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Sending notifications to your team
Sending notifications to your team

Let your team know when important things happen in your database

Updated over a week ago

Beacon makes it easy to let your team know when important things happen in your database. You can get notified about things changing, like when a grant is moved to won, and you can get notified based on a date, like when a task is due today.

Tip: Looking for notifications when forms are submitted? See our related guide here.

Managing your account notifications

Note: Notifications can only be updated by Beacon admins.

Notifications are set up and managed from Settings > Notifications in your sidebar.

The 'Account notifications' tab shows you all of the notifications that have been set up for your organisation. Your team members can subscribe to these notifications if they would like to receive them, and as an admin you can also choose which notifications you would like your team to receive.

Your Beacon account comes with two notifications already set up. These will notify you when a task is assigned to you, and will send you a handy reminder when a task is due.

You can click on a notification to edit it.

How a notification works

Notifications in Beacon are based on fields. Each notification has a trigger field which determines when the notification should be sent. Let's take a look at the different parts of a notification.

The overview section

In the overview section you can change the title and helpful description of your notification. Your team will use these to decide which notifications they want to subscribe to, so make sure they're really clear. In this section you also set the record type and the trigger field for your notification. Changes to the trigger field are what will trigger your notification to send.

You can choose from a few different types of trigger field which will have slightly different behaviours:

Date fields

If you choose a date field as your trigger field then you can schedule a notification to be sent based on the value of that field. This is ideal for getting notified about when a task is due, or when a membership is about to expire.

When you choose a date field as your trigger field, you have a few options for when you want to send the notification. You might want to be notified when the date in this field is today (a task is due today), when it's coming up (the deadline for this grant submission is in 7 days), or when it's in the past (you haven't thanked this person and it's been 5 days).

Notifications based on date fields are sent between 7am and 8am on the day that they are triggered.

User, checkbox, and drop-down fields

You can trigger a notification from any User, checkbox, or drop-down field. Your notification will be triggered whenever this field changes.


You can use the filters section to add conditions for when a notification should send. These conditions must be met in order for a notification to be sent. For example, we only want to send reminders for tasks which have the 'completed' checkbox unchecked.

Message Template

Here you can write the message that you want to send as your notification. You can also include the value of the trigger field and the title of the triggering record.

This message is used in both the notifications panel and as the subject and content of notification emails, so it's best to keep it informative but brief!


This is where you choose who is eligible to receive your notification.

The user must be eligible to receive the notification, which you set from the recipients dropdown.

There are 4 possible options for choosing which users are eligible to receive a notification:

  • Everyone - All users in your account can receive this notification

  • Admins - Only admins of your account can receive this notification

  • Record Owner - Choose this option if you want team members who are set in a User field on the record which you can specify. For example, you might want to send a notification to whichever user is set in the 'Assignee' field on a task when that task is overdue.

  • Users - Only specific users can receive this notification. This is handy if you only want a specific team or individual to receive a notification.

An eligible user must also be opted in to receive the notification. Admins can set this for all users, and users can change this themselves, too. This is done in the User settings section.

Some examples

In this example we've decided that anyone in our team can receive this notification, but Harrison Ford has said that he doesn't want to be notified by email, so we've turned this off for him.

In this example we only want to send an email to David, so we've chosen 'Users' as our recipients and we've selected only David to receive this notification. David has decided that he doesn't want notifications in his notification panel, so he's turned that off from his account.

Creating a new notification

Note: Notifications can only be created by Beacon admins.

You can create a new notification by clicking the Create Notification button in the top right of the Account Notifications page.

Managing your notifications

For non-admins, managing notifications is really simple. The notifications page will show a list of all of the notifications to which you can subscribe. For Admins, you'll need to select the My Notifications tab.

From this page you can check whether you would like to receive each notification via email or from the notifications panel. If you uncheck both options, you will not receive a notification.

If you want a notification that's not available on the list, speak to one of your Beacon admins to make sure that the notification exists and that you're eligible to receive it.

The notifications panel

The notifications panel is a simple way to see your notifications in Beacon. When you have a new notification you'll see an alert in the top right corner of Beacon.

Your notifications panel will show you your 50 most recent notifications.

Notifications emails

Notifications emails are very simple and include the notification message as both the subject and in the content of the email. They also include a link to the record that triggered the notification and to the notifications page.

Notifications and Roles and Permissions

Notifications will obey Roles and Permissions restrictions, so you can be confident that you won't accidentally notify a team member about a record that they shouldn't be able to see.

Frequently asked questions

Can imports, and bulk updates trigger notifications?

No, changes made by bulk updates, imports, or bulk creating related records from a list view will not trigger notifications.

Can workflows trigger notifications?

Yes, changes made by workflows will trigger notifications.

Note: If the workflow itself was triggered by a bulk change (such as a bulk update) it won't trigger a notification.

Can read-only users receive notifications?


Why am I not receiving notifications when I take an action?

Notifications aren't sent to the person doing the action - they've just done it so they don't need to be told that it's just happened! For example, if you set up a notification to send to all admins when a grant's status is changed to 'won', and then you go and change the status of a grant to 'won', the rest of the admins on your team will receive a notification, but you won't.

Can I use notifications to send emails outside of my organisation?

No, notifications are for inside your organisation. To send emails outside of your organisation you can use MailChimp, SendGrid, Beacon email templates, and Workflows.

My date notifications arrive at a weird time every morning. What's that about?

Your date based notifications will arrive at a random time between 7am and 8am each day.

I received an email about notifications not being sent - why is that?

If a notification would have sent more than 10 emails to a user, we'll not send those notifications via email to prevent spamming them (but they will still appear in the notifications panel in Beacon if enabled).

When this happens, Beacon sends an email to the admins of the account to let them know. If you're regularly receiving these admin emails, it's usually a good idea to change the settings of that notification to either:

  1. Only send when more relevant, by adding additional filters

  2. Switch off email as a notification method for that notification

  3. Disable the notification entirely (loads of emails aren't useful!)

Why are some team members missing from the list of users I can send a notification to?

If you're trying to set up a notification for a certain team member but cannot find them in the list of users, it's likely that the team member doesn't have access to the record type the notification is for.

Check the team member's permissions for that record type in Settings > Roles and permissions.

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