Salutations — Overview

Overview

Salutations are personal greetings used in written communication that can be directed at the addressee, they can be formal or informal, or in some cases they might be dynamic. There are many possible salutation formats, and the different salutations will have differing combinations of Title, First name, Last name, and more. Those fields will be included as a part of the salutation depending on its purpose and configuration.

Salutations in Veracross are highly configurable, allowing schools to accomplish their communication needs in a variety of possibilities. It is important to set the right tone in a written communication, and choosing the right salutation is often the “first impression” and most important starting point in any written communication. Veracross salutations offer many tools to configure salutations both system-wide and narrowly per-person or per-household.

There are several salutations already created on each person and household record, initially based on the standard format. This article covers default salutation configuration, as well as the tools available to administrators to modify and customize salutations.

Salutations Details

Upon creation of a person or household record, the system will automatically create the salutations for that person and household. The name listed first in any household salutation will be the spouse configured as the “Head of Household,” (unless the “Display Female First” option is used – see below). Any time that a change is made to the Name, Prefix, Suffix, or Head of Household configuration, the salutation records are automatically updated. Salutation configuration depends on the combination of a number of different factors: the type of the salutation, the context of the salutation, and the settings for the various options. Additionally, salutations can be overridden per-person and per-household on a static or dynamic basis, and certain salutations may be dynamic depending on Development role.

Salutation Types

Standard Salutation Types

There are four standard types of salutation:

* Note: Family Addressee/Salutation is a special type. There are only three specific formats for the Family Addressee/Salutation type. The formats for this salutation type are:

  1. “Family Addressee” (in the format “The {last} Family,” for example “The Smith Family”).
  2. “Family Salutation” (in the format “{last} Family,” for example “Smith Family”).
  3. “Family Name” (in the format “{last},” for example “Smith”).

The Family Addressee/Salutation type of salutation only exists in the Household context. The rest of this article does not concern the “Family Addressee/Salutation” type.

The other types of salutation (Addressee, Formal, or Informal) can be configured for use in either the Household or Person contexts.

Appending Salutations

On a salutation record screen, the option exists to Append Attributes to the salutation. Turning on this option adds a particular appendage to the salutation depending on the person’s role. Below is a guide for which appendages apply to which roles:


Student: grade level

Parent: (P) with their child(ren)’s graduation year

Grandparent: GP with their grandchild(ren)’s graduation year

Board Member: TR – short for Trustee

Deceased: prepends Deceased


Non-Standard Salutation Types

There are two other types of salutations: “Dynamic” and “Custom”.

Dynamic salutations are used exclusively in Development. These are a special type of salutation with their own purpose. Learn more about Dynamic salutations.

The Custom type allows for the possibility that specific salutations may be required that are not configurable using the available configuration options. Custom salutation configuration can require extra cost. If a custom salutation configuration is required, work with a Veracross Account Manager to determine the best solution.

Salutation Contexts

There are two different contexts for salutations. The contexts are:

  • Household
  • Person

In the Household context of a salutation, the three main Salutation Types (Addressee, Formal and Informal) will display information about both spouses: for example, “John and Carol Smith.” By default, the spouse marked “Head of Household” will come first in any salutation.

The salutations for a Household or a Person can be reviewed on the Salutations tab on the Household or Person detail screens. In the following example Brad is marked as the Head of Household for the Abbott Household; that is why his name comes first in the Household Salutations:

Person Salutation screenHousehold Salutation screen
Person Salutation screenHousehold Salutation screen

Salutation Categories

Categories allow for organizing the different salutations for the various different departments. The salutation category has no influence on functionality; the categories are used simply to help organize the salutations. The categories are:

  • General
  • Development
  • Alumni
  • Admissions
  • Business
  • Other

Modifying Salutation Configuration

The default salutations configuration is only a starting point. Administrators have a few tools to configure salutations as needed. The tools include:

  • Options to turn on or off certain fields to configure salutations. Options are configured based on the type of salutation. Learn more about options for each type by viewing the specific documentation article linked below:
  • Overriding salutations per-person or per-household (there are two kinds of overrides).
  • Disabling unneeded or unused salutations or re-enabling them again later.
  • Dynamic salutations configuration (learn more about Dynamic Salutations).

