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Email subscription status

Hi everyone,
I'd like to know if anyone has advice on how to mark the subscription status of email addresses in Raisers Edge. We rely on Import-O-Matic to import a lot of data, including online donations. However, our staff struggle when looking at a constituent record in Raisers Edge to figure out if that donor is subscribed to our email list. We can get this data from our online engagement database, but need a place to store it in RE taking into account the following:
 - store subscribe status where gift officer can easily see status
 - account for donors with multiple email addresses
 - easy to update weekly and allow for donor to "resubscribe"

Internally, we've considered a few options:
  • Use the "Do not contact" toggle next to the email address type, however this may be confusing as to whether we don't want to contact that specific phone because of donor strategy or because donor has unsubscribed
  • Use "requests no email?" checkbox -- however, what if they unsubscribe with one email address, and resubscribe with another?
  • Use an attribute for each email address and it's subscription status -- will front-line fundraisers remember to check this, and will it be easy to update?
I'd love to hear others thoughts on this issue. Thanks in advance for your help.


Charles Howes
Manager of Annual Giving
Partners In Health

Just thinking out loud, how about a setup like this?


RE does not have a good way to do this but I am definitely not an advocate of storing your email addresses in attributes. There will inevitably be discrepancies between what is in the phone table and the attributes and there would be no good auditing measures that could be taken to prevent it.

Since this is not directly IOM related I suggest you post your question on a RE specific forum and see what others are doing. there is one on Blackbaud's website and one created by users called the Blackbaud User Society (you need to pay $5 or be sponsored by an existing user to get the ability to post on the BUS so let me know if you would like a sponsor. It is a spam prevention measure.)
Hi Melissa, membership is actually free (though I remember Pete did briefly flirt with the $5 charge to join).

Charles might get a good answer at Blackbus so that's probably a good idea, but I think he was asking here because he wanted to know about a solution that would work well with Import-O-Matic (just a guess).

Thanks for the info Jeff on membership.

With regards to where he should post I would hope that any database manager's first priority is doing what is best for the database - not what is easiest. Besides, IOM is so darned flexible, I can't imagine any solution someone on a RE forum would recommend that could not be handled by IOM. I am just an advocate of asking the largest group possible to find as many possible solutions and limiting your scope of answers to only IOM users I think will be too restricing.

I say the same thing to people who post gift processing questions on RE forums. Basic gift processing questions can be answered by gift processing folks using any database systems, why limit yourself to only RE users. I send them to There are some pretty smart and experienced people there who use other database systems.

Also, posting on there the question and tacking on that you will hope to use IOM in the solution, is free advertising, Jeff!
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