1. How can I remove contacts that have no address from a mailing list?

Create a search criterion which searches on a Contact field. The field to search is Pref Street A (the street address of the contact’s preferred address). Then choose the search relationship is null. This finds all contacts who have no street address. Click the Reverse the search checkbox to find the contacts who do have a mailing address. You can save this single search criterion as a group, to be used in other searches or, since it is just a single fairly simple search criterion, include this box into other searches as required. If you already have a search that produces a list of people to receive a mailing, use this new search criterion by connecting it (with an and connector) to the criterion that produces your mailing list.

2. When I click the expansion icon for a contact, why don’t all of a contact’s donations show?

Expansion control fields in the contacts list allow you to specify how far back in time Sumac should look when gathering data to show in the expansion. The default is 24 months, so when you expand a contact, only the last 24 months of data are displayed. If you change the number from 24 to, say, 60 months, you see more information when you click the expansion icon.

3. Should I use the Inactive checkbox in contact records to indicate that someone is no longer a member?

Generally you should not use the inactive checkbox to indicate that a membership is no longer current. If a member contact lapses, then there would be no current membership record for the contact which, by its absence, indicates that the contact is no longer a member. The Inactive checkbox indicates no further relationship of any sort is likely with a contact. But a lapsed member may become a member again in the future, or may even be a current donor or attend current events.

4. How should I record organizations with multiple contacts?

The best way to record this is:
  1. Create a contact record for the organization itself, with no particular individual’s name in it. Give this contact record a gender of organization.
  2. Create a contact record for each of the people associated with the organization. Then enter relations that relate the individuals to the organization. You may want to use relations that provide useful information. For example, if the organization is a school, you might want three or four relation types like “is teacher at/has teacher”, “is primary contact for/has primary contact”, “is principal at/has principal”, “is billing contact at/has billing contact”. Since relations can be searched, you will then be able to do a search like “Find all people who are principals at a school”.
The advantage to this approach is that it does not mix up an organization and individuals within one contact record (is this phone number for the person or the organization?). It also defines the organization independently of any individuals that work there.
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