Redesigning setup of Common vs Membership Fields
It would simplify setting the database up if all fields were in one list, and "Common" was an option of the field. A simple check-box - "show this field on all forms" or something like that. It would reduce the churn if you wanted to change a field, and would just make things less complicated.
I agree that the setup of Common vs Membership Fields needs to be simplified. Fields such as address, phone, phone type, and a few that are unique to our organization such as department, need to be applicable to all contacts. They need to be read-only in the contacts' profiles...something that can only be done with Member Fields. But these fields also need to be included in event registrations...something that can only be done with Common Fields. There's no winning here.
We're already entering everyone - even our contacts - as WA members with a member level of "Non-Member Contact." It's confusing to our Admins, but is the only way that I can see to give all of our business and professional contacts the full capabilities needed (e.g. group participation, access to restricted event registration, view-only fields in their accounts, etc.). But then some info is on a separate tab from all their other info in the admin side of things. Member Fields also can't currently be sorted in with Common Fields on the signup form.
I truly wish Contacts and Members were merged, such that everyone is a contact and they can optionally have a Membership Level assigned. If they don't have a level assigned, then you know they're only a contact. All the fields for Contacts and Members would be the same, with the option to make each individually a Common Field as suggested by this Wishlist item. This would be so much simpler!
yes, please...this is so hard to work around
Becky Parsons commented
I originally made this request in June, 2013. Do others find it a problem that we can't use some fields for both "contacts" and for "members" - such as address? WA in an earlier comment acknowledged this is cumbersome and they would like to improve it. Can we get others to make this an important request? Our new executive director, coming from other software, is stunned that the contact and member fields in WA are so exclusionary.
Becky Parsons commented
This option would be very much appreciated. It would be valuable to list all the contact/membership fields with two columns of check boxes - one column of check boxes to select fields for the membership application, another column of check boxes to select fields for contacts. We should be able to check a field in both columns.
For example, mailing address, areas of interest, and volunteer are some of the fields I would want to use for both membership and contacts.
I get frustrated that I have only a few fields available for contacts. Many times people will provide more information and the only place I have to add is the "notes" section. Then later when they become members we have to manually copy/paste.
Dmitry Buterin commented
Thanks for the suggestion. We are not happy ourselves with the current situation - we know it is complex and cumbersome so we are investigating various options to redesign. Appreciate your suggestion - would love to hear from others.