Online Forms: The "key" to streamlining data entry and ensuring data integrity!

CiviCRM online forms aren't just for your target audience. They can also be used by your staff to streamline data entry and ensure data integrity when recording donations, membership signups/renewals and event registrations

Here's the difference:

When a user accesses the live contribution page, all of the requested fields appear on the form and any required data must be filled in.
vs.
When staff records a contribution directly on the contact's record in CiviCRM, custom data for the contact must be entered separately from the contribution. Any custom data that may have been marked as required in the online contribution page might not be required when directly recording the contribution in the database. 

Given the potentially varied circumstances of data entry, using online forms is the key to streamlining this process and to ensuring consistent data. Instruct your staff to use the online form for the given activity as explained in the sections below: 

To Record a Donation or Create a New/Renewed Membership in CiviCRM

  1. Navigate to Contributions > Manage Contribution Pages
  2. Click on the Links hyperlink to the right-hand side of the contribution page in question and select Live Page
  3. IMPORTANT: Click on the link that reads "Not [Your Name], or want to do this for a different person?" (failure to click on the link will result in the overwriting of your own contact record)
  4. Click on the contact reference field, start typing the name of the desired contact and click to select 
  5. Fill out remaining information as required by the form

To Register for an Event in CiviCRM

  1. Navigate to Events > Manage Events
  2. Click on the Event Links hyperlink to the right-hand side of the event page in quesiton and select Registration (Live)
  3. IMPORTANT: Click on the link that reads "Not [Your Name], or want to register a different person?" (failure to click on the link will result in the overwriting of your own contact record)
  4. For events, there is no contact reference field from which to select a contact. Therefore, you will need to enter the contact's name and primary email address together with any remaining registration infromation in order for the event registration to be recorded on the correct contact's record.
  5. Fill out remaining information as required by the form