Virtuous CRM is a tool that was built to be a little different from other databases. With that in mind, we also use some different lingo than you may know from other systems. This glossary should provide a basic primer on most of the terms you’ll encounter when using Virtuous. We’re sure that once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to “speak Virtuous” like a pro!
Automation: Virtuous Automation allows users to create workflows that automatically handle tasks, like sending emails, tagging Contacts, and even creating follow up tasks. Leveraging Automation can help expand your team's reach, allowing for personalized communication with donors of any size, and even help with keeping Contact data up to date.
Batch: When entering gifts, users have the option of specifying a Batch. This code can be used to identify all Gifts that were entered together, which can come in handy when troubleshooting or reconciling financial data. Batch values are stored at the gift level, though users creating a new gift import can set a default value to apply to all gifts in a particular import. While the terms "Batch" and "Import" are often used interchangeable, it's worth noting that one Import in Virtuous can contain multiple Batches.
Campaign: Campaigns in Virtuous allow you to track your outbound marketing and fundraising efforts, connect these efforts to gifts received, and track their effectiveness. Campaigns are constructed in a hierarchy, consisting of Campaigns > Communications > Segments. This structure can be used to support any organization’s marketing structure, from small startups to large international organizations.
Campaign Communication: A single campaign in Virtuous may have one or more campaign communications associated with it. These may all be different messaging, delivered through different channels, that are all part of one single campaign effort. For example, as part of your “Year-End Membership Drive” campaign, you may have a coordinated messaging effort that includes a teaser email (“Get Ready -- Here Comes the Big Drive!”), a call to action banner on your website (“Are You a Member? Click to Join Today!”), a direct mail brochure (“Friend, Here are Six Glossy Pages About What Membership Means to You.”), an event (“Winter Membership Jamboree”), an email invite to the event (“Come Join us at Our Winter Membership Jamboree!”), and a social media blitz (“Tweet Using Hashtag #ImAMemberBecause to Tell us Your Story!”). Each of these communications supports the overall campaign, but can be tracked separately using the Virtuous Fundraising Campaigns module.
Channel: Each campaign communication in Virtuous is assigned a channel, or “type” when creating a new communication. This indicates the delivery method of a particular appeal, and will drive both the dashboard Giving by Channel dashboard report and the Response graph in a contact record. The list of channels in Virtuous is: Email, Direct Mail, Radio, TV, Web, Social Media, PR, Event, Advocacy, and Other.
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. Most data in Virtuous related directly to Contacts, including gifts, pledges, recurring gifts, notes, tasks, and Tags.
Contact ID: A unique numeric identifier assigned to all contacts entered into Virtuous CRM. Contact IDs are automatically assigned whenever a new contact is created.
Contact Method: Contact methods can include phone numbers, email addresses, and social media handles. Contact methods are always associated with Individuals (not Contacts) as communication is inherently personal, and each Individual will have one phone number and one email address that is identified as their primary phone or email. Each Contact Method also has a Type associated with it. When selecting a Type, the available options are: Home Email, Work Email, Other Email, Home Phone, Mobile Phone, Work Phone, Other Phone, Fax, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, RSS, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube, LinkedIn, Skype, Web, and Other.
Contact Type: Each contact in Virtuous is assigned a 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 that includes custom contact types, be sure to create those types first.
Designation Amount: When crediting a gift to a specific project or subproject, Virtuous requires a designation amount which is the amount of money from the gift that is restricted, or earmarked for a specific project. A single gift may be split among multiple projects. For example, a gift of $100 may be given with the restriction that $50 go toward building a new youth center and $50 go toward job coaching for millennials. In this case, the gift would be split among two different projects, with a designation amount of $50 for each project.
Donor Portal: Virtuous Giving users will be provided with a Donor Portal page, where donors can log in to manage their stored credit card or bank information, make changes to recurring gifts, make a donation, and even see all of their past giving history, both online and offline. Your organization's donor portal can be customized with your logo and color scheme, and you will have your own unique subdomain to provide to your givers. All donors who make a gift via Virtuous Giving will automatically have an account created, which they can claim afterward by creating a login. Donor logins are tied to their email address and cannot be changed.
Gift: Quite simply, a gift is a donation of money, good, services, or other assets. As Virtuous is a system designed specifically for nonprofits, all transactions entered into Virtuous are gifts, and are assumed to be fully tax-deductible unless otherwise indicated. Each gift can be assigned a type, along with a Segment and a Project to track the origin and destination of every gift received.
Giver: “Givers” are your donors. Would it be simpler to just say “donors?” Maybe. But that would go against part of what Virtuous is all about. We use the term “givers” because, all too often, interactions with “donors” are strictly financial transactions, without an understanding of what makes someone want to give financially or the other resources, like time and social capital, that someone might be willing to share with your organization. Viewing someone as a “Giver” is a small step toward seeing your relationship with them in a new light, and hopefully leads to seeing all the ways that individual can help advance your mission.
Individual: Within a contact record, you may have one or more individuals. These are the people that make up a contact household, or who serve as points of contact with a particular organization. Virtuous CRM does require each contact record to have at least one individual. If you do not have contact names for some of your corporate or foundation contacts, you may enter “Default Contact” or another placeholder value as the primary individual’s name, though we strongly recommend identifying individuals within your constituent organizations. Remember, at Virtuous, we are all about nurturing relationships with your givers.
