- No, Really... What Are Blocks?
- Example Organization
- Block Manager
- Block Groups
- Apply Groups To Products and Programs
- Using Groups In Your Ledger
- A Conceptual Analogy
Blocks and Block Groups allow site admins to categorize and group products and programs by parameters that they define. In so doing, they can use these groupings to their advantage in the ledger tool. Thus eliminating the need to tag new items each year.
The Block Groups page is found by navigating to Settings > Block Groups. In order to access the Block Groups page you will need the following permissions: Admin, Manage Blocks.
What are Blocks?
Do I need to use Blocks to use the ledger feature?
No, Really... What Are Blocks?
Blocks are just another way for your to group and categorize products and programs. If you log into your site and navigate to Settings > Categories you will see a listing of the Categories and Category Levels. These are ways for you to group your programs and present them to your members. However, that might not be how you want to group them on the back end. Blocks offer a different way to group up products and items that might otherwise not be related through your standard category structure.
Perhaps more importantly, it removes the need to tag individual items and programs in your ledger accounts. Instead, the organization's accountant/treasurer can tag the groups they have made. Then, when new items/programs are being created by the team, the admin can specify which group it belongs to. In this way the accountant/treasurer does not have to return to re-tag all the new items as they are created to ensure they are tracked correctly.
Because Blocks and Block Groups are an abstract concept they can be hard to understand. Don't worry, you are not alone! Because of this, we will be using an example organization to illustrate the needs and effects of creating and using Blocks.
Our example organization has the following Categories:
When tracking revenue our Example Organization need to be able to discern revenue produced from participants < 18 years of age and track that separately from revenue produced from participants 18 +. This is easily done for their Kids vs. Adult categories, but their Competitive category has participants of all ages! Additionally, they would like to split Recreational and Competitive revenue. Keep an eye out for the "Example Organization" notes to see how they use Blocks to their advantage.
The Block Manager page is your centralized hub to create, edit, and remove Blocks. Here you can get an overview of the Blocks you have created and the groups you've generated.
To alternate between your Blocks and your Block Groups please select the respective tab at the top of page, just under the Block Groups title.
Blocks allow you to create categorical listings. You can then use these listings to create groups. The Blocks you create will depend on the variations in revenue you need to capture.
Create A Block
- Click Add Block Type
- Name your Block Type
- Click Add Block
- Name your Block
- Click Accept
- Repeat step 3 and 4 as desired
- Click Accept on the far right to save
To create Block options click the Add Block Type option from the toolbar. Enter a name for the type of Blocks you will be creating. Next, click the Add Block button and name your Block. Repeat this as many times as required. To finish, click the Accept button on the far right of the Block Type segment.
Edit A Block
- Click Edit on the desired Block Type
- Click Edit on the desired Block
- Click Accept to save any changes
To edit an existing Block Type or block simply click the Edit icon next to the Block Type listing. You can then edit the Block Type name and/or select to Edit the Block in question to update the name used for it. Click Accept to save any changes both at the Block and the Block Type segment.
Delete A Block
- Click to Edit the Block Type
- Click to Delete the undesired Block listing
- Click to Delete the Block Type to delete all Blocks therein
To remove an undesired Block please select to Edit the Block Type. Within, click the Delete icon to remove the individual Block. Alternatively, click the Delete the Block Type to remove all Blocks within.
Please note, you cannot delete Blocks (or their parent Block Types) that are in use. This includes within categories, category levels, programs, products, as well as their inclusion in any Block Groups.
Example Organization's Blocks
Our Example Organization wants to split revenue by age (< 18 vs. 18+) and by level (recreational vs. competitive). To do so, they created two Block Types, each with two Blocks therein.
Block Groups organize and group your Blocks. A Block Group can use any combination of your Blocks provided that they:
- Select only a single Block per Block Type
- Select at least one Block per Block Type
- Generate a unique combination of your Blocks compared to other Block Groups
Create A Block Group
- Click Add Block Group
- Enter a block group name
- Select the blocks involved in the group
- Click Accept to save
To create a new Block Group please click the Add Block Group button along the toolbar. Name your Block Group as desired (something unique and easy to identify is key) then use the radio buttons to select which Blocks are included. Note that you must select one (and only one) Block from each Block Type, as well as create a unique combination of the Blocks selected. Click the Accept button to save the new group.
Not all combinations are required. If you have a large number of blocks to work with you do not need to create every possible combination.
Edit A Block Group
- Click Edit on the desired Block Group
- Update the information as desired
- Click Accept to save the changes
To edit and existing Block Group please select the Edit icon to the right of the group. Thereafter, update the name or involved Blocks as desired. Select Accept to keep the changes or Cancel to discard any changes.
Delete A Block Group
- Click Delete next to the undesired group
To remove a Block Group simply select the Delete icon next to the group in question.
Please note, you cannot delete Blocks Groups that are in use. This includes within categories, category levels, programs, or products.
Example Organization's Block Groups
With the two blocks created our Example Organization can now create their block groups. Since their revenue splits are between age (< 18 vs. 18+) and level (recreational vs. competitive) they will want to create each possible variation with their blocks.
This generates four groups:
- 18 + Competitive
- 18 + Recreational
- < 18 Competitive
- < 18 Recreational
Apply Groups To Products and Programs
Once you have crafted your blocks and placed those blocks into groups you are ready to start applying them to the products and programs you offer. This can be done through the item's edit page.
