What Type of Field to Create

What Type of Field to Create


If you are wondering what type of field to create for your application form (Custom Field, Qualification, General Interest), here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Do I need to be able to enter specific text into the field? –> Custom Field 
  • Do I need to make a value mandatory (required) when new volunteers fill in an application? –> Custom Field or Qualification 
  • Do I need this field to be a prerequisite or essential skill for performing an Activity? –> Qualification 
  • Do I need this field to determine whether or not an Activity is visible to a volunteer? –> Qualification 
  • Does this skill or certification have an expiration date associated with it? –> Qualification 
  • Is this something that I want to display as a series of checkboxes to prospective volunteers so that they can indicate their general areas of interest? –> General Interest 

Custom Field, Qualification, or General Interest?

The following table should also help you in deciding whether or not to create a Custom Field, Qualification or General Interest. 

Attribute Custom Field Qualification General Interest 
Data input permitted? Yes (for Short Text, Long Text, Number and Date fields) No. Can only select from a list of values created. No. Checkbox only. 
Data selection permitted? Yes (for Yes/No, Droplist and Checkbox fields) Yes (via droplist) Yes (via checkbox) 
Data upload permitted? Yes (for File fields) No No 
Data entry can have an expiration date? No Optional No 
Visible on application form? Optional (can specify on which application forms it will appear) Optional (can specify on which application forms it will appear) Optional (can specify if all interests will appear on all application forms) 
Required on application form? Optional Optional No 
Ranked list of choices? Alphabetical order (for Droplist fields) Optional No 
Hidden from volunteers? Optional Optional Optional 
Read-only to volunteers? Optional Optional No 
Approval required for data entry/updates? Optional Optional No 
Can be grouped into categories? Optional No No 

Note: You can see what your application form would look like to your applicant volunteers by going to: Configuration, clicking on Application Form Settings found in the sidebar under Recruitment. Click on the [Interactive Sample Form] button for any of your application forms to see the preview.  

Updated on March 1, 2021

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