I served for eighteen months as a Chartered Organization Representative for our local scout troop. Our troop is part of the Great Salt Lake Council, which uses patchfunding.com for administering the annual Friends of Scouting drive. These drives happen all across the nation, but patchfunding appears to only be used by three councils. The application could definitely use a little ‘fit and finish’, but all the key components are there.
Our council is predominately made up of units chartered by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. These units are organized geographically. Thus when we do Friends of Scouting, we organize it geographically as well. Each unit is assigned to knock every door within their geographical boundaries, which is no small task. We were also asked to get a definite yes or no from each address, with callbacks.
Being the analytical person that I am, I thought the most accurate way to ensure everyone was asked to donate was to make sure every address in our unit was in the patchfunding software. So I took the map of our geographical unit, then went to the online county records and downloaded the name and address of every homeowner on my map. Then I downloaded all of the existing donor records from patchfunding, normalized them, and cross referenced them with the homeowner list to find the names and addresses I did not already have. All of this was done with Microsoft Excel. I found there were 398 addresses in my unit, 50% of which were not in patchfunding.
Patchfunding has the concept of routes, but the UI doesn’t make sense for 400 addresses. If by chance you are here trying to evaluate whether or not your council should buy this software, all I can say is…don’t. I’ve written both the developers and the council. The council was sympathetic, but the developers never responded. So I found a way to make it work, and we’ll go through it step-by-step.
Next Post: Patchfunding Setup