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Using salutations in Beacon

Using smart fields to auto-set and allow custom salutations

Updated over a week ago

Heads up! This is a guide for admins. If you're not an admin yet, ask your Beacon admin to promote you so you can start managing fields.

"Salutations", or "envelope names" are useful for letter headings and mailing labels.

They can appear in a variety of different formats, including:

  • Mr David Simpson

  • Mr C Houghton

  • Dr Ben Cook OBE

Beacon does not have an out of the box salutation or envelope name field, as using the full name (e.g. Mr Chris Houghton) is often enough.

However, the full name might not be appropriate in some situations:

  1. You only want to use the first letter of the first name (e.g. Mr D Simpson)

  2. You don't want to include middle names

  3. Some of your supporters have a "suffix" on their name (e.g. OBE, Jr.)

  4. You sometimes want a custom salutation for a person but want to keep their name as-is

If you're working with any of the above scenarios, read on!

Using smart fields to auto-set salutations

Smart fields in Beacon are like Excel formulas. They automatically calculate when you change a record in Beacon. You can use smart fields to automatically calculate a salutation for your supporters, in the format that you prefer.

Below, we've listed formulas for each of the most common salutation formats. Each of these use the TEXTJOIN function, a useful formula for joining text together that will automatically ignore any blank fields.

Mr D Simpson

=TEXTJOIN(" ", TRUE, {{{name.prefix}}}, LEFT({{{name.first}}}, 1), {{{name.last}}})

Mr David Simpson

=TEXTJOIN(" ", TRUE, {{{name.prefix}}}, {{{name.first}}}, {{{name.last}}})

Mr David Simpson MSc

Beacon does not have a name "suffix" field out of the box, but you can create a short text field for storing this. Once you've done this, you can add it to the end of the formula:

=TEXTJOIN(" ", TRUE, {{{name.prefix}}}, {{{name.first}}}, {{{name.last}}}, {{{c_suffix}}})

Allowing custom salutations

You can have both an automatic salutation as above, but also include the option to change it for individual people as needed.

Create a new, normal, short text field called something like "Salutation (Custom)"

Add this new field into your smart field formula. For example:

=IF({{{c_salutation_custom}}}="", TEXTJOIN(" ", TRUE, {{{name.prefix}}}, LEFT({{{name.first}}}, 1), {{{name.last}}}), {{{c_salutation_custom}}})

This will then display your automatic salutation unless there is a custom one entered, where it will display that instead.


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