Titles in Donor Names

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Titles in Donor Names

DONATION does not have a separate field for the title that some people use as part of their name, as in "Mr. John Smith".

 

Truthfully the reason this is so is largely historic - the original author of the program, Dan Cooperstock, is a Quaker, and wrote the program originally only for his Quaker Meeting. Quakers have a historic testimony (religious-based practice) of not using titles with names, because often they indicated rank or status, and the more general Quaker testimony of equality (the view that we are all of equal worth in the eyes of God) conflicts with that.

 

Why Not Add a Title Field into the Program Now?

 

Frankly it would complicate a number of areas, particularly mail-merge fields and custom reports. Because users of the program would not always want to have titles that they entered included with names, we would have to split each name field available in mail-merge letters or receipts and custom reports into two versions - a version with the title, and a version without the title. This would cause a significant expansion of the number of fields that were available, and corresponding potential confusion because of the extra choices.

 

Another problem would be that we would have to decide, for each report that included donor names, whether or not to include the title, or perhaps include a general option about reports that determined that.

 

So Where can we Store the Titles?

 

There are a number of options for how to handle titles, if you do feel a need to record them.

 

1.If you always want to print titles with first names, just enter them into the First Name field, like "Mr. John".
 

2.If you usually want to print titles with the first name, but want to have an option to not do so in mail-merges or custom reports, again enter the title into the First Name field, like "Mr. John". but use one of  the 6 renameable Other Info fields, which you set up on the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window, to store a separate Salutation field, which for instance might just include "John".
 
With this approach, composite Name fields in mail merges or custom reports would always include the title, since they include the First Name field. But if you only wanted the Salutation, you could select that field instead. (However, that would pose problems for organizations or business in which you filled in the Business Name field, because that is normally printed as the Name field - you might have to think carefully in that case what to put into that donor's Salutation field.)
 

3.If you only sometimes want to print titles with the first name, but want to have the option to add them in mail-merges or custom reports, do not enter the title into the First Name field. but use one of the 6 renameable Other Info fields, which you set up on the Maintenance ⇒ Main Window Options window, as a separate Title field, which would include values like just "Mr.".
 
With this approach, composite Name fields in mail merges or custom reports would not include the title, since they just include the First Name field as is. However, you could precede such fields in mail merges or custom reports with the Title field to add the title. If the Title field was empty, as for organizations or businesses, nothing would print for that field, which would be OK.