How are you communicating the spendable amount for the coming year to your Fund representatives?
KellieUtzinger Posts: 38✭✭✭
edited December 2022 in Finance & Operations
This question came up in today's "Ending the Year in Style" Coffee Talk. Do you use a spendable letter to tell your fund representatives about the coming year that you'd be willing to share with other funders?
@KellieUtzinger Do you mean a letter conveying what their spendable balance is for the coming year, after calculation?
@JesikaEllis Hi! I asked the question in the Coffee Talk today. Yes, we want to tell our fund reps the spendable amount that is calculated for the coming year. This would just be the percentage that would be added to the balance if they are still carrying over grant dollars.
Thank you for clarifying the question for everyone. I'm obviously in Marketing and not Finance😆
As soon as our payouts are calculated based on our spending policy, and that is approved by the board, we send letters to our surviving scholarship fund founders letting them know what their payout will be and asking if they would like to add to it or if they would like to re-endow part of it. For example, if the payout is $1,036, often they will re-endow the $36. If it is a new fund and not paying out our minimum scholarship amount yet, we give those fund representatives the option to donate pass-through money so that their scholarship can pay out. We ask for all of those decisions to be made by October 31 so that our scholarship guidebook can go to print. We mail the guidebook to each public high school senior in our county and provide them to guidance offices, libraries, etc.
We also notify nonprofits benefitting from designated grants what their payout will be so that it can be included in their budgets. We ask them in that correspondence to let us know if they DON'T want their payout and want to re-endow it. If we don't hear from them, they get a check March 1.
Hope that helps!
@CarolReynolds Thank you for providing such helpful information!
We changed our calculation date for distribution to be as of 09/30. So I run the distributions (in sandbox - make sure it's synced) and then copy/paste it into Excel. Then merge onto a letter. We mail the letter but we also add the letter to their fund record (accessible on the fund portal). So we are informing them of the next year spendable amount usually the first part of November.
@KellyMiller Here's the thread of our questions from the Coffee Talk.
@CarolReynolds Sounds like the recipients of your communication is similar to ours. Do you generate your letter using CSuite or export the info to merge outside of the system. In your example, is the $1,036 figure just what is calculated for the coming year, or is it a culmination of any dollars they may have left in spendable?
@MandiOlson Our calculation date is also 9/30. So you merge the letter outside of the CSuite for mailing? I'd also like to ask the same question I asked of Carol regarding the example - does the report you generate in the sandbox just give the new grant dollars calculated for the coming year, or is it a running total of dollars that includes anything they may have left in spendable? If you run the distribution in Sandbox, you then have to run it again in the Live Site and post it, correct?
From what we understand, if you want to use a template in CSuite, you can only use the spendable balance merge field and that give the culminating total of any dollars that are in spendable. We're just trying to figure out the most accurate yet most process friendly way to generate this communication to our donors.
Thanks everyone for your input so far! 😀
Our letter only communicates the upcoming spendable distribution. We do remind them that if they have questions about their current spendable, they can contact us (but we don't include the current spendable amount in the letter).
The letter is ran OUTSIDE of CSuite.
Yes, I run the spendable in Sandbox to obtain the information, only. I don't run the actual spendable in PRODUCTION until January because it's not technically a financial transaction until January of the next year.
You can create a custom report to obtain the current spendable and then add it to the upcoming spendable spreadsheet to merge all in a letter (outside of CSuite). It would be Home/Reports/Fund (create new) - the fields would be FUND NAME, FUND OPEN (=yes), the field that tracks if it's endowed (for us we use SUBGROUP), then CURRENT SPENDABLE.
I would be happy to demo my process for you if you want! [email protected]
@KellieUtzinger I've been in both, so I was preeeettty sure I knew what you meant ☺️
@KelleyHoagland We used to send out a letter generated outside of our previous database (FIMS) that had a simple table merged directly into it with the fund and spendable amount information that had been exported. We have since made our 'spendable' letter a second fund report instead, generated within CSuite, using our standard fund statement template. We update the letter portion of the template, and have the cumulative current spendable flow in to the report table , with a note underneath to call us if they'd like to know the rollover spendable amount included in the cumulative current spendable total.
@KelleyHoagland we do mail merges from the spreadsheets for the communications. There is really no place in CSuite to pull that number from. As far as the scholarship money, our normal policy is not to carry money forward in spendable unless there is some sort of extenuating circumstances.
@CarolReynolds Yes, the info can be pulled into a spreadsheet (or two) - but I found the process requires combining two spendable reports: one for the last day of our fiscal year (6/30) and then one from the first day of our next, once spendable calculations are loaded (7/1). Of course, this requires us to have NO OTHER transactions occur on 7/1 - but it does provide us a clean way to capture both rollover amount AND current calculated amount separately. We have only used this for our internal scholarship award review, prior to development staff going to the fundholders and asking for supplement, and not for any outer-facing communications. This is probably very similar to what @MandiOlson describes.
I do wish there were more options directly from CSuite into templates for this kind of comparative reporting.