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  • 16 May 2016
    Pivot tables are a type of data visualisation tool found in many common spreadsheet software packages such as Microsoft Excel.They are a great way to summarise a large amount of data, but they can also help you analyse and explore the data further.   In this blog we will look at how charities can use pivot tables to make the most of their Localgiving data. However, pivot tables can be used to look at any spreadsheet data you have. Localgiving members can use pivot tables to: Find out the total given by each donor Look at the total raised each month Compare the total raised from monthly donations and one-time donations Find out how much is outstanding to you Sound useful? Read on! I will show you some of the basic functions of the PivotTable tool available in MS Excel. I have used Excel 2010, so if you are running a different version some of the options might be in a different place. The first step is to download a report of the information you’d like to look at from your interface.   Go to the “My Donations” tab of your interface.  Click “Reports” from the left hand green menu. Then you can select the data you would like to analyse using either one of the predefined periods or using a custom date range. I decided to look at data from the 1st quarter of this year (01/01/2016 – 31/03/2016). Once the report has downloaded, open it in Excel and select the data to be included in the PivotTable. Then click on the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and click on “PivotTable” on the far left. A pop up should appear showing the data you have selected and asking whether you want to put the PivotTable in a new or existing worksheet – I recommend choosing a new worksheet so that your PivotTable doesn’t get mixed up with other information. Click “OK” and you should be taken to a new worksheet that looks something like this:   On the right hand side of the screen you can see the area where your PivotTable will appear, and the left hand side of the screen has the PivotTable field list where you can choose which data will appear in your PivotTable. You can start to create a PivotTable by dragging the fields listed into one of the 4 quadrants below. Start by dragging “Donation ID” into the “Rows” quadrant and “Amount” into the values quadrant. This will give you a simple PivotTable listing all the donations you have received and the total amount raised from each one (i.e. including the donation, Gift Aid and match funding).     You could alternatively drag “Supporter name” into the “Row Labels” quadrant, rather than “Donation ID” to produce a list of how much each donor has donated (including Gift Aid and match funding).     Analyse your data further using calculated fields So far, this is interesting, but not that much more useful than the original report you downloaded; using calculated fields is one way to analyse your data in more detail. Calculated fields allow you to use a formula incorporating other fields in your data set. For example you might want to find out the net amount received from each donation made to your group (donation + Gift Aid + match funding minus any fees). To start adding a calculated field to your PivotTable; make sure you have selected one of the cells in your existing PivotTable, then click on “Options” in the PivotTable Tools section of the ribbon (far right). Then click on “Fields, Items & Sets”. A drop down menu should appear, select the first option – “Calculated Field”.     The “Insert Calculated Field” pop up should then appear. Here you can name your new field (I’ve called ours “Net amount”) and then create the calculation for your field. To calculate the net amount from each donation put your cursor in the formula box and type "=". Then double click on each of the field you want to include in the calculation – i.e. Amount, Payment Provider Fee, Donation Commission & Gift Aid Commission, adding a "+" sign between each one. Finally, click OK to add your new calculated field. Your new field should now be included in your PivotTable as an extra column. If it doesn’t appear automatically, you can easily add it by dragging and dropping the new field into the Values quadrant. Using Filters to summarise your data You can also use PivotTables to filter your data. For example to see the amounts that are still due to be paid, drag the “Payment Status” field into the “Report Filter” quadrant of the PivotTable Field List. Select the drop down arrow next to the filter and select “Processing” to see just amounts that are still outstanding.   You can also use more than one filter at a time. To see just the donation payments that are outstanding you can also drag the “Type” field to the “Report Filter” quadrant and use the drop down arrow to select donation. You should now be able to perform some basic tasks when it comes to PivotTables: Create a PivotTable in MS Excel Use calculated fields to analyse your data Use filters to summarise your data There are so many more ways to utilise PivotTables, far more than I can fit into one blog post, but hopefully today’s introduction will get you started and from here you can explore more functions, and be a data analysing wizard in no time at all.
    6149 Posted by Louise Boyd
Tips & guides 3,805 views Nov 02, 2015
"To honour and protect"

Data protection, the secret to a lasting donor relationship

Over the summer the charity sector was faced with a host of uncomfortable headlines. This has rightfully led to some deep soul searching. Data protection was one area which was subject to particular scrutiny.

Localgiving feel strongly about the need to protect donors. For this reason, we recently compiled a simple help sheet aimed at improving your understanding of how the Data Protection Act applies to charities and community groups. Make sure you take a look so that you know what you need to do to protect donor’s personal information and ensure you don’t break the rules when sending out marketing communications.

If you’ve seen our help sheet for data protection, and you understand what you can and can’t do, read on for some practical tips to make it easier to do the right thing.

1. Create a simple donor database to help you keep things up to date

We strongly recommend creating a donor database to keep your information accurate and up to date. Any basic spreadsheet software programme such as MS Excel can be used to easily do this. All you need to do is create a table with at least 3 columns like the one shown below:


Each time you get a new donor you can just add their information to the next row in the table. Then make sure you keep this up to date with any changes that your donors let you know about. If they tell you they no longer wish to receive communications from you then you need to update their record in this table. 

You can also record more information in this database about your donors - for example their address or telephone number and the number of times or amount they have donated to you. Just make sure you keep things up to date. You can download our template to help you get started with managing your communications here.

If you have a Localgiving account you can use the marketing report available in the “My Donations section” as a basis for your donor database. You can download it regularly to see if there have been any changes. Don’t forget if a donor has contacted you directly to say they don’t want your to contact them, you should not send them any more marketing information, even if they haven’t updated their Localgiving record.

2. Check your donor database before you send out marketing communications

When you would like to send out an email to your donors you should check your new donor database to make sure you are not contacting people who have said they don’t want to be contacted.

3. Always ask donor’s permission before sending them marketing communications

You should always ask new donors whether they are happy to receive future marketing communications from you when they first donate. If they donate to you directly you must ask their permission. Include a statement similar to the one on the right on forms your donor fills in.

If they donate through Localgiving we will have already asked them. If they agreed, their contact details will be shown in the marketing report.

4. Include simple instructions for opting out of future messages in all marketing communications

You should explain how your donors can opt out of future marketing messages each time you contact them. For example include a statement at the bottom of all your emails to say:

“If you no longer wish to hear from our fundraising team please reply to this email and we will remove you from our mailing list”.

You should make sure you update your donor database each time someone tells you they don’t want to be contacted anymore.

5. Protect donor’s personal information when sending out email marketing

If you are using a simple email client like Gmail to contact your donors, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally share your donor’s email address with everyone on your mailing list by adding all the email to the “To” or “Cc” field.


 You can do this easily by using the “Bcc” function when sending out an email. Put your organisation’s email in the “To” box and then add your donor’s email address to the “Bcc” box. This will ensure that each donor can only see their own email address.

 6. Make sure everyone in your organisation understands their responsibilities to protect donor’s personal information

Don’t forget to make sure that everyone in your organisation knows what they need to do. Everyone should follow data protection rules when it comes to sending marketing information to your donors. Always provide training to new employees and make sure to offer refresher training to existing employees at regular intervals.


This blog post is intended to help small charities and community groups get started with Data Protection. For more detailed information and advice specifically aimed at charities please visit the ICO website here.