3 Replies Latest reply on May 14, 2014 1:50 PM by Brian Zimmerman

    In case this is helpful to someone else: I figured out how to re-create our nonprofit donor database in Tableau

    Stephen Gordon

      I wanted to share my experience with using Tableau to make our nonprofit donor database more user friendly in case other nonprofit people are on these forums and might find this helpful.


      Our nonprofit uses eTapestry as a donor database and because of it's unintuitive design, I have been trying to find other ways to provide weekly donor reports to my team. Up until now, I have been running reports out of our database, modifying them in Excel so that I can print all the columns to one page wide etc. This was tedious and next to imossible, because including giving history, notes, contact information meant that each report had hundreds of columns.


      When I didn't include this information, those were the first questions that our team would ask about - "well how much did they give 4 years ago?" "What program did they give to four years ago?" "Did they give to a campaign 3 years ago?" In addition to the impossibility of getting all this data onto the spreadsheet in any readable fashion, I had to do all formatting, page numbers and titles manually. This was very time intensive, especially trying to create reports for different date ranges each week. So this is why I turned to Tableau!


      I exported all of the journal entries from our donor database as an Excel file and connected to them as my data source.

      Sheet1: I created a sheet that said the donors name and the amount received from them. I used a Calculation to segment the donor list into giving levels ($5k+, $2k-$4999, $1k-$1,999, etc.).

      I then made 6 more sheets:

      Sheet2: List of gifts including date given, program given to

      Sheet3: Contact info for donor : phone, email, address

      Sheet4: Giving History Graph

      Sheet5:. Gift coding

      Sheet6:. Other helpful donor info

      Sheet7:. Lifetime received


      I added all these sheets into a Dashboard and had some quick filters at the top that applied to Sheet1 - one was a name search and the other a date range filter. When I select a name from the base sheet, I have an action set up that would then target all the other sheets and just give you information about that specific donor.


      This will save me a lot of time I'm expecting, because I am now able to just do a weekly export from my database, replace my old data with the new spreadsheet and then, I'm hoping, I can just sent that over to my boss to open with Tableau Reader. In this way, she will get to see donors, by giving level for any period of time. And once she clicks on the donor, she will then be able to see a detailed giving history, lifetime received etc. Replicates the data of our donor database with the intuitiveness of Tableau.


      I would upload it, but I'm not sure how to share a workbook without sharing all our data. So I've attached a printscreen of the dashboard with the names erased.

      Let me know if you have any questions about this!