Campaign hierarchies

Track the success of complex campaigns with a 'hierarchy' of campaign records.

Updated over a week ago

With Beacon, you can organise your campaigns into 'hierarchies', a tree-like structure of 'parent-child' records. This allows you to simultaneously track both overall campaign success and the success of any sub-campaigns that are part of it.

Note: The campaign hierarchies feature is only available on Premium and Ultimate plans.

Types of campaigns

If you run a lot of appeals and outreach campaigns, you might be looking to that you want to report on the success of your campaigns in a few of different ways:

  • Top level: "how successful was our Christmas appeal?"

  • Sub-campaigns: "how successful was the first Christmas appeal email newsletter?"

  • Segmented: "how successful were each of our campaign segments for the Christmas appeal?"

  • A/B testing: "how successful was the Christmas appeal letter (variant A)?"

Hierarchies help you track all of this, with a visual layout to quickly see the success of all of your campaigns in a 'tree' 🌲 structure:

Multi-level reporting

Campaign hierarchies are really useful for keeping track of:

  • Overall campaign success

  • Granular tracking of individual efforts

When tracking payments or campaign members that link to a campaign, they should be linked to the most specific campaign that they relate to.


Let's start with a simpler variation on the above. We have 3 campaigns in a hierarchy:

  • Christmas Appeal: to track the overall success

  • Christmas Appeal - Post: to track our direct mail success

  • Christmas Appeal - Email: to track our email newsletter success

In our email newsletter, can configure our Beacon donation form (or otherwise) to set all payments that come through it as linked to the specific campaign they relate to: Christmas Appeal - Email.

Take a look at the Total and Total (inc. children) fields below:

As donations come in, they'll be summarised on the specific campaign (the email campaign), but are also summarised in the top-level campaign.

Using hierarchies in Beacon


When filtering records (e.g. payments) that are linked to a campaign, you can Include hierarchy children, which will automatically include any of the payments that are linked to any of the 'child' records. (The sub-campaigns).

This will include all of the payment records that point at the child campaigns in the list as well:


On individual campaign records, you can also use this same option in your related records list, metric, and chart cards:

Rollup fields

In rollup fields, you can also include child records in your summaries, which is useful for comparing the amount raised linked to a particular campaign separately from it's child records:

Note: rollup field values in campaign hierarchies usually take ~20 seconds to update after changes are made to any child records.

Enabling campaign hierarchies

Hierarchies on campaigns are disabled by default. To enable them:

  1. Go to Settings > Record Types in your sidebar

  2. Click Campaign

  3. Toggle on Enable hierarchies and then click save:

Creating your campaign hierarchy

To create a hierarchy of campaigns:

  1. Create a first campaign (e.g. Christmas Appeal).

  2. Create another campaign, and set the Parent campaign as the campaign you created in the previous step:

  3. Do this as many times as you like, until you've created all the campaigns you need.

Viewing a campaign hierarchy

When viewing a campaign record, click the hierarchy button in the top right to open a dialog that will show you the full campaign hierarchy tree.

Structuring your campaigns

Campaign hierarchies are deliberately flexible, which means you can structure them in any way that you like.

Rules of thumb

There are a few patterns that can be really helpful when structuring your campaigns:

  • Top-level theme: e.g. "2023 Fundraising"

  • Specific campaigns: e.g. "2023 Christmas Appeal"

  • Segments within a campaign: e.g. "2023 Christmas Appeal - High Value"

  • A/B test variants: e.g. "2023 Christmas Appeal - High Value - Variant B"

Use 'nesting'

When creating your campaigns, we recommend using multiple levels of 'nesting', rather than always making the top-level campaign the parent. For example:

  1. Christmas Appeal

    1. Christmas Appeal - Email

      1. Christmas Appeal - Email - 1st Newsletter

        • Christmas Appeal - Email - 1st Newsletter (High Value)

        • Christmas Appeal - Email - 2nd Newsletter (Low Value)

      2. Christmas Appeal - Email - 2nd Newsletter

    2. Christmas Appeal - Post

      1. Christmas Appeal - Post - Variant A

      2. Christmas Appeal - Post - Variant B

Frequently asked questions

How many campaigns can exist in a hierarchy?

200 campaigns. That said - we don't recommend having more than around 20 campaigns in a hierarchy, to keep things manageable!

Is there a maximum level of 'depth' of a hierarchy tree?

No, but we don't recommend having more than 5 levels of depth.

How do I control the fields that show in the hierarchy visualisation?

To edit the fields shown, click the Edit fields button in the top-right when viewing your hierarchy:

Which plans are campaign hierarchies available on?

The Premium and Ultimate plans.

Is it possible to use hierarchies on record types other than campaigns?

Not currently, but we're considering this for the future. Do get in touch to let us know if this is something you'd be interested in.

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