General Add-on Features Menu Options Customization  FAQs and Tips Contact Us  

Member Manager Help/User Guide

Getting Started with Groups

Note: Print a copy of this Tutorial as a way to learn how to use the Group.
The Group feature is very powerful. It gives your organization:
  • Simple groups of members - Like the "Moldy Oldies" who play golf every Friday
  • Committees - Where relationships can indicate the Chairman
  • Officers - Where the relationships are President, Vice President, Secretary, etc.
  • Families - A group marked as a family allows one address change to apply to all
  • Email all the members of a group, like a committee in just one click
  • Dues - Groups provide the way to indicate who pays what dues amount like Regular or Senior member
  • Ownership - A group can own it's own Folders and it's own Forum that only members can see.
  • Who can do what - You can specify what functions members of the group can do
    • Only the committee can work with their Folder
    • A group called Membership (perhaps with only one member) givng the member(s) the ability to add and delete members allows administrators to spread the work load.
  • Dues - Groups provide the way to indicate who pays what dues amount like Regular or Senior member

The Groups feature provides a way for members to be linked together as committies, teams, families, etc. To find a member, it is usually easier to use View Group instead of View Member. Also, to email members of a group, you just have to specify the group on the email page instead of specifying each one.

To make groups more powerful we have added Relationships. Relationships can be like Chairman or Scribe for a committee or Coach for a team or Father or Mother for a family. The default Relationship is named Member. If you assign a person to a group and do nothing, that person's relationship will be member. A person can be a member of any number of groups and that person's authority is the sum of that from each of the groups to which they belong.

When a site is first created, three groups are automatically created:

  • Member Group - All members of your organization are, by definition, members of this special group. It cannot be deleted but it can be renamed. It has the basic authorities for basic members, but that can be changed.
  • Administrator - Another special group that cannot be deleted. The Administrator group always has to have at least one member. A member who is in the Administrator group has all power over the site. Initially it is the person that created the site.
  • Officers - This is a standard group that can be deleted and is created as an example. Relationships are already created for President, VP, etc. Initially, it has no members.

A special type of Group is a Family. Organizations like a Church or a Golf Club will likely have a member record for each member of the family. Making a Group for the Family allows them to be tied together as a family. If a Group is marked as a Family, it means that when any one of the members changes their address information, there is an option available to make the same address change to all members of the family.

A Group can be defined as "open membership", meaning that a member can add himself or herself to the group. When viewing the group, there will be a "add me to the group" button available. If the group is not defined as allowing people to openly join, they are added by an Admin or someone with Manage Groups authority.

Who can do what

"What you can do" is determined by the sum of the functions assigned to the groups to which you belong. Any members assigned to the Administrator group can do anything and everything. Unless you change it, the Member group is the base group and assigns what everyone can do. Then above that, you add extra things to the other groups that are not in the Member group. At execution time, if the function is turned on in any of the groups that member belongs to, then that member will be able to use that function/power.

For example, to be able to:

  • View the Calendar - The Calander function must be checked in one, or more, of your groups.
  • Add or Edit Events - The Add Events function must be checked in one, or more, of your groups
  • Add files to a folder, The Manage Folders function must be checked in one, or more, of your groups

If you wish members of a group to have additional capabilities above what the basic member would have, you assign it when creating the group and/or later. You set what Features, what Folders and what Reports the group would have access to. For instance,

  • Features - You would specify what things a group member can do and especially whether the group can Manage Folders and/or Reports, ie. create and delete folders or reports.
  • Folders - Specify which existing folders they have access to.
  • Reports - Specify which existing reports they have access to.

So if the member just had access to a folder then they could access what is in the folder. If they have Manage Folders accessability, then they can add and delete files from the folder and create other folders.

The features assigned to Groups are additive, i.e. when logged in, a member has the sum of the capabilities of all the groups the member belongs to. The base is the Member Group. Then each group the member belongs to will add additional Features, Folders and Reports to what is available to that member.

Fewer Administrators - A big advantage of Groups (with powers) is that you do not have to have a lot of Administrators. In fact, a club should only have 2 Administrators (in case one gets hit by a truck). You can use Groups (with powers) to distribute the Administrator load. For instance:

  • Club Photographer - Make a group called Photography (with one or two people) and give it Manage Photos and Manage Galleries powers. So then that group can manage all photos on the site.
  • Membership - Make a group called Membership and give it Manage Members and Upload Member Data. Then that group can add, change and delete members.
  • Web Pages - Make a group called Web Pages and have one or two people who are responsible for maintaining the words (or if more qualified, also the page layout) for the site's web pages.
  • Newsletters - Make a Group called Newsletter and put the people in that group who work on the newsletter. Assign two folders to that group. One called Working which only they can see for building the newsletters. And they can manage the other if you trust them enough to give them Manage Folders for the whole site.

