Classifying Accounts and Contacts based on Underlying Data

How to  ensure when a mailing goes out to donors that no clients in the program app are included but if a client is also a donor that individual should be included. 

You can use the data that you have in salesforce to help you differentiate the types of people. You have donation records, and Salesforce and their presence affects things like the number of household gifts fields. You can either directly use that field as a report filter (I’ve been doing that for 10+ years, or you can do what I think. I wish I had done it a long time ago, which is to automate the formula field to checkbox that indicates the person is part of an account that is a donor.  

Likewise, you have program management module records in salesforce that can do the same thing. Although it’s a little bit tricky, because often PMM is touted to do more than just program delivery measurement that you have to make sure there is a number in your Salesforce records that properly reflects someone is a “client”. I want you to have that number, you could create another formula checkbox field that indicates someone is a client. 

While we’re at it, you will also discover there are other types of people in salesforce, and my encouragement is that you build natural transactional records that demonstrate that rather than have a setting, that is manual, so identify these types of people. Volunteers and supporters are two of our big ones. Volunteers are so big that we divide them into time volunteers and in-kind donors. We have a number on the contact record that indicates how many times they have given in-kind and how many times they have given their time to roll up from volunteer records. 

We also have a field in our database that indicates someone is a subscriber to one of our newsletters or updates. This is unfortunately a manual setting and we are always having to update it. I wish that 10 years ago I had known enough to set up a subscription record, which could end and begin and restart and would automatically set the subscriber status. Live and learn!

Once you have these wonderful indicators, I highly recommend that you create one formula field, in which you conditionally include a small icon that shows if a person belongs to any of these groups of people. So that would be one little currency icon, one little heart icon, one little bag of donated items icon, one little helping hand icon, and one megaphone icon. Those five icons in one formula field can be placed in a prominent location to tell you at a glance how the person is engaged with you. I don’t have this either right now, and I wish I did all the time.

Other types of people include advocates, partners, suppliers, service providers. If any of these groups are large enough, you may wish to consider a transactional way to note their status. An advocate to us is someone who refers people to us. A partner is someone who supplies resource information directly to our clients alongside us. Supplier someone we order inventory items from. And service providers are people whom our clients get service from but we don’t have much of a relationship with this opportunity for there to be transactional records and Salesforce for all of these things. 

Bottom line:

1) capture transactional data

2) summarize the presence of that transactional data with automated summary fields

3) let the presence of nonzero data, tell you that a person belongs in a certain segment

4) give yourself a graphical wait to see the segments on the record, and then reports

5) use the segments to confidently send communications

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