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User's Guide

Mail and Reg Form Templates

Your Brick River System includes a powerful email management tool and registration form editor.  Together these tools can be used to manage relatively simple tasks - such as sending a weekly church newsletter to everyone on a mailing list - to more complex tasks such as online registration for retreats, religious education programs, and facility reservation requests.

The first step for both Email and Registration Form management is to create at least one simple template to be used to format your messages and forms.

Creating an Email Template

Brick River includes a basic library of template designs to make it easy to create your first custom template.  You can choose a design that includes graphic (such as your church logo) - or templates with text styling only.

  • Click the Email link in the menu bar to open the Email Center
  • Click the Templates link at the top of the screen
  • Click the 'Template gallery link
  • Choose one of the designs and click the  button.
  • The Template Design Screen opens with editable controls on the left and a message sample on the right.
  • Make any desired changes in design fields and click  to view your changes. Click  to exit the Template Design Screen.  An explanation of design fields and a tutorial video can be found here.
  • You will now be able to select your template when creating messages using the Email Center

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Creating a Reg Form Template

Building a Registration Form Template is very similar to creating an Email Template.

  • Click the Reg link in the menu bar.  Click the Design Templates link on the drop down menu.  The first time you use this feature - click the  button.
  • The Template Design Screen opens with editable controls on the left and a form header sample on the right.
  • Make any desired changes in design fields and click  to view your changes. Click  to the My Templates Gallery.  An explanation of design fields and a tutorial video can be found here.
Creating Mailing Lists

To create mailing lists and add recipients:

  • Click the Email link in the menu bar to open the Email Center
  • Click the Subscriptions link and click The lists link on the drop down menu to open the Communications View
  • Click the  button
  • Create a List Name and add a Notify Email address - the address to be contacted when a contact subscribes or unsubscribes to the list.  Is Private should be No to allow new users to join the group.  Inactive should be No for lists that are currently in use.
  • Click  to save changes.  Click  to return to the Communications View.
Using Subscription Lists

There are a few different ways to add recipients to subscription lists. 

  1. Users can join public lists if you provide them with the subscribe link for your system.  This link is presented on the Communications View screen. 
    1. Click the Email link in the menu bar to open the Email Center
    2. Click the Subscriptions link and click The lists link on the drop down menu to open the Communications View
    3. Copy the subscribe link to use on web pages and emails.  Users who subscribe to one or more lists will become Email Signup Contact in your system.  You can view these signups on the Contacts Menu
  2. You can manually subscribe People Contacts in your system to one or more list.
    1. On the Contact Menu click the People link to open the People View
    2. Click the link to the desired contact
    3. Scroll to the Email and Phones section and use the Newsletters field to add or remove Subscription Lists associated with this contact.
    4. Click  to save changes.  Click to return to the People View.

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Importing People to the Church Directory

People and other types of Content can be imported to Brick River from files saved in Comma Separated Value format - commonly known as CSV files.  Rather than enter an entire church roster manually, you can create your Church Directory by preparing and importing a CSV file of church members. 

The steps to perform a Church Directory Import are:

  1. Prepare a CSV file - we provide this sample file to make this as easy
  2. Edit and Save the Church Directory Import setup screen
  3. Upload, Test and Process your prepared CSV file.
Prepare a CSV File for Upload

CSV files are simple text files saved with the .csv file extension.  They divide data into columns separated by commas and they are most commonly edited using a spreadsheet program.  You can prepare your import using Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, and many other programs.


Import files contain two columns - MailZip and PhysZip which need to store zip codes with a leading zero.  Both Excel and Google Sheets may treat these columns as numeric values and fail to display or store the leading zero of a zip code.  There are a few ways to deal with this.  If you are unfamiliar with number formatting in Excel or Google Sheets you should review online help documentation to understand how to save your CSV files without losing leading zeros from these fields.

To perform your Church Directory import you should prepare a CSV file containing basic information (address, phone, email) of as many church members as possible.  You can always update member information in Brick River in the future - but you will save time and effort if you edit your import file to be as complete and accurate as possible.

The CSV file to be imported must contain a header row that exactly matches Brick River field identifiers.  This header row - along with five rows of sample data - are provided in the Sample Church Directory Import File.  Editing and saving this file is the easiest way to perform your import.

Download file:  samplechurchdirectoryimport.csv

 Open this file in Microsoft Excel (or other text or spreadsheet editor), review the sample data - then delete the sample rows and add your church member information. 


