There are many record types available in Beacon, depending on the elements that you have enabled in your account:
Trust and foundation grants (Previously just 'Grants')
The people record type in Beacon is the heart of most accounts. It's where you'll store everyone involved in making your organisation a success - donors, fundraisers, beneficiaries, volunteers, members... the list goes on!
A person record stores all the information relating to them personally (like name, contact details, interests, date of birth, job title). It will also show any related information that is pointing to this person (such as payments made, events attended, subscriptions set up). It's your hub for seeing how someone fits into your organisation.
Most charities work with organisations as well as people. Beacon makes it easy to keep track of organisations and to store all the directly relevant information like contact information, organisation type, plus related records like grants, payments, campaigns and people who are connected to the organisation. This record type is so straightforward that we don't even have a guide article about it.
The payments record type in Beacon shows the payments (income) coming into your database from all sources, whether they be donations, memberships, recurring gifts, ticket sales, grants, or from any other place that your organisation fundraises.
Payment records reflect a transaction, such as a £50 cash donation, or the April payment of a recurring membership, and can store a wealth of information (pun intended). From basics like amount, relevant dates, payment method, to pointing to other records, such as which fund it contributes to, the campaign that helped raise the money, relevant grants, memberships, and even the event that a payment was taken at.
A subscription reflects the fact that someone is paying you regularly. It is not a transaction in any way - so it will not exist as an item on a bank statement. The specific payment transactions will be stored separately as Payments (above).
Outside of the CRM world, good examples of subscriptions are things like:
A £9 / month Netflix subscription
An £80 / year Amazon Prime subscription
A £12.56 / month TV license subscription
In Beacon, subscriptions are most useful for reflecting:
Auto-recurring donations (e.g. £10 / month)
Auto-recurring membership fees (e.g. £90 / year)
Beacon makes it easy for you to manage major gifts through their entire lifecycle.
It's likely that you will have to juggle quite a number of prospects at different stages of their gift journey. You'll have follow-up tasks, deadlines, and a pipeline of gifts of different values to report on.
With Beacon, you can store all of this information in one secure place, and easily see where you're at with the major gifts you're managing.
Both the Gift Aid Claims and the Gift Aid Declarations records are created when Gift Aid is enabled in your Beacon account.
These records will allow you to track the Gift Aid declarations made through your forms or imported, as well as the claims Beacon will create automatically to submit to HMRC. A very handy way to see everything about your Gift Aid, instantly!
The membership record type in Beacon can be used for a variety of things including:
Engaging regular donors through a membership scheme with perks
Sponsoring a building or an animal, for example
Tracking service users who are benefiting from your services
Tracking corporate partnerships
You can set different membership types, choose the name for them and use Beacon forms to sign people up to them and collect payments.
Trust and foundation grants (previously just 'Grants')
Beacon makes it easy for you to manage grants you apply for throughout their entire lifecycle.
If you're applying for grant funding for your organisation, it's likely that you have to juggle quite a number of grants at once - all of which have different deadline dates, application forms, and primary contact details.
With Beacon, you can store all of this information in one secure place, and easily see where you're at with the grants you're managing.
Funds & Campaigns
Both Funds and Campaigns are record types that can help you organise, view and report on your data and while they are two separate record types, we're going to look at them together. This is because they can be linked to one another like two sides of the same coin.
While both can help you organise, view and report on your data, campaigns capture where money has come from while funds capture what the money can be spent on.
Campaign member records are the link between your People (or Organisation) and your Campaigns. It allows you to store and track information about that particular person that is only relevant to that campaign, rather than storing an ever expanding list of temporary or changing information on the person themselves.
In plain English, a campaign member is the record of someone you'd like to target with a campaign, or that has been involved in a campaign.
With the Fundraising element active, the Fundraising Pages record type will allow you to see individual records for the fundraisers that are relevant to your organisation directly. You'll be able to manage all information that would be relevant to the fundraiser, to the people raising the funds and how everything is linked to your organisation internally.
Whether you run fundraising dinners, challenge event runs, or full conferences, Beacon can help you organise the vital information about them. You'll be able to set up a form where attendees can register or buy tickets, manage your attendees, allocate donations associated with your events, and designate campaigns to promote them.
The Events record is where you'd store the information of the event itself: Start and end dates, the type of event it is, the location, website link, etc.
Linked to each Event are Event attendees. These are the linked records of people who are coming to the event. They might be people who are going to volunteer, they may be participants, or they may be guests of a fundraiser. You can then store event specific information about them - which table they will sit at, what their race number is, a t-shirt size or style, what kind of pass they have, etc. The one person may attend many events, and they will have an attendee record for each.
If you collect event registrations via a Beacon event registration form then you will also create Ticket records. A ticket can be for multiple attendees (e.g. a Family ticket) or just for a single attendee. Just like buying tickets to the cinema or a show, someone can purchase multiple tickets with one payment from an event registration form.
Event attendee records are the link between your People and your Events. It allows you to store and track information about that particular person that is only relevant to that event, rather than storing an ever expanding list of temporary or changing information on the person themselves.
In plain English, an event attendee is a record of someone that will/might attend an event in Beacon.
Examples of information you might store on an event attendee record might include things like:
Virtually anything else you can dream of!
The volunteer applications record type helps you to manage volunteers from the initial application, including interests and availability, to references and supporting documentation.
From here you can either assign volunteers to tasks on this record type or even create a brand new record type to manage the activity.
You can use Beacon to sell tickets for your events, whether they're online, in person, free or for sale.
A ticket will be linked to both an event and an event attendee record, which when combined with a Beacon form, will allow you to manage your event like a pro. You can control what information you collect about attendees, limit the number of tickets and even set time slots.
Tasks are Beacon's inbuilt to-do list with one very key feature: Tasks can be linked to any record in your Beacon database. Whether you're reaching out to key donors, assigning someone in finance to check particular payments, or reminding yourself to submit a grant application, Tasks can keep you on track and up to date.
The Activities record type allows you to log your internal actions for a record. You’ll be able to log interactions on the Timeline of a record such as emails sent to a Person, notes about a Case, or a phone call with an Organisation. Using Activities allows you to see what has been done with ease.
Many charities manage processes that fall broadly under the term casework - this can range from providing funding to applicants in need, to managing the provision of clinical services to service users. Utilising our cases functionality allows you to track the progress of Cases, easily viewing them in a 'Pipeline' view and updating as necessary. If you have people applying to you for financial aid or you provide services directly, then utilising Cases is likely to save you a lot of time!
When enabling the Grantmaking element, four record types will be available to help you visualise the entire lifecycle of the grantmaking process and will mark clear distinctions between the various steps, allowing for a complete and extensive overview.
You’ll be able to see this through:
Grant programmes - Your grantmaking initiatives
Grant applications - Allow you to monitor and approve applications to your programmes
Grant payments - Keep track of outgoing payments to your beneficiaries
Grant evaluations - Assess the impact of your grants
Legacies are usually sizeable gifts left to you in a donor's will - often the result of a long term relationship between a supporter and your charity.
When managing legacies in your charity, it is vital to approach all conversations with donors openly, respectfully and fairly (The Chartered Institute of Fundraising has a fantastic guide to this).
Beacon helps you manage legacies by letting you store all of the information that matters in one secure place, like documents, "legators" and the conditions that govern where the gift can be spent.