CiviCRM Tips and Tricks
Let's say you have an event on which you have allowed Pending (Pay Later) registrations (i.e. a check is to be sent by a given date to the office), and like many of us do, the vast majority of participants decide to send in their checks at the very last minute - now you have a whole bunch of payments to record against a whole bunch of Pending (Pay Later) contributions - why record payments individually when you can record payments against multiple Pending (Pay Later) contributions simultaneously?!
When importing contacts into CiviCRM, you have the option of adding those contacts to a group and/or assigning them a tag. This will only apply to NEW contacts being imported, not to duplicate contacts that may be found and skipped or updated during import. A fool-proof method to identifying imported contacts (e.g. in order to be able to easily search and/or delete them if a mistake has been made) is to include a custom field for this purpose. I like to call it “Import Identifier”.
No matter how many controls we put into place to prevent duplicate contact creation, inevitably we always end up with a few, especially when website traffic volume has been high. As such, best practices for managing contacts include a periodic review and merging of duplicate contacts (especially after a big event or fundraising campaign). CiviCRM is equipped with several features that help prevent duplicate contact creation.
Does your data contain special characters such as accented letters or names with apostrophes? Have you exported that data in CSV format and found that those special characters have been made even more special (funky, actually)?
If so, there is a setting called "Language Encoding" located in CiviCRM under Administer > Localization > Languages, Currency, Locations that can be configured as "UTF-8" such that any special characters being exported to CSV will be preserved when you open the file.
CiviCRM Advanced Search offers two wildcard characters: the percentage symbol (%) and an underscore (_). A wildcard is a single character that can represent one or a number of characters or an empty string of unknown characters. For many of us, we are used to the asterisk (*) as being the wildcard character from old command line computers but in CiviCRM, the percentage symbol (%) and an underscore (_) are used.
While using the Internet you have probably stumbled across many CAPTCHAs. CAPTCHAs are the tools that make you enter a word, solve a math problem, pick a picture, etc. to prove you are a human. CAPTCHAs are an important defense against SPAM bots (automated SPAM creators) from filling out forms on your site.
Have you ever wanted to send emails to all of your contacts that meet specific criteria such as everyone coming to an event or all donors who made contributions under $500? You might not want to create a group for each of these scenarios but you may want to send them a targeted email.
CiviCRM offers two options for sending an email to contacts:
Setting up an event with multiple options and prices is a great way to meet the various needs of your guests. However, it can be a complex process and configuring the event incorrectly could create some issues such as a wrong attendance number.
Before configuring the event in CiviCRM, consider how you want the participants to be recorded in the CRM:
When you first install CiviCRM, you are given the ability to create different Financial Types. Using the Price Set functionality, you can assign each item in the Price Set to a different Financial Type. For example, you might have an event with tickets, the option to sponsor, and the option to make an additional donation. Each of these items could be mapped to different Financial Types.