  • Be careful to NOT change the spellings of the header row.  These field idnetifiers must remain intact exactly as provided in the original file.
  • When saving your edited file it is important to save the file in CSV format - available as a choice in the Save As process with Excel and other programs. 
  • It is important to retain the formatting of Zip Code fields as Text rather than Numeric data. 

Explanation of Field IDs and Column Headers

  • Phone1 - imported to Brick River as Office Phone
  • Phone2 - Imported as Primary Mobile Phone
  • Secondary Mobile - Imported as Secondary Mobile Phone
  • Phone3 - Imported as Home Phone
  • Member Two and ChildrenInfo fields can be populated to present people as households in the directory. 
  • PeopleTags - each row should contain "Include in Church Directory" for members you wish to include in the directory.  If you wish to load members to Brick River but NOT include them in the directory - leave this field blank
  • Mail fields store mailing address info, Phys fields story physical address fields.
  • ExcludedOnDirectory - this field can contain multiple values separated by commas.  This field indicates which contact info fields should NOT be presented in the directory.  Include any of the following values: Home Phone, Mobile Phone, Business Phone, Email, Mailing Address
  • MemberPortalAccess - this field can contain multiple values separated by commas. Values here indicate whether the Person may access the Member Directory, Posts, or both. 
  • Link - the link field is used in some Brick River features to alphabetize lists of People.  This field should be populated with 'zzz' for new People records.
Edit and Save the Church Directory Import Setup Screen

Imports in Brick River are managed by import definition screens.  Import definitions can be saved and used for recurring imports.  Each Brick River for Churches account includes an import definition for performing a Church Directory Import.   It must be edited and saved prior to performing an import.

To prepare your Church Directory Import

  1. On the Admin Menu, click Imports
  2. Click the link: Church Directory Import
  3. Slide the Inactive field to
  4. In the RunAs field: select an admin level user name.
  5. Click 

You are now ready to upload and process your CSV file

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 Upload, Test and Process Your CSV File

From the Church Directory Import screen, click the link: Upload a csv file now

Prior to performing an import it's always good to process the file in test mode.  Check the box to Run in Test mode and click   .  The import engine will process the file but not add People to Brick River.  The screen will report the number of rows that are correctly formatted along with details of records that fail to process due to incorrect formatting. 

If necessary, review and edit your CSV file prior to a live import.

When ready, uncheck Run in test mode and click   to perform the import.

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Creating a Simple Registration Form

Brick River includes a powerful registration form manager to create and distribute online forms and surveys.  It can be used to create simple questionaires and surveys as well as complex event registration forms.  After creating a form you can easily add links to web pages and emails in order to reach your audience.  Email alerts are sent to administrators when forms are submitted and completed forms are organized and displayed in the Reg Form Manager.

The steps for creating a new form are:

  • Edit and Save Form Properties
  • Add Fields to the Form
  • Save, Review and Distribute the Form
Create a New Form

Click the Reg menu, click Forms.  The Registration Forms Manager displays a list of currently available forms.   Click

A Form Properties screen opens.  Edit and save form properties, then edit and save form fields to complete your new reg form.

Editing Form Properties

Form Properties control many aspects of form appearance and behavior.  Simple forms should have required fields completed and a few additional fields to ensure that users and administrators receive appropriate confirmation when forms are submitted.

At the top of the Form Properties Screen:

  • Enter a Title (required)
  • Enter an optional Description
  • Choose the Form Type, Form Language, and branded template.  The form will initially use the default template.
  • Scroll to and complete as appropriate any Registration and Payment fields.
  • Scroll to and add Confirmation Test and Email Text to be generated when a user submits a form.
  • Add an Event coordinator email.  (required) This address will be used as the 'From' address for email confirmations.
  • Optionally enter an address to be notified when a form is submitted.
  • Apply password and CAPTCHA protection as appropriate.
  • When finished, click

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Adding Form Fields

After clicking   the screen will display tools to add fields to your form.  The top of the form will display the Title created on the Properties page and the required First Name, Last Name and Email fields added to the top of each form.

Click any of the buttons provided to add a Field Section to your form (described below).  After adding multiple Field Sections to your form you can rearrange their order of appearance on the form clicking the  and  buttons in each section.  Click  to save changes, or  to cancel changes to a section.

If you have configured a Field Section - you can retain the settings but prevent the section from appearing on the form by clicking "Make this question invisible."

Click to permanently remove a section.

