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Creating Custom Fields in Novi
Creating Custom Fields in Novi

Learn how to create a custom field that can be added to member records and event registration forms, and also see some common examples.

Jenn Norman, CAE avatar
Written by Jenn Norman, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Novi has a standard set of fields that are used to collect various types of data throughout the software, such as member or events data. Most likely, you have additional data that doesn't fit our standard set, thus the need for custom fields specific to your organization.  

Novi AMS can be personalized to an association's business practice using custom fields. These fields can be attached to member records or added to event registration forms.

NOTE: Limited admins cannot update custom fields.

This article covers:

Where Custom Fields Are Used & Common Examples

As noted above, custom fields are used to collect data outside the standard set of fields Novi provides. Custom fields will typically fall into two categories for use in multiple scenarios:

  1. Member Fields

  2. Event Attendee Fields

  3. Ecommerce Product Fields

Custom Member Data

Used to:

  • Set-up dues rules

  • Set-up groups

  • Take internal admin notes

  • Create custom reports

  • Create filters on your member directory or member detail pages

Examples include:

  • Data to calculate dues such as # of employees, unit counts, # of locations, etc.

  • Internal Member Notes

  • Filter by County, Committee, or other segments of your data your members may search for in the member directory

Event Attendee Data

Used to:

  • Collect specific attendee information (other than the member fields already available on a ticket- these include, name, phone, company, email, job title, and shipping address.)

  • Run event-specific reports

Examples include:

  • Dietary Restrictions

  • Session Choice

  • Team Name

Ecommerce Purchase Data

Used to:

  • Collect and view information about selections of products being purchased and/or the purchaser

Examples include:

  • T-Shirt Size

  • Nominee Information

  • Dates of Room Rental Requests

How To Set Up Custom Fields

Under the Fields section in the left navigation on the backend:

  1. Select Custom Fields

  2. Click the Add Custom Field button

This will bring up a modal with fields to fill out. From there, select the settings needed for your field. Keep reading below for more information!

The Basic Settings

Below, you'll find information about settings that should be considered for all custom fields.

1, 2 - Field and Display Name

The field name and display name are often the same. But sometimes you may need to distinguish a field name with an additional note that you don't want to be shown to your members on the front end. Alternatively, you may need to add clarification in the Display Name (so users understand what you're asking for), but the Field Name can be abbreviated.

3 - Instructions

Use the instructions field to clarify why or how someone should fill out this field. The text added here will be displayed just below the custom field. This is particularly useful if you are collecting data you need that may be unrelated to the transaction itself or for more complex scenarios.

4 - Field Type

You have multiple options here to fit your needs.

  • Plain Text: This creates an open text box to fill out. Can be single-line or multi-line. Can also have a character limit.

  • Date/Time: This allows you to collect the date only, time only, or both. Can also have a min or max.

  • Number: Choose this if you only want to collect numerical values. There is an option to select whole numbers only. Field can also have a min or max. Member records can also be enabled to "show summation checkbox." This allows a parent record to inherit the sum of its children's values for that field. Example: Acme East Coast Division has a value of 5 for their 'employe count' custom field and Acme West Coast Division shows 9. Using this summation functionality, Acme US can automatically show 14 employees for their 'employee count' custom field.

  • Website URL: Use this to gather webpage URLs from members. URLs submitted through these fields will appear as clickable links when viewed in profiles Member Compass profiles, lists, reports, and directories.

5 - Sections

Next, tell the custom field where you want it to appear. 

  • Members: Check this option if this field will need to be filled out on a member's record. This could be during signup, in their profile, done by an admin, etc. Fields can be limited to just individuals or companies. They can also be limited to specific member types.

  • Events: Check this option if this field will need to be filled out during the registration of any events. Remember that if a custom field is filled out within a member record, and the member registers for an event, the custom field will auto-fill.

  • Ecommerce: Check this option if this field will need to be filled out during the purchase of any products.  

6 - Frontend/Backend

  • Show on Frontend: Check this option for the field to appear to users on the frontend. Uncheck if this field should only show and be available to admins.

  • Require on Frontend: Check this option if this field needs to be required on the frontend when users are prompted to fill it out.

  • Require on Backend: Check this option if this field needs to be required on the backend/admin side when prompted to fill it out.

Additional Custom Field Settings: Member Section

Below, you'll find information about settings that should be considered specifically for custom fields with visibility exclusively within OR including the Members section. This could be a combination of members + events sections, members + ecommerce, or all three.

7 - Frontend/Backend

  • Show on Frontend: See item #6 above

  • Key Information: If a field is required then it is also considered to be Key Information. This option is only available if "Member Record" or "Event Registration" is checked in the Visibility section (#4 above). Learn more about Key Information here.

  • Users Cannot Change on Frontend: Displays a fully read-only custom field on the user’s Member Compass.

  • Users Cannot Change on Frontend After Initial Value: This setting keeps the field visible on the frontend but locks it once it is filled out. This type of field is great for information that is required upfront, but you may not want the member to have the ability to edit the value without contacting you first. Examples include Unit Count & Employee Count because oftentimes dues rules are based on the value of this custom field.

  • Require on Frontend: See item #6 above

  • Require on Backend: See item #6 above

8 - Details

Basically, in which sections pertaining to members do you want to be able to see this field?

  • Member List View (Admin): Makes the custom field available as a display column on the backend Members list, as well as other places like the Recent Signups list and Groups.

  • Dues Rules: This allows the field's value to be used when calculating or applying dues rules. 

  • Directory Profile Page: This allows the custom field values to display on member profiles in the frontend directory.

  • Member Directory Filter: Set of Options & Checkbox custom fields will also have a Member Directory Filter option that will allow users to use the options as filters to select from in the directory.

9 - Individuals/Companies

Determine whether this field needs to be displayed for people records, company records, or both types of records. For example, you probably wouldn't want to ask a company for its dietary restrictions.

10 - Restrict to Member Type

If a custom field is only applicable to certain member types, toggle this setting to ON. This will display a list of your member types and all types will be checked by default - update as needed.

FINAL STEP: Once you've completed all the settings, click the Save & Close button.

Arrange Custom Field Display Order

Custom Fields can be displayed in a specific order, which is visible on both the backend and the frontend views, and they can also be grouped together in Sections. Once the custom fields are set up, follow the steps below to review and edit the display order.

Note: Users will not see any custom fields that are not applicable to them.

To change the order of your custom fields:

1. Go to Fields > Sections on the backend.

2. If you want to group related fields together - create a section by typing the name in the Add New Section field (top right), and click the + button to add it to the list.

  • Note: Users with accounts will see section titles in their profiles when making updates and the section titles are also visible on records from the backend under the Details tab.

3. Now you can drag and drop each field by order of importance.

This arrangement does impact the custom field display order in directories.

>> Learn More: Changing the Order of Custom Directory Filters

Search by Custom Field Value

Select one custom field to use as the Member List Filter, which will make that custom field searchable in Member List View and in Event Attendee Lists.

The custom field for member list filter can be chosen or updated in Association Settings.

Note: Novi only allows one custom field as search criteria to maintain the performance of the Member List and Attendee Lists and keep your search results clean.

Available custom fields for the member list filter:

  • Must be set to visible for the Members section

  • Can be any field type

Custom fields chosen as a member list filter cannot be deactivated until they are removed from Association Settings.

Custom Field Status

Custom fields are either Active or Inactive, and only inactive fields can be deleted.

  • When a new custom field is created, it is automatically set to Active and available to use on the frontend and backend according to its settings.

  • Custom fields in Novi cannot be deleted unless they are deactivated and no data has been entered into the field on a member record.

    • Setting a custom field as Inactive allows you to remove the custom field from your list view, but still maintain historical information (and for those times when a custom field is mistakenly deactivated, it can easily be reinstated by checking it active again!).

    • If you're sure you want to fully Delete a field there's more information on how to do this below.

  • Inactive custom fields will not show by default in your custom field list. To view deactivated fields, update the Active/Inactive filter to All (for both inactive and active fields) or Inactive for just inactive fields.

    Add the Active column from the gear wheel at the top right of the list to quickly view the status of fields and make active or inactive.

  • To set a custom field as Inactive:

    • Open the field to edit and toggle to Inactive (top right of the modal).

    • From the Active column on the custom field list view, click on the green checkmark to switch it to a red circle.

  • To completely Delete a custom field:

    • Follow the steps in the bullet above to set the field as Inactive.

    • Then scroll all the way to the right and click the Delete link in the Action column.

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