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Allow adding non-member contacts to Groups

I just sent my first email blast to a group of contacts to follow up on a promotion, and found that there is not a way to assign a contact to a group. I just wanted to send an email to a very specific group of contacts (those that had attended a recent ski show, and entered our raffle). I thought I'd be able to assign them to a new group "ski show" so that I could send them a separate mailing. (What I ended up doing, was temporarily disabling mailing on other contacts, which thankfully right now we have very few, since we just started this year, sending the blast, then re-enabling the email).

It would be great if there were some way to define a subset of contacts for mailing.

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  • Carly commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be nice to be able to group contacts (non-members) for email blasts. But there is no way to search within that group. Under a membership we have the options for Group categorization. Why not contacts as well??

  • Brennan Kowalski commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Having contact groups would be most beneficial. Currently, we have to use third party software to do mass mailings to the appropriate lists contact to accomplish what we could do on WA if we could assign contacts into groups not directly related to specific details like event attendance.

  • Stephanie Kibler commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agreed, this needs to be added as a feature. Finding the inability to do this is causing us to look at other software options.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It is hard to believe that 7 and a half years in and we still cannot assign contacts to groups. It seems like such a no-brainer to me and is a serious limitation on the functionality of WA. Is it really that technically different from grouping members? Any update on this?

    As a workaround, I think you could include set phrases (such as "ski_show") in the notes and create a filter for "Notes contains 'ski_show'").

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Groups for contacts: I have contacts (i.e. media, prospective members, etc.) that I want to group -- but I only see that the ability to group members is available. :(

  • Jess Mott commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be very beneficial to our organization if we were able to group our contact list. We have several different committees within our contact list and not being able to group has cause more work when we want to contact specific committee members. We hope that this change can be made within Wild Apricot so that we can continue using your services as we have been very pleased thus far.

  • Sara George commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We would love a way to add non-members to GROUPS. An example of this would be: Farmers Markets that accept EBT. Not all Farmers Markets are members of MFMA - (even though we ideally want that) - but we want to be able to email all markets that have EBT. Or another example - we have committees under groups - those that volunteer for our organization are not members, but can't currently be added to the committees without a membership of some kind.

  • Walt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Maybe this should be a new suggestion but it overlaps this one.

    You have three kinds of groups of members / contacts: Subscription list, Group and Forum subscription. These have overlapping functionality: Whether a person and/or admin can manage an individual's group membership and/or set default memberships, whether the fact of membership can be exported, and controlling access to site pages.

    Why not just make all of these into Groups? Then a Subscription gadget will be associated with a specific group, and so will a Forum. If an admin wants people to be able to sign up for a Group, he can create a Subscription gadget for it. If he doesn't want non-members in it, put the gadget on a members-only page. If he wants to select or email everyone subscribing to a Forum, he can search on that Forum. If he wants members of a Group to have a Forum, he can create a Forum associated with that Group.

    And then you only need one admin UI to manage memberships in all these entities.

  • ruthiyael commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We also need this, especially for our volunteers many of whom are not members.

    At the moment we have custom fields but it is unwieldy.

  • James Kerich commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Any update on this issue of allowing the group functionality to be available to both contacts and members. Has there been any review of this issue in a while?

    My concern is that "groups" control website access in addition to their natural function of separating contacts into categories. If the current group field could be moved to be allowed for all contacts (member and non-member), then we could use groups to control webpage access as well. Which would be ideal.

  • James Kerich commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It would be great if the "groups" function now only available for Membership types could also be used for contacts. Currently, we have no real way to group and separate our contract list (which we use for marketing and member development opportunities) and it would be great if Groups could be used to classify our contacts into buckets (if you will). Hopefully others can see a need for this and we can see this move into production.

  • Becky Parsons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We would also like to be able to add non-member contacts to groups.

    There are many times we want to track the engagement of a specific group of non-member contacts, or send an email to a specific group of non-member contacts.

    For example, we recently had a workshop program attended by members, existing non-member contacts, and also individuals who had no prior contact with our organization. I needed to send follow-up emails to all those who attended, and I wanted to encourage membership to those who are not members. I had to create the emails and then manually add each individual to the email.

    I want to identify non-members who are very engaged (by opening emails, for which we need a filter in search criteria) and target them for volunteering and for membership. And I want an easy way to follow up to track their responses. Creating a group is what makes sense to accomplish this.

    This need arises fairly frequently.

  • epgremill3 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We would also like to be able to add contacts (non-members) to groups. This would be helpful for contacts we email regularly as groups, e.g. volunteers, prospects, etc. We could use custom fields, but that makes membership/participation in multiple groups tricky. Using the group participation functionality would be awesome.

  • Taryn Sexton commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Currently one can only be a member of a group if one is a member of our organisation. It would be fantastic if we could us the group system for non members so we could communicate directly with identified groups in the hopes they will become members or attend events where we can convert them to members. Also, we have corporate partners who are not eligible to become members constitutionally but who I would love to email as a group and manage as a group to keep them informed adn engaged.

  • skipat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    You got it! Thanks for the suggested work around, I'll try that next time.

  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What you can currently do is to create a custom admin-only field like "Promotion" - then mark all appropriate contacts via that field and using advanced search/saved search.

    I suspect the underlying point is that the interface for including (member) records into a group is better/faster to mark a set of records than the approach above, am I correct?

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