Frequently Asked Questions

  • General
    Questions from our users regarding how to use CharityMaster
  • If a name can't be deleted because history is attached, can I hide that name?

    Simply make the name inactive by clicking the checkbox at the top of the Maintain names screen. The next time you open the Maintain Names screen, you will not be able to find the name you have made inactive. (This assumes that you have set the system to hide inactive names. (See below.)

    To see a list of all inactive names, produce an Inactive Names report. (Report Selector → General group of reports.)

    To show or hide all inactive names , uncheck or check the "Hide inactive names" checkbox on the "User options" screen is checked. (On the Setup tab, click User options and look at the General tab). Note that this setting controls whether or not inactive names are displayed on most reports.

  • How can we control solicitation for someone who doesn't want to be phoned but who welcomes letters?

    Create a flag that means “No telephone solicitation.” Then, when you produce your follow-up list, use the Custom Filter / Sort Listing to exclude all names with this flag.

  • What is the most efficient way to enter data for couples with two different last names?

    The main issue is that you need to ensure that donations are recorded in the correct name. You should enter these people as separate donors, optionally using the householding feature to include them both in a household. The householding option will allow a single mail piece to be sent to the home or office. This has the added advantage that, if you change the address of one party, e.g. she moves out and sends you a new address, the software automatically begins sending separate mail pieces to them. This method relies on Householding, an advanced feature of the software.

  • When training someone new, how can we have them use 'dummy' data?

    There are two approaches:

    1. If you have a computer which does NOT have CharityMaster installed, download and install CharityMaster from our web site. The system comes with sample data that can be edited and names, donations, etc. can be added and deleted.
    2. If all of your computers are being used to maintain "live" data, you can "point" CharityMaster to a different database file and the system can then be used to interface with the demo data. To use this approach, please click HERE for instructions.

     

  • How do we add a new "sponsorship / donation" type?

    Click the Setup tab on the ribbon. Click Setup tables then Sponsorships / donations then Sponsorship types.

    On the "Maintain sponsorship types" screen, click the Add a type button. When the "Add sponsorship type" screen opens, press the F1 function key to see complete instructions for filling in this screen.

  • Can CharityMaster divide a single payment into two or more sponsorship / donation types?

    When you receive a payment that must be applied to two or more "sponsorship / donation types" you must record each portion of the payment separately. CharityMaster cannot split the payment for you.

    For example:

    You receive a payment for $100 that is to be applied to a $25 event ticket purchase and a $75 donation for unspecified purposes. You must enter two transactions into CharityMaster. However, when you enter each transaction, you should enter a note to that transaction by clicking the Note button and entering something like "Paid for by $100 check which was applied as follows: ....."

  • What's the best way to make backups of our data?

    It's absolutely essential that you make regular backups of your database, your Word templates and your e-mail templates. Ensure that both your database and your Word templates are backed up daily.

    A great article on backup considerations is here: http://www.techsoup.org/support/articles-and-how-tos/your-organizations-backup-strategy.

    What needs to be backed up?

    When CharityMaster is installed, the database and the standard Word templates are installed in the C:\CharityMaster directory on the hard drive of the computer on which you are installing the system. You need to do daily backups of all of the contents of this folder. However, you may have elected to move your database to a different computer or perhaps you are accessing your database over the internet. The best way to ensure you have up-to-date backups depends on where the database and templates are stored.

    Database and templates stored on a server

    In this case, you need to ascertain what backup processes are in effect for the server. Ensure that the folder in which your database and templates are stored is included in the daily backup process.

    CharityMaster is being hosted

    The hosting provider will back up all of your folders on a daily basis. However, it is important that you check with them to ensure that the location of your database and templates is included in the server backup.

    In addition, we highly recommend that you download the complete contents of the CharityMaster storage location to a local workstation or CD disk at least monthly.

    Database and templates stored on local computer

    We recommend that you make a copy of your database and templates every day. You can simply copy the entire folder to a CD or DVD disk or to a memory stick or to another computer. If you don't wish to do this daily, we recommend using CharityMaster's built in backup tool daily. This will back up just your database and guard against your database becoming corrupted. To create a backup, click on the Home tab then click the Backup back end button. CharityMaster will create a dated backup file in the location you have specified on the "System setup" screen.

     

  • Installation / setup
  • Now that we have bought CharityMaster, what do we do next?

    Before you enter any "live" data your first steps are:

    To explore the conversion of your donation history please contact us.

     

  • How do I set up CharityMaster to send e-mails?

    CharityMaster requires that you enter e-mail settings in two places:

    1. On the "System setup" screen. The settings you enter on this screen are used by the E-mail Wizard for sending e-mails to groups of people. These settings are shared by all users of CharityMaster.
    2. On the "User options" screen. The settings that you enter on this screen are just for the computer you are using.

     

    System setup screen

    You must start by selecting the e-mail client that you will be using. You only have two choices: Microsoft Outlook and CharityMaster's built in e-mail client. If you select the first of these options, Outlook must be installed on ALL of the machines on which you will be using CharityMaster. If you select the second option, then the "E-mail Wizard setup" tab will become visible on the "System setup" screen. Click on that tab and then press the F1 function key to see the detailed instructions in the help system.

    User options screen

    On the General tab, select the e-mail "client" (a program installed on this computer) that you will be using for sending e-mails to individual names.

    Our recommended e-mail application is Microsoft Outlook (part of Office) and, if it is installed, you should select this client.

    If you do not wish to use Outlook, we recommend that you download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. It is a powerful and FREE application by the creators of the Firefox browser.

    Note that "Windows Live Mail" is NOT the same as the Windows 10 "Mail" application. "Windows Live Mail" is a separately installable component of Windows Essentials 2012 and it is no longer supported by Microsoft. So for security reasons we do not recommend using "Windows Live Mail."

    If you select "Web / SMTP mail (e.g. GMail)" then the "SMTP settings" tab will appear on the "User options" screen. Click on that tab and press the F1 function key to see the detailed help for the settings on that tab. Note that you will not be able to send an e-mail message using SMTP until you have successfully sent a test message.

    Windows 10 "Mail" application

    This application cannot be used to send mail from an Microsoft Access application and it may not show up as the default application on the "User options" screen.

     

  • "CharityMaster cannot find the data file"

    Your data are stored in a database file called charitymaster_be.accdb. When you first install the system, this file and the Word templates (which are all .dot files) are all placed in the C:/CharityMaster folder.

    Should you have moved or renamed the back end directory or the database file and then start CharityMaster, the system will not be able to find these files and the "Back end data store not found" message will appear. Click 'OK' and you will then be given the opportunity to indicate the new location / name of the back end database. Browse to the location of the file where your data are stored. Click on the data file name (usually charitymaster_be.accdb) and then click 'Open.' CharityMaster will reestablish the links to charitymaster_be.accdb and then close. The next time you start CharityMaster, it will connect to this file.

  • My computer died and we have to install CharityMaster on a new machine. What do we do?

    Download our guide "Installing CharityMaster On A New Computer." Click HERE to read and download.

  • How do we move our database to a new location?

    From time to time you may have to change the location of CharityMaster’s ‘back end’ files. These files are in a directory which contains the data (charitymaster_be.accdb) and the Word templates (which are all .dot files). When you first install the system, these files are all located in the C:\CharityMaster folder.

    To find the current location of your data file, click the Home tab on the ribbon, then click the About button.

    If you wish to move charitymaster_be.accdb to a server or another computer on your office network so that all of the users in your office can access the data, you must move all of the files in the C:\CharityMaster directory.

    We recommend that you proceed as follows:

    1. Copy all of the files in the C:\CharityMaster directory to a folder on the server. Do NOT delete the files in C:CharityMaster.
    2. Start CharityMaster and then, when the Maintain names screen is open, press the F12 function key.
    3. Browse to the new location of charitymaster_be.accdb and click on the charitymaster_be.accdb file and then click 'Open.'
    4. CharityMaster will close and the next time you start CharityMaster, it will connect to charitymaster_be.accdb in the new location.

     

     

  • When setting up e-mail I get the error message: "There is no email program associated with the requested action."

    This Window error occurs when you try to send an email and you have not properly set up email on the "User options" screen.

    The most likely cause is that you are using a Windows 10 computer which does not have an email client (program) installed by default. The Windows 10 "Mail" application cannot be used to send mail from an Microsoft Access application and it may not show up as the default application on the "User options" screen.

    Note that "Windows Live Mail" is NOT the same as the Windows 10 "Mail" application. "Windows Live Mail" is a separately installable component of Windows Essentials 2012 and it is no longer supported by Microsoft. So for security reasons we do not recommend using "Windows Live Mail."

    Our recommended e-mail application is Microsoft Outlook (part of Office) and, if it is installed, you should make it your default e-mail application.

    If you do not wish to use Outlook, we recommend that you download and install Mozilla Thunderbird. It is a powerful and FREE application by the creators of the Firefox browser.