Creating a report

In this article:


One of the core functions in Little Green Light is the ability to quickly and easily search on the data stored in your account and then either view it online or export it into a report. You can approach reporting in multiple ways, so we recommend spending some time thinking about the kind of report you want before you get started trying to build it—the best way to create a report may vary, depending on the information you are looking for.

You can create a report in LGL in two primary ways:

  • Use one of the pre-built report templates provided in your account (located in the Reports menu)
  • Create a custom report that you design yourself

Where do I start? The Constituents tab or the Fundraising tab?

The answer depends on whether you want your results to be grouped by constituent or by gift.

  • If your question begins with “Who?” start in the Constituents tab. 

    Examples: “Who has made large gifts this year?” and, “Who has given each of the past five years?” (Read detailed instructions on generating a report from the Constituents tab.)

  • If you need details on individual gifts, start in the Fundraising tab. 

    Examples: “Which gifts came in during last month that we took to the bank?” and, “How many gifts did we receive last year and what was the total?” (Read detailed instructions on generating a report from the Fundraising tab.)

Once you’ve decided where you want to start, you can then search for the criteria you need and generate your report.

For information on creating searches, read these Knowledge Base articles:

For step-by-step information on creating reports, read Building, customizing, and scheduling reports.

Creating a custom report

A custom report can be created from either the Reports tab or by starting a search in one of the main navigation tabs, for example, Constituents, Fundraising, or Activity.

When creating a custom report, it’s a good idea to start in the Constituents tab or the Fundraising tab rather than directly from the Reports module. The reason for this is better visibility into your search query. In the Constituents and Fundraising tabs, you can see the results of your search, whereas in the Reports module you don’t see the data. You can then click "Export results" to generate a report from your search results.

Compare the two screenshots below.

Search query from the Constituents tab

Search query from the Report builder

Once you have run the search, select the Customize tab to add or edit the fields you would like to see in your report. A menu of the available field types will be listed on the left. When you select the menu, the specific report fields will be available for selection. 

When you have added all the fields you want to use, you can preview your selection, and then proceed through the remaining steps to complete the process.

Using a pre-built report template to create a report

Pre-built reports provided with your account include constituent reports, fundraising reports, volunteering reports, and more. The Reports tab, located in the Home menu in your account, is a good place to start if there’s a report available there that you want to use. It's a good idea to become familiar with pre-built reports by type before building your report from scratch as this could save you time.

Most report templates can be edited, copied, or exported:

  • The Edit option lets you change the report itself. When you save it, you will overwrite the old report (both the search criteria and the output fields).
  • The Copy option gives you a new copy to work with, which you can then save with a new file name.
  • The Export option sends you straight to the Reports page, where you can save and download the report.

Setting up your own pre-built report template

Choosing a pre-built report template to populate your export/report with pre-set columns requires selecting an option from the Report Template dropdown menu on the Customize tab in the report builder, as shown here:

When you select one of the available report templates and check the "This is the default constituent report template " box, the report template you selected becomes the default report template and will remain selected for future reports that you build:

If you make a different report template selection, you'll have the option to select that new report template as the default:

You can also select custom columns and, if you want to export this data into a report on a regular basis, create a new default report template option from your custom selection:

Managing your custom pre-built report templates

To edit or delete a custom pre-built report template, navigate to Home > Reports > Constituent Reports > Manage Templates. You can click the Edit button to make changes to the report template or the Delete button to remove it:

Creating a reusable report from your export

In the final step of the report builder, you'll see an option to create a re-usable report from your export:

This option allows you to add an export you have created as a pre-built report in your Reports page. Any export that you select this option for will become accessible in the Reports section for each type of report (Constituent, Gift, etc.):