DARS Newsletter August 2015

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Dear Users,

Welcome to this month’s DARS Newsletter. Older newsletters can be found at https://www.darscentral.ox.ac.uk/newsletters, with newsletters since May 2015 held at: DARS Newsletters. And remember that you can contact the DARS helpdesk via dars@admin.ox.ac.uk.

In this issue:

Major Incident
New BBIS Websites
Highlighted DARSWiki articles
Staff changes
Individual User Agreements
Telethons and Data Entry Assistants

Reminder – please do not amend transfer designations

Designations that begin with ‘1-Transfer’ have been set up to help manage donations that come in to the central university via Gift Registry that are then transferred to the relevant College.  A lot of behind-the-scenes functionality has been built into this Transfer system which relies on the 1-Transfer designation being present on the revenue record.  It is therefore extremely important that Colleges do not change the designation for these donations to a 1-College or 1-University designation. 

The consequences of making changing the designation in this way vary, but can include:

  • If the designation is changed before the revenue has been transferred to the college, the transfer will not happen.
  • If the designation is changed before Gift Registry have claimed any potential Gift Aid, Gift Aid will not be claimed by the Gift Registry.
  • If Gift Registry have already claimed Gift Aid, this will have been transferred to the college.  Changing the designation will trigger a Gift Aid refund that will be submitted to HMRC unless this refund is not submitted.  If the refund is submitted, then the value of the refund would have to be refunded by the college.  Furthermore, because Gift Aid has been “refunded” but the donation is still eligible for Gift Aid, another Gift Aid claim could be made by the College, thus potentially duplicating the submission for a different charitable entity.
  • Regardless of all the above, changing the designation will affect the university’s accounts reconciliation and the audit trail will be broken.

Instead of changing the ‘Designation’, colleges should change the ‘Campaign’ on the revenue record to reflect the destination of the funds as per the donor’s wishes.  For further details on how to deal with Transfer donations please refer to the DARSWiki: Revenue Transfers

Changes, enhancements and fixes

Major Incident

You may have seen in the news that in late July, a hunter shot and killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe. Cecil was part of a study being conducted by the University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU). Intense media interest in the story resulted in large number of donations being made to WildCRU via the Campaign website, but this much heavier traffic caused the Campaign website to stop operating during the night of 29th/30th July. A major incident was declared on the morning of 30 July, and workarounds put in place; the major incident was closed later that day. Blackbaud delivered a software fix which was made live on 4 August.

DARS news and features

New BBIS websites

In the month of August, two BBIS websites have been launched, for St Benet’s Hall and Mansfield College. They can be viewed at https://www.alumniweb.ox.ac.uk/st_benets and https://www.alumniweb.ox.ac.uk/mansfield.

Highlighted DARSWiki articles

We have changed the User Access Request Form, to make it clearer, and also focus on the need to address when staff leave. We have also made it shorter, by removing the list of authorisers: this can now be found on the DARSWiki at: Authorised User Access Requestors

Some fundraisers working in the Central University or departments attended a workshop on use of Opportunities in DARS. Information on this can be found at: DARS User Guidelines for University Fundraisers

Staff changes

Rachel Roberts, the DARS Training and Helpdesk Officer, has moved on from the DARS Support Centre. However, Rachel remains a member of the DARS user community, since she has taken up a post at Wadham College as Database and Planning Officer.

We are pleased two new joiners to the DARS Support Centre: Claudia Nunes Esposo has joined the Data Team as a new Data Entry Assistant, and Rosanah Holmes has joined the DARS Functional and Helpdesk team.

I’m sure you all join me in wishing Rachel all the best in her new role, and welcoming Claudia and Rosanah to the team.


Individual User Agreements

When a staff member requires access to DARS, you must send an Individual User Agreement (IUA), signed both by the individual and the participant, to Dannie Godfrey in Wellington Square. If the staff member has formerly worked for a different DARS participant, a new IUA is required.

Telethons and Data Entry Assistants

A number of participants have telethons coming up, which can result in requirements to update addresses, or to add revenue.  You may find it useful to book a DEA for late September. Our DEAs are trained on DARS to undertake a variety of data entry tasks, and are available for 10 to 20 hours per week, on a first come first served basis. They are charged to participants at £13.53/hour.

To book a DEA, simply complete the DARS Data Entry Assistants Request Form found at https://www.darscentral.ox.ac.uk/requestforms and return it to the DARS Help Desk. We will then get in contact to arrange the fulfilment of the request.

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