Names are super important. Think about it! How many times have you said or heard someone say, “how many names are in our database?” Not records; names. They are vital!
In Virtuous, First Name and Last Name are the only fields required for creating an Individual record. Why, though? Well, if you want to be a Responsive nonprofit, it's important to start building a relationship with each supporter right away. A First and Last Name is a good place to start! In fact, in one study, simply including someone's name in a direct mail appeal increased response rates by 135%.
Beyond a person's name, though, you'll need names for your Contacts (which you'll remember are households, organizations, or foundations, not people.) To review Contact Types, check out this Support Article. In Virtuous, each record has two basic names: a Contact Name and an Informal Name. The Contact Name is just that - the name of your Contact. This is pretty straightforward for Organizations and Foundations. For Households, you can think of the Contact Name as being equivalent to an “addressee.” If you're going to send a piece of mail to a Household, the Contact Name would go on the front of the envelope. Virtuous automatically generates Contact Names for Households based on the names of the people in that Household.
For example, if you create a Contact record with Reed Richards and Susan Richards, Virtuous will automatically populate the Contact Name as "Reed and Susan Richards". You can also edit the Contact Name if you like, especially if you have a particular Contact who prefers a bit more formality.
The Informal Name for each Contact record can be thought of more as a “salutation.” Again, to use the example of sending a direct mail appeal: The Informal Name would be how you'd start your letter. For Reed and Susan Richards, instead of starting your letter with “Dear Mr. And Mrs. Reed and Susan Richards”, you'd simply say, “Dear Reed and Susan.” Virtuous will automatically generate the Informal Name for Households using the First Names of the Primary and Secondary Individuals within each Household. Virtuous will not automatically generate Informal Names for Organizations or Foundations, as there may be cases where you'd prefer to use a specific title or another name.
Virtuous admins can customize the naming rules for both Contact and Informal Names, which you can learn more about in this Support Article.