Get started, begin here:
a rapid-fire guide to what Cameo can do and where to look.

Getting help

when something changes

  • When something new is added to Cameo, or something changes, we will announce it here on

You might want to sign up, in the sidebar alongside this article,
to get emails when a new post is published.

how do I …?

  • ask how to to do something

Help button at top of window, then ask a question in the how do I … ? box
see article: a new way of asking for help

help in context

  • help for each section

question mark button on the right side of each section heading
also from the index in the How To window as above

App layout

screen divided into three

  • what you want to do: main menu down the left

Click a menu button to show a list of sections for that menu entry

  • who you want to do it for: quick search box and list of people found down the right

Click a result to see detail for that member

  • how to do it: work to be done in the middle, divided into sections. Many sections work on the currently selected search result or results,

Click a section heading to see the section

  • not everyone can see or do everything

Administrators can set permissions in
admin → cameo users

accordion lists

  • search results and lists of items open up to reveal detail when you click on an item’s one-line summary
  • clicking a search result selects (or deselects) it, identifying which person a task should be applied to
  • sometimes this has several levels, each opening up further detail; for example, one from a list of batches of emails opens up summaries of the emails in that batch and a click on an email summary opens up the email detail


  • most lists of things have boxes in the heading where you can limit or extend what you see. For example, a list of emails may have a date column, and entering a date in the heading shows emails on, before or after that date, depending on what is most useful in context.
  • some columns also have a vertical arrow which sorts the results based on that column
  • most lists show a limited number of entries with links at the bottom to show more


Storing and searching membership records:

paying members

  • current (paid up to date or mildly overdue) – grey
  • old (expired, resigned etc) – pink
  • new (not yet enrolled) – yellow

In the right hand column under the main search box


(Non-paying members) divided into categories:

  • supporters (people who actively want to be involved, but not as members)
  • stakeholders (people you want to involve, e.g. council officers)
  • customers (e.g. event ticket purchasers, who aren’t already a member or contact)
  • representatives (as in councillors, MPs etc; when enabled)

then further sub-divided by your own contact types, e.g. advertisers, council officers etc.

as shown in the right hand column under the main search box;
see article: contact categories

  • coloured mauve by default, but customisable

in organisation settings → contact types


  • search by name/number/email/postcode in the main search box

top right of window

  • other more detailed searches, including by dates, geographical, political

search more → general search,
search more → map search, etc

  • combine searches

➤ filter button in main search box (see article: refine search controls), or
search more → general search etc, and search within existing search results;
see article: easier searching with multiple criteria

  • used lists (qv) for saved searches

communication → lists

  • all search results shown in right-hand column

add members


  • join form embedded in your website (see forms), and later enrolling them

forms → manage forms

  • manual one-off additions

new members → add membership

  • flexibly import bulk data (e.g. from another database) from spreadsheet (or JSON)

new  members → import members;
see article: import membership records from spreadsheets

  • convert a contact to a new member

member tasks → membership status, cards and qrcodes

  • enrol new members to make them current members

new members → enrol;
see article: the membership life-cycle

edit membership data

➤ just change it in place in the right-hand column

non-fussy search

  • accents ignored (e.g. â matches a and vice-versa)

everywhere you can search

  • dates in any sensible format (including relative dates like “yesterday” or “3 weeks ago”), or use a date-picker calendar

everywhere you can enter dates;
see article: about dates in Cameo


library → statistics

  • such as counts by type, location, turnover
  • saved monthly, compare over time

see article: statistics comparisons

custom fields in membership records

  • social media handles, websites and alternate email addresses

+@ to the right of each individual;
see article: store social media handles, extra emails and phone numbers

  • custom fields for dates, email addresses, single and multiple select, text, paragraphs, tick boxes

admin → custom fields

  • for links between records (e.g. “this person is this other person’s tutor”)
  • use in searches and substitutions (see templates)

multiple separately named individuals in a household

  • child data processing consent (GDPR)

join form
member tasks → membership status, cards and qrcodes
see article: under 16 data processing consent

organise delivery rounds

  • for e.g. distributing paper newsletters

organisation settings → delivery rounds
field in membership record
list source deliverers
mailing labels

membership life-cycle

see article: the membership life cycle

  • join
  • pay
  • enrol
  • renew
  • expire
  • resign
  • delete (purge over time: GDPR says you must not keep data indefinitely)

Data Integrity

Undo and Redo

  • for all changes made (unusual in a web app)

buttons at the top next to the main search box

extensive help

  • and searchable FAQ (“How do I…”)

