Beginning Balance Profiles

Written by Nick Miles

Last published at: May 4th, 2021

NOTE: Many aspects of this article pertain only to your original migration. If you are looking for instruction on loading profiles through the Profile Import tool, those are outlined in CSuite (from Home, go to Profiles, then Profile Import for instructions).

When importing your data and setting up your CRM system there are a few key decisions to make regarding how information is kept on a profile. The following is a guide that helps delineate these decisions. 


CommunitySuite offers three ways to import Households for couples assuming the data provided includes the complete information needed.

1. One Household profile per HouseholdImport Spouse1 and Spouse2 as one combined household profile, ie. “Smith, Bob and Sally”.

Pros: All information lives in one place; you do not have to create a process document for where you store information.

Cons: You cannot easily record information about Individuals within the Household on a combined Household profile (think donor notes, donations attributed to an Individual). You have less flexibility to contact individuals at different emails/addresses. You are limited to one Salutation and Mailing Label so contacting Individuals would take manual work.

2. Two Individual profiles per HouseholdImport separate Individual Profiles for Spouse1 and Spouse2 and do not create a Household Profile. You can still manually create and link Household Profiles to Individual Profiles as needed later.

Pros: All information lives in one place; you do not have to create a process document for where you store information.

Cons: You will not have a place where you can house “joint” information. You are limited to one Salutation and Mailing Label so contacting a couple would take manual work. This selection is not common.

3. Three profiles per Household "Trifecta" (two Individual and one Household): Import Spouse1 and Spouse2 as Individual profiles and as a combined household profile. In the import file, specify links between the Household profile and each Individual profile.

Pros: You can actively track your organization’s relationship with the combined Household and differentiate the relationships you have with each Individual. You can track which Individual attended an event. You can choose to communicate with the Household via their preferred mailing address and phone number, or with the Individuals based off their preferred mailing address and phone number.

Cons: More places to put data creates more room for error. To help alleviate this, create a process document and train staff on where and how to enter information with this system.

These three options are available regardless of which householding structure you currently use. Importing a householding structure will likely differ from your current system, so you will want to think this through prior to your implementation.


Name & Salutation Fields

Individual Name: The name you call the person most (i.e. Jon Smith). All name components (Prefix, First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Suffix) are separate fields. 

Household Name: The name of the combined members of the Household. The recommended Household Name format will lead with Last Name so they'll fall in A-Z order in profile lists. Here are recommended formats: 1. Same Last Name: Smith, Jon & Jane; 2. Different Last Name: Smith, Jon & Robinson, Jan

Organization Name: All name fields on Organizations (Organization Name, Salutation, Mailing Label) are generally the same, so choose what you'd like to display on your envelopes and letters. Unless otherwise specified, Foundant will set the same name for all three fields.

Each row on your import file should only contain a Household Name, Organization Name or First Name and Last Name (both first and last are required to import an Individual). If you have a contact name for Organizations, you can fill in First and Last. This will create an Organization, and add First and Last to the contact fields on the Organization.

If doing the Trifecta, put the Household Name in the Member of Household column for the two Household Members.

Legal Name: Full name on their birth certificate (i.e. Jonathon Wright Smith). This is not required, and is intended to capture name information when what a profile goes by differs than their legal name.

Salutation: Name that you use to address someone in a letter (i.e. Jon or Mr. Smith). 

Mailing Label: The name that goes along with the address on an envelope (i.e. Mr. Jon Smith or Jon Smith).

It's important to populate Salutation and Mailing Label because these are common fields used in lists and templates. 

Additional Profile Information & Relationships

Profile Code: This is the profile's ID in your legacy system. If your legacy system has profile ID's, this should be included. It will help match donations and grants histories to the correct profile.

Address Information: You can import multiple phone numbers, one email and one address per profile. Additional emails and addresses will need to be manually added after your final migration.

Work Relationships: Employment for Individuals can be captured in Work Name (employer) and Work Title (position). When Work Title is populated on Organization profiles it will populate the Contact Title field.

Is Donor/Grantee/Vendor, etc: If you are importing donation and grant histories you do not need to add this to your profile import. Indicating which profiles are vendors is recommended. The others vary by client.

Organizational Roles: A reportable, user defined field to designate a profile's relationship to an Organization. Org Roles have affiliated start and end dates and can be set as Active or Inactive.

Profile Types: Could be personas of your constituents, important information, or preferences. Generally subjective qualities that are not captured in other user defined fields. There is one column for Profile Types. If you have more than one Profile Type to import, talk with your SA CSM or Migrations Specialist about your options. They vary based on whether your data has legacy profile ID's.