Donor / Alum Record - Advancement
  • 22 Nov 2023
  • 8 minute read
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Donor / Alum Record - Advancement

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  • PDF

Article Summary

The person record is where an individual's data will be stored and displayed. This includes their status, biographical and contact information, a timeline of interactions, gifts, giving history, jobs, relationships, and much more

How to Create a Test Record

  1. Click Lookup in the top navigation bar.

  2. Click New Person.

  3. Enter the following user configurations in the next window:

    • Email - Give the test record an email address that is accessible.

    • First Name - It is a good practice to append the word TEST to the first and last name so this record is easily identified as a test record.

    • Last Name - It is a good practice to append the word TEST to the first and last name so this record is easily identified as a test record.

    • Birthdate - Provide a birthdate that is in the past (no unborn records may exist in Slate).

  4. Click Create, and a person record will be created in Slate:

    • Status and ID - Records that are not manually assigned a status will display “Status.” The 9-digit Slate ID is automatically generated by Slate when a record is created.

    • Person Record Tabs - Specific details about a person will be organized on these tabs.

    • Person Record Data Details - Clicking on a tab will display particular details about the record. As fields, interactions, and other record details are added, that information will also appear in this area.

    • Tags - Set the 'Test Record' tag.

A high-level summary of the person record is displayed on the dashboard tab. Interactions associated with the person record will display on the timeline tab.


Communications history consolidates all messages sent to or received from an email address or SMS number. At a glance, these messages will be displayed by date, sender, recipient, subject, and status. Utilize this via Database > Messages > Communications History. Note that communications history utilizes the 'Database' standard permission.

Profile Tab and Standard Slate Fields

This tab contains standard Slate fields (also called “system fields”) for a person record. 

Use the right-hand menu of the profile tab to navigate to each component of the profile.

Standard biographical fields have been created and are available under the Biographical link on the Profile tab.

For a complete list of these standard fields, refer to the Slate Standard Fields & Prompts List. An excerpt of these fields includes: Prefix, First, Last, Preferred, Sex, Birthdate, Deceased, Race, Primary Citizenship, Residency Status, Social Security Number, etc.


Review the standard Slate fields available for storing person data under each section of the profile tab.

Can other data be stored?

Yes! First, we recommend learning about the standard Slate fields. This knowledge will help avoid field duplication when adding custom fields and prompts.

Contact Information

Slate provides standard functionality for capturing address and device contact information. These standard configurations can be customized to allow for additional granularity in capturing and storing contact information.


By default, Slate provides options for mailing and permanent addresses. A record may have any number of addresses and Slate provides real-time and batched address validation and standardization for addresses that are submitted interactively and non-interactively.

To determine which address should be used when used in a query, Slate uses table triggers to calculate and store a 'rank' value. Addresses have two rank columns: Rank and Rank Overall.

  • Rank determines the address rank based on the address type. A record can have both a rank 1 mailing address and a rank 1 permanent address.

  • Rank Overall, also known as Active Address, determines the overall address rank, regardless of the address type. A record can have only one address assigned a rank overall of 1.

Custom address types (such as 'business' or 'vacation') can be created configured by leveraging the special prompt key of 'address_type'.


Slate allows for capture and retention of multiple types of devices and their values. Like addresses, a record may have any number of devices and device types. Rank is determined based on the device type.

Device types can be customized utilizing the special prompt key of 'device_type'.



Slate provides standard relationships of Brother, Father, Legal Guardian, Mother, Sister, Spouse, Step-Father, and Step Mother. These relationship types can be customized and additional types can be created by modifying the 'relationship_type' prompt.

Linked vs Unlinked

Relationships can be either linked or unlinked records within Slate. In most cases, records should be linked. Linkages can occur across datasets. For example, a foundation that serves as vehicle for giving for a donor might have that donor listed as a 'Covering Account' relationship type.

The use case for unlinked relationships is primarily for informational purposes. For example, it may be helpful to know that a donor has three small children, but those children do not need associated records.

Effect of Relationship Type and Soft Credit

Soft credits can be either Defaulted, Suggested, or Hidden based on the relationship type.

For example, an institution may wish to default soft credits to a 'Spouse' relationship type. However, there may be spouses that want their giving to be recognized separately. In these cases, the spouses might have a 'Spouse (In Name Only)' relationship type.

The profile tab has sections that allows multiple data points for a single entity.


