foreAction is a cloud-based contact management and outreach system that makes it simple to collect and manage data; document and track interactions with contacts; build segmented lists of contacts; and conduct outreach activities, whether in-person, by email, or by phone.
This user guide describes how to manage data about people and organizations via foreAction, including creating create and manage contacts.
To get to the Contact Application within foreAction, you can select the Contact item on the top menu bar, or one of the Contact quick links on the home page.
Finding a Contact or an Organization
Contacts are sorted in two categories: contacts and organizations. This allows you to search for an individual contact in your database as well as relevant organizations.
You can limit your search to your current contact group or you can expand it to all contact groups, if your organization has more than one.
You can carry out a Simple or Advanced search to find a contact. The Simple search allows you to search by the contact’s name, address, phone number, and/or email. The Advanced search allows you to combine several options to find a contact, such as first name and postal code or street name and city or an alternate first name. Both of these search options can be reached from the home page.
Enter a name to search for (last name, first name) and press enter.
User Tip: As you type, the system will search for contacts that contain ALL the information. It is not following a specific order, or is not case sensitive, nor are wildcards needed. A match occurs if any Contact contains any part of the search criteria you are typing. If you enter a name that is associated with more than one contact in the database, all the matches will appear in a table below. Click on the name that best matches your search.
This search option provides you with more fields and filters to use to locate your contact.
In the Advanced search option, you can refine your search, and launch it without completing all categories. Your search results will appear below the search module.
User Tip: Advanced search requires wildcards within the search criteria, however it is still case insensitive. Using the example above, a search of “dennis” only returns Denis, but by using “*denis”, the database returns both Dennis and St. Denis.
Viewing a Contact profile
In this section, you will be able to:
- Find and add general information for your contact including address, telephone number, social media, etc.
- See the record of your interactions with the contact
- Modify any information including volunteered, made a donation, etc.
- Add personal notes to the contact
- Display the amount of ongoing correspondence between your office and the contact
Once a Contact has been selected the Contact Details workspace is shown.
1. This is where you will see the contact’s name. The contact’s surname is listed first, followed by their first name and middle initial (if applicable).
2. Below the contact’s name is their address, (preferred) phone number and (preferred) email address. There are also links to the contact’s social media (if applicable).
There are five different tabs to navigate the various aspects of a contact.
3. Details: Contains general information, including address, telephone number, social media, household members and personal profile.
4. History: Contains a historical record of all expired data from the contact, including older names, emails, and tags.
5. Attributes: Allows you to modify custom attributes of the Contact.
6. Cases: This is a link to the Case Work portion of the application. If it is being used, this section will display the case history for the contact.
7. Interactions: This section stores all times that the contact has been reached via foreAction’s various activities, including canvasses, surveys, emails, and SMS.
Contact profile – Details
The Tags section allows you to tag a contact with the different tags in your system.
To Tag a contact, click the + icon. In the pop-up, select all the tags you’d like to add, then click Submit. To remove a Tag from a contact, click the x on the Tag you wish to delete. To save these changes, be sure to save the Contact.
Alternate Names and Last Names
User Tip: Using the Alias fields allows the quick search to find a contact based on alternate spellings, or alternate short forms of a name.
Any persons in the database with the same address are automatically grouped into a household.
Example: There are two people with the last name Doe living at the same address. Here, you can group together the Does. This will allow you to group members of a household together for mailings.
The phone number with the flag icon beside it is considered the primary number.
User Tip: Primary numbers are used in the Contact summaries that are displayed at the top of the application and reports.
Email and Social media
You can add as many email addresses and social media accounts as you like. Be sure to correctly set the primary email using the flag. As mentioned above, saving any social media accounts provide icon links at the top of the page.
This is where you can indicate contacts’ gender, birthdate, mark them as deceased, language of preference, profession (industry), occupation and employer.
The Communication Policy section allows you to specify the contact’s preferred methods of communication. For example, if a contact unsubscribed from a newsletter or requested to be removed from the mailing list you could indicate that in this section.
If you have any other data that you’d like to save on the contact, you can simply save it as a Note. Here’s a brief walkthrough of the various options:
- You can click these options to filter through the different note types (see below for more details)
- This lets you sort the notes by date
- Only the last 5 notes are shown by default. You can choose to show more or all of them with this option.
- Clicking the search icon expands a search bar to allow you to search the Contact’s notes.
- Click the ellipses on the right of the note either delete or edit it.
- By default, we only display the first 10 lines of a note. You can display the entire note simply by clicking on it.
- Click the + to create a new note. When creating a note, you have the option to make secure and/or internal:
- Secure notes are encrypted in the database. Due to this they are also not searchable in the Advanced Search (see Section 1.3 above)
- Internal notes can be excluded from certain reports Always remember to click save after altering the contact’s profile in any way.
Always remember to click save after altering the contact’s profile in any way.
The History section displays the contacts past interactions with your organization and previous outreach campaigns.
- If the contact was involved in an activity that you created.
- Any tags which the contact was tagged with in the past.
- Any previous names, phone numbers, emails, or addresses (useful when contacts moves or changes employment).
Note: if you do not see this section that means it has not been configured for your system.
Think of an attribute is as an enhanced tag: it provides a way to track more complex contact data in a way that’s customizable for your organization. Here are some examples of attributes you may have on your system:
- Whether or not the contact is a member.
- Has volunteered.
- Has made a local donation.
- Doesn’t want to be contacted.
Example: Add a Donation
To add a donation, you just click on Donation and on the Add (+) icon.
Fill in the date and the amount and click on Submit.
- This is the section in which you can see how many cases are associated with the contact.
- You can file cases according to their case number, degree of confidentiality, category, summary, priority, date of opening, follow-up date, date of closing, status or assignment (if applicable).