We're a fairly large NGO that is trying to consolidate and control emails to major gift donors (VIPs). We have an accounting department and a student sponsorship department that produce different content for VIPs. We'd like all emails to be consolidated through the major gift department, who can then act as personal assistants to the VIPs.

Currently we can be reactive, viewing Activities previously sent. Our boss wants us to add our own email addresses into VIP contacts, meaning all emails will be sent into our inboxes to curate when we can, and we can forward on the emails to the VIPs.

We were hoping for a different solution, like some sort of workflow approval queue that we could check when necessary. The sponsorship team sends a bulk mail to all sponsors, but it's not sent to VIPs until we go through the list and click "yes, yes, no, yes".

We've experimented with placing "Hold" on VIPs, but it means the content from the bulk mail (with tokens and media) is never created, necessitating manual creation.

CiviMail and emails sent through CiviCRM are different; is it possible to have such a 'quality assurance' queue for both?

(as an aside, is there any way to add a large visual indicator or something to a contact's page informing database users that 'this contact is a VIP'?)

  • 1
    I suggest asking your "visual indicator" question as a separate question - you're more likely to get a useful response that way. Questions are free! Asking good questions helps others in the community when they look for answers to the same question :) Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 20:01
  • Thanks Chris, I'll do that. It just occurred to me as I was typing it out!
    – user2857
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 5:49

1 Answer 1


I'd recommend a different concept - maintain a VIP group and then exclude those group members when you're creating a group to send the mail to (use custom search "Add/Remove Group").

The reasons are: 1) No further development required! 2) If you have to approve each bulk email they receive, they may receive a lot of emails at once. It effectively bypasses any frequency control your staff are producing for the main members.

  • Hey John, thanks for the reply. So, we're doing that now as an emergency measure. It requires the other teams to notify us whenever they send a bulk mail, and then for us to check the content, remove the VIPs we don't want to send to at that particular time, then bulk send to the remainder. It's not working great, especially for teams who only bulk mail once a year or something. Also, it doesn't stop individual emails from contact pages. We're looking for a passive solution; we don't want to create any new policies or procedures for other teams.
    – user2857
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 6:38

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