Frequently Asked Questions


What is Advance?

Advance is the university's database of record which contains confidential biographical and philanthropic information on alumni, corporations, foundations, students, friends and other affiliates of the university. The information in Advance is used by various departments within the university as a fundraising resource and to maintain connections within the community.

How do I get access to Advance?

Training must be taken to gain access to Advance. From the Advancement Services website, complete the Advance Access Request Form.

Does the Advance database interact with the databases in the HR, Registrar, and Controller’s offices?

Human Resources Office – No.  Advance does not correspond with the HR database.  If a donor gives a charitable gift to the university and notes somewhere that they are a faculty/staff member, or if the gift is a payroll deduct, then Advance can produce a list of those Faculty/Staff donors.  Advance users must contact their school’s HR/Faculty Affairs offices when looking for complete lists of Staff or Faculty. 

Registrar’s Office – Yes. Three times per year (after each graduation date) Advancement Services pulls the list of those who have graduated and are now considered CWRU Alumni.  The data includes basic biographical information such as name, address, phone, email, as well as degree information such as the school from which they graduated and their major(s)/minor(s). **Advance is not the database of record for Current Students (it is a database for Alumni and Donors).  Students are only added into Advance if they have donated to the university or are being stewarded.

Controller’s Office – Yes.  Advance contains all the charitable gifts made to the university.  Advancement Services then pushes that cash data (gifts and pledge payments) into the PeopleSoft Financials database on a daily basis.  If a Development Officer cashes a check at the cashier’s office without notifying Advancement Services, that charitable gift will not show up in Advance. Instead that gift will go straight into PeopleSoft, therefore the numbers in PeopleSoft and Advance will be out of balance. 

How do I log into Advance when I am off campus? 

To access Advance, users must either be directly connected to the network or logged into VPN (when off campus). VPN can be downloaded from the University Technology Software Center

How long can you leave Advance idle before it times out?

Advance will log you out after 1 hour of inactivity. Advance also resets itself everyday at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Are there any helpful Advance shortcut keys?

Shift - F3: If you are in an entity or prospect record, press Shift - F3 to toggle to the spouse's record. F4: Opens clipboard. F5: Opens GoTo screen F7: After you have entered contact reports, contacts, notes, or tasks, F7 will refresh (update) the database. F9: Toggles between Inquiry and Maintenance mode.

What is the procedure for adding an Alert onto an entity's record?

Entity Alerts are entered by the biographical maintenance team regarding gift-related information or to make a notification that the record is a trustee, but Advancement Services will add other notes if necessary. Email with requests to add alerts.

Biographical Maintenance

How do we submit biographical data changes to Advancement Services?

All biographical changes should be emailed to Biographical change requests include things such as a new address, telephone, email, employment information, committee membership, marriage status, awards/honors, etc.

I received some returned mail. What do I do?

Hard copy mailings that have been returned to sender should be mailed via campus mail to Advancement Services Bio Maintenance Team:
11000 Cedar Avenue, Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44106-7035

Our department has created a new committee. We would like to code those committee members in Advance so that we can track their meeting attendance and pull committee lists in the future. How do we do that?

Committee Members should be tracked in Advance in an entity’s record under Biographic - Committee Participation. If regular committee meetings are held, those meetings can also be tracked as Events in an entity’s record under Biographic - Activity. Email with the name of the committee and the committee members. The list should include first name, last name and entity ID of each member and the committee name to which they should be added. NOTE* If any of the proposed committee members are not currently in Advance, include as much biographical information as possible on the Excel spreadsheet so the data team can add them as new Advance entities. It is the responsibility of the requesting department to keep their committee lists up to date in Advance. Email with the names and entity ID’s of those members who leave or join a committee.

Gifts Processing

Should donor gifts be sent directly to the Advancement Services Office or to the offices of individual Development Officers? 

This is at the discretion of each school/development officer, however ultimately every charitable gift (original paperwork) needs to make its way to:
Advancement Services 
11000 Cedar Avenue, Suite 300
Cleveland OH 44106, Location Code 7035

I've received a phone call from someone who wants to donate to CWRU for the first time. What do I do?

Users can check Advance to see if the caller is a prospect with an assigned prospect manager. If so, directing that calling to the assigned prospect manager might be a viable solution. Users can also inquire into what school the donor would like to donate to, or what type of donation they’re looking to give to the university (i.e. Planned Gift or Annual Fund Gift, etc.) and then direct them to that particular office.

What is the procedure for Anonymous Gifts?

A donor can request anonymity based on individual gift transactions or based on all transactions (in this case an alert or flag would be added to the donor’s record to indicate all gifts are to be coded anonymous).  A donor can also have an Anonymous Recognition Name for Honor Roll purposes which is at the request of the donor.   Just because a donor is flagged Anonymous doesn’t mean they are automatically put on a Do Not Solicit list; they can still be solicited for another gift.

What are the solicitation codes in Advance?

Blank: If there is no solicitation code on an entity’s record in Advance the code is considered “Blank”, meaning that entity has no restrictions on contact.  They can be mailed to or solicited by anyone.

Do Not Call From Calling Center: Do Not Call is a solicitation code indicating that these entities should not be called by the Student Calling Center, however Development Officers may contact them. When running lists, these entities are included in both “Reachable” and “Solicitable” categories.

No Contact Requested: No Contact Requested is a solicitation code indicating these entities should never be contacted in any way (regular mail, email or phone).  When running lists through clipboard these constituents are automatically removed so as not to receive mail pieces, phone calls or emails. Entities with this code are re-evaluated by Advancement Services only under specific request.  In some instances these entities are deceased (however there are instances where an entity might be presumed deceased and coded NCR, but Advancement Services hasn’t been able to confirm their deceased status yet).  In other instances, the entity may be lost or they’ve personally instructed the University not to contact them for any reason.

