About forms and content
The way you ask for information from people matters. When you ask for too much, people are less likely to fill out a form. When you ask for too little, and you don't have enough information about your constituency. Savvy organizers take the time to understand what appeals to their audience and adapt to people's preferences.
How forms are managed in AbleOrganizer
In order to simplify the process of optimizing a campaign, AbleOrganizer provides a drag-and-drop form builder as part of the platform. This tool is designed to allow you to tailor the way you ask for information from your audience. For example, let's say you have 5 different donation pages, and each one needs to collect different information when it's filled out. With AbleOrganizer, you can author 5 different forms and assign one to each of your donation pages. The system will generate reports on each donation page, allowing you to understand how each one performs.
Forms are created and managed separately from content. Administrators can select a form to use by default with each content type, and this selection can be overridden for each piece of content when it is entered. This provides campaign managers with high-level control over the way information is collected, even across multiple websites, and introduces new ways to rapidly optimize the performance of a campaign.
What you can do with forms
So, what goes into a form? Forms are designed to collect information about contacts, activities and other entities in the system. You simply select the fields of information you are looking to collect and save the form to display it on your site.
AbleOrganizer also uses forms to do some other interesting things. The form builder also allows you to create payment forms, and select the payment processor that the form will use. It allows you to select matching rules for each form, to control the way duplicate contacts are identified. It allows you to display widgets within the form, such as petition counters, shopping carts, and more. You can even create forms for internal use, to do offline processing of information about your contacts.
One of the advantages of the drag-and-drop form builder is that you don't need a programmer to author your forms. Anyone with a web browser (and the right permissions) can create a form within AbleOrganizer by simply checking the right buttons and dragging the fields into the proper order. Beyond the simplicity of the authoring interface, this approach overcomes some of the problems associated with embedding forms from third-party systems. Users don't need to go to another domain, the appearance matches that of your existing website, and these forms can easily be adapted to the specific appeals you are making to your audience.
Associating forms with content
When you are editing content in AbleOrganizer, you will see widgets similar to the one displayed below:
This is the CRM Core Profile form selector. This box allows you to select the form that will be associated with this piece of content.
- Use the checkbox labelled 'Use CRM Core Profile for this node' to turn forms on or off for this particular piece of content. For example, if you have an event you don't want people registering for, uncheck this box to remove the form from the page.
- Use the select box to select the form you want to use for this piece of content.
- Use the checkbox labelled 'Display this form inline...' to tell the platform whether or not to display the form inline with the content. If this box is unchecked, you must have some other way to present the form. CRM Core Profile provides a block that allows you to display forms other ways.
- Use the box labelled 'Form label' to provide a label for the form. This can be useful in giving people instructions for what to do when they see the form.
And that's it. If you can do this, you can use forms in AbleOrganizer.