You might have noticed that groups and filters in Donor Management operate in similar ways. There are two key differences, though – and understanding them can help make sure you’re using the correct option for your specific needs.
Filters are dynamic, while groups are static.
Filters are dynamic – which means that the results of a saved filter may change or update based on the most recent information.
That means that if you run a saved filter for everyone who donated during the current calendar year in April, and then you run the same filter in August, the results of the filter will be different.
However, if you create a group of everyone who donated during the current calendar year in April, and you review the same group in August, the group will have the same number of contact records – it won’t have updated in the way that the filter automatically did.
Filters can be used with both contact records and giving records, while groups can only be used with contact records.
As you’ve seen, you can use a filter with both types of records – contacts or giving. Groups, however, can only contain contact records.
In other words, you can create a group of contact records, but you cannot create a group of donation records (that’s a campaign, or a designation!).
Using Groups and Filters Together
There are also a couple of ways that you can use both groups and filters together, to help manage your contact records more succinctly.
Creating a Filter Based on a Group
You can create a filter based on a group by selecting “Group > Name” when building the filter’s conditions.
Using a Filter to Update a Group
You can also use a filter to update a group. Since filters are dynamic, you can use a filter to update corresponding group’s contact records – making the group’s information more current.
To do so, you’d want to select all of the results of a filter that you’ve run, by clicking the checkbox next to the “Select All” field.
You can then click on the “Bulk Actions” button, and select the option to “Add to Group.”
A pop-up should appear, and you’ll be able to select the group you’d like to update from a drop-down menu.
Creating a New Group Based on a Filter
You can also create an entirely new group that’s based on a filter – the process is very similar to that of adding the results of a filter to an existing group.
You’ll want to run your filter and use the “Select All” checkbox to select the results.
You’ll then click on the “Bulk Actions” button, and select “Create New Group.”
You should then be prompted to enter the name of the group you’d like to create.
Once you’ve done that and pressed “Save,” Donor Management will automatically add the results of the filter to your brand-new group!