

  2. Yes, ease of use has always been a strong point of Donations.
    These changes have improved that attribute. Likely it was fairly simple to transfer from the drop down window to the appropriate maintenance code?
    Setting up categories at initial startup was a bit problematic especially for first time users.
    One point about adding category 1 and 2 fields on the fly:
    If you add a new category to an existing donor you can’t undo it if you make a typing mistake for example.
    I had to restore my database to get rid of the added category after testing that feature.

    • Oh dear, John, you definitely do not have to restore a backup to fix an error like that.

      If it’s just a typo, after Saving the donor, go to Maintenance -> Donor Category 1 (or 2), click into the one with the error, fix it, and Save. When you close the window, it will be fixed on the donor too.

      If you added a category that you don’t want to exist at all, and saved it into the Donor, first edit the donor to un-select that category. Then again, go to the appropriate Miaintenance -> Donor Category window, click into the category you don’t want to exist, and click Delete.

      Any thoughts on how I could have avoided you having this misunderstanding? Thank you.

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