A few concepts to bear in mind:
- Most of the time you’ll find the individual constituent or issue you need by using the quick search box in the top bar — you only need advanced search to retrieve a complex set of constituents or activities.
- When you do an advanced search with no search terms set, you are retrieving a table of all the constituents and all their activities.
- The search terms that you add exclude activities and/or constituents from that table.
- There are three kinds of search terms that you can specify:
- Constituent Search Terms
- Activity Search Terms
- Constituent Activity Search Terms
- If you define the search to retrieve constituents:
- Obviously, the list will only include constituents meeting the Constituent Search terms you have chosen.
- But also, the list will only include constituents that have activities meeting the Activity Search Terms you entered.
- The Constituent Activity Search Terms are applied for each constituent to their set of activities — the Constituent Activity Search terms are applied after the Constituent Search Terms and the Activity Search Terms.
- Notice that you have options for how you combine the search terms:
- Require all
- Require any
- Require all false
- Require any false
- For both Activity Search Terms and Constituent Activity Search Terms, you can use Issue category selections. These will be applied first to define a set of issues applicable only to that Search Term row. For Constituent Activity Search Terms, the single way of combining multiple issue categories is to retrieve all selected and all of their descendants.
- For Constituent Activity Search Terms, the left hand operator defines what the constituent selection is — constituents having Sum, Max, Count etc. meeting the right hand comparison. The middle terms, type and category selections, further limit the activity records included in the Sum or Max or Count from within the set already defined by the Activity Search Terms and Constituent Search Terms. See the examples.
Problem: How would I find everyone who had ever contacted me on an environmental issue and had sent me at least one email on any subject in the last six months — in other words, they care about environmental issues and I have a fresh email address for them?
Solution: Choose to Retrieve constituents in the Search Definition and add two Constituent Activity Search Terms:
- Maximum — Date — Email — No Cat Selection — Greater than or equal to — 2015-03-01
- Count — Date — No Type Selection — Cat Environmental — Greater than or equal to — 0
Note that in the second search term ActivityDate is not tested per se — any selected field produces the same result if one is just counting records, because no fields on the Activity Record are allowed to have “Null” values; they are all countable.
Problem: How can I list all the constituents for whom I’ve added an email address since July 1, 2015?
Solution: Choose to Retrieve constituents in the Search Definition and add a single Constituent Search Term:
- Update Time — Email — Greater than or equal to — 2015-07-01
You would then be able to export the constituents and their emails from the constituent list.
Problem: How would I list all the checks and online contributions I’ve received since July 1, 2015?
Solution: Choose to Retrieve activities in the Search Definition and add two Activity Search Terms:
- Date — Check — Greater than or equal to — 2015-07-01
- Date — Online Contribution — Greater than or equal to — 2015-07-01
- Don’t forget to select “Require Any” — if you require all, you are requiring your activities to be both checks and online contributions and that will yield no records.
You could add Constituent Search Terms, for example, selecting a city to narrow the list to include only contributions from that City.
This presumes that you have gone to Options and set up some appropriate activity types (e.g., check and online contribution) and have gone to Settings and have designated them as financial. With those parameters in place, you can retrieve contributions as above. No financial activity types are configured by default for WP Issues CRM.
- I selected activities with last update time equal to today. I found nothing. What gives? Use greater than or equal. The time stamp actually includes the minute and second of the update, but that’s not something you will typically know. Retrieving last update time greater than or equal to 2015-03-01 will retrieve all the time stamps on that date and after it.