Lapsed: The Lapsed marker in Virtuous is a System Tag, meaning it is automatically applied or removed based on the data in a Contact record. Contacts may be marked as Lapsed if they meet either of the following criteria: 1) No gifts greater than $0 in the last 12 months OR 2) Active Pledge or Recurring Gift with any missed Payment. Note that even if a Giver has made a recent gift, they may still be identified as Lapsed if they have missed a Pledge payment.
Legacy ID: This would be the unique ID number assigned to a contact in your previous database. These ID numbers are used in the data migration process, as a way to match up contacts and giver information. Only contacts imported via the legacy contact import tool will have a Legacy ID.
Passthrough: A passthrough in Virtuous denotes when a gift received originated with a giver other than the contact who actually made the gift. One common example would be a corporate match: Giver A makes a gift of $500 and his employer, ABC Company, matches that, giving another gift of $500. On the $500 gift from ABC company, Giver A would be identified as the passthrough giver. Some nonprofit databases may use the term “soft credit” for these scenarios.
Pledge: A pledge represents a commitment from a donor to give a specific sum of money over a set period of time. For example, a donor may pledge to give you $50,000 over the next five years. As part of this commitment, they may agree to make annual payments of $10,000 each, or maybe they will send checks of $2,500 once per quarter. In some cases, their pledge agreement may include a custom schedule of payments or even conditions that must be met before their pledge can be fulfilled.
Pledge Payment: Once a pledge is created, it will include a schedule of payments due from your giver. These payments may be set at varying frequencies and even have variable amounts. Each payment includes a due date and amount, for tracking purposes. When a gift is made, in order to credit it toward a pledge, it must be linked to a specific pledge payment.
Pre-Lapsed: Like Lapsed, the Pre-Lapsed marker in Virtuous is a System Tag. Contacts in Virtuous will be marked as Pre-Lapsed if they have no gifts within the last 6 months. These Givers should be contacted to ensure they renew their support of your organization.
Premium: Sometimes, givers receive some sort of benefit in return for a financial gift, like the tote bag you can get for pledging to your local PBS station. In Virtuous, these are knows as premiums. Premiums have a set cost and fair market value, and automatically reduce the tax-deductible amount of any gift by the fair market value of all premiums received. This is frequently used for event registration fees, which typically include a tax-deductible portion and a ticket fee that covers the fair market value of food and drinks.
Project: Projects are specific initiatives that are funded by gifts. Projects may be defined as actual programs or may be program areas or even geographic regions. In the latter cases, subprojects may be used to track actual programs on initiatives, with multiple subprojects all grouped together under one top-level project. Projects may also be grouped together by custom Types or by Location for ease of reporting. IN many other systems, Projects may align with Funds or Designations. IN Virtuous, it often helps to think of Projects as the destination of all gifts received by your organization. As a general best practice, every gift should be designated to at least one Project.
Recurring Gift: Recurring Gifts represent a donor' commitment to providing regular, ongoing support for your organization. It's common to think of this specifically as applying to monthly giving, but recurring gifts can also include quarterly payments, annual support, or even bimonthly donations. Often, recurring giving involves automatic payments via a credit card or bank transfer/e-check, but a recurring donor may choose to regularly send checks instead. A recurring gift does not represent a binding or long-term commitment from a donor. A recurring gift may end at any time (most often, they end when a donor's credit card expires) and there is no lump sum or total dollar amount committed by your donor.
Recurring Gift Payment: Much like pledge payments, recurring gift payments are used to track expected revenue from your recurring givers. Users have the option to create a schedule of payments or not when creating a new recurring gift. If no payments are generated, gifts cannot be matched to a recurring gift, as gifts can only be associated with recurring gift payments. Past due payments will result in a past due balance on a recurring gift. Any outstanding payments can be forgiven, if desired, to zero out any balance due.
Related: Use the “Related to” box within a contact record to link two contacts OR contact individuals together and indicate the nature of their relationship. Maybe one of your givers is the pastor or member of a church that is also a contact (remember, Organizations are contacts too). Or maybe you have two separate contacts who are sisters. Or twice-removed second cousins. Whatever the relationship, you can track it in Virtuous.
Segment: Segments may be the most visible aspect of the Campaign hierarchy. Just as each campaign may have one or more campaign communications, each communication may in turn have one or more segments. This allows you to tweak messaging for specific audiences, and have one version of a mailer for non-givers and another version of the same mailer for mid-level or high-end givers. Segments are also used to tie gifts to a particular campaign. When viewing gifts in Virtuous, the Segment will always be listed. Picking a segment name that clearly identifies the right campaign can be a big help when quickly scanning a contact’s donation history.
Tag: There are a number of ways to track your givers and other contacts in Virtuous, but one of the easiest ways to define groups is to use tags. 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.
Virtuous Giving: Virtuous Giving is an online giving solution, allowing for credit card processing and direct bank transfers. Users may choose to embed donation forms on their website to receive donations or process cards directly in Virtuous as part of gift entry. Users will need access to Virtuous Marketing in order to access the Virtuous Giving setup page. There, users can also review all transactions and even cancel recurring gifts, if needed.
Workflow: Workflows represent the scrips, or series of actions, used in Virtuous Automation. There are best practice workflows that can be customized for your specific organization, or you can build fully custom workflows to meet your specific needs. Workflows may target either Contact or Individuals — for example, responses to giving activity are generally best for targeting Contacts, while responding to event attendance or email activity is often best for targeting Individuals.