Custom fields allow you to customize your Bloomerang database to capture whatever data is most important to your organization.
Where Custom Fields Are Used
Custom fields appear in one of four locations:
- Constituent: Appear on the constituent's Profile page
- Transaction: Appear on every transaction
- Interaction: Appear on every interaction
- Note: Appear on every note
You can add constituent, transaction, and interaction custom fields to forms and use them when creating reports, emails, and letters.
How Custom Fields Are Structured
When you create a custom field, you choose two factors: what type of data is entered into the field and how that data is entered. The combination is important and affects how useful the custom field is later.
Select from five data types:
- Text: Any character can be entered.
- Date: Only dates can be entered, in the mm/dd/yyyy format.
- Date (Year Only): Only a four-digit year can be entered.
- Number: Only numbers can be entered. Decimal points are allowed, with up to two decimal places.
- Currency: Only numbers can be entered, and they are stored with a decimal and two decimal places.
Data Entry Method
Select one of three ways to enter the data:
- Type It In: Users can type in any value, as long as it is within the field's data type.
- Pick 1 Value from a List: Users can pick one predefined value from a menu. You set up the values allowed.
- Pick Multiple Values from a List: Users can pick multiple predefined values from a list. You set up the values allowed.
Select the Correct Combinations
Carefully choose the data type and entry method, especially for text fields. The combination affects how useful text fields are later. Filtering on preset text is more reliable than filtering on freeform text. When adding a custom field for text, ask yourself:
- Will I need to filter on this field's data?
- Can I set some reasonable predefined values for the field?
If you answer Yes to both questions, set up the field as a Pick 1 Value from a List or Pick Multiple Values from a List. If you can't predefine the values, create a policy for how freeform text should be entered.
Custom Field Examples
- Text and Type It In
- Date and Type It In
- Currency and Type It In
- Text and Pick 1 Value from a List
- Text and Pick Multiple Values from a List
Organize Custom Fields
Each type of custom field is organized into categories, which you create. Categories are like file folders on your computer. The custom fields in that category are like the files inside the folders. Custom fields contain values, or data, which are like the words in the file.
The order of the categories, custom fields, and their values in the Settings area is how they appear in other areas of Bloomerang. See Edit Categories, Custom Fields, and Values for more details.
Make Fields Required
Required means you must enter data into that field before you can save the data entry screen. For instance, a required How Heard About Us field for constituents means that every constituent must have a value in that field before her record can be saved. Required fields are labeled in green. See Edit Categories, Custom Fields, and Values for more details.