Development & CRM Overview

Written by Nick Miles

Last published at: September 14th, 2021


A Profile is a native record or contact for any entity in your system. Profiles are a foundational piece to your organizational success as they capture both the contact information and relational framework between constituents. Effectively capturing, stewarding and maintaining profile data is important to the longevity of your relationships and overall growth. Community Suite offers many options to organize and segment your data.

Profile Basics

Native Profiles: The highest level of a profile, which must be one of three types - Individual, Organization, or Household. Individuals, Organizations and Households can be linked together.

Households: Multiple individual profiles, generally spouses, can be linked to a household profile via the +Add Household Member. The combined giving history of each individual linked to the household profile displays on the household profile. In order to properly attribute gift credit and track which members of the household attended events you need individual profiles in addition to household profiles.

  • Things to think about with household records

    • Donations need to be attributed to the profile that is reflected on the donation

    • Joint credit needs to be entered on the household profile

    • Spouse changes: death and divorce.

      • Check out this article for information about how to handle spouse changes

    • Suggestion: Create a policy for how you use and name Households, including where to add Notes, Opportunities, Profile Types, Grant Type Interest and Profile Fund Categorie

Ways to Create Profiles

  • (Profiles → Create): Fill in name data EITHER in the Individual, Household or Organization line

  • Search Guidestar, select desired nonprofit from search results and select Create Profile to left of organizational name

  • Copy an existing profile (when in a profile, click “Copy” on left sidebar)

  • Import a CSV list of profiles

Search Profiles: Search by name, email, or phone number

List (profiles): Shows first 2,000 profiles alphabetically. If you have more than 2,000 profiles in the system you have to export this list Excel. To see grant or donation totals on a profile list, select Add Value on the left sidebar.

Filter Reports: Pare down your list by adding a filter

  • “- Reverse Filter” excludes attributes that you have selected

  • “+ Add Filter” includes attributes that you have selected

    • Ex. filter by profile type, donation amount, service area, specific fund donors

  • You may bulk add this filtered list to “Profile Types” or “Campaigns”

  • Save filter reports so you can easily re-pull lists with the same filters

  • Saved filter reports can be shared with all users in your organization

Similar Profiles OR Duplicates: Lists of possible duplicate profiles based on matching names, emails, and phone numbers.

  • The system automatically identifies potential duplicates that can be reviewed in the Duplicates screen. Click on a Name, Email, or Phone Number to review the duplicates.

  • You then have three options to select on the left sidebar: Ignore, Tag Merge (for further review), or Merge. Note, merging cannot be reversed. When a merge is complete, the new record will have some duplicate data that requires review and editing.

  • After reviewing potential duplicates, select “Mark As Reviewed” on the left sidebar

Name Fields

  • Legal Name: Full legal name of a person or entity

  • Salutation: How you address someone personally in a communication – what goes on the inside of a letter. If this field is blank CSuite will pull the Mailing Label name first. If the Mailing Label name is blank CSuite will pull First and Last Name with the prefix.

  • Mailing Label: What goes on the outside of an envelope. If this field is blank, CSuite will pull first and last name with no prefix.

Profile Designation (Profile Is): The sub level of the profile that houses content-specific information. Ex. Profile Is Donor, Fund Advisor, Grantee, Vendor, Nonprofit, Student. Most of these designations are set manually per profile. Profile Is Donor appears when a donation is processed under the profile.

Profile Types: Designations you define and apply to groups of profiles with similar characteristics to segment, prioritize and manage your database. There are four options within Profile Types. (Profiles → Profile Types)

  • Profile Types: Could be personas of your constituents, important information, or preferences. Think about subjective qualities that are not captured in other user defined fields.

  • Profile Fund CategoriesDefines the relationship of profile to a fund. This is a place to capture fund advisors but also successor advisors, contacts, prospects and original fund founders, etc. (Link Profile 🡪 Fund)

  • Address Types: Reflected on the Native Profile. Ex. home, work, summer home, winter home.