Help button at the top next to the main search box

daily off-site (encrypted) backups

  • stored in a standard JSON format, so can also be used to export and move data between systems
  • audit trail of all membership record changes made

member info → change history

  • extensive logging of activity
  • email bounce handling (e.g. your mailshot rejected as false positive spam)

communications → sent email
see article: email delivery and bounces

Send email


  • comes from templates (see below) into which member and other data is substituted (“mail merge”)

communications → templates
then new template and choose email


  • sent to lists of people either selected according to some criteria you choose (automatic) or explicitly subscribed (manual)

communications → lists ; set audience of template to a list

  • to ad-hoc groups of people (individually chosen by searching)

set audience of template to individually chosen

  • as a side-effect of doing some other task (the “template services task…”), such as enrolment or generating renewal reminders

communications → templates audience
each task has a button to create a proforma template for the task which you can customise.

  • as a side-effect of someone filling in a form – the template services form …
    • can substitute data collected by the form
    • often a confirmation at completion, but also to validate email addresses

communications → templates audience
when you turn on email in a form (forms → manage forms)
there is a button to create a proforma template

  • as a side-effect of an event booking (either via a form or manual “box office” transaction, e.g. sends e-tickets, the template services event…)

communications → templates audience
➤ when you manage events (events & bookings→ events and especially one-off event),

buttons let you create proforma templates


communications → templates

  • conversational style emails and letters (“Dear …, please renew…, Yours sincerely…”)
  • professional e-newsletters, via news builder

communications → templates, then the news builder button in the editor content formatting controls
see tutorial: using news builder
see article: news builder: a small button with big impact

  • email attachments (personalised PNG or PDF)

communications → templates, attachment menu
each attachment is itself formed from a further template
see article: PDF templates

  • tabular data (reports and for filling in other people’s forms)

communications → templates, then new template, choose report
see article: how to make spreadsheet CSV reports

  • insert into pre-printed forms, like Royal Mail “Drop ‘n’ go, or cheque paying in slips.

communications → templates, then new template, choose letter

also use templates and merging to make:

communications → templates, then new template

  • letters

choose letter

  • mailing labels

choose letter

  • event tickets (printed or electronic with scannable barcodes)

start with templates created for you in events

  • reports (spreadsheets of member data)

choose report
see article: how to make spreadsheet CSV reports

  • PDFs

choose PDF
see article: PDF templates

  • invoices and purchase orders (as email attachments, for posting, or as stand-alone documents – see trading

create proforma invoice in trading → invoices, quotations and purchase orders
see article: trading documents


use lists to group people together in arbitrary ways

communications → lists, list source

  • manually, e.g. “sub-committee members”, “volunteer photographers”
  • automatically, based on criteria such as where they live, communication preferences, event bookings made, email or postal


  • automated opt-outs, evidence management for GDPR

forms→ manage forms, then new form and choose optout form type
member tasks → list subscriptions to control manual opt-outs
➤ opt-outs also indicated for each individual in membership record in right-hand column

  • use lists as the recipients (audience) of mailshots

communications → templates; audience


  • use forms embedded in your website for self-service collection of data of various kinds, for example joining

forms→ manage forms

  • customise all text, order of fields, and style

forms→ manage forms
forms→ colour scheme and style

collect payments, by:

  • credit/debit card,
  • direct debit,
  • PayPal,
  • bank,
  • cheque,
  • vouchers,

forms→ manage forms
organisation settings → payment methods

  • collect Gift Aid declarations when collecting payments; submit Gift Aid claims to HMRC; make tax year exceptions

forms → manage forms
accounting info → gift aid
declaration noted at end of membership record
member info → attachments to attach the original declaration if e.g. emailed

WordPress plugins

  • for easy embedding of forms

forms → wordpress plugins

form personalisation

  • send an email link to a page containing a form that identifies the visitor, e.g. opt-out link in mailshots, “show email in browser” link, button to book an event so the booking form knows who they are

communications → templates, personalise link button in content controls
forms→ manage forms

  • send emails to confirm completion, or verify email address etc

forms→ manage forms, email control button

different kinds of form

forms→ manage forms, then new form

Many different form types, including:

  • join (paid membership)
  • renew (paid membership)
  • sign up as contact
  • “contact us”
  • book for an event
  • merchandise sales (coming soon)
  • questionnaires, petitions, consultations and surveys: graphical and geographical response analysis
  • mailing list opt-outs
  • changes of address, phone, email etc
  • collecting donations and gift-aid declarations


free or paid, with multiple pricing categories (e.g. adult/child, member discounts, earlybird discounts, discount voucher codes)

use events for

  • one-off events
  • multi-day events (like conferences)
  • repeated performances at same or different venues
  • differently priced seating areas, optional individual seat selection (seating plan)
  • appointment bookings
  • timed equipment loans/rentals

events & bookings → venues
events & bookings → price plans;
see article: events management


