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Berkeleyan

New gift-management system designed to stanch paperwork flow
Fundraisers, praising ease of use, see more rapid flow of donations to campus units

| 04 November 2004

In 2003, UC Berkeley received more than 75,000 gifts, for a total of nearly $175 million in nonstate funding. And each of those gifts had to be entered into the campus’s complex financial management system individually — at least four different times for each donation.

Not surprisingly, months could and often did go by before a donor’s gift was made available to its intended recipient: for research, for teaching, as scholarship funding. . . for almost any imaginable purpose. The redundancy of the traditional paper-based system for recording gifts — not to mention the sheer mass of paper involved — would become especially problematic during the peak giving season of November through January, when monthly gift numbers nearly triple.

Mastering the Module
Because the CADSWeb Gift Management Module is not a standalone tool, the hundreds of staff who will be using it will need to understand how it interacts with other campus systems, such as the Cashiers Deposit System and the Berkeley Financial System. All who deposit gifts or record gift information must take training to use the new system.

Training sessions are scheduled through Dec. 8. Supervisors and managers who oversee gift administration staff and budgets are invited to attend the Gift Management Introduction on either Nov. 8 or Dec. 10. For information on enrollment, visit hrweb.berkeley.edu/ice/home. Information on the new process and the required training (including prerequisite classes) is at eureka.berkeley.edu.
But with the launch on Oct. 4 of the innovative Gift-Management Module developed by University Relations (the campus’s central fundraising arm), the deposit, acceptance, recording, and transfer of gifts that used to take up to 70 days to accomplish can now be completed in as little as 72 hours.

In the process, not only time and paper but acronyms will be conserved: Staff who process gifts on campus will no longer have to use CDS to enter data into BFS, or the UDEV to submit gifts to CADS. The new module is built on the success and ease of CADSWeb, the Campus Alumni Development system — a web-based system that replaces such ancient artifacts as the seven-part UDEV form, which no pen could penetrate completely. It allows fundraisers (and other authorized and trained personnel) to enter and track donor information, linking that data to the campus’s financial and accounting systems so that funds are transferred directly into the benefiting department’s general ledger.

The new system launch caps an intensive planning, implementation, and testing process that began with the widely felt desire to get rid of the UDEV form. But it wasn’t until other campus systems (such as BFS, the Berkeley Financial System, and CDS, the Cashiers Deposit System) were in place that automating the form became feasible. When the staff at Development Operations took on the project in 2002, they realized that just replacing the form with an online version wasn’t going to get funds to their ultimate purpose faster. Active partnering and collaboration with staff from the major schools and colleges led to automation of the gift-processing system — making Berkeley the first UC campus to automate both the forms and the process.

Says Vice Chancellor for University Relations Don McQuade: “The great news is that there are thousands of caring people and organizations who generously give to UC Berkeley. The number of donors is the highest ever. Creating a new technological solution enables the campus to handle the work that helps us steward our gifts and our donors with far greater efficiency and effectiveness.”

The system, having recently completed its pilot phase (which included thorough testing and troubleshooting of various computer platforms and web browsers), is now ready for general campus use. During the transition to the new automated system, Gift Management in University Relations will continue to accept gifts submitted on the old paper forms, but only until Nov. 15.