A Profile should be marked Inactive if they are a deceased Individual or an out-of-business Organization. Marking a Profile Inactive does not prevent mailing. The only thing it does is produce a pop-up warning when adding a Gift, Pledge, Grant, Scholarship, or Administrative Voucher, stating that the Profile is marked Inactive. If you get this warning, you probably should immediately stop adding the record; you may have selected the wrong Profile. If you’ve chosen the right Profile, go to the Profile and check to make sure all the information is up to date, including address, as well as possibly change the setting back to Active. The information from the Profile will default into the record you’re adding (Gift or Grant, etc.), and you want to make sure it is up to date. If you still want the profile to remain inactive, the transaction will still process through; it was just a warning.
Allow Mail (check-box on the Profile 2 tab) should be unchecked if the person should not receive mail. This would be the case for a deceased Individual or an out-of-business Organization. But an Active Profile could decide they do not want to receive mailings. Unchecking this box will automatically exclude them from any standard Export (run from the Reports menus). Note that they will not be excluded by default if exporting from data grids. In the case of a data grid, you will need to select not to export them by selecting the allow mail field and choosing yes.
Sometimes an Export is done not for mailing, but to create a report by opening the data in Excel. This is a good option if you cannot find a standard report that gives you the information you’re looking for. In this scenario, be sure to go to the Mailing tab in the setup tabs for the Export and check the box to Ignore allow mail flag in profiles. In this scenario you don’t want to exclude records just because they don’t allow mail. When exports run, they will provide a count of records skipped because of the flag and report settings. Thus, you can check to see how many were skipped because of the box check or to insure none were skipped because you over-rode the value.