Forms: General mapping
In this article:
- Planning how you'll map your fields
- Data classification for form fields: Examples
- Steps for mapping your form
- What to do when your form fields have no clear “home” in LGL
If you’ve already built your LGL form, before you can begin taking form submissions you’ll need to map the fields (assuming you want all data submitted into LGL). Mapping is what will allow data submitted through your form to be brought into your LGL database.
Before you do your mapping, however, we encourage you to think about how you will use the data once it’s in LGL. How you’re going to use the data later can help you understand how to map it now.
Planning how you'll map your fields
Try the following exercise:
- Visualize the data your form will collect
- Jot down the data classification for each piece of data (e.g., name, donation amount, volunteer interest)
- Think through what you will want to know (what data you'll want to have) once someone has made a submission through your form
Your form data’s eventual destination is your LGL database
Say you created a donation form. You would want to collect the name, contact information, and a donation amount, at a minimum, from each person submitting the form. Since you want that data to go into LGL, you will need to instruct LGL about where to put each data point. Some will go into creating constituents and defining their contact information, and some will be used to create new gifts, notes, or event records, to name a few.
To break this down a bit more:
- The name information would always be related to the constituent
- The contact information would always be the constituent’s email, phone number, mailing address fields, etc.
- The donation amount would always become a gift record for that constituent in LGL
A critical part of the mapping process is to have a good understanding of what you want to capture and what information from each submission you would like to transfer into LGL.
Data classification for form fields: Examples
Take a look at the enews signup form below. Before you start mapping, go through the mental process of figuring out which form field will go into which LGL field. As you can see, the name field will go into a constituent, the email field will be that constituent’s email address, and so on.
This example is a simple donation form, so it includes a donation amount field.
Steps for mapping your form
Assuming that all fields in your form will have a home in LGL (which is straightforward in this case because we’re dealing with two simple forms), here are the steps you can take to do the mapping:
- Look at your form fields
- Identify which field they can go into in LGL
- Identify any fields with no clear home
- Think about any default value that should be set. For instance, should this gift be assigned to a particular campaign (information the donor won’t provide, so you may want to set a default to bring that in)?
- Map the fields in LGL forms by clicking the “Not Linked” link for that form in the LGL Status column on your main LGL forms page, or the LGL Integration link under the name of the form you want to map:
- The mapping tool will open on your screen, displaying some default mappings for data types that have clear homes (such as name, address, phone number, gift amounts, or email)
Note that when you’re mapping, many of the fields you need to map to will appear by default. This includes name, email, phone number, and gift amount fields. The simple examples shown above shouldn’t require you to do anything besides select the field in LGL that you want each to go to.
What do to when your form fields have no clear “home” in LGL
Keep an eye out for data fields in your form that don’t have a clear home in any of LGL’s default fields or any of your custom fields (such as custom categories or attributes we may have added for you).
In these cases, we encourage you to think through the form you are planning very carefully. This is true in particular for mappings related to Notes, Events, Appeals, and Custom Categories.
If you have additional questions, please use the Help page in your account to find resources or submit a question to Support. Support may be able to help you with suggestions, or, assess whether your form in its current configuration is not a good fit for mapping/linking to LGL. Sometimes a form design may not map well to LGL and should either be left unlinked or re-designed.