  • e-tickets and/or paper tickets
  • separate barcode scanner app for on-the-door check-ins and ticket validation

events & bookings→ events and especially one-off event

  • self-service or box-office-style booking

forms → manage forms then new form, then
booking, or one-off event makes a proforma form for you;
events & bookings → reservations, bookings and attendance

  • custom data collection with booking (e.g. “do you have any special dietary requirements?”)

forms → manage forms, booking form, custom fields button

  • season tickets

events & bookings → venues

  • mailing lists based on previous bookings and/or attendees

events & bookings → events then assigned to lists control
communications → lists, source event attendees or events assigned

centralise event descriptions

  • WordPress plugins to manage event summaries and descriptions on your website (switching events as time passes, grouping by event genre etc)

events & bookings → events
events & bookings → venues
events & bookings → price plans;
see article: formatted full event descriptions
see article: events listings WordPress plugin

  • news builder blocks to easily include forthcoming event information in mailshots

communications → templates, then news builder button in template content controls
see tutorial: using news builder
see article: news builder event blocks

booking progress summaries

  • on demand
  • emailed at intervals

events & bookings → booking notifications;
see article: booking summary improvements


library → notifications

  • set reminders

library → add reminder

  • get emailed selectively (using tags)

profile → profile & log out, subscribe to notifications, or
click a tag in library → notifications

  • include attachments with notifications

see article: notifications: file attachments and contactus form

activity summaries

  • automatically posted and emailed
  • new members
  • renewals
  • amendments
  • event bookings

Subscribe to tags:
#ImportedNewMembers, #ImportedNewContacts
#Imported Renewals
see article: new member summary notifications


store files for various purposes:

  • general file store, organised with tags, protect by privilege
  • attach to a membership record (keep incoming correspondence, files supporting applications etc)
  • with bank statements (scans or PDFs of statements, original CSVs from which transactions are imported)
  • invoices and purchase orders (e.f. incoming bill attached to PO, or their PO attached to your outgoing invoice)
  • bank deposit evidence (keep photos of cheques in case of dispute)
  • photo ids for individuals
  • responses to questionnaires, event bookings and contact forms
  • attachments to calendar entries

see article: managing attachments

email attachments direct to Cameo

profile → incoming email

link to scanner app for direct upload from scans

profile → scanner PIN
see tutorial: adding scanned attachments with Scanner Pro: a step-by-step guide


library→ calendar
see article: appointments and meetings calendar

  • comprehensive calendar
  • link to people records
  • tag and filter by tags
  • repeating entries
  • add attachments
  • get notified


complete accounting system

  • including intelligent reconciliation to chart of accounts

organisation settings → book-keeping chart of accounts
see article: introducing accounting and trading

attribution to memberships

  • track subscription payments and donations

accounting tasks → reconciliation

  • track overdue membership payments

accounting tasks → overdue automatic payments and
renewals → overdue manual renewals

  • track overdue invoices

trading → aged receivables (unpaid invoices) (and notification tag InvoicesOverdue for email)

issue invoices, quotations and purchase orders

trading → invoices, quotations and purchase orders;
see article: trading documents

financial reports

accounting info → reports

track receipts

trading → receipts
see article: receipts and expenses claims

  • forward emails or scan into Cameo

profile → incoming email

  • attach to corresponding bank transaction

accounting tasks → import statements

  • submit expense claims

trading → receipts and expenses claims

third-party links

import statement lines from

organisation settings → bank accounts

  • Xero
  • PayPal
  • Stripe (card payments)
  • GoCardless (direct debits)


e.g. merchandise

issue invoices, purchase orders and quotations

trading → invoices, quotations and purchase orders

list stock of goods and services for sale

trading → inventory and stock

including photos, descriptions and prices, feeding into:

  • invoices

trading → invoices, quotations and purchase orders

  • shopping cart (coming soon)

forms → manage forms

  • accounting reconciliation

accounting tasks → reconciliation

Lobbying (if enabled)

organisation settings → politics and government

  • group people by political areas (constituencies, wards etc)

communications → lists, list source political areas

  • indicate who people’s representatives are

member info → map and representatives

  • import and update representative details (where available)

organisation settings → politics and government

Access control

  • two factor authentication

profile → two-step verification

  • key and biometric authentication

profile → profile and logout, Key/biometric login
see article: more choices for biometric and physical key log-in

  • privileges control who can do and see what (e.g. financial information)

admin → cameo users

  • vulnerable password checking

on setting password at login
see article: about passwords

  • modern, up-to-date web security safeguards