[Donor Management System] Understanding Groups & Smart Groups

Groups & Smart Groups are great tools to categorize, segment and analyse your Contacts in the DMS. You should use Groups & Smart Groups whenever you are trying to organize your Contact list.

In turn, you will be able to perform many Actions to the Contacts in your Groups such as sending them emails, adding Tags and filtering Reports.


Groups are static lists of Contacts that are manually created. You will have to select single or multiple Contacts and add them to any specific Group you create.

Groups are usually used as a simple way of organizing a segment of your Contacts that don’t have set predictable criteria.


Angela Martin, Phyllis Vance and Pam Beesly have nothing in common but they were once part of a Party Planning Committee in their organization.

You can then create a Group called “Party Planning Committee” that organizes these specific Contacts and does not get updated frequently.

Smart Groups

Smart Groups are dynamic lists of Contacts that are automatically updated based on set criteria. You will set these criteria while performing an Advanced Search for your list of Contacts.


Angela Martin, Phyllis Vance and Pam Beesly have each donated over $1,000 in the last fiscal year and live in Scranton.

You can create a Smart Group that contains the two set criteria of (1) “donated over $1,000 in the last fiscal year” and  (2) “lives in Scranton”.

Then, Angela, Phyllis and Pam + any other current and future Contact that match these set criteria will be automatically added to the Smart Group.

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