Note that all Block drop downs need to have a value before the item belongs to a Block Group.
To apply your blocks to programs please navigate to Products & Programs > Programs. Here, select to Edit the program in question. Scroll down to the Lookup Options (in the Advanced Settings section) and use the block type drop downs to select the applicable blocks. Don't forget to click Create/Update to keep any changes.
Products / Tickets / Subscriptions
For all other items you sell through Uplifter you can access the Block drop downs by navigating to Products & Programs > Products & Subscriptions. Here you can select to Edit the item in questions to find the Block drop downs at the bottom of the Product Information Section.
Example Organization's Block Selections
Our example organization wants to split their revenues by age and level. To accomplish this, their admin selects to edit each program (or does all this during the initial creation) and scrolls down to the Look Up section. Here, they select their blocks based on the program parameters. For example, their program "Competitive Level 1 Sundays" is a youth competitive program. Thus, the admin selected Age: < 18; Level: Competitive. Their program "Kids Mondays" is a youth recreational program so the admin sets the Block drop downs to Age: < 18; Level: Recreational. So on and so forth.
As the admin is making updates to the programs, the accountant notes that they need to be tracking the revenue from "Competitive Level 1 Sundays" as a recreational program.
"But it's a competitive program...", the admin says.
"An "introductory" competitive program that needs to be tracked with the recreational revenue," says the accountant.
"Sure. But our instructors all view this program as competitive. I can't make the program recreational," the admin retorts.
"Not to worry," the account says. "We can set the program to competitive in the Category and Category Levels section, then assign the program to Recreational in the Blocks drop downs. This way the program stays in the competitive listings for reports, custom registrations pages, etc. but is tracked in the < 18 recreational revenue stream."
"Phew!" the admin sighs while wiping away their sweaty brow. "That was so scary!"
"I'm gonna go..." says the accountant as they back out slowly.
Using Groups In Your Ledger
The final task to all of this is to add your Block Groups to your ledger. This can be done via Settings > Ledger Accounts. Block Groups can be assigned to any Revenue Account by tagging it. To do so, simply begin to type in the name of your Block Group and the system will suggest it. Select it from the suggestions.
Example Organization's Ledger Setup
Our example organization has a simple setup. Thus, their ledgers are simple too. They created four revenue accounts, each with one of the Block Groups tagged.
A Conceptual Analogy
For more clarity on what Blocks are and how they can be used we have crafted a short story. It is our hope that this analogy offers further insights into why Blocks are so powerful. Hover over italicized words to see how they relate to the Blocks system.
Imagine you are 15 years old. Your parents have told you that they are no longer going to just buy you things, you need to earn them. In fact, starting today you need to do chores to earn allowance. No chores = no allowance, and there is no way you are going without video games.... or comics... or whatever the kids like these days.
You're 15, but you are also really smart. You decide to start tracking the money you make from each chore. You craft a little chart:
- Babysitting your little sibling: $10
- Cleaning the bathroom: $5
- Cleaning your room: $3
- Clearing the gutters: $8
- Mowing the lawn: $10
- Mowing your elderly neighbors lawn: $11
- Helping cook dinner: $3
- Running & emptying the dishwasher: $3
- Trimming the hedges: $6
You quickly figure out that mowing your neighbors lawn is the best chore for your time, but you can't mow their lawn every day. Your parents would certainly catch on to your ploy. To take completed advantage of these chores you decide to categorize them. You decide to track the type of chore and the consistency at which you can do them.
You decide Chore Type has three variations:
You decide consistency, which you named Every, has four options:
So how do you categories your chores? Well, each chore will have one Type and one Every. You craft a new list for yourself:
- Mowing the lawn is grouped as Maintenance : Bi-Weekly
- Running & emptying the dishwasher is grouped as Cleaning : Weekly
- Babysitting your little sibling is grouped as Assistance : Weekly
- Cleaning the bathroom is grouped as Cleaning : Weekly
- Clearing the gutters is grouped as Maintenance : Monthly
- Trimming the hedges is grouped as Maintenance : Bi-Weekly
- Cleaning your room is grouped as Cleaning : Weekly
- Mowing your elderly neighbors lawn is grouped as Maintenance : Bi-Weekly
- Helping cook dinner is grouped as Assistance : Daily
With these categories assigned to your chores you can now cross reference them to see what type of chore really gets you the most money.
For instance, the Maintenance : Bi-Weekly group has Mowing the lawn, Trimming the hedges, and Mowing your elderly neighbors lawn. That is $10, $6, and $11 respectively, and $27 bi-weekly is pretty good! Next, your Cleaning : Weekly group has Running & emptying the dishwasher, Cleaning the bathroom, and Cleaning your room. That is $3, $5, and $3 respectively. That is $11 a week ($22 bi-weekly). Clearly the money is in Maintenance : Bi-Weekly. Your plan is coming to fruition!
You decide to check the others to compare them, just in case one beats out Maintenance : Bi-Weekly.
- Assistance : Weekly has Babysitting your little sibling for $10 ($20 bi-weekly)
- Maintenance : Monthly has Clearing the gutters for $8 ($4 bi-weekly)
- Assistance : Daily has Helping cook dinner for $3 ($42 bi-weekly)
Hang on a second! Assuming you help make dinner every night of the week, you could bring in a haul of $42 bi-weekly! Now there is a steal. Time to sous-chef tout de suite!