Page 1 of 1

Importing from Vanco for the First Time

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:15 pm
by SusanG
Like many churches, we have seen a significant increase in online giving since the beginning of the pandemic. We use Vanco and I know we could be importing those transactions into PowerChurch. Currently our Financial Secretary is entering those transactions manually.

I am gathering information in an effort to facilitate the process of our Financial Secretary importing transactions from Vanco.

From what I can gather, in preparation for our first import, we need to
  • Acquire credentials from Vanco that will allow the PowerChurch program and Vanco to communicate with one another on our behalf
  • Set up a Transit Account in the Funding Accounting Module
  • Set up an Expense Account for Vanco Fees in the Fund Accounting Module
  • Make Fund Numbers used in the Contributions Module match those our donors give to via Vanco

Some questions I have:
  • Is there a way to enter donor envelope numbers in Vanco before we do our first import?
  • When a first-time donor gives through Vanco, will the donor's contact information be imported into PowerChurch or will we need to enter that manually?
  • If we reassign an envelope number in PowerChurch (something our Financial Secretary does every so often so we can order fewer sets of envelopes, how do we account for that on the Vanco side of things?
  • What have you learned about this process that would have been helpful to know ahead of time? Any tips for ensuring all goes well? Any pitfalls to avoid?

I would like to do what I can to make this process as smooth as possible all involved. Thank you for any knowledge you are willing to share!


Re: Importing from Vanco for the First Time

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:16 pm
by Zorak
You can change the donor ID (or whatever the long number is that Vanco assigns to each donor) on the Vanco side to match the envelope number in PowerChurch. This will keep you from having to manually match the people up the first time you import.

There is an Add Contributor button on the Vanco Import process in PowerChurch, where you would add the new person.

Reassigning an envelope number in PowerChurch will automatically update the linked envelope number for the Vanco import process, so you shouldn't need to update anything after the fact. That said, PowerChurch won't have stored an envelope number link if you had previously updated the donor ID on the Vanco side, so in a worst case scenario, it would ask for you to match the person after the envelope number was changed, and would then store the link between the number showing in Vanco and the number showing in PowerChurch.

A common setup problem is that when adding the Transit Asset account and the Fees Expense account, they need to be used in all of the Accounting Funds that you will be importing contributions into. During the Vanco setup process, PowerChurch looks through all of your Contribution Funds, to see which Accounting Funds are linked through the assigned debit and credit accounts. If you don't have multiple Accounting Funds set up or if all of your Contribution Funds post into one Accounting Fund, then you won't need to worry about this. Otherwise, when adding those two new accounts and it asks which Accounting Funds you want the accounts used in, choose all funds, or take a look on the Maintain List of Accounting Funds screen to see which Accounting Funds you have linked on the Accounting tab.

Re: Importing from Vanco for the First Time

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:06 pm
by fbctnc
Our church started using VANCO in October 2019 and once Power Church was set up with the necessary accounts, it works seamlessly.

We use only text and online giving. It would have been nice to know that you must do 2 imports, one for each type of giving.

When importing, contributor info comes in and is listed as "unknown" and in red to give you a chance to match the contributor with what you have in Power Church. Once that is done, you are good to go and in most cases do not have to match that contributor again because when that matched contributor gives a 2nd time, his/her name no longer appears as unknown.

Good luck!

Re: Importing from Vanco for the First Time

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:53 am
by SusanG
Thank you for your replies - this has been helpful. Our church will be moving forward with this!