What kind of information can I store about a constituent?
In this article:
- Overview of the kinds of constituent data you can track
- Constituent relationships
- Sharing contact information
- Education information
- Class-year affiliations
Overview of the kinds of constituent data you can track
LGL lets you track tons of information about constituents, and we do our best to present it all to you in a clean, single page view:
Overview of the kinds of data you can track about a constituent (some items in this list are discussed in more detail in the sections that follow):
- Contact information: Each constituent can have multiple pieces of contact information.
- Mailing addresses: You can add multiple mailing addresses to each constituent. Each address can have a type (Home, Work, Other).
- Email addresses: You can add multiple email addresses as well, each of which has a type (Home, Work, Other).
- Phone numbers: As with mailing addresses and emails, you can add multiple phone numbers, each with its own type (Home, Work, Mobile, Fax, Other).
- Preferred contact information: Preferred contact information settings are used to ensure the best mailing address, email address, or phone number is displayed/used for export purposes.
- Inactive contact information: Set any piece of contact information to Inactive if it is no longer current. Inactive contact information is not displayed (except when editing the record), viewing the summary or detailed constituent profile (available from the Actions button in the constituent record), or included in exports.
- Relationships: Constituent relationships describe the connections between your constituents (Father/Son, Mother/Daughter, Brothers, etc.).
- Class-year affiliations: Applicable mainly to schools, use class-year affiliations to define the students and parents of a particular class year and then search on that criteria. The affiliation types are fully customizable.
- Education info: It can be useful to catalog a constituent’s education history. You can add multiple entries here and then search constituents by school and year.
- Membership: If you are a membership organization, LGL can help you track your members by level and the relevant dates.
- Categories: Constituent categories give you a powerful set of tools to organize all of your constituents. By default, you will have five categories defined, but more can be added as desired.
- Contact Type: The constituent contact type can be used in combination with relationships to ensure that only one member of a particular household is "Primary", making it easier to avoid sending mail to more than one family member (even if you track multiple members).
- Groups: Groups serve as the primary donor or constituent type. For example, Staff, Board Member, Alumni, Foundation, etc. We recommend keeping your number of groups small and focused. (Note: For the purposes of searching using groups, the first sequentially listed category in each Menu Items section automatically becomes the primary group.)
- Communication tags: Tags help you define additional attributes or dimensions of your constituents and are helpful for segmentation. Common examples include “Do not mail”, “Do not solicit”, etc. When "Do not mail" is selected for a constituent, they will be excluded from mailings. When the "Do not mail" communication tag is assigned to a constituent's record, the Contact methods will also automatically be updated and the "Mail" option will no longer be checked off. The same applies to the "Do not email" communication tag.
- Capacity: The constituent’s capacity to give. These are custom settings that you can use to help segment your constituents for the purposes of planning a campaign or appeal.
- Interest: The constituent’s interest level in your organization. How engaged in/committed are they to your mission? These are also customizable settings that you can use to help segment your constituents.
- Stewards: The primary point of contact or steward for a particular constituent. Stewards must be LGL team members.
- Giving status: The constituent’s giving status is automatically calculated to be one (or more) of 5 different values: New Donor, Top Donor, Active Donor, Lapsed Donor, or Non Donor. (Adding the number of active donors, non donors, and lapsed donors would typically yield the total number of constituents because lapsed donors can also be top donors.) New donors have given within a recent period of days that you can select in your account settings.Top donors is calculated based on the overall giving total. Total giving calculates a sum of all gifts, all pledge balances, all in-kind gifts, and all soft credits and other related gifts. Active donors have given most recently based on the setting you select. Lapsed donors have given at some point but not within the past period you select. The "Non Donor" tag is applied to anyone who’s never given. All of these tags are generated dynamically based on the status of your data.
- Related activity: Related activity provides a complete listing of every constituent’s past and future interactions with your organization (gifts, goals, pledges, installments, tasks, contact reports, notes, documents, volunteering, and comments).
You can add as many pieces of constituent contact information (email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses) as you need for any constituent. One email, phone number, or mailing address can be marked as preferred, and any piece of contact information can be made inactive if it is no longer relevant. This can be useful if you want to exclude an address from use but don’t want to delete the information for historical/record-keeping purposes.
Adding contact information
You can add a new email address, phone number, or mailing address by clicking on the Add another email address (or phone number or mailing address) links.
