Getting Started: Contacts, Tags and Relationships

Virtuous exists to help nonprofits focus on on their givers in richer, more meaningful ways. Which means that Contacts are the heart and soul of Virtuous. All of our features are designed in a way to help you understand why they give, how they can help your mission in ways beyond financial giving, and how to connect with your givers via multiple channels.

What is a Contact?

Contacts in Virtuous are your constituents, givers, prospects, partners -- anyone who has a relationship with your organization. A single individual may be a contact, but most often contacts are larger entities, like households, companies, nonprofits, super-secret spy organizations -- anything you want, really. Virtuous exists primarily to help you manage your relationships with these people and organizations and leverage their generosity to help advance your mission. 

When creating Contacts in Virtuous, you’ll need to specify a Contact Type.There are three main types in Virtuous: Household, Organization, and Foundation. You may create additional types, if needed, which will be based on one of the three main contact types. If you are importing contact data in bulk that includes custom contact types, be sure to create those types first.

Creating Custom Contact Types

To create a custom Contact Type, navigate to the System Configuration menu and select Custom Contact Types.



Click the blue add button in the upper right to add a new Contact Type. Select one of the three Base Types for your new Type.


Then enter a name and click SAVE. Once your new Contact Type has been created, make sure it is enabled in the list of Contact Types. If not, click on the “Edit” link for that Type to enable it.



What is a Contact Individual?

Since Contacts in Virtuous may represent households or companies, they will also have one or more associated Contact Individuals. These are the actual people who are connected to your organization. A household, for example, may include a giver and their spouse. For a company, you may have a primary point of contact and the names and info for several other individuals at that company.

Every Contact in Virtuous must contain at least one Contact Individual. Why? Because we are focused on approaching generosity in an whole new way, and that starts with developing relationships with your givers. To do this, you will need to know who they are. If you don’t have a contact at any of the companies in your database, Virtuous will assign a placeholder name of “Default Contact” when importing contact data, prompting you to find and enter a contact as soon as you can.

Certain data, like addresses, will be associated with a Contact. But Contact Methods -- phone, email, social media links -- will be connected to a Contact Individual.

Creating New Contacts

To manually create a new contact, click on the add a contact icon on the right side of the top menu bar:

That will bring up the New Contact form:


Each Contact MUST have a type and a first name and last name for at least one Contact Individual. Clicking on any of the blue links will display additional fields to enter more data, including additional Contact Individuals, phone numbers, and addresses. 

Once you’ve completed the form, click SAVE, and you’ll be taken to the new Contact’s record in Virtuous.

Reading a Contact Record

First, on a contact record, you’ll see a series of tabs:


Click on any tab to see additional data related to your contact.

Below that, you’ll see a header with key information:

First is the Contact Name, also referred to as the “Contact Display Name.” This is the primary name of an individual, household (“The Smith Family”) or organization. Below that you’ll see the primary address. Additional addresses can be found elsewhere, in the Contact information box. Then you’ll see an avatar and primary info for the primary and secondary individuals, including phone numbers, widgets for social media accounts, and email addresses. Click on any email address to send an email to a giver.

Next, you’ll see Financial Giving highlights, including total life-to-date giving, and the dates and amounts of your client’s largest and most recent gifts.

Relational giving displays information on other contacts who are related to your contact. First you’ll see the number of related contacts, then a sum total of lifetime giving from those contacts. Finally, Virtuous displays a count of all givers located within a specified radius. Click on the gear icon in the upper right and select EDIT ORGANIZATION to select a default proximity radius for your organization: 5, 10, 25, 50 or 100 miles.

On the right, a chart displays a breakdown of contact giving by Channel. Not sure what a Channel is? Click here to find it in our “How to Speak Virtuous” glossary.

The information in this header remains constant, no matter which Contact tab is selected.

By default, when viewing a Contact record, the Personal tab is selected. On this tab you will see suggested asks, both financial and relational. Financial asks are based largely on a Contact’s past giving history. Relational asks look at a number of factors, including social media presence and the number of related contacts.


To the right of the suggested asks section are the Contact information box and then sections with information on the primary and secondary Contact Individuals. Any Custom Fields created for Contacts or for Contact Individuals will be displayed here.

Below the contact information you’ll see The Latest, a constantly updated feed detailing interactions and activity for a Contact. Items listed in this section may include gifts, logged activities (notes), outbound solicitations, and even contact data updates.


The bottom of the screen displays a map which lists other nearby Contacts, based on the proximity radius specified in your organization settings.

On the left are two more sections, for Tags and Relationships.

What Are Tags? 

Tags in Virtuous are one of the easiest ways to define groups. Tags can be quickly assigned to a single contacts or in bulk to a group of contacts, and may identify specific roles (Board Member, Volunteer, Superhero), communication preferences (Do Not Call, Do Not Mail, Do Not Make Eye Contact), or any other specific data you want to use to track your contacts. Tags can be used to quickly view a list of all contacts sharing a single tag.

The Tags box provides both a list of all Tags assigned to a Contact and a count of all Contacts in your system that have a specific Tag. For example, in the illustration below, we can see that this Contact has five associated Tags. And in this organization, there are only two Contacts (including the Contact record being viewed) tagged as “Major Donor.”


To manage Tags, navigate to the System Configuration menu and select Manage Tags



Click on the blue add button in the upper-right to create a new Tag. Select a Tag Category from the drop-down menu.


Specify a name for the new Tag and provide a brief description. The description is for internal use -- this helps users who may be new to your organization understand how to use any added Tags.


The Abbreviation, Expiration Date, and Minimal Giving Amount fields are entirely optional. The last two, in particular, simply provide your internal staff with more insight into the intended use of any custom tags.

When accessing the Tags screen, you will see that there are a number of standard Tags already created for you. You may choose to use these, rename them , or simply delete them. To edit or delete a Tag, click on the Edit link to the far right.

When viewing a Contact, Tags can easily be added or deleted. Click on the blue add button in the Tag box to add one or more tags. Clicking on the X to the right of any tag will remove it from a Contact’s record.

What Are Relationships?

Relationships in Virtuous can be used to link two Contacts -- or two Contact Individuals -- to one another. Examples might include siblings, coworkers, employer/employee relationships, polite acquaintances -- any relationship, really. Related Contacts or Contact Individuals are displayed in the Related To box in a Contact Record. Clicking on any of the related Contacts will link directly to that Contact record.


To add a new relationship, click on the blue add button. Then select either the current Contact or one of the Contact Individuals for the current Contact, and search for the related Contact or Contact Individual. Specify the type of relationship and add any notes about the nature of the relationship, i.e., “Dave and Bob work together but they don’t get along,” and click SAVE.




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