  • Engagement Strategies: Use to segment your profiles on a one to one basis. Each profile can only have one Engagement Strategy selected. Examples: High, Medium, and Low Priorities.

  • You can apply Profile Types, Address Types & Engagement Strategies through the Edit screen in individual profiles. 

Organizational Roles (Link Profile 🡪 Organization): Define a profile’s relationship to an organization. This is a menu of user defined fields that is selected when creating the link.

  • Ex. board member, giving society member, volunteer

  • Organizational roles are defined by a time frame and can be activated and deactivated

  • When linked to an organization, displays under links in profile

Profile Links: Track relationships via linking any profile to a person, fund or organization. Unlike Organizational roles, Profile links are free text and can be defined by the user. A profile can be multiple profiles.

Service Areas: Tag profiles to a geographic area. Can be tied to zip codes but not required. Setup is via Nonprofits column of Home.

Grant Type Interest: Grant Types can be used to indicate the philanthropic interest of a profile, and easily filter desired grants for reporting purposes. These are user defined fields that apply to both grants and profiles. Setup Home → Nonprofits.

Notes: A place to capture information about situations or relationships.

  • Note Types are user defined fields that are set up in the Opportunity page to help organize your information

    • Ex. Visit, Call, Development Strategy, Stewardship Note, Personal Update, Event, Special Handling

    • Note types also apply to Tasks

  • Place Notes at Profile, Donor or Opportunity level

  • The Notes section off the home screen displays all notes.

  • Notes roll up to the Native Profile, sorted by date. At this time some Designation Notes do not roll up into the Native Profile.

  • Permissions helps control who can see Notes

  • When deleting a note type, the system prompts you to tag notes in that note type as a different note type

  • TIP: Think big and broad - what Note categories capture as many actions as possible across your site?


A Donor Profile is where all the information regarding a donor’s philanthropic relationship with your organization is kept. The profile captures donor history, affiliations, and fund information.

Properly navigating and reading a donor profile provides important information pertaining to the capacity, inclination and status of a current or prospective donor. Interpreting fluctuations in donation amount, time frame, or patterns in gift allocations helps inform strategy while engaging with a donor. Follow-up with a timely thank you if a donor suddenly increases their gift or connecting them to other donors with similar interests are both examples of strategic activities that might come from reviewing the Donor Profile page.

Donor Profile Basics

Items from the bulleted list below will appear in a Donor Profile IF there is data to populate in that section.

  • Donations: List of all donations in the system by date

    • Tip: make sure all donations are correct before a donor meeting and look for patterns in giving history for insight on donor inclination and capacity

  • Donation Summary: Donation summary totaled by fund and year

  • Advised Grant Summary: Advised Grant Summary totaled by fund and year

  • Advised Grants: List of all Advised Grants in system by date

  • Linked Funds: Shows fund affiliation—can pull to use for strategic prospect and event lists

  • Stewards: A staff member in charge of this relationship, often seen as a prospect manager. You can pull lists of donors managed by a Steward and cultivate this group of donors in depth

  • Add Fund Prospect (Left sidebar): Way to indicate whether a donor may be interested in a specific fund—can pull a comprehensive list of fund prospects for prospecting or communications purposes

  • Pledge history and status:

    • Track when a prospect is coming to the end of their pledge to solicit them for a renewal or upgrade

    • Pledge histories with households shows the combined total of all members of a household

  • Recurring Donations: Create and post recurring donations. A notification email is then sent to the donor


Opportunities are a relationship management tool used to track specific strategies for an individual, household, or organization. The Opportunities function is where you conduct “moves management” for prospects or volunteers.

