The Members Database is a powerful database that allows you to keep track of contact information for individuals without accounts in your Users Database. It can be used for Alumni, School Board Members, Parents, Students to name just a few. With this database, you will be able to send out mass emails to all or parts of your database. Each member in your database can be assigned a username and password if you want to have secure pages on your web site that require a login. One of the best features of this database is that it is integrated with the Calendar of Events tool allowing you to send emails with updates on events in your calendar. This database can also be set up as an Alumni Database. By using the “Groups” features of the database you can have the Members Database serve multiple uses.
There is a main website detail tool called Members Database - Opt-In Form that allows public visitors to your website to request membership to your database. This is usually used when you have a secure page requiring a login or when your are setting up an alumni database. See Membership Opt-in Form - Page Detail Forum on our support site.
To access the Membership Database click on the left-side link found below your Navigation Builder link in the main website admin. If this link is not visible, you do not have permission to access it. Access can be granted by the person who administers the Users Database. The check box giving permission to access the Membership database is found on the CMS4Schools tab, Web Site Administrator subtab.
Search for Members
Click on the Members Database left side link to open the Members Database. The Member Search screen will appear allowing you to search for existing members or add/import new members.
We'll look at searching first.
- If you enter the letters “and” in the Last Name field and click the Search button, all members whose last names contain the letters “and” will appear in the search results. Therefore, Anderson, Andringa and Brandenson would all appear in the results.
- If you leave a search field blank, all records will be included. That is, if you leave all search fields blank, all records will appear in the results.
- You are able to search by any combination of the fields described above.
- By adding groups to the Selected Groups side, you will be able to find members within a group or groups.
- “Class Year” is a set of groups automatically created whenever the “Class Year” field is filled in. The first time a particular year is entered the group is created. This makes searching the Members Database, being used as an Alumni Database, much easier because you will not have any empty groups. You will know that if a year is listed in “Class Year” that there is at least one member in that year. If the last member of a “Class Year” is deleted, the year will be removed from the “Class Year” list. “Per Page” gives you the option to view 10, 25, 50, 75, or 100 members per page. This does not apply to the “Download Data” option.
- “Order By” allows two options. Sort by Last Name or by Class Year, with Last Name as the default.
- Once you have the desired search criteria, click on the Search button. The search results will appear in a list.
- If you need to change your search, click on the Modify Search Criteria link on the top, left side of the page.
Adding Members - Import Data
This is the fastest way to setup your Membership Database. Members and groups can be created all at one time. Only five of the fields are required in your import spreadsheet. Use this link to open a Google Spreadsheet with the correct headings for creating an import file.
Only the five fields with red headings in the spreadsheet are required, columns A and AB with an “x” for each row of the spreadsheet that contains user information, column C containing the “First Name”, column E containing the “Last Name”, and column J containing “the Password”. The remaining columns may remain empty, however it would be a waste of time to import only the name of the user.
If your database needs to contain student and/or parent users, consider querying your student information system (SIS) and exporting the data to use as the basis for your import file. The more data imported, the less user information you will need to add later.
In order for a user in your Members Database to be able to update their own profile or log into a secure page, you will need to assign usernames in column I and/or an email address in column T, which can be used instead of a username. When adding the passwords in column J, do not expend a lot of effort creating them because the user will be prompted to change their password at first login. Once you have created the spreadsheet, follow the instructions that display when you click on the Import Data link at the top of the Members Database screen.
● Delete row 1 containing the headers.
● Double check that the required fields have an entry in each row.
● When adding Group(s) via “Import Data” key in the group name in column Z, separating multiple groups with a comma. Be sure all the Group names are spelled correctly. A misspelling will result in the creation of another group with the name spelled accordingly.
● Use File | Download As | Excel. Open the Excel file and save as a tab delimited .txt file as directed on the Import Data screen. Please take note that in the future CMS4Schools import functions will accept the .tsv tab delimited file type used by Google Apps.
● In the “Note:” after step three you will want the check box unchecked if this is your initial upload of data. If at a later date you import more users, you will check this box only if you might have a user in your file that already exists and you do not want their data to be updated.
● The “Delete Members not Included” check box should not be checked unless you want to clear out the database of all users except those in the current import file. Caution, this is a permanent action and cannot be undone.
● Click the “Choose File” button and browse to your tab delimited .txt file with the header row removed.
● Click the “Import Data” button.
If you receive an error when uploading the data, create a support ticket and attach a screenshot of the error message as well as a copy of the import file. CMS4Schools support personnel will be happy to assist you with the import.
Add a Single Member
To add members one at a time, simply click Add Members. The next screen displays.
The First Name, Last Name, and Password fields are the only ones required, but the more information added, the more useful the database becomes. If a valid email address is entered, the new user will receive an email with their temporary password and a login link to their profile. After the member logs in and changes their password, they will be able to login and update their own profile information.
Finally, click Add.
Groups are a way in which you can easily categorize members. Each member can belong to any number of groups. For example, a school might create School Board, Students and Parents as groups in your database. Follow these steps to create a Group:
- Click on the Members Database left side link to open the Members Database.
- Click on the Groups link at the top of the page.
- Click Add Group.
- Enter a Group Name and click the “Add” button.
- Check the spelling of your Group name. Make any corrections by using the Update link. Once you have added members to the group you will not be able to edit the name or delete the group.
- Add another group with the Add Group link or use the Back to Members Database link to get back to the Members Database main page.
Sending a Mass Email
- Click on the Members Database left side link to open the Members Database. The Member Search screen shown above will appear.
- Enter the search criteria to obtain the desired list.
- Click on the Email button at the bottom of the page. The Mass Email to Members page below will appear.
- To view the recipients of your email or to further restrict this list, click on the Click Here link at the top of the page.
- Email Address to Send From: This is the email address that will appear in the From field of the email. The address will be prefilled with the contact email address in the CMS4Schools client database, or the address entered using the Edit Administrator's Email link found at the top of the search page. You may delete the address and key in a different one if you wish.
- Reply To Email Address: This is the email address that will appear in the To field if the recipient clicks a reply to this email. This address will also be prefilled but may be changed.
- Subject Line: This is the subject of the mass email.
- Message: Key in your email message in this text area.
- Login Information: Check on this box to include each member’s login link and password. This is a great way to get passwords to each of the individual members.
- Footer: Add any message you choose, or leave blank. If your organization has a “Mission Statement”, logo, or tagline that you like to see on all communications from your organization you may add it here.
- When the email is ready to send, click the Send button.
Depending on the fields you have populated in your database, the downloaded file can be very useful. As a spreadsheet file it can be used as the source to create mail merge name tags, labels and letters.
- Click on the Members Database left side link to open the Members Database. The Member Search screen will appear.
- Enter the search criteria to obtain the desired list. Click on the Download Data button at the bottom of the page. The Download Members Database Data page will appear.
- Click on the Download button.
- Save this file as a .csv file on your computer. Once the file is saved, you can open this data file using Excel or other spreadsheet application.
Members Database Opt-In Form
The Members Database Opt-In Form is a main website page detail tool that can be used as a way to offer visitors to your website a way to sign up for an automatic weekly calendar updates and/or access to login to a secure page(s). This tool can also be used for alumni to create an account in the district’s Alumni database. A separate Forum has been created to help you add this form to your website.