Have you received a scary/confusing letter from Vanco regarding PCI compliance?

by Mark Panger21. March 2016 12:53

A few things you need to know:

Trail Blazer is responsible for your being PCI compliant.

You STILL MUST file the required report on Vanco's PCI compliance web page.  They will provide you with the link.

You can click here for the answers to all the questions they ask.

The main thing to keep in mind on this is that you are outsourcing all your credit card transaction processing to Trail Blazer.

 
Let us know if you have any questions.  Our support email is at the top of this screen.
 
 
 

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New Merge Fields Added (Tax Deductible Contribution Table and Pledge Details Table)

by Mark Panger12. February 2016 15:16

(A customer called this morning and chastised me for not updating the Start Page and was tired of looking at the last article for the past 6 weeks.  Thanks for the kick, Rut!)

 

With the most recent release you can now include a table of the tax deductible contributions made by each donor in your year-end tax letters:

 

The name of this new merge field is:  «Tax Deductible Contribution Table Within Date Range».  It's found here in the drop-down list:

 

 

 

 

If you accept pledges where the payments are scheduled over a period of time, you may now include a table of their pledge status:

 

 

The new field is available when writing letters from the Pledges list.  The new field is named: «Pledge Detail Table»  

It's found in the drop down list:

  

 

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Are you a nonprofit on a calendar year cycle? It's time to change your default cycle.

by Mark Panger5. January 2016 10:30

The default cycle impacts your contributions.  It's helpful for them to be assigned to the correct cycle.

This article will show you how to adjust your default cycle and to create a new calendar year if one is needed:  http://www.trailblz.com/kb/?action=view&kb=191&cat=1

 

Have you got a bunch of contributions assigned to the wrong cycle? This article (http://www.trailblz.com/kb/?action=view&kb=212&cat=1) will walk you through changing them all at once.  The article has all political references, but the process is the same.  You will use the links circled in the picture above.

 

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Donor Retention Dashboard Widget Has Arrived

by Mark Panger30. December 2015 15:39

You can see your last 10 years of donor retention in a single graph.  Click the image below to see a Youtube video of how to get your own donor retention dashboard.  An explanation of the calculation can be found here: http://goo.gl/yqAQ4B

The chart can be configured for ANY rolling 10 year history (assuming you have 10 years of donor history).  You also have the option to exclude inkind-only donors from the calculation.

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Your data is safe and will NEVER be held hostage

by Mark Panger21. December 2015 08:51

Some of you may be wondering in light of the recent data breach of the DNC's data if your data is safe and more importantly, can you ever be shut off?

As we say in our sales presentations, your data is YOUR DATA.  We don't share it. We don't aggregate it. We don't sell it.  It's your data and we treat it as such.  Because each customer has their OWN database, there is no glitchy firewall failure that is going to reveal your data to another customer.

We will never hold your data hostage under any circumstance.  Our software has full export capability built in for you to use and you can request a full export of your data at any time.

(One of our server farms is actually inside a bank vault much like that on the right (without the gold - bummer). ) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cash Flow Statement has been added (mostly political customers)

by Mark Panger10. December 2015 12:06

A new report to show your sources and uses of cash has been added as of this latest release.  It can be run for any date range.

 

Click the image to see a full size view

 

 

The report is available in the Financial menu branch:

  

 

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UPDATE - Is that Tamally or Tarnally?

by Mark Panger3. November 2015 08:47

Everyone's font has now been updated as of 12/5/2015.  You will need to relaunch TB to see the change.

 

Let us know if you would like to have the experimental font.  Click this link to send us an email at support@trailblz.com and just say you want the new font.

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Event ticket items can now be private (not displayed on the web site)

by Mark Panger2. November 2015 15:49

If you are using Trail Blazer's event system for ticketing you may have had the need to be able to hide a ticket item from public view.  In the example below I want to hide the VIP complimentary pass ticket:  

 

When setting up the ticket I need only to set this checkbox: 

 

Your web page will not display the ticket item. 

