You can use the invite/update tool to accomplish a number of things, including:

  • Send invitation emails to new people to join your Switchboard
  • Customize the content of that invitation email
  • Set properties (including first name, last name, affiliation, labels, topics, and custom id—and class year and program if these are enabled for your Switchboard) for people you invite.
  • Update the above properties for current members

Here's how.

Navigate to Admin > Members > Invite/Update, and you'll see this:

Inviting New Members

To invite new members, create a .csv file (comma separated values, i.e. a spreadsheet) in your preferred program. (You can export stuff in Excel or Google Sheets as a .csv.) Then upload it to Switchboard using the "Choose file" button. Here is how that .csv should be formatted:

The only required columns are first_name, last_name, and email. The rest are optional, and are there to allow you to pre-fill certain member information for invited members. 

Take note:

  • Remember to include an underscore in first_name, last_name, and, if you use it, custom_id. Do not include an underscore in class year or Secondary Program. (Sorry this is a little confusing, but just how it is right now.)
  • Affiliation must exactly match one of the affiliations you have on our Switchboard and is case sensitive. If you use alumnus/a when your affiliation is Alumnus/a it will not assign an affiliation to the invited person and they will be asked to choose an affiliation when they are completing the sign up process.
  • Use semicolons to separate interests and labels.
  • Just use spaces in interests and labels, like "ice cream" and "reunions attendee" in the above example. Do not write "ice_cream" or it will say the person is interested in ice_cream instead of Ice Cream.
  • Avoid including unnecessary spaces in cells as it can mess things up. e.g. "12345768 " as a custom ID with a space trailing the "8" can break things or generate an incorrect custom ID.
  • Avoid including empty columns or rows in your .csv.

To customize the invitation email that invitees will receive, check the "no" circle on "Use default email?" and fill out what you want the email to be. You can use the "Preview email" button to see what your email will look like.

Once you have that settled and have your .csv uploaded, click the "Invite Users" button to invite them.

When people are invited, Switchboard accounts are created for them with the role invited. You can see these accounts by going to the Member Directory and filtering by Role > is > invited. Their role will be invited until they click the link in the invitation email and complete the sign up process—it cannot be updated or changed by you. If they lose that email with that link, they can go through the password reset process using the email address you invited them with to finish signing up.

The progress of your upload will display like this:

If it shows as "Processing..." for more than 30 minutes, something went wrong and it didn't work. Please contact us via email or intercom with the .csv you uploaded attached so that we can check it for errors!

Updating Current Members

Updating current member information works the same as inviting them. Member information is matched via email address, so if a member already exists with the email kieran@switchboardhq.com and I upload the information in the screenshot above, the other information, e.g. affiliation and class year, will be overwritten (with the exception of interests and labels, which will be added to existing interests and labels rather than overwriting them).

Don't worry, existing members will not receive a new invitation email!

You can use this feature to, for instance, mass update the affiliation of recently graduated students from student to alumnus/a and so on.

The progress of your upload will display like this:

If it shows as "Processing..." for more than 30 minutes, something went wrong and it didn't work. Please contact us via email or intercom with the .csv you uploaded attached so that we can check it for errors!

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