Overriding salutations

There are two options to set an override salutation value: Either enter specific text as an override salutation, or select another specific salutation as an override.

Entering specific text as an override salutation

refresh salutations highlightedTo set a permanent override, enter the override text in the “Salutation Text” field for the specific salutation on the Household or Person Salutations tab. Once an override has been entered, the change will be recorded in the audit log and the system will no longer automatically update or refresh that salutation. This is the preferred option if a specific person or family wants to be addressed in a certain way.

In order to restore an override back to the default, remove the override “Salutation Text” that has been entered and click “Update.” The system will instantly generate the configured salutation value again, as though no override had ever been entered.

Note: Because salutations will not refresh when there is a specific override value, there is the potential that when a household record changes (death in the family, divorce, etc.), the salutations could become outdated. There is an integrity check accessible via the ‘Data Integrity’ homepage in the Demographics category that looks for any households that have salutations with “and” in it, but where the spouse is blank. This allows the school to check any of these cases and set new overrides or remove the existing override as needed.

Select another salutation as an override

refresh salutations highlightedSelecting a specific salutation value to act as the override may be the appropriate solution in some scenarios. For instance, this may be the preferred option if a person or family prefers to be formally addressed in all cases, but has not necessarily indicated a specific format they desire. In that case, the “formal salutation” might be selected as the override for the “informal salutation” for this household.

In the example, the “Formal salutation” has been selected as the override for the “Informal Salutation” and the “Informal Salutation w/Last” for this specific family. For this reason, “Mr. and Mrs. Abbott” is the salutation value for those two salutations now, the same as the value for the “Formal Salutation.”

Unlike the option to enter specific text as an override salutation, selecting an override salutation will enable the values to refresh when the underlying data changes.

Enable/Disable salutations

Some of the available salutations might not be applicable or useful to all schools. Salutations can be disabled by unchecking the “enabled” flag. To apply the change to all people/households, refresh the salutation.

Refresh Salutations

As mentioned above, all changes to the Name, Prefix, Suffix, or Head of Household configuration triggers an instant update to both the Person and Household salutation values for that person and household. Any other changes that might affect a salutation value (for example adding a Graduation Year) are refreshed weekly during the weekly processes that run on Sundays (excluding override salutations, which are never refreshed).refresh salutations for household

Refresh Salutations per-Household or per-Person

If data used in salutations has been changed for a particular person, and the salutations are to be used in the same day (and waiting for the overnight process is not an option), the “Refresh Salutations” button can be used to manually refresh the salutations for this person or household. This can be found in the “Action” menu on the person and household detail screens in order to refresh one household’s or one person’s salutations.

Refresh Salutations system-wide

refresh salutation system-wideIf a system-wide refresh of the salutation values is required for a particular salutation (due to any change in salutation configuration options) this can be accomplished via “Refresh Person Salutations” or “Refresh Household Salutations,” buttons found under the “Action” menu on the Salutation detail screen. These procedures can take a few seconds or more to complete because the salutation values may need to be refreshed for tens of thousands of households or people.

Using salutations

Salutations are used in written communication, and can be used for printing labels, utilizing reports for mailing lists, printing MS Word Mail merge documents, and in email communication.

using salutations in a queryCalculated query fields, allowing salutations to be used in queries for export, printing labels, mail merge and email merge will be created for each salutation. By using a salutation in a query, it is possible to produce a report that includes just the right salutation for the communication that is needed, whether it is the “Informal Salutation,” the “Alumni Addressee Salutation,” or a dynamic Development salutation.

The example illustrates a query using Person salutations, but similar reports can be built using Household salutations. If some salutations do not currently have calculated fields for use in a query for any of the above needs, ask your Account Manager to make sure the salutations are configured for use in queries.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: How is it determined which name comes first in a Household salutation with two spouses or adults? Will it always be the man’s name?
Answer 1: The name that comes first in a salutation will be whichever person is identified as the Head of Household (except for the Household Informal or Formal salutations where “Display Female First” is checked). Head of Household can be updated for any household.

Question 2: What if none of the configuration options allow us to configure the salutations that we need?
Answer 2: If your school finds that none of these configuration options allow you to configure the salutations that are needed, ask your Account Manager for pricing for custom salutations.