Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does this thing work?

A: The program simply selects a random name from a list of participant names which are entered by the person who sets it up. The participants all visit the web page that that is set up when the program is registered and select their own name from a drop down list. It's like pulling a random name out of a hat. The program processes the name, comparing it to the list of names all ready chosen and assigns them a random name from the list. Unlike pulling a name out of a hat the process is anonymous so that only the person choosing the name knows who they have chosen. A password protected administration panel allows you, the administrator, to view the list of matches if necessary.

Q: What is the Spouse Letter field for?

A:It allows you to set-up the program so that spouses will not pick each other's name. To use it, choose the same, matching letter when adding the spouses names. The program will look for these matching letters and pass them over when choosing a match. It only works for couples. When there are four or more people in the list it tries to assign names so that couples don't pick each other but there is a problem when a couple and one single person are the only names left in the list as the couples can't pick each other.

If you use the spouse option and the only choice left when they choose is their spouse the program will continue timing out. One option at that point is for the administrator to switch names manually.

Q: Why is there no option for deleting an individual name?

A: Though this would appear to be a simple thing it also involves checking to see whether the person you are removing from the list has already chosen a name and then removing that person from the storage file as well. If the person you are removing has been chosen by someone it involves sending an email to that person to tell them to revisit the list and choose another name. If all the names have been chosen by the time the name is deleted that person they chose may be left without a name. To delete a name before the draw has begun clear all the names and add them again.

If some people have already chosen their names you will have to reset the list as well. In that case be sure to notify the people who have already chosen so that they can choose again. Check the View Matched Names list and jot down the names of the people who have chosen up to that point before resetting the list. It msy be simpler to just start the draw again.

Q: How do I delete my account?

A: Logon to your account an choose the Delete my account button. You will be asked to confirm. Click Yes, Delete my account and the account will be completely removed. GrassRootsDesign does not retain any record of deleted accounts and cannot recover the data so be sure that this is what you want to do before proceeding.

Q: I am having problems, can you help?

A: I would be glad to help with any problems. Send a message with a few details of the problem you are experiencing using GrassRootsDesign's contact form.

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