How to Track Your Fundraising Efforts in the DMS

Donor Management System

The Donor Management System allows you to perform Advanced Searches on Contacts and Contributions, create Contact Groups, and generate Reports. But first, it's important to understand how to track all of this data effectively in the DMS.

While you may occasionally continue tracking your online fundraising efforts (i.e., donations made strictly through using your CanadaHelps charity account, the Donor Management System will allow you to more accurately track all of your fundraising data (i.e., donations made through CanadaHelps and offline) in one centralized location.

Below are some of the different ways that your charity can use the DMS to track your fundraising efforts.

Check out this video explaining how to track Fundraising Efforts in the DMS:


Campaigns are your appeals that are shared with current and potential donors. Campaigns indicate where the money is coming from, they are the way you fundraise. There are 2 main Campaign Types:

1. Campaigns from - Campaigns that are created through and synced automatically with your DMS. (Watch our CanadaHelps Fundraising Tool Webinars)

  • Donation Form  –  forms embedded in your website or for a specific appeal where donors can make donations to your organization
  • Ticketed Event – forms embedded in your website where donors can purchase Event Tickets for Events hosted by your organization.
  • Peer-to-Peer Campaign (P2P) – allow your supporters to fundraise on your behalf by creating their own fundraising teams or joining as individual participants
  • Charity Profile – public profile page on where donors can make donations to your organization
  • Profile page Campaign  – a fundraising page hosted right on your Charity Profile in

2. Offline Campaigns - DMS Campaigns that are not created in Can be used to track cash, cheque, or in-kind contributions for an offline appeal (manually entered/offline contributions)

Campaigns, whether online or offline, are an incredibly useful way to track total donation amounts received from a specific CH donation form, events page, P2P campaign, or offline fundraising appeal (e.g., a direct mail appeal) and can help you determine where to focus your fundraising efforts.

In particular, new CH Donations Forms can be built for each of your unique email marketing campaigns. Let's say we send out a Holiday Campaign Bulk Email in the DMS and link a unique Holiday-themed Donation Form made specifically for this mailing. A great way to measure the effectiveness of a mailing would be to track all donations coming in through the unique donation form, which can inform the way that we solicit donations in the future.

Once Campaigns are assigned to Contributions in the DMS, you will be able to perform Advanced Searches on Contacts and Contributions, create Contact Groups, and generate Reports filtered by Campaigns in the DMS.

Fundraising Tool Campaigns

Each Fundraising Tool Campaign that you create using one of the tools in your account will be automatically synced to your DMS as its own corresponding Campaign

--->Learn more about what syncs from CanadaHelps to the DMS here.

Campaign type


  • The sync is only one way, from CanadaHelps to the DMS. Any changes to your CanadaHelps Campaigns will have to be made from your charity account at
  • CanadaHelps Campaigns will sync automatically with the DMS daily at 11:00 AM EST.

So, when donors make a donation to any one of your Fundraising Tool Campaigns through, that Contribution will be tracked in your DMS as part of the corresponding Campaign in the DMS.

Contributions > Campaign

That said, even if a donor makes an offline Contribution (i.e., a donation made directly to your organization [cash, cheques, etc.] and not through the CanadaHelps tool), you can still manually record that Contribution as part of the Fundraising Tool Campaign in the DMS, so that you can track all donations (both online and offline) to this Campaign in one place.


Offline (DMS) Campaigns

You may also be running fundraising appeals not using one of the CanadaHelps fundraising tools. We refer to these as Offline Campaigns. As a reminder, you can create your own Offline Campaigns in the DMS.

Once you've created an Offline Campaign,  you can manually track any Contributions that should be allocated to that offline campaign, such as cash, cheques, etransfers etc.

Offline campaigns


Campaign Groups

Campaign Groups can be used to bundle multiple Campaigns together to aid in your reporting.

