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Product Updates
Product Updates

Product Update - December 2023

David Simpson
December 4, 2023

Here's your regular summary of latest features from the diligent elves of the Beacon product team.

Campaign Hierarchies

Premium and Ultimate Beacon customers can now organise your campaigns into "hierarchies", a tree-like structure of "parent-child" records.

Say we have 3 campaigns in a hierarchy:

  • Christmas Appeal: to track the overall success
  • Christmas Appeal - Post: to track our direct mail success
  • Christmas Appeal - Email: to track our email newsletter success

In our email newsletter, we can configure our Beacon donation form (or otherwise) to set all payments that come through it as linked to the specific campaign they relate to: Christmas Appeal - Email.

Take a look at the Total and Total (inc. children) fields below:

You can find out more about Campaign Hierarchies in this blog post.

Log in with Microsoft and Google (SSO)

Often called 'SSO' or Single Sign-On, you can now use Microsoft and Google accounts that you use every day to log in to Beacon It's simple, secure, and means that you have one fewer password to remember!

Your existing Beacon user accounts can now be logged in to with Microsoft and Google. There's no configuration or migration required.

Beacon admins also have the ability to restrict how your whole charity can log in to Beacon.  You can ensure that your whole team can only log in to Beacon with their Microsoft or Google accounts (whichever you choose).

You can find out more about logging in with Microsoft and Google in this blog post.

JustGiving update

We've made some big changes to how the Beacon JustGiving integration works. The biggest update is that new fundraising pages and payments will come in within a few minutes of them being set up in JustGiving. When the payout comes in from JustGiving this will be created in Beacon and the appropriate payments will be linked to the payout.

We've worked with JustGiving to create a new kind of API access plan within JustGiving accounts. JustGiving will be switching customers over to a new plan soon. You won't need to take any action but you'll receive another email from JustGiving about the switchover.

ISO 27001:2022 progress

We've been working hard on our ISO 27001:2022 certification preparation, and we're around half way through the work that's required. This process involves reviewing, standardising, and improving our entire organisation's data security controls and policies. Finally, there is an audit process to ensure that Beacon is entirely compliant with the standard. We expect that this process will take a few months more, but it's a great way to ensure that we continue to hold ourselves to the very highest industry standards when keeping your data secure. You can find out more about how we take care of your data on our trust page, and you can find out more about the ISO 27001 standard here.

Penetration test report

We've had our latest penetration test report through courtesy of Pen Test Partners who have independently audited our security position. As expected, we're very happy with the observations of the report and Beacon has been given a clean bill of security health. In the typically understated language of security professionals our auditors commented:

The consultant observed several commendable security practices... The Beacon CRM application presents a strong security stance against high-risk attacks.

That's what we want to hear! Additionally, Beacon's approach to session management was praised:

A refined session management system has been put in place, greatly strengthening the security of user accounts.

Usefully, several low-risk recommendations were made which we've scheduled fixes for, in order to make sure that we're constantly improving our security systems.

Become a Beacon expert with Beacon Lighthouse

If you're new to Beacon and you're looking to really get to grips with your CRM then you can enrol in one of our free online courses through Beacon Lighthouse. We've got General training courses plus Deep Dive courses on Major Gifts & Grants, Events & Ticketing and Gift Aid, all curated by Senior Customer Success Manager and Lighthouse Keeper, Luke.

Check out the latest Beacon events

We run a variety of events to help you to get the most out of Beacon, including regular clinics, deep dives into specific features, and in-person meetups - the next of which is happening in Leeds next month. We've also got recordings of previous events so you'll never miss something useful. You can find everything listed on the Beacon events page.

Beacon chat: Where all the coolest charity humans hang out

Beacon customers are invited to join our private Facebook Group. It's a place to exchange ideas, tips, and best practices.

You can find the group here and we'd love to welcome you in.

The group is only available to Beacon customers.

Up next...

We're close to releasing a new integration with MuchLoved, as well as a nifty improvement to how you can organise your sidebar. Look out for my annual overview of what we'll be working on in 2024 which will be hitting inboxes in January.

However you spend this time of year, I hope it's relaxing and peaceful!