Contacts, You Look Different, Have You Had Work Done?
That's right, we've given the Contact screen, specifically the Overview Tab, a little makeover.
The change is evident right away — even the tabs, like "Overview," are now below the blue header. But while the page does have a nice new look, this change is really more about function than form.
On the left, you'll see that Contact data is in a new, vertical box that can be collapsed, and other details, like Tags, Relationships, and Email Lists, are also in smaller panes that can be opened or collapsed with a click.
These panes will stay opened or collapsed as you move between records, allowing you to define your own view. Like to see totals at a glance? leave all panes collapsed and just click to open them as needed. Like to see everything at once? Leave all panes open. The choice is yours! (Don't let the power go to your head 😉)
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
On the right, you'll see a new activity feed. For users with Admin permissions, you'll notice that the Audit Log has been merged into the new feed. This new view not only provides all the latest Contact activity, including giving, data edits, and email activity, but also options for seeing data your way.
Use the checkboxes and menus at the top of the feed to select only those items you want to see in the feed. Your selections will remain as you move between Contact records, making it easy to focus on the info that is most critical for you.
Your preferences will only apply to you, and will not affect other users. Anyone who does not have permission to see certain data points will not be able to select or view them in the activity feed.
Go ahead and check out the new look!
Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News, I got a Bad Address for Mailing You
Bad data can undo even the best communications efforts. Stay on top of your data and manage it all from the new Data Health center!
You'll notice (or maybe you won't, I guess we can't really say) that this new menu icon replaces the Merge Contacts screen. Now, merging duplicates is only one part of what you can do here. You can also use the Data Health center to review and correct bad addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. You can learn more about address cleanup in this support article.
To make address cleanup even easier, we've added the ability to import addresses in bulk to update values. You'll need to use the Contact Address import, and include the Contact Address ID in your file. Use this carefully, as it will overwrite current address data.
Let Me Hear You Say N...C...O...A
We already used the "But wait, there's more" line, but hey, it's that kind of a month around here. So say it with me:
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
On the addresses tab of the Data Health center, you'll have the option to request an NCOA update.
This makes it easier than ever to find up-to date addresses for your Contacts. Use this before any big mailing to reach more people.
You can learn more about the NCOA process by perusing this support article.
Custom Fields of Dreams
Personalizing communication with your donors and managing your mission often means having to track data that is unique to your organization. We've made that a little easier this month, with some new options for creating and organizing custom fields.
We've limited values in text custom fields to a maximum of 140 characters, to improve query performance, and added a new data type called "Paragraph" for tracking longer values, like survey responses from Virtuous forms.
You'll also see a new option, "Groups." Now, custom fields can be grouped together, so that fields that are all related to a specific topic can be displayed together on-screen.
Custom fields can even be moved in and out of groups as needed, offering more flexibility for defining views.
You can learn all about the new custom field features by aiming your eyeballs at this here support article.
What if Gifts, But Like, in Real Time?
Look, when you have a big fundraising day planned, knowing how things are going throughout the day can allow your team to respond quickly and shift tactics as needed. That's been a bit tricky in Virtuous.
But not anymore.
Enter the Real Time Giving report!
This report will display all gifts, pledges, and recurring gifts, including those that have not yet been imported, received over the last 12 hours. The report includes an hour-by-hour breakdown and even allows you to view your current progress to goal for a specific Campaign.
Learn more about the details of this new report by giving this support article a go.
Last week, we sent out information on API changes for this release to everyone signed up for our Developer Digest emails.
This release includes some new character limits for certain fields, one entirely new endpoint, and additional functionality for several query endpoints.
If you are a developer, or if you just like to stay in the know on all the high-tech goings-on around here, just reply to this email and let us know, or use the support messenger to contact us.
...And the Rest
As with every release, this month's update also includes a number of other fixes, tweaks, minor modifications, and assorted nudges. Among this month's assorted fixes:
- We didn't just stop at improving custom fields and adding groups (because really, we were on a roll). We've also added the ability to filter on custom field values to a number of objects. You'll see these new options when filtering Events, Event Invitations, Gifts, Gift Asks, Grants, Media Outlets, Planned Gifts, Premiums, Projects, and Volunteer Opportunities.
- If you've created an event form, lead form, or volunteer form in Virtuous Marketing, you may have noticed that the "Submission" step of the form builder said "What should happen when someone makes a donation?" While this is a valid question, and one every organization should ask from time to time, it didn't really make sense for non-donation forms, so we've updated the text.
- You ever notice that the Sent Email query, which by nature looks at Individual actions, didn't include the option to export Individual data, like First or Last Name? Kinda weird, huh? We thought so too, so now you can export Individual data to your heart's delight.
- While on the topic of queries, we've added the ability to query for Contacts based on the user who is following them. Now, you can easily tell who's stalking who.
- A rather unseemly bug was preventing some addresses from displaying on the map view, which was not at all sporting. We've sent that bug on its way, with a stern warning never to return.
- The Recurring Gift Payment report was not displaying recurring gift payments for some users. Seeing as how displaying recurring gift payments is really the only reason why you would run the Recurring Gift Payment report, we've made sure that they will display correctly from now on.
- It came to our attention that processing credit cards in the Gift & Contact Import tool was not working when donors did not have US addresses. We've broadened our horizons, so processing credit cards should be a bit more cosmopolitan from now on.
- Some email deliveries were showing multiple times in the Communication History on Contact records, when in fact the emails were delivered only once (as they should be). As part of our move to the new Activity Feed, we've made sure these duplicates are a thing of the past.
- We've made a small change to make it more obvious when error messages appear while saving edits to existing records. We apologize if you were one of the few users who actually enjoyed playing the "spot the error message" game, but it just wasn't as popular as we'd hoped.
- Creating a Campaign Communication prompted users to enter both an Internal Cost Estimate and... an Internal Cost Estimate. While you could make the case that they are the costs so nice, you track them twice, we decided it was better to change one to allow you to track Vendor Cost Estimates instead.
And that's the list! As always, if you have any questions about these or other features, feel free to contact our team using the support widget in Virtuous, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.