I'm just in the process of implementing a process in CiviCRM so that we can track donations against specific projects. It would also be great if we could record the approaches we've made to organisations, so we know that for example we've approached an organisation for the full amount of funding required for project X, wait until we get a response before applying to other organisations. This would also allow us to generally report on what applications had been made and for how much.

My first ideas are to use contribution statuses or financial types to achieve this. Does anyone have experience of implementing something like this, are there any problems created from using financial types or statuses in this way?

  • Anotherne way of tracking Contributions is to use Campaigns
    – petednz - fuzion
    Apr 10, 2017 at 3:30
  • Thanks @petednz-fuzion for responding, I am using campaigns to identify the restricted funds but what I am looking for is how to record approaches for contributions. I think I'll go with setting up a new financial type but just wanted to see if others had experience of setting this kind of thing up before. Apr 11, 2017 at 7:59
  • 2
    I worked with a client on this type of use case, and we used activities to record bids for funding. There's enough flexibility and configuration in Civi to do this, for sure, but we didn't use financial types. It was a while back so please excuse lack of specifics.
    – Andy Clark
    Apr 11, 2017 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


I would recommend against using contribution type or contribution status as those have specific system uses for actually received contributions. Instead, you might try creating groups of contacts that have received your mailings or phone calls asking for contributions, perhaps based on whether the contact has specific activities under advanced search. If you want to target prospect contacts for donations of a specific amount I might create a custom field to contain the amount for the ask. You might want to make a Prospect contact type, add this contact type to the relevant contacts, and make the Target Ask' field a custom field of Prospects.

  • Just to add to this, one advantage of using groups is that you can view group history and thus see how a constituent moves through the various stages of your approach process, if you set up the groups accordingly. Nov 9, 2018 at 20:20

As others have suggested you could use activities for this type of question. If more process steps are involved than "just" keeping track of the fact that we approached them for a certain amount you could have a look at CiviCase as well. That is a little more involved but that might actually be what you are looking for in the longer run?

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