The Test Group button: If a Group has any additonal powers, then Administrators will see a Test Group button for that group. This button is to help the Administrator see what has changed. It puts the Administrator in a mode where it is as though the Administrator were signed in as a basic member and belonged only to that group. The Administrator can then see whether the menu options and capabilities are what they intended. Remember however, that an individual member, when logged in, has the sum of all the capabilities of all the groups the member belongs to. You use the Exit Test Mode in the menu bar to go back to the normal Administrator mode.


Clicking on the Groups option under the Applications dropdown brings up a list of existing groups.

Clicking on View for a specific group brings up the Group Information screen. This screen provides access to everything about the group. In the Group Members box, clicking on Show All provides a list of members in the group similar to the View Members screen. However, it has the Relationships field on the left and it is sorted by Relationship and then by member name.

If "allow members to add or remove themselves" was checked for the group, then either of two options appear on the View Group screen:

  • If you are not member of the group, an Add me to this group option will appear.
  • If you are a member of this group, a Remove me from this group option will appear.

Clicking on View for a specific member of the group takes you to the standard View Member screen for that individual.

Managing Groups

When viewed by a member with Manage Groups authority, the Groups screens have additional options. On the Groups screen, a member with additional authority sees a list of existing relationships in addition to the list of existing groups. On this screen the member can:

  • Edit a Group - change it's name, members, etc.
  • Delete a Group
  • +Add a Group
  • +Add a Relationship
  • Edit a Relationship - Change its name.
  • Delete a Relationship
  • If you are an Administrator, you will see a "Test Group" button which temporarily changes the Administrator's accessability to that of a member of the group, so the Administrator can check to see if the accessabilities are set correctly.
    • Advanced User Tip: Ordering Relationships

      The Father, Mother, Child relationship names are normally sorted as Child, Father and Mother. If you add a space, i.e. make Father " Father" instead of "Father" and make Mother " Mother", the three will then be ordered as Father, Mother and Child.

When a member with Manage Groups authority clicks on Edit for a Group, the Edit Group screen appears. On this screen the member can:

  • Change the name of the group
  • Add Users - Add members to the group
  • Delete - Remove members from the group
  • Relationship - Set the Relationship for a member
  • Family - Set whether this group is a Family or not
  • Open Membership - Set whether members can add themselves to the group
  • Who can do what - Checking the "Check to control what...." checkbox opens up a box with buttons for setting what Features, Folders and Reports are set for this Group.

Group Reports

Making a report be available to this group can be done two ways:

  • When creating the report, specify "Who can access this report" in the dropdown just after you supply the name for your report. The values for the Family field are "Yes" or "No". To specify that your report only show Families, use filtering, ie. that the field "Family" "Equals" "Yes".
  • When editing a group, click on the Reports button in the Group Site Accessibility box. (If the Group Site Accessibility box is not shown, check the checkbox that says "Check to control what...." which will make the Accessibility box become available.)

Group Events

Events can be owned by a Group

  • A Group can own Events. If owned (and in the current month), they show up in the Events section of that Group's Group page.
  • In all other respects, the event is a normal event.
    • Anyone can see it by using APPLICATIONS > CALENDAR
    • Anyone can register for the event.
  • Event Ownership
    • If you go to APPLICATIONS > GROUPS:
    • You can see the Events in the current month for this Group
    • If, from the "Events in Current Month", you choose CALENDAR and create an Event, it will belong to the Group.
    • You can also select EDIT and edit any of this group's events.

Bulk Upload

Groups can be created and updated through the Member Bulk Upload, for example making a family from existing member records.

  • The upload file would look like this:

    First Name Last Name Group Name Relationship
    Andy Anderson Anderson Family Member
    Mary Anderson Anderson Family Spouse
    Jim Anderson Anderson Family Son
    John Anderson Anderson Family Son
    Susie Anderson Anderson Family Daughter
    Will Anderson Will Anderson Family Member
    Carrie Anderson Will Anderson Family Spouse

  • The upload will create/add to the Group and create Relationships if necessary. The upload creates a simple group. You then use Edit Group to set the various settings like: If checked, this group represents a family.

That's it! The Group function is a very simple, but powerful, feature!

Return to the Table of Contents


All design and content © 2004-2018 by Member Manager, LLC
If you have any questions, click here: