Constituent categories

in this article:

What are custom constituent categories?

Constituent categories make it possible to segment, or code, your constituents in different ways. Constituent segmentation is critical to donor management, and Little Green Light enables you to create and manage constituent categories in a flexible way so that you can segment or code your donors exactly how you want. Constituent categories are the best way to keep your constituents organized and to facilitate the creation of targeted lists, reports, and mailings.

A custom category is designed to hold a controlled value that can be applied to multiple records, either gifts or constituents. The values are “controlled” because:

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

IMPORTANT NOTE: A category should never be used for a value that might change from one record to the next, such as a date or an amount. Using categories in this way will not be useful or manageable over time. They are only useful as a controlled list of choices you can use to quickly scan and build queries.

From the Constituent Details page, you can add or update all categories by clicking on the Edit all categories button.

You can manage your constituent categories and their menu items from the Settings > Menu items page.

Create your own custom constituent categories

Custom constituent categories can be used to track information about a constituent that’s important to your organization. They allow you to classify your constituents in more ways and to customize the ways offered by default in your account. Customizing constituent categories can make it easier to find different or multiple types of constituents by searching or using filters.

It’s common, for example, to use groups to identify board members, volunteers, or prospects, and each of these can be considered a primary relationship or constituent classification. You may want to record information about a constituent in additional ways that aren’t so primary, however. Common examples include “volunteer interest,” “volunteer skills,” and “source,” which you could use to identify volunteers by their area of interest, their skills, or how they connected with you (through an event, referral, or other method). That information can then be used to communicate with those volunteers who have specific interests or skills when related opportunities arise, for instance.

NOTE: At this time, it is only possible to create custom constituent categories and custom gift fields. This functionality is not currently available for any other data type.

To create your own custom categories, go to the Settings tab in your account and choose Menu Items. Explore the categories currently available. To add one or more of your own, and click the Add category button at the top of the page.

Two types of custom categories are available, which you choose as you are creating a new one:

  • Multi select, which allows you to assign more than one value to the category for a particular constituent
  • Single select, which means a constituent can only ever have a single value for that category at any given moment

Watch a brief video on adding a new constituent category: