It is sometimes necessary to keep Profile records in FIMS that are almost identical or that reference the same person or organization, or have the same address. For example, if a couple gives together, but the wife also gives separately, you need two Profile records – one for the couple and one for the wife – because they want to be recognized in two different ways, and may participate separately for some things and jointly for others. Another example is when you may have one Profile that is the main Organization record (perhaps a Grantee), but other Profiles that are Individuals who work at that Organization and therefore have the same address.

When assigning Affiliation Codes for Newsletter, Annual Report, or other large mailings, decide which Profile should get the Affiliation code. In the case of joint and single Individual Profiles, you’ll probably assign the Affiliation code to the joint profile but not the single. To avoid duplicate mailing to the same address for Organizations, you may want to apply the Affiliation code to the main Organization record and not the Individuals.

Another good practice is to create an Affiliation code to apply to those Profiles you don’t want to mail your Newsletter or Annual Report to. For example, you could call it Duplicate. Add that to duplicate profiles that you don’t want to mail to. Then exclude that Affiliation code when you do your export for mailing.

To find duplicate profiles in FIMS do the following:

  • Create a Data Grid in the Profile Module selecting on the affiliation codes you are using for the mailing.
  • First sort by Alpha Sort to check for duplicates. Then sort by Last Name, and finally by Organization Name.
  • For those individuals who are on more than one profile, which profile should be used for the Newsletter mailing? Put the Duplicate Affiliation code on the profiles you don’t want to mail to.
  • Sort by Address 1 – For those where the address is the same, should everyone at that address get the newsletter? If so, OK to leave as is. If not, leave the code on the profile that should get it, and add the Duplicate Affiliation code on those that shouldn’t.

Once you do this, set a policy going forward to make sure you don’t continue the practices that are creating duplicates for your mailing lists. If a Profile is created with the same name or same address as another Profile, decide at that moment if you should add the Duplicate Affiliation code or not.