Opportunities allow you to do the following:

  • Build-out and track time-oriented engagements with your constituents

    • Ex. Major Gift, Planned Gift and Volunteer strategy

  • Assign and track tasks that drive these opportunities to yourself or other staff members

  • Track success rates of fundraising efforts and connect opportunities to gifts realized

  • Promote forethought and conversation about how to move constituents forward in their relationship with your organization

  • Prevent knowledge loss due to employee turnover

Opportunities are the individual pieces that build the foundation of your pipeline and fund development strategy. They are individual project plans that enable you to move relationships forward. Opportunities increase your effectiveness because they help you approach relationship building with a strategy and record and track the important details of that relationship in order to propel it forward. Additionally, capturing these opportunities in the system protects against losing momentum due to organizational turnover. Finally, creating metrics with this data enables the organization to track progress, identify what is working and create financial projections via success rates on solicitations and current donor pipeline.

Opportunity Basics:

Create Opportunity Type: Under the Opportunity page select List Types on the left sidebar. This is where you build user defined opportunity types and their related task types.

  • TIP: Think big and broad with opportunity types—what major relationship continuums does your organization drive and what strategies apply to a broad cross-section of actions your organization pursues?

  • You will have the chance to assign specific dollar amounts when adding new opportunities to profiles

Stages of an Opportunity:

  • Stages help track where the prospect is within this continuum and drive movement forward. Stages are user defined fields.

  • Examples:

    • Major Gift Stages: Discovery, Engage, Cultivate, Solicit, Stewardship Permanent Stewardship

    • Volunteer Engagement Continuum: Ignorance, Awareness, Interest, Experience, Participation, Ownership

Create Coinciding Tasks:

  • Tasks drive the progression of stages, these are your to do items.

  • You can assign tasks to anyone in your organization. They see the assigned task and due date on their own list of tasks.

  • Tasks and Notes share the same list of user defined types.

  • Major Gift Task Examples: Discovery Call, Discovery Visit, Follow-up Thank You, Send Informational Collateral or Materials, Cultivation Event, Solicitation Visit, Stewardship Thank You

  • An Opportunity Task is a special kind of task that can only be added on the Opportunity level. When marking one of these tasks as complete, you have the ability to add “outcome” notes. These notes will appear on the native profile.

Task Viewing Options: From Home → Tasks (in the top menu)

  1. All My Tasks: Shows all tasks assigned to you by yourself and other users

  2. Assigned Tasks: Shows all tasks you have assigned to others

    1. To see who the assigned task is assigned to, click “edit” on the task

  3. Completed Tasks: Shows all of your completed tasks


Campaigns are a way to create and manage lists of people for general communications and development purposes. Campaigns can also be used to manage events.

Wait, when and why do I use Campaignsinstead of Profile Types or Opportunities?...

Profile Types categorize constituent attributes and characteristics. Opportunities track where someone is in a strategic process. Campaigns group constituents based by temporary or dynamic interests or initiatives i.e. a monthly newsletter or an interest-based event. Campaigns also offer the ability to interface with the general public and grow your database.

Campaign Basics

Campaign Group: Organize your Campaigns into buckets and differentiate one group’s purpose from another. Examples of campaign groups are Newsletters, Stewardship Letters and Donor Engagement Events.

Campaign: Campaigns are the individual lists under Campaign Groups. Under the Newsletters campaign group you might have a campaign for each date your newsletter is sent.

  • Tip: what you choose for both Group Name and Campaign Description flows into the public portal and is visible by people buying tickets.

Invite to Campaign: You can add invitees to your campaign via the individual search bar or the filtered profile lists.

If your Campaign is an event you have a variety of options under Edit:

  • You can choose whether or not to sell online tickets. Once a ticket is set up a unique URL for the event will be created.

  • You can mark it public or private.

    • Public campaigns will be posted on your public events portal which can be seen via the URL at the top of the events page. Your attendees can RSVP via this link, which can be embedded in your website and shared with the public.

    • Private events are not posted on your public events portal, and the URL is only accessible by sharing the link. You can send it to individuals via email or manage internally.

  • You may create multiple types of tickets and choose whether or not these are viewable on the online events page. ie. General Admission, Preferred Seating, Sponsorship.