For example, a record might have two siblings: Jane (15 years old) and John (17 years old). Data will display like this in Slate:



The education history for a person is stored on the Schools link on the Profile tab.

Slate captures many school-specific standard fields such as: Institution, Degree, Level of Study, Major, Date Conferred, and more. Prompt lists for 'Degree', 'Major', and several other fields can be customized by modifying the Slate Standard Fields and Prompts.

In addition to the Slate standard fields, custom school-scoped fields can be created. These fields will appear at the bottom of the Schools popup on the Person record.

Schools added to a record's profile are linked to an existing dataset of schools. The Organizations dataset pulls from College Board's list of post-secondary institutions across the United States.

On individual organization record pages, a dataset row query can be added that displays donors who attended a particular institution.

School data are also saved as grouped fields:


Jobs / Employment

Job information is stored on the Jobs link on the Profile tab. Slate captures numerous job-related fields such as: organization name, address, date of employment, description, title, salary, and many other data points. Prompt lists are not standard for Job Function, Industry, and Sector. However, prompt lists can be created using special prompt key configurations.

A job can be linked to records within the Companies and Foundations dataset. This linkage allows for schools to query against employers who may match donations made by individuals.

A list of employees (current and former) can be displayed on the Dashboard of company and foundation records.

Jobs and courses data are also saved as grouped fields:




Why aren't there any institutions?

To add a course for a school, a school must first exist on the schools section of the profile tab. Once a school is added, that school will become available for selection in the institution drop down menu.


Extracurricular interests and sports data will be saved as grouped fields to allow for multiple entries.




Why aren't there any sports or ratings?

A customized list of sports and ratings should be added to Slate using the prompts section of Database.


Person Dashboard

The Dashboard tab displays high level information about the record. The information displayed here is read-only and includes information such as biographic and demographic data, recent interactions and events, tags, and contact information.

Clicking on the email address or mobile phone number allow users to send messages (email or SMS) directly from within Slate.

Custom information about the record can be displayed at the top of the Dashboard tab through the use of a Dashboard query. This allows for at-a-glance information to be front and center and can include links to commonly used forms, such as a Contact Report form.

Giving Tab

Similar to the person Dashboard, an overview of giving information is included on the Giving tab. This high level information summarizes various data points about a record's giving.

Custom gift information can be included on this section through the use of a Dashboard query that utilizes the System Key of 'Dashboard Giving.'


The Timeline tab provides an overview of all of the actions that take place against a record - whether native within Slate or externally - and creates a chronology of when these actions occurred. This allows end users to have a complete picture of exactly what has been happening with an individual record.

A large number of actions are automatically captured in Slate as Interactions, Sources, or Messages. This includes items such as Gifts, Payments, Messages, Imports, Form Submissions, and Event Registrations/Statuses. Clicking on these items from the Timeline will show additional details about the specific action.

For things that occur outside of Slate (such as phone calls, physical mailings, etc.), custom interactions can be created and associated with individual records. Additionally, messages from external systems (such as Outlook and Gmail) can be brought into Slate and linked to the appropriate record.

In addition to keeping track of the actions that have already taken place against a record, the Campaigns link under the Timeline tab displays potential future drip marketing communications that a record may receive.

Audit Log

The Audit Log, located on the Timeline tab, displays a record of changes that have been made against a record. Audit events include fields being set/unset, gift modifications, updates to address and contact information, query executions, and more.

Apart from the details of the audit event itself, Slate records the user or rule that initiated the event. The ability to view the Audit Log for records can be granted as a standard permission in Slate.


Slate can store an unlimited number of documents. These documents can be associated with any record, gift, or opportunity. These documents can be uploaded directly from within a record or in batch using Batch Acquire.

Common examples of materials that can be stored within Slate include: copies of checks, copies of thank you notes, donor proposals, and personal biographies.

In addition to the storing of materials, PDF/Materials can be compiled and exported out of Slate - either individually or in a batch.


Standard Tabs

There are 5 standard tabs on records within Slate: Dashboard, Timeline, Giving, Profile, and Materials. These tabs do not need to be created and are used to categorize and display various Slate Standard values.

Custom Tabs

Custom tabs may be created to display custom information on the appropriate record. Details associated with a person, company, or fund should be added to one or multiple custom tabs. These individual data elements can be placed on a tab individually, or as part of a collection of grouped data known as Entities.

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