When finished, click

Types of Form Fields

Form fields can contain static text or editable fields such as textboxes, check boxes, radio buttons etc.  Types of fields include:

A static text field.  Use this to create a heading for the fields to follow.

A static text field.  Use this to add instructions or describe the fields to follow.

Create a single or multi line text box field for the user to enter text.

Create a question with a YES / NO radio button.

Create a question that a user can answer by clicking one or more check boxes.

Create a question in which the user has several options to choose from, but may only choose one. Use the "I will specify method" to manually enter a list of choices.  Use "Upload from a CSV" option to import a list of choices from a CSV file stored on your computer.  Use "Prefill with ration options" to use one of the supplied rating choices (ie: Rating 1 to 10 ).

Create a field to sell items and/or identify registration pricing. For registration, you can designate a price and also add in early/late registration fees. If you are selling items, you can allow the user to enter the number of items they wish to purchase; for example, how many tee shirts would they like to order? Note: things that are for sale can have "early," "standard" and "late" registration period prices. So for example, maybe the registration fee is $20 for early birds, $30 for standard folks and $40 for late reg folks. Also, note that you can set a max amount available. For example, maybe you're selling the registration fee and you only will allow 100 registrations. Set the max available to 100.

Similar to the “For sale” fields, but you can include several options at one time.  For example use this type of field to charge people for meals at an event where the choices are.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, Lunch and Dinner, and Dinner Only.

Create a field for the user to enter a donation amount. For example, "Enter the amount you'd like to donate." Note: people tend to combo up donations and item for sale with choice questions. For example, "Pick a donation" and you give them $25, $100 and $250 options. "Or enter any amount you'd like," and you give them the open-ended amount.

Create a field for users to select from a list of lodging choices. This field allows you to carefully manage parts of rooms and occupancy. For example, "Pick your room choices at the Grand Lodge." Then the choices are "Private room" and you would give that a "per room occupancy" of 1. "Double room" which you would give a "per room occupancy" of 2. Or "Quad room" which you would give a "per room occupancy" of 4.

Create a field for users to upload a file.  For example, if you ask users to provide a photo so you can create name tags for an event, use this field to ask them to upload an image file.

Create a  field to display the results of a formula that you create. Place your cursor in the calculation box then click on the title of the question above the calculation box you're using in the calculation. Calculations can include multi choice, text box, for sale, for sale with choices, donation, lodging and checkbox fields. Be sure to include a numeric value for all fields in the calculation. Calculation formula example: (q21220 + q21226 * 2) / q21223

This allows you to copy questions from other forms. Simply select the form from the list of saved forms, select the question you wish to copy and click

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Distributing Forms

Once a form has been saved you can provide links on site pages and in email messages so users can open, complete, and submit the form. Click the Reg menu and select Forms to open the Forms Manager.  Click the Form Title to open the manager screen for the desired form. 

Copy and paste link information from the section Getting people to this form.

Working with Saved Forms

Once a form has been saved it appears on the list of forms in the Forms Manager.  Click the Reg menu and select Forms to open the Forms Manager.  Click the Form Title to open the manager screen for the desired form.

If users have already submitted completed forms, the window will display links to the submitted forms and summarize information from registration amount fields.  Click the Contact Name of any form listed to display the full completed form.

 Links at the top of the Forms Manager screen provide additional options.

  1   Return to the list of all forms.    2   Display on screen reports of submitted forms.   3   Launch the form in Design View.    4   Launch a blank form on screen to fill out and submit (This is useful if you are organizing event and people call to register over the phone).   5   View the form as it will appear to users.      6   Manage the list of Brick River users who may manage the form. Archive or Delete the form.

Editing the Design of a Saved Form

From the form manager screen, click the link to Design Form.  The bar at the top provides links to edit and update the form.

   1   Return to Form Manager view.     2   Display the form in the browser.     3   Open the Form Properties page for editing.     4   Open the Form Fields page to add, delete, or edit form fields.     5   Add Conditions for Multi Choice, Yes / No or Checkbox questions.  Conditions make it possible to only display form fields that are relevant to the submitter.  For example, if you are creating a registration form for a weekend event which will include an option people to arrive Friday evening, you can create a Yes / No field to ask "Will you arrive Friday night" and a multi choice field to ask "Select a meal choice from the following list".  After saving these fields, you can use the Conditions screen to have the form only display Friday meal choices if the user clicks Yes to "Will you arrive Friday night"

Visit the Brick River User's Guide for more information and example forms.

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