I'm setting up CiviCRM for our artist workshop, but after reading the good book I still haven't wrapped my head around how best to setup for the data I'd like to cover, so thought I'd check with my betters. Please advise.
We are 1 organisation with 500 members, and each member can have access to 0-15 of our workshops (wood, textile, etc). Each workshop has 1 or 2 members who are admins for that shop. We have a board of trustees who all are members.
We allow organisations to become members as well, and their employees are allowed in our shop, but they are not member themselves.
We allow current members to become "inactive" for 1 year - retaining their membership but with reduced access to the shop.
We have a bunch of groups for tasks (events, exhibition, marketing…) whose members are also members of the main organisation.
I'd like to be able to selectively email all members of particular workshops, "task" groups and the board, as well as keep track of which member has been approved for which workshop when and by whom.
Q: I was leaning towards creating groups for all above, but an alternative solution might be to use either custom fields or tags, and then use smart groups to generate email lists. Is there an advantage to either solution?
Q: I just found the "membership type" field - since we're doing our billing in an external system, is there any point in setting up the membership groups using "membership type" instead of "groups"?
Q: Some of our members are also members in other organisation we're dealing with, and I'd like to be able to sort those out as well. Would tagging those members with "acme inc" be the most straightforward way of doing that, or would it be better to setup a custom field allowing for more granularity? (i.e. "acme inc, press contact, interested in graphic design")