Read-only licences in Beacon let you give team members the ability to view the data in your database, but not change things.

Unlike regular licences, read-only licences are free.

You can assign team members to read-only licences on your Team Members page.

At Beacon we believe that getting data into the hands of more people in your organisation is a good thing. Read-only licences are perfect for those team members who just need to view your data, but don't need a paid-for licence yet.

For example, you might assign read-only licences to:

  • Your CEO - so she can access data before major donor meetings

  • Volunteers - to see registrations lists

  • One of your Trustees - to view some key charts

  • A colleague who might need full access in the future

In this article:

What can read-only team members do?

Here's full list of all of the things a read-only team member can and can't do in Beacon:

Individual records


  • View records


Lists of records






  • Create charts

  • Edit charts

  • Delete charts




  • Create forms

  • Edit or delete forms




  • Create import templates

  • Update or delete import templates

  • Run imports




  • Create export templates

  • Update or delete export templates

  • Run exports

Document templates



  • Create document templates

  • Update or delete document templates

  • Run document merges

Email templates



  • Create email templates

  • Update or delete email templates

  • Send emails from Beacon

Customising records




Other areas

Other features in the database are off-limits to read-only users. This includes (but isn't limited to):

How many read-only licences are we allowed?

Beacon has a limit on the number of read-only licences available, based on the number of standard licences you have.

You can have 10x the number of read-only licences as you have standard licences.

Let's say you were paying for 2 standard licences, and one-part time licence. The number of read-only users allowed would be the number of standard licences multiplied by 10: 2 x 10 = 20 read-only licences.

How are read-only users different to roles & permissions?

The Roles & Permissions feature gives you fine-grained control over who can access and edit what data in your database. It is available on Beacon's Professional and Premium plans.

Read-only team members can be assigned to roles, but those roles will not give them the ability to edit anything (as they're read-only).

Let's say you want to give volunteers read-only access to your database. To keep things simple, you want to hide everything that's not relevant to them: charts, forms, certain people fields, and data on grants you're applying for. Read-only users will be able to see these by default, but you could use roles & permissisons to prevent this.

How can we give edit access to one of our read-only users?

If a read-only team member needs to make changes in your database, then they're no longer read-only!

You will need to assign a paid licence to them.

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