Create a legally binding signature form

This article refers to our legacy product, Forms Manager. For the best Finalsite experience, we recommend using our newest product, Forms, which is already available to you in your modules list. To learn more, please review our New Forms FAQ or Compare Forms and Forms Manager.

This method of creating an electronically signed form has been suggested by other users. It's recommended that, before you put this form into place and begin relying on it to collect sensitive information, you have it approved by your institution's lawyer.

Note that this method will require users to be signed into an account that's been created via a data upload, so it will only work for constituents - this method will not be applicable to Public Users.

The key components that are meant to make this form legally binding are two unique identifying numbers, one supplied by you, the other by the person filling out the form. In this case, they are the constituent's Import ID number, and the user's home phone number. Together these make it possible to tie an individual user to a specific form response after the fact.

Here's how to put the e-signature form together in Forms Manager:

  1. Add a checkbox with text like, "I affirm that entering my Home phone number and submitting this form constitutes an electronic signature of this form..." etc. Your attorney can help you with verbiage needed here. Essentially, you want to spell out the purpose of this e-signature form. Making this field required will require them to check it off before submitting the form.

  2. Add a text field below the checkbox for the user to enter their home phone number. You can use the "Verification" option in the Element Properties to ensure that whatever the user types in here conforms to the standard 10-digit phone number. Make this field required as well, to ensure that they complete it.

  3. Add two hidden fields to the form, and use the Prefill option to automatically populate them from Constituent Manager fields. Prefill one hidden form with the user's Import ID, and the other with the user's Home phone number.

  4. To prefill a form element with the constituent's Import ID, open the element properties and under "Prefill" select "System." A second dropdown menu will appear; select an option under "Import ID" from there. (If you do not have any Import ID options, please contact Finalsite Support.)

  5. In the Notifications & Redirects tab choose the "Display a Message" option and add a message directing the submitter to print a copy of the form result using the "Print Page" tool at the top of the screen.

  6. You could also insert a link that the user could click to print the page by inserting this in the HTML at the top of the message:

    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="print.css" media="print" />
  7. Then insert this link into the message where you want the page-print link to display (modify text as desired):

    <span onclick="javascript:window.print()" style="cursor: pointer; color: blue; text-decoration: underline;">Print this page</span>
  8. Still on the "Notifications & Redirects" tab, check the "Show Results of Form" option to allow the form results to display to the submitter. This will allow users to print a copy of their form responses as soon as they submit it.

  9. Click the options to send an email confirmation, make it required, and include full results
  10. Include a custom message with text such as "The following submission has been received as an electronically signed document. If this was not submitted by you, please contact..." etc.

In your submission record you will have a unique import ID and phone number (that could only be pre-filled if the person was logged in); additionally, each submitter will have verified their home phone number by entering it themselves. The submitter has the option to print the submission immediately. The email serves as another validation point. You can check to confirm that the person identified in the form corresponds to the email address that was entered when the form was submitted. If they do not match, that could be a tip-off to you that the form was not actually completed by the identified individual. The response email each user receives would also allow them to contest the submission if they feel it was submitted in error.

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