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Windows 10 fixes the large font issue

by Mark Panger2. October 2015 11:20

Many of our customers have their display setting to show fonts at 125% of "normal".  That has caused an issue in the Trail Blazer application where the attribute check boxes disappear.  This was a problem within the Windows operating system that was near impossible for us to correct without breaking many other things.  Windows 10 has come along and corrected their problem.  Since Windows 10 is a FREE upgrade from Windows 7 or 8, we HIGHLY recommend you make the upgrade.  We would recommend this regardless of the font size issue. 

 

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Would you like to change your password?

by Mark Panger23. September 2015 07:36

 

When we provide credentials to our customers we assign the passwords.  We intentionally create random passwords to make guessing them more difficult.  Of course that also makes for a tough time remember the doggone thing.  If you have security access to your database, you can change your own password.  Click here to see how.  If you do not have security access you can request the change from us or from someone in your organization who does have that level of access.

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Favorites - some of you have saved favorites with no criteria

by Mark Panger4. September 2015 08:54

In hunting down a problem for a customer earlier this week I found the source of the problem to be a saved search "Favorites" that had no criteria.  In effect it was saying to return ALL the records in the list as it had no filters.  

Yikes.  I wondered how many other saved searches had that same issue.  It turns out quite a few!

I have updated all my customers saved searches having this condition to include the following words:  

THIS FAVORITE WAS SAVED WITH NO CRITERIA - CONSIDER DELETING

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We've added a super search for names

by Mark Panger10. August 2015 12:26

With today's release you can now search FirstName, LastName, MiddleName, PriorLastName, and NickName all at the same time:

 

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Giving USA: $328.38 billion donated in 2014

by Mark Panger16. June 2015 15:30

Giving USA has released it's annual report on nonprofit giving for 2014.

 

 

A free summary of the report can be found here.  The full report can be purchased here.

 

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Send Thank You Emails using Mass Email

by Mark Panger27. April 2015 11:01

I've learned that many of our customers are not aware you can use Trail Blazer to send thank you's en masse by email.  You can thank your donor for their most recent donation.

Some of your donors may have a preference for NOT receiving a paper thank you, but instead an email thank you.  The video below will show you how to do this.

 

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Gateway search, fixes to the new financial system, search for allocation funds has been added to the contribution panels.

by Mark Panger27. April 2015 09:06

 

As more and more of you are relying on recurring donations initiated on your donation page (customers using Authorize.net or Vanco only), a means was needed for tracing the transactions back to the merchant gateway.

These column can be added to your format from the contribution list:

CustomerRef          
SettlementDate        
SubscriptionId        
SubscriptionIDString  
TransactionRefInteger
TransactionRefString  

 

The new search panel is shown here:

 

The get-next-check button is now working again in the financial system.

Printing of mailing labels from the contribution list has been corrected to work the INCLUDE column.

Searches for Allocation funds can be done from the contribution search panels.

 

 

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Want to accept checks on your donation page?

by Mark Panger23. April 2015 11:09

If you use Authorize.net or Vanco as your merchant gateway on your donation page, you now have the option of adding payment by check (aka ACH) to your donation page.

  

If Vanco is your merchant gateway, you will need to complete a new application ensuring you only check mark the eCheck option:

 

 

 

Once completed you open your Payment Gateway configuration... 

  ...click the ACH eCheck checkbox and Save and Close.

 

Next you will refresh your website by opening the Website Configuration...

  

 ...and click the link to refresh your web pages.

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Update to Invoices and Payments today

by Mark Panger13. April 2015 09:36

We have been working on a an update to the invoice and payment system for some time.  Our intention was to roll this out over time as customers needed it.  However, over the weekend we found an issue with the existing system that forced us to switch EVERYONE over to the new Invoice and Payment style.  We apologize for the abrupt switch.  The video below shows the new process:

 

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FEC fixes were implemented today (yawn)

by Mark Panger8. April 2015 09:31

A correction to the bank reconciliation report was released today as well as FEC fixes. 

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Wondering where this menu item went?

by Mark Panger6. April 2015 12:55

 

See the last blog post below titled: DEFAULT FORMATS Yippee!!!!  (4/2/2015)

They are now here:

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DEFAULT FORMATS Yippee!!!!

by Mark Panger2. April 2015 10:23

I asked, I begged, I cried..

 ...and I finally got default formats.  

Now when you want a custom Format to be your default format, you can set it right from the Format button.

The new Format button looks like this when you click it:

<System Default Format> As it sounds.  This is the name of the format currently being displayed and is the system format.

Columns...  This is where you pick and choose your columns just as you did before.

Select pre-defined...  If you have saved formats in the past, you can load them from here.  Newly saved formats will also show here.

Save If you have a pre-defined report currently displayed and you make changes to it, this will save to the same format.

Save As... Select this to save to a new name an existing pre-defined report or the system default.

Assign as default... This is the really good stuff.  

 

 

A selected format can be set as your own personal default or the default for everyone.

 

This new feature is available EVERYWHERE the Format button is displayed, including from within a person's card (record). 

 

 


 

Also in today's release you can now check for duplicate email addresses. 

 

On the Search tool strip, you can find this in the File drop down menu.  It under Utilities->Find possible duplicates...

 

 

Note, this works ONLY on the primary email address column.

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Are you still on the OLD style of our donation page?

by Mark Panger6. March 2015 14:10

If your donation page looks something like this...

 

 

...then you are missing out on the new version:

 

 

You will need to add 6 letters to your existing donation page iframe.  

Example.  My old donation page iframe code looks like this:

<iframe id="tbzframe" src="https://www.trailblz.info/DemoNonProfitMark/Donations.aspx" style="width:500px;height:1200px" frameborder="0" scrolling="yes" onload="scroll(0,0)"></iframe>

 

To utilize the new version you would add the colored text to your existing iframe:

<iframe id="tbzframe" src="https://www.trailblz.info/DemoNonProfitMark/Donations.aspx?ver=2" style="width:1050px;height:1600px" frameborder="0" scrolling="yes" onload="scroll(0,0)"></iframe>

 

 

One benefit if the new style is we can color match to YOUR web page.  In the example below, the block headings have been matched to the page banner color.

 

 

If you would like your donation page color matched to your site, first, be sure you are using ?Ver=2 version of the donation iframe, second, email us your donation page URL and we can match the coloring for you.

 

 

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Log Searches Have Been Enhanced

by Mark Panger25. February 2015 10:26

Until our most recent version (yesterday), a search of log notes based on multiple log types meant a series of OR query panels to select the multiple log types.  You may now do this with checkboxes on a single panel.

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Mobile Base Camp (Canvassing) Has Been Enhanced

by Mark Panger15. February 2015 12:10


 

 

Numerous people have been asking to be able to enter comments from the mobile canvassing tool.  Now you can:

 

 

 

Numerous people have been asking for a way to update a voter's phone numbers and email addresses from the canvassing tool.  Now you can:

 

 

 

 

Numerous people have been asking for a way to copy the answers from one voter in the house to all the members of the household.  Now you can:

 

 

 

 

 

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Federal Election Contribution Limit Raised...

by Mark Panger5. February 2015 15:29

... to $2,700 for individuals and $5,400 for married couples.

See this article for more information.

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Do you take recurring donations online?

by Mark Panger12. January 2015 09:20

Do you ever wonder if somebody has dropped off by reason of expired credit card or change of credit card?

The query below when pasted into the SQL tab on the contribution list will produce a list of those people who have given a recurring donation in the last 90 days but have not made one in the last 30 days. It will provide a means for you to determine those folks who may have dropped off for one of the reasons above that you may need to make further inquiries about.

 

/*

CONTRIBUTIONS LIST QUERY

The list may not contain unique donors, but should be what we are looking for

*/

((

-- who had a recurring contribution in the last 90 days...

(((TB010611.CL010568>=  Convert(datetime, Convert(int, GetDate()))-90   )) AND CL047343 IN (49220,49230,49221,49227,49222,49228,49223,49229,49224,49226))

 AND 

-- that was on a credit card...

(CL010582=3)

) AND (

-- where the donor has NOT contributed in the last 90 days

(NOT (EXISTS (SELECT CL010562 FROM TB010611 WHERE ((CL010595=TB008485.CL005500) AND (((CL010568>=  Convert(datetime, Convert(int, GetDate()))-30  )) AND ((CL010568<   Convert(datetime, Convert(int, GetDate()))  )))))))

))

 

 

 

 

In my database, I found 3 people that meet this criteria and I need to check with the donor to see about getting updated credit card information:

  

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