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Adding questions to your forms
Adding questions to your forms

Step-by-step guide on how to get the questions you want to ask onto your forms

Updated over a week ago

So, you want to ask some questions of your supporters? Well, you're in the right place! Beacon forms make it easier than ever to get the information you need from supporters - and, more importantly, store it where you need it!

Field before form!

You may have used other software in the past to ask questions of your supporters, such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey. When using these programs, you begin by writing your questions, and the answers follow.

Beacon is a little different. In Beacon, you have to start by thinking of the answers - specifically, "Where will the answers be stored?"

Before asking a question, you will first need to create a place for the answer to live! Think of it like a little answer house 🏑. The house in this case is a field!

First, decide on the record type in which you would like the answer field to be stored (or "Which street would you like your answer house to be on?" to labour an analogy 🏘️).

For example:

If you wanted to ask what someone's favourite colour is - you would first create a field on the People record called "Favourite colour":

After creating the field, you can reference this field in the form by asking "What is your favourite colour?"

Creating fields for new questions

To ask questions from your applicants, you'll first need fields for that information to be stored in your Beacon account. Many fields will already exist (such as their name, email, phone number, email address etc.) but there will be others that are unique to you and will need to be created first. There's one question you need to ask yourself:

Is it about the person or about the interaction?

Before creating a new field to house an answer, first decide where it should be stored. Is this information related to the person or related to the interaction?

Related to the person

This is information such as a person's date of birth and name that is specific to the person. Therefore, it's a good idea to store them on the People record type.

For example:

  • Person's name

  • Date of birth

  • Email address

  • Nearest dog shelter 🐢

  • Favourite colour

Related to the interaction

If you want to keep a record of the interaction (for example an job application, an event sign up, someone applying for a grant), it's a good idea to store it on the relevant record. That way, you'll have a record of each interaction (think multiple volunteer applications for one person).

For example:

  • If you're organising an event and need to collect people's T-shirt size, it may be best to store this info on the Event attendee record type as the person's T-shirt size may change event to event.

  • Similarly, if you're creating an Grant application form - you might want to collect some information at the point of application. This information is best stored on the Grant application record type:

    • Age (it would be different at each application)

    • Address (you might be giving location-based grants and so where they lived at the time of application is important)

    • Income (if it's a criteria for determining their grant, you want to know what it was when they applied and not have it change on that application later)

Tip: It's best to keep the field label short while still describing the content of the question for the sake of neatness (You can flesh this answer out on the form itself). For example, a field recording someone's T shirt size can be labelled "T-shirt size" while the question on the form can be lengthened to read "What is your T-shirt size?"

Once you have fields to store all the information you need, you can then add them as questions to your form!

Adding questions to your form

To add questions to your form, add a new 'General fields' section and select the record type where your questions are stored (i.e. People or Event attendee). You can add as many sections as you like to help split out your application and make it more user friendly.

If you're asking questions that are stored in fields on the People record, you can alternatively add them to the existing 'Your details' section.

Note: Different form types will determine what record types you can collect data on. Example: you cannot ask questions of an Event attendee on a Donation form

Submission agreements

If you'd like all of your applicants to agree to terms and conditions, or make mandatory confirmations, you can add required checkboxes to your form that they will need to tick in order to submit the form. You don't need to add fields for a submission agreement - you just need to know whether or not they ticked to confirm
​Read more about submission agreements.

Frequently asked questions

How can I ask questions about Event attendees?

You can ask different questions of your event attendees depending on their chosen ticket options!

Just navigate to the "Ticket holder details" form section:

Then select the ticket option you want to ask questions for:

You can add questions related to the Event attendee here:

Why can't I add a section for the record type I want?

Before you can add a question section from a custom record type to your form, it first must be linked to the People record. This is because all forms are filled in by a person. You can create this link with a point to another record field. Once this link is made, you'll be able to add the record type as a section on your form!

For example:

  • You've created a custom record type called "Volunteer applications" and want to ask application questions on your form. First thing you must do is create a point to another record field (for example "Applicant") on the Volunteer application record type pointing at People. Only then can you add a form section for this record type (for example Volunteer Application (via Applicant))

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