Below is a simplified outline with some links to documentation that will fill in additional details. To begin with it might help to look at the Duplicate Constituent Workflow

Step #1: Run a duplicate search process to identify constituent records that may be duplicates
  1. In Constituents > Duplicates start by selecting Full Duplicate search
  2. Click Edit Process under Tasks on the left side of the page
  3. Under the General tab, select one of the following options:
    1. Fast process: This setting is designed for speed and efficiency. In this mode, the search process filters out as many records as it can based on matching parts of the constituent name, email, phone, address, and other features. If two records are matched by this process, there is a high likelihood that they are duplicates. This type of process will generate fewer results than the detailed process, so there is a possibility that some duplicates may be overlooked.
    2. Detailed process: This setting will take longer than the “fast process” but can potentially find more duplicates. This process uses fewer filters to exclude potential matches. It will generate more results than the fast process and may catch some duplicates that the fast process misses. Because the detailed process uses fewer filters to exclude records, there is a greater possibility of getting results that are not really duplicates.
    3. Custom settings: This setting will allow you to run a duplicate search based on comparison settings you define. You can choose which constituents to compare, which filters to apply, and the minimum confidence level for two records to be considered a match. In most cases, we recommend that you use the fast or detailed process as the selections you make on the Custom settings tab can have lengthy running times.
      1. If selecting the Custom settings option, click the Custom settings tab
      2. Define your search criteria
  4. Save, then click Start Process under Tasks on the left side of the page
  5. Later on, to save processing time, when you are ready to scan the database for duplicates again you can run the incremental duplicate constituent search process which compares only those records that have been added or updated since the last search was run.
This video demonstrates running the search process:


Step #2: Review the Duplicate constituent report found under Constituents, Duplicates
  1. This report will list all of the matches that were found and how closely they are related to other records in the database (this is what we call match percentage)
  2. The "Duplicates of" column lists the target constituents that will be retained after the merge process is run. The % Match column displays the percentage rating for each potential duplicate constituent. The higher the percentage, the greater the similarity between the constituents. The constituent merge process uses the percentage as a cutoff for the constituents to merge. The cutoff percentage threshold is configured when you add or edit the merge process. The Name and Address columns display the name and address of the potential source constituents that will be merged in the associated targets.
  3. Review this report very carefully, and determine what an ideal percentage is to consider a record a match.  For example, you may see that Altru finds a record as 75% similar to another but you can tell by looking that they are NOT matches.  But on another record, it says that a record is 85% close and it does appear to match.  You can be reasonably certain that merging records that are at least and 85% match is safe.​
  4. If records are found that are not duplicates, take appropriate steps to correct or clarify information on the respective constituent records. For example, if relationships have not been configured for family members with the same last name and address, they may be identified as duplicates. To correct this, access their constituent records and add the appropriate relationships. After the relationships are added, they will no longer be identified as duplicates.
  • Note: Remember duplicates cannot be unmerged.  Please review the report very carefully.

Step #3: Now that you’ve reviewed the report and you have an idea of what percent of match is good, you’ll want to run the process to merge them.
  1. Go to Constituents > Duplicates > Constituent Merge
  2. Select the Merge Configuration tab (if you already have a merge configuration set up, skip to step 6)
  3. Click Add or click the drop-down next to an existing configuration and Edit
  4. Check the needed boxes in the left column as this will determine the data that is merged from source records to target records when a merge process runs
    • Note: For most everything you should stick with the default, however, we recommend checking the option to “Exclude duplicate addresses” under the Addresses section to ensure that merged records do not retain duplicate addresses.
  5. When you are satisfied with the options selected, click Save
  6. Select the Merge Processes tab
  7. There is likely a default for 100% that you can edit or you can add a new one.  What is important on that process is that you set the minimum match to the percent you decided on, and we recommend to always select the option to “Mark source constituents inactive” this way if any mistakes are made you can reactivate merged records.
  8. Click the drop-down next to the existing process and Edit, or click Add to create a new process
  9. Enter a name for the process, and add a description if needed
  10. In the Merge Configuration field, select a merge configuration process
  11. Next, select the source and target to include
    1. In the Duplicate Record Source field, select whether to use the duplicate constituents identified by the last full or incremental duplicate search process run
    2. In the Target constituent criteria, select the criteria to determine the target constituents. Target constituents
      receive data from source constituents during the merge. Using the “Automatic” setting will retain the Anchor
      constituent records indicated in the Duplicate constituent search process that you selected for use in the
      Duplicate record source field as the target constituent record. To view the target constituent records being used with the “Automatic” setting, you can run the Duplicate constituent report using the same Duplicate constituent search process chosen for the merge. For information about the determination of the Anchor constituent, see Full and Incremental Duplicate Search Algorithm in the Duplicate Constituents and Merge Tasks Guide. Alternatively, you can also include target constituents based on when they were added to the database, when they were last updated, or based on the number of gifts on the constituent record.
    3. To exclude constituents from the process, enter a selection in the Excluded Constituents field. To search for and choose a selection, click the magnifying glass icon
    4. In the Minimum Match % field, enter the minimum match percentage to include source constituents in the process
    5. To merge individuals only, mark the checkbox for Only merge individuals
    6. To exclude individuals matched with organizations, mark the checkbox for Omit individual/organization matches
  12. To delete source constituents after the merge, mark the checkbox for Delete source constituent
  13. To instead mark source constituents inactive after the merge, select Mark source constituent inactive
    1. Select a reason code in the Inactive Reason field
    2. Enter any Inactive Details if needed
  14. Under Results, to create a selection of target constituents in the process, mark the checkbox to Create selection from results
    1. Enter a name in the Selection name field
    2. To replace any existing selection with the same name, mark the checkbox for Overwrite existing selection
  15. ​Click Save

Step #4: You are ready to run the actual merging process now, just highlight the item you’ve reviewed or edited and click Start Process
  1. When you are done, the system will give you a report of what it did
  2. The preview merge tab will show you who was merged out of the records included in your search.
This video covers how to create and run the duplicate merge process: