Initial Setup

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Initial Setup

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To get the most out of MemberTies, it is helpful to get some basic things set up before you begin entering records. The information below is designed to help you through this setup process.

Setting Up Defaults

There are several default values, lists, and settings that will help simplify the process of entering records later. All of these are easily accessible via the Settings section of the Home ribbon.

The following list covers the most import things to check:

Membership Statuses - are an extremely important area for customization. The system comes preloaded with a selection of statuses that may or may not match the way your organization works. Statuses are essentially classes of membership. Preloaded statuses include things like, Regular, Couple, and Alumni., but you can create your own called "Family", "Newbie", or whatever.
 
When you create statuses, you will also be able to set up dues information and other important characteristics including the default status to be used for new records. Statuses drive a lot of processing in MemberTies, so it is worth taking time to decide how you want to set them up.

Genders - Male and Female are preloaded, with a default of Unknown.  You can set up any number of other entries as needed for your organization.

Default State and Country - (Addresses > States, Countries) each time you create a new membership record, the state and country are set automatically (though you can change them). The default state is (None), and the default country is United States. You should change these values to match the majority of your membership.

Address Types - (Addresses > Address Types) are used with the professional version, which allows for more than one address per member record.  Address types might be "Main Address", "Summer Home", "School", etc. The one set as the Default will be used automatically on new records.

Address Formats - (Addresses > Address Formats) enable you to specify the way an address will look based on the country.

Phone Types - identify the type of phone number being stored. For example, in major cities, some people have a "Metro" number that people can use to avoid long distance charges. Other examples would be "Mobile", "Pager", "Fax", or anything else that describes a phone number. Since membership records let you specify a Home, Work, and Other phone number, you can specify what phone type will be the default for each kind of phone number. The default is "Normal" for all of them.

References - the membership record has a field called "Reference," in which you can record the method by which a person found out about your organization. The options you can choose are called "References". The default is "Unknown".

Categories and Items - are used together as a way to assign awards, titles, achievements, or other miscellaneous "stuff" to membership and group records. A typical category might be "Officer", and a typical item under that category might be "Treasurer".

Custom Fields - are fields that you can name and use for anything you like. You can create any number of custom fields, and they can be defined as numbers, text, dates, or currency. They can display as a normal field, a checkbox, or a selection list.  You can control what goes in them, and how it displays. Custom fields are used for anything you need to track that doesn't already have a field of its own.

Locations - (Activities > Activity Locations) are used with any activities you create. Each activity has to take place somewhere, and MemberTies refers to these places as "Activity Locations." By default, a location called "To Be Determined" is already available, but you can add more at any time.

Attendance Statuses - are used for every activity attendee to indicate whether they were present, absent, declined, etc.  Each attendance status has a setting to indicate whether an attendee with that status should be reported as having actually attended the activity.  You'll want to make sure statuses like "declined" are not marked for reporting, or an activity attendance report will show attendees who weren't really there.

Preferences

There are two kinds of preferences: System and User.  System preferences apply to all users, whereas User preference settings only apply to yourself. Preferences are easily accessible via the Settings section of the Home ribbon.

You may want to look through all of the preferences, just to get an idea of what you can change, but there are several preferences you may want to change right away:

Organization section

Name of Organization - the name that will display at the top of reports. Note: If you have purchased a license for MemberTies and it has been applied to the dat6abase, the name is obtained from the license and cannot be changed. See Registering for more information if you need a license.

Return Address - this is used on address labels and on reports like the Account Statement.

Year Begin Month - this is used when prorating dues with the Dues Calculator, and for Fiscal Year date ranges.

Login Section - has various settings to control what happens when the program starts, such as checking for program updates, showing the Tip of the Day, and more.

Logoff Section - similar to the login section, these are things that happen when the program exist, such as deleting any records in a "(Delete)" status.

Report Section - these settings control several things about reports and the report window, but one commonly changed setting is the Tag Line, which appears at the bottom of all reports. (The tag line might be something like, "Please contact the Membership officer with changes to this information.")

The Administrator Password

Sooner or later you will want the administrator password. When you log in as the administrative (mtadmin) user you will have some special options available on the Home ribbon to do things like create new users and setup security. The administrator account is always named "mtadmin" and the default password is "password." It is strongly recommended that you log in as the administrator at some point and change the password to something more secure.

Security Groups

By default, every MemberTies user can do everything. If you will have multiple users, you may want to control what they can and cannot do. When logged in as the administrator user, you can set up security groups and assign users to them, to control what actions they can perform. Note that security rules control what a person can do, not what records they can do it to.  i.e., it isn't possible to create a rule like, "Allow editing John Smith's Dues Data".  The rule could only be to edit dues data in general, not data for a specific record.

Additional Users

If multiple people will be using MemberTies, they should each have their own user name and password so you can tell who changed which records. See Working with Users for complete details.

Add Membership Records

Now you have set up defaults, built lists, and organized your statuses. You are ready to add membership records! As you do so, remember that you can press F1 on any window to display the Help for that window.

Thank you for using MemberTies!