Adding a comments field to MLS

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
edwin221
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Adding a comments field to MLS

Postby edwin221 » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:02 pm

I am new to MLS and I would like to know if there is the possibility of adding a comments field on each record.
e.g. we have some members that are inactive and they do not want to be visited, however, they have agreed to received correspondence once every quarter. We would like to run this report with this new field every month to know which member we needs to be sent the letter.

jdlessley
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Re: Adding a comments field to MLS

Postby jdlessley » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:43 pm

The request to add comments to records has been discussed before. There is little to no likelihood this feature will be added. Adding a text capability to a record could result in dossier being kept. This is something the Church wants to avoid.

Do a search for "Do not contact" or DNC in the Forum and you will find several threads on the topic. Some of what you want to accomplish for these less than active members has been discussed.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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aebrown
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Re: Adding a comments field to MLS

Postby aebrown » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:50 pm

I see no problem with adding a field to help keep track of correspondence to be sent to certain members. That's not a violation of the policy prohibiting marking a record as "Do Not Contact"; as I see it, this is a positive step for increasing contact.

The only tool available for this in MLS is a custom field, which you can run reports on using a custom report. A custom field is not directly connected to the membership record, but it is associated with the member, so it does allow you to create a custom report that filters on the value of that field and/or shows the value of that field.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Adding a comments field to MLS

Postby gregwanderson » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:20 pm

aebrown wrote:I see no problem with adding a field to help keep track of correspondence to be sent to certain members. That's not a violation of the policy prohibiting marking a record as "Do Not Contact"; as I see it, this is a positive step for increasing contact.


...except, I see potential for abuse, where this could easily evolve into a way to keep a "Do Not Contact List" within MLS, which is something that CHQ clearly doesn't want to happen. People who've followed the topic through these forums would avoid using MLS to make a persistent Do Not Contact list but inexperienced clerks and ward leaders are often anxious to create such lists.

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aebrown
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Re: Adding a comments field to MLS

Postby aebrown » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:02 pm

mrrad wrote:
aebrown wrote:I see no problem with adding a field to help keep track of correspondence to be sent to certain members. That's not a violation of the policy prohibiting marking a record as "Do Not Contact"; as I see it, this is a positive step for increasing contact.

...except, I see potential for abuse, where this could easily evolve into a way to keep a "Do Not Contact List" within MLS, which is something that CHQ clearly doesn't want to happen. People who've followed the topic through these forums would avoid using MLS to make a persistent Do Not Contact list but inexperienced clerks and ward leaders are often anxious to create such lists.

I certainly agree that if this devolves into a DNC list, then that is entirely inappropriate. Anyone who has read my posts on this topic knows that I am passionate about following the official guidance on this topic; we should never label people in any way that might lead us to cease trying to minister to them.

But as I read the original post, I saw it as a positive thing. It is challenging to find ways to reach out to people who may ask not to be contacted. So if some of those people are receptive to receiving a regular letter, that's one way to keep in touch with them. I would hope that the letter does not become an excuse for giving up on other ways to fellowship them, but it's a good way. There may be other people who have asked not to be contacted who don't want a letter. I trust that the Spirit will guide members in finding other ways to reach out to them.

Sending a regular letter requires some clerical support, so it's reasonable to discuss options. Custom fields might be a way; a list of recipients in a spreadsheet for mail merging with a letter is another.


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