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You will need to give some thought to how you will use custom fields.
You must determine what the piece of data is about:

- is it about a Contact (Eye Color, Organizational Mission);
- is it about an Activity (Meeting Room Number, Meeting Room Phone Number);
- is it about a Relationship (Biological Parent);
- is it about a Contribution (Restricted to Youth Program Use, For U.S. Programs Only);
- is it about an Event (Speakers, Entertainment);
- is it about an Event Participant (Needs Accessible Hotel Room, Has Press Credentials); or
- is it about Membership (Include in Published Members List?).

Configure each custom field set to indicate the type of Record (Contact, Activity, Relationship, etc.) that your custom fields will be used for (See Glossary for a list of record types).

The Custom Field Set must use fields for the same type of record. For example, you cannot have some fields that are about individuals and some that are about contributions in the same set.

Go to Administer CIVICRM
In the CONFIGURE section, click on CUSTOM DATA. Your screen will look something like this:
Click + Add Set of Custom Fields to create a set to hold your fields. You'll see the New Custom Field Set form:
Example: Let's say you want to collect VOLUNTEER INFORMATION data.
Fill in:
Set Name - Name you're assigning to this set, like VOLUNTEER INFORMATION
Used For - Types of Records this is used for, i.e., Individuals, Organizations, Activities, Meetings, etc.
Order - Order the set is displayed (for inline custom field sets only)
Does this Custom Field Set allow multiple records? - You may want to have multiple copies of this information for each "Used For" record. Check this box if you need that. If you do, you can also specify the maximum number of copies (e.g. you may want no more than 3 copies of the volunteer information).
Display Style - Inline or Tab Style, collapsed or not
Pre- and Post-form Help - Add instructions or other notes for this set of fields
Active - Click the box to activate this set and have it appear. You may want to keep it unchecked until you finish building the fields.
Click Save. You should see the message that the set has been added, something like this:
You may now add CUSTOM DATA FIELDS. Click on add custom fields. You'll see the Custom Data Field form:
Fill in:
Field Label - Name you're assigning to this field, like "Volunteer Hours to Date"
Data/Input Type - Type of field for this item, i.e., Integer or Checkbox
Weight - Order the field is displayed within it's set
Default Value - Pre-enters a value or date
Field Help - Add notes for this field
Required - Field is required to be filled in before saving
Searchable - Searches will include this field
Active - Field is active. Uncheck to de-activate without deleting
View Only - Is this field set by PHP code (via a custom hook)? This field will not be updated by CiviCRM.

Custom data fields with "View only?" checked will not import data during import. Uncheck "View only?" before import to allow the import process to populate these fields.

Click Save to save the field. You will return to the Data Field form where you can edit or preview the fields or add additional fields:
Create the fields you need until your CUSTOM FIELD SET has all the desired CUSTOM FIELDS.
When viewing a CONTACT SUMMARY your Volunteer Information CUSTOM FIELD SET might look like this:

You can now use these same CUSTOM DATA FIELDS in PROFILES
Go to: How to Create Profiles
Return to PROFILES home

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