How 'person detection' works during sign-up

There are a number of places where ChurchSuite attempts to intelligently detect whether someone is an existing contact or child when personal data is submitted through a ChurchSuite form. Person detection takes place for:

  • Event sign-up through an event page
  • Group sign-up through a group page
  • Donate via SMS

Detecting just a mobile/cell number

If only a Mobile/Cell number is provided, for example through Donate via SMS, a Contact or Child will be matched if there is exactly one person within the Address Book or Children module with that Mobile/Cell number. If there are multiple people with the same Mobile/Cell number, no match will be detected.

Detecting with other data

Person detection works against either Address Book Contacts and children in the Children module, and requires an exact match against the Last Name that is saved within ChurchSuite.

In addition to an exact match against Last Name, the following fields are examined for exact matches:

Collection Field Specific To Weighting
Name First Name - 50
  First Name initial - 25
  Formal Name - 50
  Formal Name initial - 25
Email Email - 10
  Spouse Email Contact 5
  Parent Email Child 5
  Parent 2 Email Child 5
  Additional Parent Emails Child 5
Mobile Mobile - 20
  Spouse Mobile Contact 15
  Parent Mobile Child 15
  Parent 2 Mobile Child 15
  Additional Parent Mobiles Child 15
People Spouse ID Contact  
  Parent ID Child 20
  Parent 2 ID Child 20

ChurchSuite compares the supplied data against all Contacts/Children who have an exact match on Last Name, with priority given to first attempting to match on Contacts and subsequently on Children if an appropriate match was not found. Once all Contacts matching Last Name have been compared, if there is just one Contact with the highest weighting score (minimum weighting score of 25), ChurchSuite considers that to be a match. If there are multiple Contacts with the same weighting, ChurchSuite will 'fail safe' and not match any of them.

If no match is detected for Contacts, the same checks are undertaken for Children.


Consider the following data already in ChurchSuite:

John Smith 
07970 123 456
Jane Smith 
07999 987 654
Sally Smith 
No child email
No child mobile
Scenario 1 - No match
Collection Field Data Weighting
First Name J 25 (First Name initial match)
Last Name Smith 0 (Minimum requirement)
Email 10
    Total: 35

Whilst the calculated weighting is above the minimum, the same weighting would be calculated for both John Smith and also Jane Smith; as a result, ChurchSuite will "fail safe" and not identify a match for either.

Scenario 2 - John Smith
Collection Field Data Weighting
First Name J 25 (First Name initial match)
Last Name Smith 0 (Minimum requirement)
Mobile 07970 123 456 20
    Total: 45

Whilst still using the same ambiguous First Name & Last Name combination as Scenario 1, the addition of the mobile number (which is unique) allows us to reliably detect John Smith as the person.

Scenario 3 - Sally Smith
Collection Field Data Weighting
First Name Sally 25 (First Name match)
Last Name Smith 0 (Minimum requirement)
Mobile 07999 987 654 15 (Parent 2 Mobile match)
    Total: 40

Sally Smith is detected on the basis of an exact First Name and Last Name match, along with the addition of the Parent 2 Mobile.

Still need help? Contact ChurchSuite Contact ChurchSuite