No Need to Quarrel with Query in The Raiser’s Edge
Is your query not returning useful results? Is one constituent showing in your results 30 separate times? Where are your soft credit recipients, and why aren’t they showing up?
Query is a useful tool in The Raiser’s Edge, but sometimes the results can be frustrating. There are several tips and tricks that can solve your issues and make querying more efficient. If you have called in to Support for help with queries, I am sure you have heard the phrase “Query is not a reporting tool. We will need to take this query into Export to get the results you need”. While this is a true statement almost all of the time, query can still be used to quickly generate lists of records for exporting or reporting.
To start, always keep in mind what the end result will be. Are you looking for Constituents? Gifts? Funds? This will help you determine the query type you need to use. Do you need to see a list of Constituent names and their preferred addresses for a quick mailing list? Use a Constituent Query. Do you need to see specific information on the Gifts that were given to your Capitol Campaign? Use a Gift Query. Do you need to see all of the Primary Contacts at Organizations and their positions there? Use a Relationship Query. Always think of the end result, and then ask yourself- “What type of record will I be pulling the most information from?”
Several options that make Query better are available under Tools > Query Options in your menu bar.
Which brings us to duplications- in my time with The Raiser’s Edge product support, this may be one of the most common problems I have been asked about. If you use a Constituent query to find Gift information, you will have duplications that are out of control. This is because any and all Gift information on a Constituent Record is a “one-to-many” field- any one Constituent could have 50 Gift Dates, Fund Descriptions, or Pay methods. If you add one-to-many fields on the Output tab of your query, you will not be able to get rid of your duplicates.
A useful trick to finding out whether the fields in your Output are causing the duplication issues is in Query Options. Go to Tools > Query Options, and select the Record Processing tab. Mark the Suppress Duplicate Rows checkbox, and re-run your query.
Still have duplicates after using this option? Now it’s time to check your Output. Most likely, there is a field in the Output that is causing this issue. Ask yourself what type of query you’re using. If you are using a Constituent Query, examine your Output fields. Ask yourself how many times any one of those fields could appear on a Constituent Record.
Another great tool we have in Query Options is the Gift Processing tab. Most other sections of The Raiser’s Edge, such as Reports and Export, offer the Soft Credit and Matching Gift options right up front. If you want to pull in Constituents who gave a gift to your Annual Fund, as well as those Constituents who were soft credited for those Gifts or gave a Matching Gift, take a look at the Gift Processing tab. Be sure to select the options for “Both”, then decide what amount to include in your Criteria.
For instance, Kelsey gave you a gift for $500 and soft credited her colleague for $250. Also, Blackbaud matched her gift for $250 dollars. If you want to reach out to all constituents who gave more than $250 to your Annual Fund, check your Gift Processing tab to ensure they will all pull into your Query results.
With these options available, query can be a useful tool for pulling lists of records from your database quickly and easily.
If you have not read the recent blog on the new version of The Raiser’s Edge, 7.92, I highly recommend it. It covers some of the new features that will soon be available. Some of these features will change the way we work Query and some of the information I have covered in this blog. Once the new version comes out and is available, expect another post from me on the new Query features!
Until next time…
Still have questions? Reach out to us! Check the Knowledgebase for such titles as:
And best of all, check out our Free Training, Start Learning! This is now available with your maintenance package and provides short video tutorials on the basics of The Raiser’s Edge.