Integrate your LGL Forms data to flow into LGL
In this article:
A key feature of LGL Forms is its ability to integrate with the data fields in your LGL account. It is not required to integrate a form to LGL in this way, but if you want some or all of the data collected by your form to end up in your LGL database, you'll definitely want to connect or "link" the form and set up the field mapping. This article describes how to do that.
Link your form to LGL
Every form you build in LGL Forms can be "linked" or integrated to your LGL database. This means that the data passing through the fields in your form will be "connected" to fields in your LGL database and, as long as your form is set up correctly, any data submitted through your form/s will flow into those fields. You can start this process for any specific form on the Forms page in LGL Forms by clicking the LGL Integration link or the Not Linked option in the LGL Status column for the form you want to integrate:
Then click the Link to LGL button above to connect this form to LGL so that its submission data can be sent through to your database automatically.
Once the form is linked to LGL, you will be automatically taken to the form mapping tool, where you can define the mapping rules that control how data from this form will be stored in LGL.
At the top of the mapping page, you can set some general preferences for how this form should be connected to LGL:
- Connect to LGL Event: All of your active LGL events will be listed here. You can choose an event if you want submissions to this form to register as an event RSVP. This will also make any custom fields from that event available for mapping.
- Connect to LGL Appeal: Similar to events, you can link a form to an LGL appeal. All active appeals will be listed. Making this connection will automatically update that appeal in LGL.
- Record matching preferences: These settings are quite important and can be used all together. By default, email and name are the matching criteria selected.
- Match on email and name: Constituents will be looked up by email and first name and matched accordingly.
- Match on email only: Email alone is enough to match to an exising LGL constituent.
- Match on name only: First and last name must match. NOTE: It is possible to restrict your matching based on constituent type (Individual or Organization).
- Record saving/updating preferences: These settings affect how submissions will be processed on the LGL side.
- Require review before saving?: Leave this checked (the default) if you want to review submissions in the LGL Forms submission queue before they get saved permanently. (Recommended)
- Do not update constituent name information: In the event of a constituent update, do not overwrite existing constituent name information with new information from the form. This is usually desired. Additional information such as emails, phones, categories, and so on will be added either way.
- Don't save $0 gifts: Don't create any gifts for which the amount is missing or is $0. This is not likely in the case of a donation form, but it might be possible in some other cases.
Mapping fields from your form to LGL will involve some thought. First, you need to know what information from the form you care about storing in LGL. Then you need to consider how to make the connection.
A simple example
The good news is that LGL Forms knows how a lot of the basic information can and should be mapped to LGL, and the mapping tool will take care of that for you. For instance, this simple form is almost completely mapped automatically right from the start:
What the above example shows is that each submission will send the following information over about a single constituent:
- Name data (Prefix, First Name, Last Name, Suffix)
- Email Address (the email address)
- Street Address (Address Line 1, Address Line 2, City, State, ZIP/Postal Code, Country)
Fields like "Phone Number" and "Payment Total" are also mapped automatically in this fashion. Note that submission date is not mapped in this example, and there’s no need to map it because LGL will stamp a new constituent record with the creation date automatically (or stamp the "updated date" for an existing record).
NOTE: If a gift date is not supplied in your form submission, the date of submission will be used as the gift date.
Once all of the fields are mapped, you can click the Save & Finish button to save the mapping and finalize the connection to LGL. From that point forward, anytime someone completes and submits your form the data will be sent over to LGL with this mapping in place.
A complex example
Simple and automatic is good, but let's say you want to connect a donation form. This might be your "Donate now" form that is also aimed at collecting a bit of extra information about your donors and asking if they want to join your mailing list.
Here's an example:
With a form like this, the automated mapping logic will take care of the following fields:
- Gift amount (from the Amount field)
The starting point will look like this:
As you can see, it needs some work before you can get the full benefit of the integration. Namely, the following needs to be done:
- Make sure that donors get onto your mailing list, if they choose to be added, and record the volunteer interests
- Set some default values for the contact information and gift information so these donations end up in the right place
Step 1. Connect unmapped fields
As a first step, you can map the fields you want to capture information from that have not been mapped already. You can easily see which fields have not yet been mapped in the Form Fields column, because there is no check mark present for them:
To map one of these fields, you can click the "+Add record type" button and select the type of field you want to map. To map the "Join our mailing list?" field, for example, you'll select the "Constituent Category" LGL Field type.
This will pop open the window shown below. Set the LGL Field Type to "Constituent category" and the LGL Field to whichever content email platform you are using.
Saving the above selections will add a mapping like this:
In this case, each form submission will pass the value for "Join our mailing list?" into the LGL constituent category "Constant Contact Lists". In other words, you'll see constituents with a "Yes" or "No" as a value in the "Constant Contact Lists" category in LGL.
Value normalization/mapping: One other thing to keep in mind about this case is that you need to consider the values from this field and how they translate to the equivalent field in LGL. To address this, there is a "Value mapping" component to the field mapping, which you can get to by clicking on the light blue "compass" icon, the middle icon here:
Clicking this icon opens up the value mapping form, as shown in the screenshot below, and it is possible to determine which values should be mapped or ignored. In this case, Yes from the form field will be set to align with the Monthly newsletter value in LGL. Given the way in which the LGL/Constant Contact integration works, this person will be added to the Monthly newsletter mailing list in Constant Contact.
The Interests field would be handled in a similar way:
- First choose to map the field
- Pick Constituent Category and select the appropriate LGL field for that
- Complete the value mapping task to make sure the data ends up in the right places
For another mapping example, we can look at the "Submission Date" field, which is typically mapped to Gift Date in LGL. Since the Submission Date might be used for a lot of purposes, it does not map automatically:
But you can take care of that quickly by:
- Clicking on the "Submission Date" field
- Choosing the "Gift" as the LGL Field Type
- Selecting the "Gift date" as the LGL Field
Keep in mind that if a gift date is not provided through a form submission, the date of submission will be used as the gift date.
...which will add the field to the gift record, like this:
After completing the mapping process for any fields like these, you can move on to setting defaults.
Step 2. Add default values to improve data quality
Defaults let you assign additional layers of data values in your mapping for each form submission that occurs. A good example of this is when you want each email address submitted through your form to be given the type of "Home".
NOTE: Defaults are used only if the information you need for a field is not supplied by the form fields directly.
To add this default, you can choose the record that you want to update and click the Add default button:
Then choose the field to set the default for:
Next enter or select the appropriate value (LGL Forms pulls values from LGL where possible):
And, finally, save the default. The mapping ends up looking like this:
This configuration is now telling LGL to attach the address type of "Home" to every email address sent into this particular field by this form.
You might also add defaults to the gift record, setting any desired campaign, fund, appeal, event, or other gift information:
Save your work
With all the fields mapped and defaults set, please click the Save & Finish button to make sure your mappings are saved.