Beacon makes it easy for your supporters and clients to access and make changes to their details via a secure form.
You're always in full control - you can decide what you'd like them to see, and what they can make changes to.
You can use the portal for a wide variety of use-cases:
Donors - make changes to their contact details (e.g. address), and see the history of their donations.
Events - attendees can provide additional details about an event they're going to (e.g. menu choice, certificate from GP)
Cases - clients can see the status of their open cases, upload supporting documentation, and access their case history. Case managers can see their current cases and upcoming tasks.
Members - active members can see the details of their membership.
Volunteers - can set their availability preferences, and log volunteer hours.
A "portal" is just another Beacon form type that you can choose when creating a form:
In this article:
How it works
Person visits your portal form. (You'll find the link in your form settings)
They'll be prompted to enter their email address:
A secure link is sent to them via email:
Clicking this link brings them back to the form, surfacing them their details in your database: (rather than showing a login page like before)
Accessing personal information
With the General fields section in your portal forms, you can give people access to see any of the fields on the people record type, for example:
When adding fields to this section, by default these fields will be editable. That is - people will able to change the data in these fields as well as being able to access them.
If you set some fields as editable, then people see an Edit button in the top right of each section:
They can then go ahead and make changes, then save them:
Accessing related information
Portal forms also allow you to surface related information to your supporters. For example:
Custom record types
In your form settings, you can add a Related records section. These sections behave a lot like related records cards.
In this section, you can choose the record type you'd like to list, along with the fields you'd like to surface in that list.
You can specify Detailed & editable fields, which are the fields that show when one of the records in the list is clicked:
On your form, the above settings would result in people seeing the following:
By default, fields added to this section will not be editable, but you can make them editable if you want to!
You probably wouldn't do this with payments, but you might with:
Events - provide feedback, choose menu option
Cases - provide supporting documentation for eligibility checks
Custom records - depending on what you've built!
This section can also allow people to create records. You probably won't want to use this most of the time, so we've disabled it by default, but you can easily enable it.
Examples of where you might want to use this:
Volunteering - logging new "volunteer hours" records
Case updates - register periodic progress updates
Health & Safety certificates - upload new certifications attained
Choosing who can use your portal
In your form settings, you'll see an Access section. This lets you set filters to specify who should be able to access your portal. (Defaults to everyone)
For example you might want to restrict your portal form access to:
Members with an active membership
Volunteers with an application in progress
People going to a particular event
The filters in this section work just like filters elsewhere in Beacon 🙂. For people to access your portal, they'll need to match your filter criteria.
To keep your supporter data secure, we've implemented a number of security measures with the portal:
ReCAPTCHA is used to stop robots.
Secure login links can only be clicked once.
Access is only available for 60 minutes (people will need to request a new login link after that).
For embedded forms, we've also implemented some additional restrictions:
Your website must use HTTPS.
You will need to specify your website domain(s) where the form can be embedded.
Frequently asked questions
Do people need to have an email address to be able to use a portal form?
Yes. Portal forms only support access via a secure email link.
What happens if multiple people in our database share the same email address? (e.g. many people in a family)
After clicking the secure login link, they'll be able to access all of the people who have that email address, and switch between them:
Can I change the portal form's time limit?
No. For security purposes portal forms are only accessible for 60 minutes after the link is first clicked (people will need to request a new login link after that).