Custom gift fields

In this article:


Custom gift fields are similar to campaigns, funds, or gift categories in that they offer a limited set of controlled values, each of which can be assigned to many separate gifts to track them in a particular way. A good example is the source of a gift, when you are using different fundraising channels and you want to track whether a gift came through your website, Facebook, or another channel.

When you create a custom gift field to track data about your gifts, you can then use that data to do the following:

  • Search on that field from either the Constituents or the Fundraising tab
  • Export the fields in either constituent or gift reports
  • View your fundraising data by individual single-select custom gift fields within Fundraising views

Instructions for how to do all of these are included in this article.

How to use custom gift fields

A custom gift field is designed to hold a controlled value that is applied to multiple gifts. The values are “controlled” because:

  • You have decided beforehand that you want to use them to categorize your gift records, and 
  • You are maintaining the values and plan to re-use them for multiple gifts over time

A custom gift field should never be used for a value that might change from one record to the next, such as a date or an amount. Using custom gift fields in this way will not be effective or manageable over time. The fields are only useful as a controlled list of choices you can use to easily scan and build queries. 

Add a new gift category

To add a new gift category value, go to  Settings > Menu items > Gift menu items and from within your gift categories click the Add value button. Then type the new gift category name into the field that opens and save it:

Add a custom gift field

To add a custom gift field, go to Settings > Menu items > Gift menu items, and click the Add custom gift field button at the top of the page:

Then select what type of field you want (single-select or multi-select) and add a name for the field:

You can search on your custom gift fields from either the Constituents or the Fundraising tab by finding and selecting your custom gift field from the dropdown menu in the Advanced Search box at the top of either page.

Searching on a custom gift field from the Constituents tab

Searching on a custom gift field from the Fundraising tab

Include a custom gift field in a constituent or gift report

When a custom gift field exists in your account, it is possible to pull it into a constituent report or a gift report.

Constituent report

To include a custom gift field in a constituent report, select either a “Total giving” or “Gifts” column from the Customize step of the report builder. Then choose your custom field from the additional selections available within the custom options for each column, as shown in the following screenshots:

Gift report

You can include a custom gift field in a gift report as its own column.

Create your gift report, and then select your custom gift field by name from the “General Giving Fields” tab within the Customize step of the report builder:

In Fundraising views, see gift data by single-select custom gift field

It is possible to view your giving data by single-select custom gift field. To do this, go to the Fundraising tab and in the View menu select your custom gift field. The results will display as search results:

Pull a custom gift field into a mailing

If you have set up a custom gift field and added it as an attribute to a gift in your database, you'll be able to pull that data into an acknowledgment mailing using an LGL Merge Field, as shown in the screenshots that follow.

A new custom gift field added to Settings > Menu items > Gift menu items:

The same custom gift field is now also available in the Merge Field Reference, available from the Mailings page in your account: