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5. Margie Worrell
Margie Worrell is the Curriculum Manager at
Bloomerang. She serves on the board of the Peace
Learning Center in Indianapolis, and has worked
extensively with nonproﬁts as both a staﬀ member
and a lead volunteer. Her passions include education,
theatre, her two children and her two small dogs.
7. What will we
1. What are custom ﬁelds?
2. How custom ﬁelds are
3. Organizing custom ﬁelds
4. How data gets into custom
5. Where do you ﬁnd custom
6. Deactivating or removing
7. Custom ﬁelds vs. Groups
8. What are
Custom ﬁelds allow
you to customize
data is most
important to your
You can create custom ﬁelds in the
● Constituent: Appear on the
constituent's proﬁle page
● Transaction: Appear on every
● Interaction: Appear on every
● Note: Appear on every note
11. Biggest changes to note in relation to
1. Transactions area has been broken out
a. Top row is strictly custom ﬁelds
b. Funds, campaigns and appeals are under Custom Values on the bottom row
Current view Updated view
Updated view: Top row
Updated view: Bottom row
Updated view: Payments tab
12. How custom
Categories-> Fields-> Values
Select from ﬁve data types:
● Text: Any character can be
● 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
● Currency: Only numbers can be
entered, and they are stored with
a decimal and two decimal places.
13. Entering data
Select one of three ways to enter
● 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
● Pick Multiple Values from a
List: Users can pick multiple
predeﬁned values from a
list. You set up the values
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
1. Will I need to ﬁlter on this ﬁeld's data?
2. Can I set some reasonable predeﬁned values
for the ﬁeld?
Yes to both questions? Set up the ﬁeld as a Pick 1
Value from a List or Pick Multiple Values from a
If you can't predeﬁne the values, create a policy
for how freeform text should be entered.
Deactivating a custom ﬁeld
● Deactivating does not erase existing data. It just
makes it so you will not see it as an option in the
● Custom ﬁelds that already had data continue to
display their values.
● If a deactivated value was used on a form, the form is
refreshed to remove the value.
● In the Settings area, deactivated ﬁelds and values
appear in italicized, gray font.
Deleting a custom ﬁeld
Warning: This process is not reversible. Deleting custom
ﬁelds that are in use will remove data from your database.
Only delete custom ﬁelds you are certain you no longer
Categories must be empty prior to deleting. Delete all of the
category’s ﬁelds before deleting the category.
PRO TIP: Run a report to check on where
custom ﬁelds are in use prior to deleting.
16. What happens after I delete a category?
Here’s what happens next…
● Constituent Proﬁle - The custom ﬁeld is removed from the constituent proﬁle.
● Reports - The custom ﬁeld is removed from any ﬁlters or columns in existing
reports. Check your reports, especially scheduled reports, to make sure they are
● Letters and Emails - The custom ﬁeld is removed if it was in use as a ﬁlter. A
placeholder is added to the content to denote that a custom ﬁeld was previously in
use as a merge ﬁeld. If the custom ﬁeld was in a data table, the column is removed
entirely. The next time you use the template, check your ﬁlters to make sure they
are still accurate and remove placeholders from the content.
● Imports - The custom ﬁeld is removed from import templates. You should not
include the custom ﬁeld in your CSV ﬁles going forward.
● Forms - The custom ﬁeld is removed from Bloomerang hosted forms and standard
forms you may have embedded on your website. You will need to update
self-hosted forms to remove the custom ﬁeld as an option.
● Transactions, Interactions, and Notes - The custom ﬁeld is removed, but existing
entries will otherwise remain intact.
17. Custom ﬁelds vs. Groups
● Is this related to constituents?
● For this data segment, will we need quick views of things like:
○ Average transaction amount
○ Month-over-month giving
● Will we frequently reference this group as a segment in reports or communications?
When should I use each of these? Ask yourself these questions:
Probably Custom ﬁelds
● Will we more occasionally refer to this information for things like an annual event?
● Will we likely use this information for individual conversations with
donors/stakeholders on more of a “one-off” basis?
18. Set up policies around Custom ﬁelds and Groups
● Will you need a staff member who is the point of reference for setting up Custom
ﬁelds and Groups in your organization? What is their role in relation to the staff?
● Process for adding/removing Groups and/or Custom ﬁelds
○ Will all staff have access to editing Groups?
○ List all of the steps to ensure that you keep your data clean and consistent
○ Process for people who don’t have access if you choose to limit access
● Guidelines about determining what belongs in Custom ﬁelds vs. Groups for future
● Processes for maintaining groups
○ Will you assign someone to run periodic reports as part of an auditing process?
What other policies can you imagine needing around the use of Custom ﬁelds and
Consider what is best for your organization