Friday I was trying to set the default value for a field when creating a new donation record. Turns out you can’t for standard fields (but ironically you can for custom fields).
The workaround is to use a workflow rule. Here’s the one I created, which basically says that we must generate a paper thank you letter for all in-kind donations. It’s a bit convoluted, as you need to also create a workflow action that will be run (in this case, Check "Needs Paper Letter" filed) separate from the trigger conditions.
The downside to this is it isn’t obvious to the person creating the new record that the field will be changed the instant they press Save. It would be better if there were an option for the rule to run when the new record form comes up (which is actually before it has been created in the database).