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Creating Online Directories in Novi
Creating Online Directories in Novi

How to create and set up a new online member directory in Novi AMS

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

Directories are an invaluable benefit to offer users and have the potential to be a non-dues revenue stream! Directories are powered by Groups, giving you the added benefit to:

  • Create as many directories as needed. Most directory settings uniquely apply to each directory and will not impact other directories.

  • Include members and/or non-members.

  • Trust directories to automatically update as Groups update.

  • Customize each directory for target audiences.

Before you get started...

This article details steps to create a new directory, but first it is recommended to complete the following (if not already done):

  1. Learn about the basics of online member directories, how users can search a directory, which members will show in the directory, and what information is displayed about each person or organization that is included in the directory.

  2. Check group settings to ensure who will be displayed in the directory. Use existing groups or create a new group.

  3. Review Association Settings for Featured Listings configuration if applicable - see the next section below for more info.

Quick Links:

Sitewide Setting that Applies to All Directories

Featured Listings, if enabled, will display in a directory based on the configuration in Association Settings. Before creating a new directory, check these settings to ensure they are correct.

Featured Listings allow admins to determine which profile features are visible in directories for Featured Only member listings, or for both Basic & Featured member listings. Once Featured Listings is enabled in Association Settings, it can be turned on or off within each directory.

Create a New Directory

Once Association Settings are dialed in and a Group has been created, follow the steps below to create a new directory.


On the backend of Novi, click Members > Directories.


Click the Add Directory button.

The New Directory modal will be displayed:


In the New Directory modal, add the following details:


Enter the name of the directory, which will display on the frontend.

Members To Include

Select the Group to include in the directory from the drop-down list.

  • Each directory is populated from a single group, so only one Group can be selected from this drop-down list.


A directory can be made Public or locked down as visible only to Specific Groups.

  • To display the directory to the public but only allow logged-in members access to contact information, toggle the Show Contact Info To Public setting to OFF.

  • For members who opted to Hide Contact Info on their individual record, their contact info will be hidden regardless of the directory settings.


Choose how directory listings will display by toggling these features on/off:

  • Map View: Displays an organization's Shipping Address in a geographical location map view (powered by Google Maps). Item of Note: To protect an individual's privacy, their address cannot be featured in map view.

  • Category View: Enables an alphabetized category display. If this feature is turned on, select the filter category from the Filter for Directory Categories drop-down list (see details below).

  • Featured Listings: Displays premium directory listings for select members at the top of the directory along with Featured information. Enable and customize how Featured and Basic Listings appear in the directory from Association Settings. If turned off within a specific directory's settings, all listings will be treated as Featured.

  • Show Effective Member Type: Display the effective member type for those who inherit their member benefits from a related record. The member type name that will show in the directory is based on the "Display Name for Directories" within the member type's settings. If this is toggled on, it will also apply to the member type filter and category view, when applicable.

  • Special Offer: Displays an company's specials offers in the directory. These will display based on Featured and Basic list settings, as set up in your Association Settings.

    • Item of Note: Special Offer must be toggled ON in a directory for the Special Offers field to become a visible on a company/organization record.

  • Related People List: Determines whether staff lists and contact information on company profile pages will be shown. Information in the Staff listings will display based on Featured and Basic list settings, if enabled.

  • Show Address for People: If a directory includes individuals, the default setup will not show their address in the directory. If there is a need for a directory to show the Shipping Addresses of individuals, toggle this setting on.

    • Item of Note: It is recommended to communicate to individuals that this information will be shared in a directory before turning on this feature. Individuals can control if their addresses display via the Member Compass, if enabled, or admins can update an individual's settings to hide this information.

  • Sort Order: There are two options for the sort order of your directories - Random (recommended) or Alphabetical. No matter the sort order selected, members are ordered in groups, as applicable by settings, displaying in this order:

    • Featured members

    • Dues-paying members

    • Inheriting members

    • Non-members


Allow for easy searches in directories by adding built-in or custom filters.

Filter options include:

  • Location-based fields (e.g. City, State, County/Parish, Zip Code, etc.)

  • Member Type

    • This filter will show options based on each member type's settings in the "Display Name for Directories" field.

    • If two member types have the same display name, it will only be listed once in the filter drop-down and the members from both types will be displayed together.

Standalone Directory Filters

Create and arrange filters based on certain member fields (member type, city, state/province, zip, county/parish, country), custom fields, groups and committees. Custom fields must be checkboxes (shown in directory as "any/yes/no") or set of options (shown in directory as a drop down). Groups and committees will be shown with "any/yes/no."

