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Blackbaud CRM™ Custom Smart Name Formats in Action

A few weeks ago we shared the Custom Smart Name Formats for Blackbaud CRM™ that we developed. If you missed the original article, you can find out more here. We developed this to make sure that you are able to put your best foot forward with donors with their first impression of your mailing, the address line.

We recently rolled this name custom Smart Name Format out to one of our clients who wanted to take our base functionality and add some customizations to account for some of the intricacies that they see in their database. We jumped at the chance to work through their specific scenarios and to deliver a custom version of the smart name format to meet their needs.

For this client we excluded the following scenarios from receiving this new smart format.

  • Deceased/Inactive constituents - Due to the size of the database, we didn’t want to make changes to more constituents than were necessary.

  • Organization/Groups

  • Managed Prospects and other VIPs - We excluded several constituencies for their high touch donors. This allowed the Development Officers who know these donors are keeping the records up to date based on their personal relationships.

  • Constituents where the Formal Salutation contains ‘Family’ - We found that there were records where the salutation was set to be ‘The Jones Family’ instead of Mr & Mrs Jones. The decision was made to leave these intact because they were likely changed due to a specific request.

  • Constituents where the Formal Salutation contains ‘&’ or ‘and’ but there is no spouse relationship - Similar to the situation above, sometimes you may know that a constituent has a spouse that they want to include on the mailing but that spouse doesn’t have their own constituent record and we want to keep those as is.

  • Custom Name = Yes and the salutation string was updated by any user other than ‘Blackbaud Conversion’ - When this client converted to Blackbaud CRM™ the decision was made to convert many of their old name formats into a Custom Name format as a text string. As the data has changed over time, this decision was causing some names to be out of date and because they were converted as a text string, they were not updating. We moved anyone who had this happen at conversion over to the new smart name format while leaving the text string name in place for anyone updated by someone other than the conversion user.

Overall, after all of these exclusions were taken into account, we were able to update the name format on 90% of the individual records in the database. If you would like our FREE Smart Name format please email If you would like to further customize the baseline Smart Name Format, please let us know and we'd be happy to help.


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