Managing data for deceased constituents
In this article:
- Updating a deceased constituent’s record
- Updating a joint record, when you don’t need to preserve the deceased’s history
- Updating a joint record, when you need to preserve the deceased’s history
Keeping your LGL data accurate for deceased constituents involves:
- Designating that constituent as deceased in LGL, or;
- If the deceased person was a member of a couple, either updating the joint record and any tags or other designations in your data to reflect the passing, or cloning the record (setting a relationship between the original and the cloned record)
Updating a deceased constituent’s record
You can update a constituent’s status as deceased by making a simple change to their constituent record.
Go to Constituents > All constituents, find the constituent you want to update the record for, and choose to edit the record (click the Actions button from your search results and choose Edit constituent):
Then make the update in the constituent's record:
Updating a joint record, when you don’t need to preserve the deceased’s history
In the case of one member of a couple passing away, you have a couple of choices to make in how to manage that relationship in LGL moving forward:
When a deceased constituent was a member of a couple but you aren't receiving in-memory of gifts for that person, you may not need to preserve an individual history for them in your data. In this case, there are two simple ways you can reflect the status change in LGL. The first is to update the constituent's joint record so that the living member of the couple has a status of "widowed" and add "deceased" to the spouse member's name, as shown here:
Another option is to add a note in the Background Info text block with information about the deceased spouse.
Updating a joint record, when you need to preserve the deceased’s history
When the deceased person was a member of a couple, and you want to keep the living member still active while preserving the deceased person’s connection/historical memory (this would be the case when you're receiving in-memory of gifts or when you had a strong relationship with the deceased and you want to preserve your contact reports as institutional knowledge), you can clone the current record, creating a new one for the deceased spouse, removing their name from the remaining spouse’s record, and adding a relationship between the two records.
Steps for updating a joint record to reflect a spouse’s passing
- Go to the constituent record, click the More actions button, and choose Clone constituent.
- Choose to generate "soft credits" for the new (cloned) record. Then set the relationship appropriately to the deceased constituent
- Mark the deceased person's record as "Deceased" with the deceased date, and remove any "Primary" or other designation.
- Change the name fields (first, last, salutation, addressee, annual report, etc.) so they reflect just the surviving spouse's name.
- Update any other tags, groups, and so on for the surviving spouse record (for example, if they are not an alumni, you won't want them flagged as such, class affiliations, etc.). You can make all of these updates in the newly cloned record.
- If you have any pledges with installments due, you may need to manually adjust them. And remember that future gifts should be entered in the survivor's record.
Note: Make sure that the new record is not set to share contact information with the deceased record. As a fail safe, you can also add the text "Dec'd" or "Deceased" to the person’s information (Annual Report, Addressee, Last, etc.) so that if by chance they slip into any query results, that text will stick out as you review letters or envelopes.