  • Groups and Committees will be available in the drop-down and each will show with the corresponding suffix in parentheses.

    • For example: Award Winners (Group)

  • After selecting a value from the drop-down, click the Add button on the right.

  • If multiple filters are added, you can drag & drop them to rearrange the display order.

Multi-Select Directory Filter

Create one filter that allows website visitors to search across multiple groups and/or committees. If a record is part of any group or committee in the filter, then it will be displayed. If no group or committee has been assigned, then this filter will not show.

Filter Label

  • Enter the value for the label that will be shown on the frontend as the name of this filter.

Groups & Committees to Include in Filter

  • Groups and Committees will be available in the drop-down and each will show with the corresponding suffix in parentheses.

    • For example: Award Winners (Group)

  • After selecting a value from the drop-down, click the Add button on the right.

  • If multiple filters are added, you can drag & drop them to rearrange the display order.

Directory Categories

Select the field to use as the filter for Category View. This is required if using Category View. Choosing a Key Category Field will create unique, filtered directory pages. Use these pages to provide unique content or sell ad space.

  • Member Type is an option, plus any custom fields that include Member Directory Filter in the custom field details (Will be shown in this drop-down list if you have selected it as a filter for the unique directory you are working on!)

  • Example: Areas of Expertise - Find a supplier member through the service they offer.

Profile Pages

Committees, Groups and Custom Fields Shown on Profile Pages

Add and arrange committees, groups or custom fields to show on profile pages. Committees and Groups will only show if the member record is currently a member of the committee or group. Custom fields will show only if the member record has a value for that field.

Committees, Groups and Custom Fields to Show

  • Groups and Committees will show with the corresponding suffix in parentheses.

  • After selecting a value from the drop-down, click the Add button on the right.

  • If multiple filters are added, you can drag & drop them to rearrange the display order.

Search Engine Optimization

  • Page Title: The title that will be displayed in search engine results.

  • Description: The summary of the directory displayed by search engines.

  • URL Prefix: The end of the URL for the directory. Each directory has a unique URL allowing you to link users directly to each directory. Note that you cannot have a directory with the same URL as a regular static content page.


Once you're satisfied with the directory setup, don't forget to switch the directory to Active!

  • This can be done by toggling the button at the top right of the New Directory modal.

  • If you want to build your directory and test your settings before it is live on your site, you can leave the directory Inactive when you Save & Close. When you are ready, from the main Directories list, click on the icon in the Active column to set your directory live.

  • Then click the Save & Close button (at the bottom of the modal).

Now that your directory is active you can customize the directory content on the frontend and add the directory to the website navigation, homepage, and lots of other places!

Adding New Directories to Your Website Navigation

This is an important step to make sure the directory you created appears to your members on the frontend of your website!

  1. Find the new directory in Static Content > Website Navigation

    1. Search by directory name or click on the directories folder to see a list!

  2. Drag and drop it into your website navigation.

Directory Visibility Settings

When determining a directory's visibility settings mentioned above, it's important to think about the implications of choosing to make your directory public or locked down to certain groups.

Visibility Locked Down to a Specific Group

If you choose to lock your directory to a group, that means only the members of that group can see any of the profiles or information in that particular directory. Anyone who is not in the group (or not logged in, since the site won't know they are in the group) would receive a restricted content message.

This helps protect the information in the directory from those who either don't have the proper benefits to see it or even potentially bad actors like web scrapers.

Public Visibility

If you choose to make a directory public, remember that means anyone, logged-in or not will be able to see the directory.

Going this route, making a directory public, you can take it a step further to say if contact info is public or only available to logged-in members.

If you choose to show contact information to the public as well, that means that anyone viewing the directory can see the directory members' emails, phone numbers, and addresses (for companies). For some associations, this may be a member benefit - these members want to be contacted by directory visitors. However, keep in mind that this may open the members up to the bad actors looking to scrape emails for email lists.

Our website tools have technical safeguards in place to help protect against robo-scrapers (for example, the use of ReCaptcha and page view limitations that a regular user wouldn't hit); however, it's difficult to distinguish between a real user of your site and a human that's looking to scrape emails from your public directory.

For this reason, you might consider hiding contact info for your public directories. This way, while anyone can see the directory profiles, only logged-in members would be able to access the contact information.

To take it a step further, you may also consider enabling the Member Directory Contact Form, which shows a form to contact members rather than revealing their real email addresses. If enabled, you can also choose to utilize the Contact Form Limit setting which limits the number of messages a user can send via the contact form within a certain timeframe.

Learn More About Directories

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