Table of Contents

Where to start

Custom fields support the collection of key data points not available in standard NationBuilder fields. This feature is relatively complex to implement. If custom fields have not been enabled in your nation, please read the introduction to custom fields HOWTO for information on accessing them. 

Custom donation fields are added to donation records. Below you'll find information on creating custom donation fields, adding that information to profiles, and searching those fields.

Custom donation fields or people fields?

Since you can include both types of fields in donation pages and donor imports, it's important to understand the difference between them. If you want to store information that is connected to a specific donation, use custom donation fields. If you want to store information that persists on a person's profile, use custom people fields. Custom donation fields can be used to allow a donation to be made in memory of an individual. They can also be used to comply with campaign finance laws.

People are more likely to complete a donation when the information requested is minimized. Therefore, we recommend using custom donation fields extremely sparingly.

For example, if you are running for office in New York City, senior officers of businesses who do business with New York City need to report the agency they are doing business with and business category. This data needs to live on the donation in case the donor's employment changes. This way, the record of who the donor's employer at the time of her donation is complete. Please note: if you require the standard employment fields on a donation, that information will be stored with the donation and it will update the person's profile. The employer information persists with the donation even if it is subsequently updated in the donor's profile, allowing you to retain accurate financial records. 

Create custom donation fields

Custom donation fields can be created from Settings > Nation Defaults > Custom fields > Donations

If you're familiar with creating custom people fields, creating custom donation fields works the same. Be sure you are on the "Donations" tab in order to create custom donation fields. 

1. Define the field name. (Required)

2. Create a slug for the field - no spaces can be included in a slug and it cannot be changed later. (Required)

3. Decide what type of field to create. The options are text, number, checkbox, or multiple choice. (Required)

4. If you are creating a multiple choice field, create options. (Required for multiple choice fields)

5. Click the Create field button.

Once a custom field is created:

  • the slug cannot be changed
  • the field type cannot be changed
  • if you delete the field, all stored values for that field will also be deleted
  • by default, the name given to a custom donation field will appear on your donation page

Team and Organization customers can create up to 20 custom people fields and up to 20 custom donation fields. Enterprise and Network customers can create 100 of each.

Once created, custom people fields will be listed at Settings > Defaults > Custom fields > People directly below the area to create a new field.

For example, here is a list of fields I created:

Edit custom fields in a donation

You can edit custom fields in an existing donation. There are two ways to view existing donations: from the Finances tab in a person's profile or from Finances > Donations > Listing. Click the edit icon to add custom field information. You'll need to go to the custom fields tab to edit them.

Import custom donation fields

Donation custom fields can only be imported with donation imports. Since you can import both signup and donation information during a donation import, both people and donation custom fields can be imported. Note that people custom fields will be listed within the Signup section of the import.

  • When mapping your fields for import, the system will validate that custom number fields are numbers - you won't be able to complete the import if you try to import text into a number field
  • Responses to a multiple choice field must already exist as options for the field. If you import a response that doesn't exist for a multiple choice field, the profile will not be updated for that field and no error message will appear.
  • Checkbox fields can be updated with the following:check the box: true, yes, t, y, or 1keep the box unchecked: false, no, f, n, or 0 import is case insensitive, so tRue, TRUE, and true will all result in the box being checked.

Filter options

In the Finances section, click the filter button.

Click on "Add criteria." In the Custom Field category, you will see all donation and people custom fields. The way you can search the field depends on its type.

If you search within a text field, the data in the field must match your wording in the filter exactly and it is case sensitive. For example, if I was searching for the response "Susan B. Anthony," people who had responded "susan b anthony" would not be included in the filter results. 

When targeting people in the People section, you cannot use custom donation fields as criteria.

Related HOWTOs

How to request custom donation fields on donation pages
Introduction to custom fields
How to create custom people fields
How to request custom people fields on webpages
How to import
How to filter

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