Permanent Non-Solicit: Permanent Non-Solicit is a solicitation code indicating these entities should not be solicited at any time by anyone (Development Officers or Student Calling Center).  Either the entity themselves or a Development Officer, after speaking with the entity, made the request that no solicitations should ever be made. These entities can still be invited to events and are mailed informational mail pieces about CWRU, alumni magazines, etc., but should never be solicited for money.  When running lists, these constituents are included in the “Reachable” category only.

Temporary Non-Solicit: Temporary Non-Solicit is a solicitation code which indicates entities that should not be asked for money right now, but that Development Officers should contact at a later date.  These entities still receive mailings from the University, alumni invitations, etc.  When running lists, these entities are included in the “Reachable” category only, but not the “Solicitable” category.  A note on the Mail Control Screen will indicate when/why the temporary non-solicit code was originally put in place.  Advancement Services will review the status after one year and change it back to normal mail, which will then make the entity solicitable. Most entities are coded TNS because they are out of the country or are otherwise unavailable for a period of time.

Reachable vs. Solicitable in a Lookup: 

  • Reachable is a solicitation code which includes Do Not Call from Calling Center, Permanent Non Solicit, Temporary Non Solicit, and Blanks. Reachable should be used when pulling a list of event attendees or when creating a list to mail informational pieces, but NOT when soliciting money or for fundraising purposes.
  • Solicitable is a solicitation code which includes entities coded Do Not Call from Calling Center and Blanks. Solicitable should be used when pulling a list of entities to solicit for donations.

Prospecting and Proposal

What is the Prospect Management Policy?

In any university development program—especially in a comprehensive, university-wide constituent orientation—the most essential management function that drives the development and campaign process is the management of prospects. Review our Prospect Management Policy.

How are prospects assigned?

Any (living) prospect that is currently unassigned can be assigned to you, no questions asked. If the prospect is already assigned to another prospect manger, you will be assigned as an Assistant Prospect Manager and then be told to contact the prospect manager for permission to visit/call that prospect. Email to request prospect assignments.

A donor mails an unsolicited charitable gift of $10,000 to the university. In Advance I am listed as the Prospect Manager on that donor's record. Do I automatically receive credit because I am the Prospect Manager?

No. Receiving credit for a gift depends on whether or not there is an active proposal in Advance for that particular gift. If a donor mails a check to you "out of the blue," there is no need to input a proposal. You did not raise the money through the identification--cultivation--solicitation cycle.

How do I get credit for a gift that I fundraised?

The Soliciting Development Officer (sometimes different than the Prospect Manager) must input a proposal on the donor's prospect record in Advance before the gift is booked and appears on the Daily Gift Log. There should also be contact reports showing your history of cultivation/solicitation pertaining to that gift.

I forgot to input a proposal for my gift that just appeared on the Daily Gift Log. Is it too late to get credit?

Yes. The proposal must be active at the solicited stage for the gift processing clerk to attach the gift. If the clerk does not see a proposal in Advance the gift is processed anyway. The goal for the proposal system is to track a pipeline of gifts at the several stages of development. Therefore, only gifts that have been "worked" need or merit proposals.

When and how are Development Officer goals entered into the system?

Goals are added to the system once a year by the Executive Director of Advancement Services. These goals populate the Fundraiser Performance Reports in Advance Canned Reports.

Is there a timeframe for when a Development Officer should move a proposal from one sales stage to the next?

Generally it is up to the Development Officer's discretion to move a proposal from one sales stage to the next (i.e. from Identified to Cultivate to Ready to Solicit), however once in the Ready to Solicit phase it is expected that the DO will solicit that prospect within 6 months of that date.


How can I obtain a list of all CWRU Faculty/Staff?

Advance is not the database of record for a complete listing of CWRU Faculty/Staff (Advance will contain those faculty/staff members who are CWRU Alumni, who have donated to the university, who have access to Advance, or are in Advance as friends or parents). For an accurate list of all CWRU Faculty/Staff, users should contact their Faculty Affairs office.

How can I obtain a list of all CWRU Faculty/Staff donors? 

To obtain a list of all CWRU Faculty/Staff donors, please submit a devreq. We are able to provide a list of CWRU Faculty/Staff who have donated to a particular school (i.e. A list of CWRU Faculty/Staff who have donated to WSOM Annual Fund in FY2012) however we are unable to provide a list of all school specific Faculty/Staff who have donated to a particular school (i.e. A list of WSOM Faculty/Staff who have donated to WSOM Annual Fund in FY2012).  

What does the Campaign MGT Option mean on the Kitchensink Report?

Campaign MGT Option will populate 3 columns in the export (Campaign Giving, Campaign Expectation (found on the Prospect Overview screen) and Campaign MGT Expectation (found on the Prospect Evaluations screen). All other giving info on the Kitchensink Report is giving to CWRU in general, not giving to a specific school.

Can I look up a list of married alumni in Advance? 

A devreq is required if a user is looking for a list of alumni from a certain school (School of Nursing) who are married to an alumni of that same school (School of Nursing) or a list of alumni from one school (School of Nursing) who are married to alumni from any other school (School of Law).

What is the definition of EX-Degree?

  • markers for students who will be graduating
  • markers for people considered alumni who did not graduate
  • marker for someone who wanted to be included with a particular class (for this reason reunion reports do NOT exclude EX degrees)