Fundamentals: Reporting

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Provide an overview of PowerBase reports and how you can use them to understand your base.


Understand the different between a report and a report template; know when to use a report and when to do a search.


Basic familiarity with CiviCRM.


Time: 60 minutes

Explain: Your ED has asked you to report on who attended. They also want to know how many people said yes compared with those attended. They want the report on their desk.

Ask: should we do a search or run a report?


What's the difference between a search and a report?


  • Searching is generally intended to show results on a screen, reports are designed to be printed
  • Searches return a list of results, reports can optionally be designed to provide totals and other statistics

Searches always have a list of actions you can run on the results, Reports can only have the results added to a group.


  • Both reports and searches can be saved. Saved Reports are called “Instances” of a report and you can save them as a menu item. Saved searches are called “Smart Groups” and will be available wherever groups are used.
  • Reports can be added as “dashlets” to your dashboard.

Turn Out Report.

  • Go to Reports → Event Reports
  • Go to Event Participant List.

Explain: This report doesn't limit the results – so all events are included. Limit to just our event.

Demonstrate printing the report.

Then: you know that your ED is going to ask for this next week before the board meeting, so save yourself the pain and create a menu item so the ED can access the report whenever they want.

And... For next time, you can create a dashlet that shows up on your dashboard.

That way you can monitor the turn out as you are organizing the event.

One more example

  • Go to Reports → Campaign Reports → Database Health Report last 12 months
  • Show results. Ask the participants who is the one with the most modifications.

Final Exercise

Using your own database, explore the reports and find one that is particularly useful for your purposes. At the end of the session, we'll ask people to explain which reports they chose.

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