Don't allow preferred name to be identical to first name

Our parents think "preferred name" is the name they call their child which is usually the same as their first name, which creates a duplicate on each page such as "Daniel 'Daniel' Smith" -- maybe a warning with an explanation as to what Preferred Name means as a pop-up?

  • Jay Falk
  • Sep 15 2021
  • Under consideration
  • Attach files
  • Tamara Photiadis commented
    27 Jun 06:11pm

    Ever since the recent changes which enable communications to use the "Preferred Name" field, drawing from the "First Name" field when the former is empty, I think a lot of the concerns outlined below may be a mute point. Lately we have been emptying the "preferred name" field when identical to first name, because the communications are behaving as they should, so this idea is really useful.

  • Sondra Berry commented
    20 Oct, 2023 07:10pm

    Years ago we went through all of our current students and populated the preferred field. It is now a required field. It would mess us up if the preferred name was no longer an option or had a warning message. We like the ability to have both and to CHOOSE which we want to use.


  • Tamara Photiadis commented
    9 Nov, 2022 09:07pm

    I'm so happy to see that a topic like this is under consideration, but if approved, this can cause a big problem with communications through, at least, the Higher Ed product...in most areas when creating a communication template, we are forced to select either "first name" or "preferred name." If we select "preferred name" (most optimal) then many of the letters will end up with an empty name field if this Idea is implemented. What I would like to see is a logic field in order to address this problem, and then I would love to see this idea implemented because Name "Name" Surname is very clunky for our teachers to use. My idea for the logic field can be found under Idea number K12OB-I-2220, with the title, "Logic field for Nickname/Firstname in all communications." Please vote for it! Thank you!

  • Jonathan Tepper commented
    7 Oct, 2022 03:25pm

    I would like to follow this consideration. Our organization also does John "John" Smith to ensure that the preferred name if the same or different is used to personalize our communication and know what our staff and student's salutation preferences are. The other first name field is also used as it relates to legal and government reporting. In my opinion, both fields need to exist even if IDENTICAL but I do agree seeing it on the top of the record seems silly - perhaps how it is displayed can have some logic to it rather than preventing the user to populate only one field if identical.

  • Morgan Kunze commented
    11 Aug, 2022 02:42pm

    Such an interesting issue. I agree that Name "Name" Surname is silly looking, but at our school we've accepted it as the best option, and require every record to have a preferred name. We've actually developed a fairly granular questionnaire differentiating between preferred name and nickname (preferred name is "everyone should call me this always" eg. Mary instead of Mark, nickname is "please call me this but my records should show my 'real' name" eg. Theo instead of Theodore) and we use that to decide what should be in which field (for Mary we would change both first and preferred names). Identity stuff is really complex and I'm grateful that Blackbaud and we as users are actively discussing this area.

  • Claire Broadway commented
    26 Apr, 2022 04:33pm

    I see a lot of people saying this would cause problems for them but can we all agree that having John "John" Smith at the top of every record is at best silly looking, at worst, endlessly irritating. I too have made a concerted effort to make it very clear on all intake forms/profile update forms that the field is only for nicknames but parents always enter the first name again anyway, and I end up manually removing them on a weekly basis.

  • josceline reardon commented
    15 Feb, 2022 05:38pm

    But it is the only way to pull a list with preferred names, is by duplicating the first name if the child doesn't have a nickname. Otherwise the list will only include students with a nickname so the Divisional Admin Assistants would have to pull both first name and preferred name and then move over first name to preferred name column for their work.

    In addition, official notes pull preferred name and would be blank and look bad. Especially for Admissions Offers.

  • Jonathan Tepper commented
    30 Nov, 2021 03:40pm

    This would make things challenging for us if they cannot be the same, before we always use the preferred name for other systems. Not having it identical would mean it would be blank and therefore, this would add complexity to how data is shared with other systems, as we use this field for email, salutations, learning apps, etc. Perhaps how the system is sync should be looked at? I see that other orgs are the same as us too. The sync should be looked at to manage matching fields, I do agree what is experienced is a challenge rather than "Don't allow preferred name to be identical to first name" change the logic on the sync.

  • Geoffrey Goodfellow commented
    2 Nov, 2021 06:39pm

    Because we use REConnect to keep our Core data in sync with Raiser's Edge, we also must have the preferred name populated for every record. Because of the Addressee/Salutation configuration in RE, preferred name is a required field in RE, even if it is identical to the first name. In RE, there are more options to choose whether you want to see first name, preferred name, or both most everywhere. If preferred name continues to be required for us in Core as well, we would also like more options to show only the preferred name and not the first name most places accept for official documents like transcripts. Or if the system would suppress the preferred name if it was the same as the first name, that would also work for us.

  • Adrian S. commented
    26 Oct, 2021 10:01pm

    We use preferred name as "nickname" and populate it with the first name if the student doesn't have a nickname. This way, the field is populated for every student in case we ever need to pull the field or use it in some sort of merge or template.

  • Nancy Kierstead commented
    20 Oct, 2021 02:48pm

    Every user at our school has a preferred name. We would prefer to suppress the first name as an option as well. That way we can retain legal names but show preferred names.

  • Brian Gray commented
    14 Oct, 2021 10:00pm

    We take a different approach to preferred names. Every user has a preferred name - even when the preferred name is the same as the first name. For us, the ideal solution would be to have the ability to suppress the display of the first name in most places.

    In particular, we don't want to display the first name on the student's contact card in the General Information area.

    To support non-binary students, we need more options for name fields. These options should be set per user - not per role.

    We also want to see a preferred last name field. Many students from Spanish-speaking countries have a hyphenated last name, but use only part of that name day-to-day. But which part is used depends on the country.

  • Alex Mendiola commented
    11 Oct, 2021 01:45pm

    Hi All,

    We are currently researching some changes to the preferred name and how it displays. I'll keep an eye on this idea and keep you posted. Please encourage others to vote on this idea. It always helps. :)


    All the best,

    Alex Mendiola

    Product Manager, K-12

  • Janice Bonczek commented
    11 Oct, 2021 03:43am
    Yes please! We have tried to fix this by changing "preferred name" on applications to "nickname", but when directly editing a contact card, I think it still shows "preferred name". Parents will enter for themselves and their students, either their first name repeated, or their whole name. I have had to manually go in and change at least 50% of last year's applicants, it was very time consuming.
  • Gregg commented
    16 Sep, 2021 01:32pm

    Simply remove the name from preferred name when any one of the follow conditions exist:

    Preferred name is:

    1) Same as the first name

    2) Is a combination of the first and last name ( example John Smith )

    3) Is a prefix (examples Mr. or Mrs.)

    Ever since the "nick name" was renamed to "preferred name" we get all kinds of weird stuff.






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