For example, let's say you had a CanadaHelps Events page, a CanadaHelps P2P campaign page, and a related offline campaign through which you were accepting your cash/cheque (offline) contributions. Each of these forms will display as separate Campaigns in your DMS, although they are all associated with the same upcoming charity event. In order to report on the offline contributions alongside your CanadaHelps Events ticket contributions and P2P Campaign contributions, you may wish to group them under a Campaign Group with a related title.

Each DMS has preset Campaign Groups that you may wish to use: Annual Giving, Special Events, and Third Party Events, but you can add your own custom Campaign Groups through the Administer Tab.

Next, learn to perform an Advanced Search for a specific Campaign Group's contributions and generate Contribution Reports and filtering by one or more Campaign Groups.


Funds allow you, or your donors, to allocate donation dollars to specific programs.  Funds indicate where the money is going to go. 

Once Funds are assigned to Contributions in the DMS, you will be able to perform Advanced Searches on Contacts and Contributions, create Contact Groups, and generate Reports filtered by Funds in the DMS. 

There are two types of Funds in your DMS: 

  1. (DMS) Funds; and
  2. CH Funds

(DMS) Funds

DMS Funds allow you to record where each donation should be allocated once received by your organization. You may receive donations with no specific fund designation. These can be tracked within your DMS' General Fund. By default (and as required by the Canada Revenue Agency), your DMS comes preloaded with a General Fund and an In-Kind Fund. 

That said, if you receive donations that should be allocated to a specific initiative or program funding, as requested by your donors, you can also add new Funds in the DMS beyond the General and In-Kind Funds.

Note: General Ledger (GL) Accounts in the DMS arrange where donation dollars made to specific DMS Funds are being stored in your General Ledger and Balance Sheet. Each DMS Fund must be associated with its own unique GL Account in the DMS.

Once you have created a DMS Fund,  you can manually :

DMS Fund associated with a Campaign

Note: All In-Kind Contributions will be assigned to an In-Kind Fund in your DMS by default.


CanadaHelps (CH) Funds

You can create CanadaHelps Funds (also known as CH Funds) directly in your charity account to allow your donors to choose where they would like their donation dollars to be directed to:

To be able to see which CanadaHelps Funds your donors have selected from right within your DMS, you must make sure to map your CanadaHelps Funds to your (DMS) Funds. This way, anytime a donor selects a specific CanadaHelps Fund when making their donation through CanadaHelps, their Contribution will be automatically allocated to the corresponding (DMS) Fund in your DMS.

DMS Fund


Opportunities in your DMS allow you to record and track the status of medium to long-term requests, fundraising opportunities, and prospects that might be outside of your day-to-day fundraising appeals, such as:

  • Grant applications
  • Major gifts, and 
  • Special projects.

Opportunities Tab

Once Opportunities are created in the DMS, you will be able to perform Advanced Searches on Contacts and Contributions, create Contact Groups, and generate Opportunity Reports.

Other Relevant Fundraising Fields in the DMS

Many of your fundraising efforts can be tracked through the DMS using existing Contribution Fields, including Campaign, Fund, and additional Contribution/Dedication details:

Once Fields are assigned to Contributions in the DMS, you will be able to perform Advanced Searches on Contacts and Contributions,  create Contact Groups,  and generate Reports based on these Fields in the DMS.

Contribution Fields

  • Excluded from Tax Receipting: if the Contribution is not eligible for a Tax Receipt (any source).
  • Contribution Receipted: if a Tax Receipt for this Contribution has already been issued externally (i.e. via CanadaHelps or a previous system). For eligible, manually-entered Contributions, the DMS Receipt number will display in the Receipt number field once the eligible Receipt is used.
  • Contribution Note: used for internal purposes only, to track details that fall outside these dedicated fields.
  • Recurring Contribution:  mark if a donation is recurring. 
  • In Memory Of: if the donation is in memory of something and/or someone.
  • In Honour Of: if the donation is in honour of something and/or someone.
  • Thanked: whether or not a Contribution has been thanked