  • You can also create request preferences that invitees chan choose when registering for your event. i.e. Chicken, Fish or Gluten Free

  • Track RSVP’s and attendance rates via the Y/N selections to the right of the invitee’s name. When someone buys a ticket they can add themselves or others to the event, this will trigger the Y/N selection for RSVPs.

  • Create groups to apply to invitees after they have RSVPed - ie VIPs, Host Committee, etc.

If your Campaign is a mailing:

  • After you have added invitees, you can create mailing labels and export email addresses via PDF or CSV

  • If you are doing an email campaign, you can set up the API with MailChimp and manage the analytics of each campaign via MailChimp. Keep in mind lists from Campaigns only sync one way: CSuite → MailChimp

Connect Donations to a Campaign: By linking a donation to a campaign you can report on ROI and Income Statements.

Reporting on a Campaign:When viewing a specific campaign you can select the income statement, donations, and invoices linked to that campaign from the left sidebar.


Reports are ways to compile information to make strategic decisions about your constituency. Reports enable you to comb your database for prospective donors, create fundraising projections and analyze what types of communication campaigns are yielding gifts or constituent engagement. Understanding what you can do with CSuite’s reporting functionality enables you to access and analyze the data you are so meticulously keeping and cultivating. CSuite has three types of reports - filter reports, canned reports and custom reports.

Filter Reports: Filter reports are accessed through many avenues in CSuite. Any time you see “+ Add Filter”, “- Reverse Filter” or “Filter Reports” on the left sidebar, you can create a filter report. These filters allow the user to add parameters and export CSV format spreadsheet. Your export format will vary dependent on which page the report was created in:

  • Profile format: Pulls all fields that are listed on the Native level of a profile

  • Donor format: Pulls all fields that are listed on the Donor level of a profile

  • Donations format: Pulls fields listed on a Donation entry

  • Grants format: Pulls fields listed when entering a Grant

  • Funds format: Pulls fields listed when starting a Fund

  • Pledges: Pulls fields listed when creating a Pledge

  • Notes: Pulls fields filled out when entering a Note

TIP: “Add Value” on the left sidebar will add a column with the cumulative giving associated with the profile.

Building reports: Adding additional report filters allows you to narrow report results based on multiple criteria. For example, you can create a report of “+Add Filter” of “Donated to Fund” and “- Reverse Filter” of “Donation Amount” minimum of $500. This report will pull all donors to your specified fund but exclude those who gave under $500.

  • If you build a filter report that you expect to run frequently, you can save the filters and name the report. You can also share it so everyone in your organization can have access.

  • In addition to exporting a filtered list to a CSV file, you can add a filtered list of profiles to a Campaign, Opportunity, and/or Profile Type

  • Examples are available by clicking here.

Canned Reports: Access via Reports from Home. Pull pre-defined, formatted reports based on topic and the date range you select. These are not customizable, but you can export them to a CSV file.

Custom Reports: Learn more about custom reporting by clicking here.

Configurable (User Defined) CRM Data Fields

Here is a list of user defined fields in CSuite to which enable you to customize donor management, strategy, and moves management for your organization.


  • Household naming and structure

  • Salutation preferences

  • Address types

Profile Tags:

  • Profile Types - free form field, capture important information about constituents re. qualities and preferences

  • Profile Fund Categories- profiles relationship to a specific fund

  • Engagement Strategies - use to segment and prioritize large groups of your database

  • Grant Type Interest – general philanthropic interest

  • Service Areas - regional coding

  • Organizational Roles – profile tag that defines how a profile is related to a specific Organization, with time frames

  • Relationship Links – basic linking of profiles


  • Note Levels

  • Task/Note Types – through Opportunities-List Types


  • Types: Over all action/goal

  • Stages: Phases of that goal

This information requires an information flow policy that defines the following:

  • Who enters it into the system, and why?

  • The formatting standards for how its entered

  • Who has permission to change/update this information

  • Who is responsible for auditing this data periodically

  • The timeliness on which it is entered