Checklist for Choosing a Donor Computer Record Keeping System

 A Single Master File System -   All constituencies, all data on a central master file
 Extensive Individual Record -   Software has "many and flexible" data fields
 Transactional History Storage -   Stores every pledge, gift, etc. indefinitely
 Help Documentation -  Needed due to complex application and employee turnover
 Fund Account Numbering -   Flexible, expansive, with limitless options if possible
 Comment Capability -  User comments can be added to records to annotate history
 Easy Coding -  Flexible, extensive, and "on the screen" for ease of use
 Key Field Indexing -  Nname, account number, zip code and status code, and more
 Duplicate Check -  The system, not you, does this and let you compare duplicates quickly
 Data Screening -  Can prevent data entry errors; should give "help" reference too
 Multiple Gift Types -   Irregular pledge amounts, dates, and handling is great to have
 Accounting Interface -   Auditable general ledger & payables interface to accounting software
 File Creation -  Allows output file creation for printing, merging & ASCII (plain text) files
 Flexible Batch Inputs -   Flexibility to add pledges & gifts in same batches with new donors, changes, tributes, etc. without losing audit trail or leaving batch menu
 Extraction Capability -  All data on file be exported for other uses, especially for  wordprocessing and other data management functions. 
 Documentation -  Well-written user manuals
 Technical Support - the manufacture offers technical support that is knowledgable and accessible through the telephone, e-mail, online, etc.
 Local Area Network (LAN) -   multiple PC’s are connected to the donor management application
 Training -  Constant retraining is available to compensate for staff turnover and program upgrades
 "Balance Sheet" Test -   Wiill the vendor be there when you need help? Are they profitable and investing in your application for the future?