Seasonal dates for mailing addresses
If you want to add a winter or summer address for a constituent, you can define those dates for each address. Seasonal dates are used when picking which address to use for any given mailing. The date address is chosen based on the date the mailing is sent.
Each address stored can have "seasonal start" and "seasonal end" dates added. This allows you to set Address #1 as having a start date of November 1, for example, and an end date of May 31. Address #2 would then have a start date of June 1 and an end date of October 31.
When you then create a mailing in LGL and use the "preferred" address, Address #1 will be used between Nov 1 and May 31, and Address #2 will be used between Jun 1 and Oct 31.
Website URL types
You can store your constituents' website URLs as well as their Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter webpage URLs. You can customize your own website types as well.
Set preferred contact information
Preferred contact information takes precedence over non-preferred when generating exports or mail merges. If there are multiple email addresses, for example, the preferred email will always be chosen when doing a standard export. If no preferred setting is present, then the first piece of contact information will be chosen.
You can indicate a preferred setting while adding or editing a constituent record via the full form:
Set contact information inactive
You can make a piece of contact information inactive by editing a constituent, checking off the Inactive check box next to the contact information that is no longer valid, and then clicking the Save button.
Removing contact information
To remove a piece of contact information, click on the Remove button you want to remove:
LGL provides a simple yet flexible way to create relationships between constituents. On every Constituent Details page you will see a Related Information section. You can add new relationships by clicking the Add relationships button, or Edit relationships button if any relationships are already defined:
This will bring up the Edit relationships page, to which you can add one or more entries.
To add a new relationship, click on the Add another relationship button, then click on the Set Constituent button to search for the constituent with whom you want to create a relationship. If the constituent you want to relate to is not yet in your database, you can add a new constituent as well. Once you’ve chosen (or added a new constituent), you can then define the relationship type by choosing from a value in the drop-down menu or by adding a new value:
A reciprocal relationship can also be set for the related constituent.
Sharing contact information
An additional benefit to setting up relationships is that contact information can be shared between related constituents. For example, if you want to track spouses with separate records, you can elect to share the common contact information between both records, choosing to either share address info or phone numbers, or both.
NOTE: Shared contact information can be edited only in the master record, so in this case you can’t make a change to the mailing address in the related constituent’s page.
To remove a relationship, you can click the Remove button and then click the Save button.
You can add entries for each individual constituent’s education history in the Education Info area of the Related Information section of the Constituent Details page.
If no entries are present, click on the Add schools button, and then add as many as you have data for. If entries are present already, you can click on the Edit schools button to add, change, or remove any entry. (Note: The default values for School Type are: Elementary, High School, College, Graduate, Other. If your data has school types that don't match LGL's default values you can edit the list in Settings > Menu Items > Other Menu Items to add something like "University" or a different school type more in line with your data.)
Clicking the Add another school link will add a new entry to the form. To remove an entry, click on the Remove button next to the school entry that you want to remove.
If you run a school or track parents and alumni, LGL gives you the option to catalog information about how different constituents are related to particular graduation years. This makes doing things like grabbing the parents of the class of 2012 fairly easy.
For constituents with class-year affiliations already set, you can click on the hyperlinked name and year to pull up all constituents with the same affiliation and year. You can also add, edit, or remove affiliations by clicking the Edit affiliations button. The class affiliation types are customizable in the Menu Items section of your subscription settings. A note field is also available and can be used to add children's names or any other relevant information.
Any of your LGL team members (users with accounts in your LGL subscription) can be assigned as a steward for one or more constituents. This is useful for indicating who in your organization is the primary contact or connection for a given constituent. It is possible to assign multiple stewards.
Clicking on the linked steward name will bring up the list of constituents for the steward in question.
If no stewards are assigned, you can click on the Add link to add one or more by checking them off on the form. Clicking the Edit link will allow you to edit the stewardship assignments in the same way. If you have multiple stewards for a particular constituent, you can mark one as primary by clicking on the Primary? radio button next to the steward's name.
You can remove a steward by removing the check in the check box. When you are finished selecting and removing stewards, click the Save button to record your changes, or discard them by clicking Cancel.
If you want to add board members or others as stewards but not have them log into your account, It is possible to add them as team members but not send them an invitation to log in. You can also identify the board members or others as stewards connected to constituents by reporting on them.