Restricted Funds in Nonprofits
Restricted funds are a vitally important part of the nonprofit industry. They’re a useful and effective way to structure fundraising efforts. They also allow donors to know that their contributions are being used for the programs they care most about. However, when a donor provides this type of donation, it comes with strings attached. Restricted funds need to be used for the specific purpose that the donor has specified.
General Accounting Units (GAUs)
Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Package (NPSP) helps you keep track of what money was raised for what purpose with “General Accounting Units” (GAUs). A GAU represents anything for which funds are specifically earmarked:
- A program that your organization does
- A coordinated campaign
- Anything else that you might need to segment your funds
How to Create a GAU in Salesforce NPSP
To create a GAU, navigate to the “General Accounting Units” tab, and press “New.” Although the page contains additional information, when you’re creating GAUs, all you need to input is the fields in the “Information” section: Name, Description, and if it’s Active. Once you’ve put in that information, ignore all the other fields and press “Save.”
One GAU that might be a good idea to create is a “General Fund” so that you can also track unrestricted funds.
How to Connect Donations to Your GAUs
Once you’ve created all your GAUs, you can start tying individual Donations to your GAUs. Let’s say that Jane Donor is a huge fan of one of your organization’s Sunday Soup Kitchen program, and she just sent you a check for $1,000 to support it. That’s great! To track this, you’ll log this Donation the way that you normally do. Once you’ve created your Donation, on the Donation detail, find the “GAU Allocation” related list and press the “Manage Allocations” button.
Next, search for the GAU for which that the donation is earmarked. You can either specify the amount earmarked for the GAU or the percentage of the donation that should be allocated to the GAU.
When you’ve finished specifying, press “Save” in the top right. NPSP will create the GAU Allocation(s) and display them on the related list.
GAU Allocations on Recurring Donations
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Recurring Donations can be a major time-saver for your development department. You only need to log a Recurring Donation once, and NPSP will create all the individual Donations for you!
You can also specify GAU Allocations on Recurring Donations. Let’s say that you nurtured your relationship with Jane Donor, and now she has agreed to donate $500 monthly on an ongoing basis. She’d like 75% of that donation to go to your organization’s Sunday Soup Kitchen program and 25% to your organization’s Homeless Outreach Program. You’ve got to handle this restricted fund accordingly.
Navigate to the recurring donation and find the GAU Allocations related list, and press Manage Allocations, the same way you would for a single Donation.
In this case, you’d specify the 75% for the Sunday Soup Kitchen, press “Add Row” in the bottom left. Then select the Homeless Outreach Program and specify 25% for that GAU. When you have the Allocations as they should be, press “Save” in the top right.
Now, whenever a Donation associated with the Recurring Donation is created, it will have the GAU Allocations specified in the Donation. Every month, NPSP will create a $500 Donation and allocate $375 of it to the Sunday Soup Kitchen and $125 to the Homeless Outreach Program. That saves you a ton of manual logging and helps make sure that your restricted funds and Recurring Donations get allocated to the right program.
Encouraging Gifts of Restricted Funds
Making it clear to donors what their funds support is a great way to encourage gifts. NPSP allows you to track this by tracking GAU Allocations on your Campaigns.
Let’s say you send out a mailer to bring attention to your Homeless Outreach Program. You’ll track that mailer as a Campaign. To associate your Campaign with the Homeless Outreach Program, find your GAU Allocations related list on the Campaign, and press Manage Allocations. Indicate the GAU Allocations on your Campaign the way you do for Donations, and press Save. In this case, 100% will go to the Homeless Outreach Program.
This way, when Jane Donor sees your mailing, is moved, and sends over a check for $100, and you associate her Donation with the mailer Campaign, NPSP will automatically create a GAU Allocation that matches the GAU Allocation you specified for that Campaign. This saves you time and effort, as you no longer will need to remember what Campaigns are associated with what programs, while ensuring that restricted funds are accurately tracked in Salesforce.
Recurring Restricted Fund Donations Associated with Campaigns
Here’s the part where it gets really cool: If you get a Recurring Donation associated with the Campaign, NPSP will pass the GAU Allocations from the Campaign to each individual Donation created off of the Recurring Donation.
Tracking GAUs and Restricted Funds
If you want to track how much you have allocated to a GAU, NPSP makes it easy to track this. You can see information about the GAU, such as totals, averages, largest and smallest allocation numbers. Each night, NPSP recalculates these totals.
If you need up-to-date information right away, you can press the “Recalculate Rollups” button to force those numbers to update for the GAU immediately.
On the GAU Related List, you can view all the GAU Allocations associated with that GAU, including GAU Allocations associated with Campaigns and Recurring Donations.
Setting a Default GAU for Donations
If you want NPSP to specify a default GAU for donations, Salesforce lets you do this. Go to the NPSP Settings tab, expand the Donations menu, and press on GAU Allocations. Check “Default Allocations Enabled,” and specify the GAU you wish to be the default.
Do More with Salesforce NPSP
Salesforce NPSP is a powerful tool. With additional customization, it can greatly reduce manual data logging, reduce input error, and ensure your organization has accurate data. On the platform, your nonprofit gets full insight into your donors, constituents, and other stakeholders. You can automate repetitive tasks and processes so that your staff can spend their time focusing on what matters most to your organization.
If you’d like to get the most out of your Salesforce NPSP implementation, we can help. Our team partners with many nonprofits for custom development on the platform. To talk with a consultant, contact us today.