Can I use multiple databases to segment my contact list?

Can I use multiple databases to segment my contact list?

Sumac stores data in one main database. However, Sumac can readily segment your database into multiple groups. For example, some Sumac customers keep their donor contacts in one segment and their client contacts in another segment because they need to specify different levels of security to manage how their users access these different groups. Each user can have a different access and capabilities (or none at all) in each segment.

When thinking about this, you should consider carefully how the benefits of multiple segments compare to the problems that arise.

Benefits of multiple segments:

1. The list of contacts is smaller and more focused in each segment. For example, one segment may be a list of donors, another may hold a list of media contacts, or perhaps a list of clients.

2. Users can be given access to only the segment(s) they need to use. This is an important security consideration for many organizations using Sumac.

Problems with multiple segments:

1. Would you ever do the same mailing to people in multiple segments and therefore need to repeat the mailing? If yes, having these contacts in separate segments could make running these types of mailings tedious.

2. Occasionally, you might have a contact who needs to be in both segments (e.g. because the contact is both a donor and a client). In order to ensure that the client appears in both segments, and that users who need to see that contact for donor purposes aren’t able to see any of the data relating to who that contact is as a client, you may end up needing to add the contact to both segments which would add a duplicate contact to your database.

3. If a contact needs to be in both segments (see point b above), and the contact’s address changes, you must remember to change it in both segments.

Another consideration, perhaps segmenting is not the appropriate way to implement the security and levels of access for your users. Instead, perhaps making client-relevant fields "Sensitive," or preventing users who should not see donation data from seeing the Donations area of your database is a more effective option for you. While segmenting is often an ideal way to define access levels for your users, Sumac does provide several options for implementing the right access levels for your users in cases where segmenting is not appropriate.

If you need assistance in determining which option is right for you, you can reach out to the Sumac team for guidance.

    • Related Articles

    • What are Segments and how do they work?

      The Segment feature allows you to segment your contact list and assign access levels to your users to define which segments of your database they can and cannot access. Segments are customizable, so you can define your own segments and create as many ...
    • How to personalize your favourite records when using Add to Contact

      In the Sumac Contact list, the Add to Contact button allows you to add new records of many different types to a contact showing in your Contact list. The Add to Contact button is also available within every contact's record, on the History tab. When ...
    • How-to Video: 3. Searching in list using multiple search criteria (6:24)

      This video shows you how to create a search that uses multiple criteria in a single list window: Script:
    • What is a Contact?

      In Sumac, a contact could be a person, organization, business, or even a family that you have entered in your database.  A contact's record stores core information about who they are, and their relationship(s) with your organization.  To open a ...
    • How does Sumac track donations received in multiple currencies?

      If you receive donations in multiple currencies from international donors, Sumac is able to capture the amount they gave, and the original currency used for the amount they gave. You can indicate conversion rates for each different currency you ...

    Contact Us