Custom petition fields allow organizations to collect signer information that's specific to a single campaign. For example, if you're running a campaign targeting an employer, you may want a checkbox asking the signer if they're an employee of the company. Alternatively, if you're running a campaign targeting a school district, you could include a text field that asks which school within the district the signer is associated or their role within the school district (parent, teacher, etc.).
Within ControlShift, admins can add custom fields to a petition's signature from the petition's admin settings. Alternatively, organizations can define a list of common custom fields that petition creators can choose to add to their petition from their petition creator's tools.
Custom Fields for Admins
As an admin, you can add a custom field to a petition from the petition's signature page. Begin by going to the petition > Admin > Settings > Signature Form. Then click Add A Custom Field.
From this screen you can enter information about your new custom field.
- The Short name is for internal use. It will appear as the column label in the petition's signature export CSV and will be listed as an available field name in the custom PDF generator.
- Next, choose the Type of field you want to use. The text field option will allow the signer to type a full text response. The checkbox option will be shown as a 1 or 0 in the signature CSV export. If a 1 is shown, the box was checked. If a 0 is shown, the box was left unchecked.
- Finally, the Label is the public-facing text that is shown to the signer on the signature form.
When you've finished entering information about the custom field, click Save and the field will be added to the signature form.
If you need to add another field or edit an existing field, you can do so from the same Admin > Settings > Signature Form section.
- To edit an existing field, click the pencil icon.
- To delete a field, click the x button. Note that this cannot be undone. If signers previously responded to the custom field and then it is deleted, those responses will not be included in subsequent CSV exports and will not be available for the Custom PDF export.
- You can reorder existing fields by clicking the up and down arrows or by holding and dragging the speckled box located to the left of the slug column.
Pre-defined Custom Fields for Petition Creators
If your organization finds that you're often adding the same custom fields to petitions, or if petition creators are often requesting the same custom fields, you may want to create a menu of pre-defined custom fields. These custom fields are created by admins, and can then be added to the petition signature form by petition creators.
To get started adding a new pre-defined custom field, go to the admin homepage > Settings > Custom Fields > Petitions > New Default Custom Field.
From here, choose whether you want to add a text field or checkbox. The Label is the text that will be shown on the signature form. The Short Name is for internal use. It will be used in the signature export CSV and will be listed as an available field name in the custom PDF generator, so it should be something that users will recognize. Once you've finished defining your field, click Save.
Once you've added a custom field, it will become available to all petition creators. Petition creators can add the pre-defined custom fields to their petitions by going to the petition and clicking the Settings tab.
Once the petition creator clicks to Add the field, it will be included on the signature form. If they decide they no longer want to collect that information, they can choose to Remove the field at any time.
Custom Field Responses
Once these custom fields have been added to the signature form, they will be included in the Download Signatures CSV available from the petition's Admin > Signatures tab.
Additionally, these fields will be included in the available fields for the Custom Petition Delivery PDF (also available from the Admin > Signatures tab). Note that this page uses the short name of the field, so make sure that the short name is descriptive enough.
For petition creators, the custom field responses will also be included in their default delivery PDF and CSV.
Want to see these new options in action? Check out the petition used in this example here.
N.b.: If there's an additional signature field that you want to collect on ALL petitions, you should not use this custom petition fields feature. Instead, send us a support email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll add the field to all current and future petitions for you.
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