This help article covers some search basics, how searching for constituents works, how duplicates are found, and the limitations of search.

  1. Search Basics
  2. Constituent Search
  3. Duplicate Search
  4. Limitations of Search

Search Basics

Keep these basics in mind as you search:

  • Type at least three characters. This is the minimum amount of characters needed for most searches.
  • Searching with two characters is possible if you have constituent names including two characters. A two character search can only find exact matches for the two characters.
  • Numbers search for account IDs, not phone numbers or addresses.
  • A search term is one or more words without quotes. Multiword searches are split into individual wildcard searches. For instance, John searches for "John," but John Smith searches for "John*" and "Smith*" separately.
  • A search phrase is two or more words enclosed in quotes. "John Smith" searches for "John Smith" as a single term.
  • A wildcard search has an asterisk. Sm*h searches for any word with characters between "Sm" and "h." Smi* searches for any word beginning with "Smi."

Constituent Search

Searching for constituents runs standard, fuzzy, and wildcard searches. These types of searches are used everywhere you search in Bloomerang. Searching for duplicate accounts is covered in "Duplicate Search."

Standard Search

Each search term must match something in these fields:

  • Full name
  • Informal name
  • Formal name
  • Envelope name
  • Standardized street address
  • City
  • Email address

For each search term, the system also runs fuzzy and wildcard searches on the full name.

Fuzzy Search

Fuzzy search expands the search by allowing some differences in characters. For instance, "John" might return "Joey."

Search Suggestions

Search suggestions are the lists that appear when you type in a search term. Suggestions use wildcard and fuzzy searches on the full name only.

Order of Search Results

The order of search results may vary for constituent search and search suggestions because these searches are done differently.

Results are ranked based on the quality of the match and how important the matched fields are to most Bloomerang customers. In addition, an account with the search term in several fields ranks higher than an account with the search term in only one field.


Duplicate Search

Where Used

Duplicate search is used in:

  • Imports (use account ID to get consistent correct matches)
  • Online forms
  • Third-party integrations

Duplicate searches are stricter searches designed to find duplicate accounts. First, the system searches an index of the database to get a list of potential matches. It looks at:

  • Full name (for organizations)
  • First name (for individuals; includes common nicknames)
  • Last name (for individuals)
  • Standardized street addresses
  • Email addresses
  • Last seven digits of U.S. phone numbers or full international phone numbers

For individuals, both first and last names must match.

Second, the system pulls the accounts for the potential matches from the database and determines if each account is a duplicate.

How a Duplicate Is Determined

A potential match is a duplicate when the account IDs match, or when the name matches and one of the following matches:

  • Email address
  • Standardized street address
  • Last seven digits of U.S. phone number or full international phone numbers

Full names for organizations must be identical to match. For individuals' names to match, these must be identical:

  • Last name
  • First name, accounting for common nicknames. If an account has two first names, such as "Bob and Shirley," one of the names must match.
  • Suffix, if both names have suffixes. If only one name has a suffix, the suffix is ignored.

If a duplicate is not found, the system creates a new account.

Bloomerang also provides a Duplicate Constituents tool that finds and helps administrators address possible duplicate accounts. See Find Duplicate Constituents to learn more.


Limitations of Search

No human knowledge is involved in a database search! Many evaluations you make when looking at accounts are not possible for a computer. For instance, is the John Smith at Oak Street different from the John Smith at 1st Avenue, or did he just move? You may know, but the computer doesn't.

In addition, search results depend on the quality of your data. To improve search results, use consistent standards when entering data. Activate National Change of Address processing in your database to help with address updates.