What are database fields and why are they important?
Database fields are essential information you want to collect and update about a volunteer. Typically database fields are related to contact information (phone, address) and extend to fields like emergency contact. It can be anything important to your organization to know.
When trying to decide if it should be a database field or a standard form field, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I want the answers to appear on the front of the profile card?
Is it information I want to input or change manually about a volunteer?
Will I need to export or reference this information regularly?
Is this important I will need to import
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it's a good idea to create a database field.
Creating your database fields
Go to Settings in the main navigation and click on 'Fields'. You will notice a default view with fields already available. You cannot delete these fields, but other than the name and email which are already collected as part of the Timecounts login, you don't have to utilize it on your forms or profile cards. This information is listed in the user profile, so we make it mandatory should they wish to update it for you.
To create a new custom field, click the button top right corner. It will open a popup that takes you through the steps to create a new field. Let's create a database field for 't-shirt size' as an example.
The first step is to select your Field Type. This is the format or combination of fields that work best for the information you are trying to collect. In this case, we only want people to select one option, so we can choose Multiple Choice.
Next, you will be asked to create a Label for your field. This is not visible to your volunteers, it is simply the label that will appear when you wish to select it in the form builder or the database field management list. You cannot edit this label once it's created, so if you make a mistake you will need to delete it and start again. The reason you cannot edit a label is this is how it is stored in the database and changing it could result in data not matching.
The last step is to edit how the field will appear to volunteers when used in forms or edit in the profile card. All components of this field are editable and unlike the label, you can change the content. Just remember, if you are editing a database field it may impact answers you have already received.
You may wish to edit the title so it appears as a question. You can edit the default text to create Small, Medium, Large, and Extra Large or whatever is relevant to your database field.
There are a few field types that allow you to automatically associate a tag with the answers volunteers submit. This makes it easier to filter and sort volunteers. You will first need to create Tags under Settings / Data.
Once you save you will now see it listed in the Database field options, in the form builder database field section, and the profile card if you click to edit. Once you have a number of database fields, you can drag them to reorder how you wish for them to appear in the profile card.