Product Update: May 2021

David Simpson Posted on 1st May 21 by David Simpson

Here's your regular monthly product update with a hand-picked selection of the finest work from the Beacon Engineering team.

Send emails from Person records with SendGrid

You can now send emails directly from person records using SendGrid. Create a template in SendGrid, filter the people you want to send to, and fire off emails to them directly from Beacon.

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This is a great way of sending emails in bulk and is useful for sending transactional emails in which you want to customise the content of the email for each user, while Mailchimp is great for sending the same email to lots of people (like newsletters). Read the guide article.

The Beacon Portal

The Beacon portal is a new Premium-plan feature that allows the people in your database to access and manage the information you store about them. Supporters, members, and volunteers can now securely update their own records in Beacon.

You can use the portal for a wide variety of use-cases:

  • Donors - make changes to their contact details (e.g. address), and see the history of their donations.
  • Members - active members can see the details of their membership.
  • Volunteers - can set their availability preferences, and log volunteer hours.
  • Events - attendees can provide additional details about an event they're going to (e.g. menu choice, certificate from GP)
  • Cases - clients can see the status of their open cases, upload supporting documentation, and access their case history.

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You can find out more about the Portal in this blog post and this guide article.

Behind the scenes: Introducing GraphQL

The difference between us saying that Beacon is a modern product and truly living up to that expectation is measured by how we incorporate the latest technology into the system.

GraphQL is an exciting emerging technology, originally developed by Facebook's engineering team, that we have started to use in place of traditional REST APIs. Don't worry, we won't go into too much nerdy detail, but this is a really exciting improvement that affects how Beacon's interface interacts with the database behind the scenes. It's going to allow us to build features faster and to make the Beacon interface faster and simpler.

We're always keeping an eye on the latest developments and getting them into the hands of our customers. No resting on our laurels here at Beacon HQ!

Celebrate Beacon-style

Of course, sometimes we just build things for the fun of it. Got something to celebrate in Beacon? Well just hold the 'Tab' key and then hit the 'B' key!

You can also configure your pipeline views to celebrate with Beacon confetti whenever a card is moved into a column of your choice!

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All the cool kids are hanging out on Beacon Facebook Chat!

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...

Next, we're working on Beacon's new notifications system and starting work on projects to update how timelines work and improve how Beacon jives with financial systems.

David Simpson

About the author

David Simpson is the CTO at Beacon. He's dedicated to making Beacon the best charity CRM in the world.

Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.


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