What is a Contact?

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 contact's record, double-click the contact's name in your Contact list. For a full outline of what you'll find in a contact record, review the list below:

  1. Summary tab: provides a quick glance at the contact's information, like their name, phone number, email, street address, contact types, and some recent communications you've had with them.

  1. Basic tab: stores basic demographic information: name, gender, and letter salutations. As well, you can specify other key information such as how to handle donations for this contact, what type of contact it is, and what the contact's communication preferences are, and create an alert.
An Alert makes a contact red in the Contact list. When you open a contact record with an alert, a popup window appears displaying the contents of the alert. This is a great way to communicate important information about this contact with everyone on your team who may be interacting with them!

  1. Relations tab: lets you relate any contact with any other contact in your database. This is a great way to connect contacts in your database to build a network of who knows who

  1. Residence Address tab: stores the contact's home address. This will also be the contact's default mailing address, unless otherwise specified (see below).

  1. Business Address tab: stores a contact's work address as well as Title, Department and Organization. There's also a checkbox that tells Sumac to use this address for mailings rather than the home address.

  1. Facts tab: stores a variety of facts about your contact, such as education or employment. Storing this information on the Facts tab makes it searchable so you can easily find contacts with Facts of a particular type.
The "Giving History" Fact is a great way to track donations made by this contact to other organizations. For example, if you read in the paper that a contact made a large donation to a very similar organization to yours, this is valuable information for your team to use in cultivating that donor for future larger gifts to your cause. Record a "Giving History" fact to keep track of this!

Note: Donations to your organization are always entered as Donations in Sumac.

  1. Picture tab: stores a small photo of the contact.

  1. History tab: is your one-stop-shop for viewing the entire history of interactions with this contact. Communications, Donations, and any other related information. Double-click a record in this list to view details.
The History tab is has two other helpful features:
  1. It includes a Donation Summary at the top. At a glance, you can see a full history of this contact's patterns as a donor.
  2. It includes an "Add to Contact" button, allowing you to add new records for this contact right from their History tab.

Some tabs, like Funder and Membership, are only visible if you have this module in your Sumac database.

To see contact records in action, watch this video:

To learn how to add a new contact, follow this link.
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