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Join us at The Configuration Café featuring The Add/Sals Importing Comedy Show

Welcome to comedy night at The Configuration Cafe! Come inside, have a seat, and order yourself a drink. Let’s get this show on the road.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: I was importing Add/Sals the other day, and when I looked at my records afterwards, they all had the “editable” box checked!

What about this one: Why do my Add/Sals say things like “Mr. and Fozzie Bear” or “and Cliff Clavin”?

Saved the best for last: Why is the “editable” box checked and the Add/Sal is just “16”?

I know you’re laughing out there, even as you feel the urge to hurl something at the screen as you recall memories of trying to figure out these three riddles. IT Pro Tip: A squishy stress ball won’t hurt your monitor. You’re welcome. ☺

Importing Addressees and Salutations (Add/Sals) into The Raiser’s Edge® doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration if you know the following few tricks.

1. Add/Sals are formulas in RE.

Just when you thought you’d never use math as an adult…wham! Like mathematical formulas, Add/Sal formulas have constants. When you are in RE, or in ImportOmatic, and your Add/Sal selection choices are only showing the names of our dear friends, William Smith and Margaret Adams, then you can deduce:
a. All male fields are from the Bio1 tab of the record.
b. All female fields are from the Spouse relationship record.

This is a very handy little bit of information, I promise.

2. Just like math, if an Add/Sal formula isn’t set up correctly in RE:Config it won’t look right on your records. What’s the biggest mistake? Not checking the “Smart” option, or checking it on the wrong field. This is what causes any improper Add/Sal to appear with “and” in it.

To eliminate this problem, the “Smart” checkbox belongs on the first field (in the formula, after the “and” field) as demonstrated in the image below. You can also see the formula at work. The formula is the “Field Name” column, and the result is in the “Preview” field at the bottom. If you change the “Field Name”, the preview will change.

3. Any time you are seeing only William and Margaret as your selection choices, the list you are seeing is in the same order as the Add/Sal screen in RE:Config. Actually, in your records they are in the same order, but when you are in a record the choices will be populated with the values from the record you have open…because they’re formulas! *ducks at the incoming stress balls*

4. These formulas all have back-end ID #’s, and there is an easy way to get to those IDs! Simply right click anywhere in the Add/Sal screen in RE:Config and choose to “Export Add/Sal Grid To Excel”. This will automatically pop open Excel with a two column file like the one shown below. You can save this file on your desktop, for reference, or simply note the IDs of your favorites.

NOTE: This is also in the same order as the screen in RE:Config.
NOTE 2: The ID #’s which are in Column B are not necessarily in numerical order.


5. Why do you want to get to those IDs? You can use these ID #’s in ImportOmatic to avoid the dreaded “editable” Add/Sal being created!If you import in actual text for an Add/Sal (Ex: Mr. and Mrs. Favorite Donor), then you will get exactly that text for the Add/Sal. The “editable” box will be checked on the record. If you import the ID #’s instead, RE will apply the formula you specified and the “editable” box will not be checked.

6. Choosing the incorrect field mapping in your IOM profile when you want to import Add/Sals by ID# is what causes riddle number three: an Add/Sal with a value of “16”. The correct mapping is the one that contains “ID” in the “Value Type”.

The “Value Type” that contains the word “text” in it is looking for actual text (See #5 above), so if there’s a number in that column then you are going to get a number for an Add/Sal. Since Add/Sals can include “Class Year”, numbers don’t break any of RE’s rules for those fields, and that’s why you don’t get an error when it is just a number.

I hope these tips have shed some light on Add/Sals in RE and will help you with your imports. Be sure to tell every school-aged child you know that they WILL have to use math as adults! Oh, and you might want to stop by the store and get a new stress ball because I’m keeping the one you threw at me…I use a computer every day, too!
The Raiser’s Edge® is a registered trademark of Blackbaud, Inc.

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