The Template to Keep Your Funding Organized


Are you struggling with the challenge of tracking your nonprofit funding, contacts, campaigns, and donors on a spreadsheet or manually on paper? Just listing donations, vendors, and amounts for tax purposes is a full-time job in itself. By training yourself to use a Microsoft Access database template, called Charitable Contributions, your organization can run much more smoothly and efficiently. You can run queries as well as deliver data and reports in a quick, presentable form.

Download the Template

To download the template, open Access and click in the “Search for Online Templates” box. Enter “charitable contributions”. Click on the Charitable contributions database. See Figure 1.

Charitable Contributions template

Figure 1

A preview and description will appear in the window that opens. See Figure 2 and 3 for the window and description. Click the “Create” button to open a copy of the database.

Charitable Contributions preview

Figure 2

template description

Figure 3

Enable the Database

Since the database was downloaded from an Internet site, you will need to click the “Enable Content” button to use the template. The startup screen on the database also lists these instructions. See Figure 4.

Startup screen

Figure 4

The database opens in a form to make it easy to use the database. If you want to bypass that form and go to the design, just hold down the “Shift” key when you double-click to open the database file. There is a note to this effect in the top right corner. See Figure 5.

bypass form screen note

Figure 5

Explore the Database

There are several ways to begin using the database. One way is to use the links on the “Home” tab. From the “Quick Links” list, you can add contributors, donations, or tasks. There are 4 default reports that are listed including: View Unpaid Pledges, View Upcoming Events, View Pending Tasks, and View Ongoing Campaigns. See Figure 6.

Quick links screen shot

Figure 6

The other place to begin is the gray bar just under the “Charitable Contributions” title on the “Home” tab. Click on the Campaigns tab to open “Campaigns List”. Enter a new campaign or use one of the built-in reports. Note: The “Amount Raised” field will correctly show #Error until you enter the other amounts. See Figure 7.

showing error default

Figure 7

Right-click the “Campaign List” tab and choose “Close”. When you click on “Contributors” in the gray bar, the “Contributors List” form opens. You can enter all contributor information for your nonprofit. See Figure 8.

Contributor list form screenshot

Figure 8

The other forms that are built-in to the database template are: Donations (Figure 9), Employees (Figure 10), Events (Figure 11), and Tasks (Figure 12).

Donations form screenshot

Figure 9

Employees form screenshot

Figure 10

Events form screenshot

Figure 11

Tasks form screenshot

Figure 12

Use the Form Design View

On some of the built-in forms, you can click on the View button (on the very left of the Form Tools Datasheet tab – Figure 13) and then select Design view. From there, you can customize the form to add other fields or remove controls that are not needed. You can change the theme, colors, or even add conditional formatting.

Form tools datasheet tab

Figure 13


The Charitable Contributions template includes so many amazing features that are already built-in and pre-formatted. It makes the design and setup a very quick process! All you need to do is add your data. Tracking and reporting on your nonprofit’s funding, campaigns, donations, etc. should be much easier with this Access database.


Image credit:

Angela Nino - Versitas Editor

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