Small Group Finder Step 4 - Create the XML File

If you have not read the Overview about how the Small Group Finder works, or Steps 1 and 2, you will want to do so before proceeding.

Create the Small Group Finder XML file

This file is where you enter the ID #(s) for Division(s) you are using for your small groups, and the name of the Layout and Gutter files you just created.

Step 1

Go to Administration > Special Content > Text Content tab, and click + New Text File. Enter the File Name as SGF-Main.xml and click Submit.


This is not the same tab as the one used for the layout and gutter. The XML file is created on the Text Content tab, and the layout and gutter were created on the Html Content tab.

Step 2

Copy and paste the following into the text box:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<SGF divisionid="14,18" layout="SGF-Layout" shell="SGF-Shell">
        <SGFSetting name="Title" value="Community Groups" />
        <!-- the settings on the next lines, 6-11, apply when no shell file is listed on line 2 -->
        <SGFSetting name="SubmitText" value="Find Groups" />
        <SGFSetting name="ShowHeaders" value="true" />
        <SGFSetting name="TextSize" value="18" />
        <SGFSetting name="FontFamily" value="Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif" />
        <SGFSetting name="BGColor" value="#FFFFFF" />
        <SGFSetting name="FGColor" value="#000000" />

    <!-- the list of filters that are used for searching... the name is the org extra value -->
        <SGFFilter name="SGF:Gender" title="Gender" locked="false" lockedvalue="" />
        <SGFFilter name="SGF:Childcare" title="Childcare" locked="false" lockedvalue="" />
        <SGFFilter name="SGF:Location" title="Location" locked="false" lockedvalue="" />

Shown below are optional settings that can be added to your XML file is desired. If used, all these should be inserted in the Settings section (on a new line between <SGFSetting> and </SGFSetting>).

        <!-- optional setting for a subtitle -->
        <SGFSetting name="Subtitle-Content" value="SGF-Subtitle" />

        <!-- optional setting to limit groups to only those of the OrgType defined -->
        <SGFSetting name="OrgTypes" value="Community Group" />

        <!-- optional setting to specify a field by which the finder groups will be sorted -->
        <SGFSetting name="SortBy" value="SGF:Neighborhood" />

        <!-- these optional settings go together to provide exclusions for certain orgs...
             so only those with an org extra value of "Status" == "Open" will show up -->
        <SGFSetting name="ShowOnlyName" value="Status" />
        <SGFSetting name="ShowOnlyValue" value="Open" />

Below are explanations for these optional settings:

Optional Subtitle Text (line 2)

If you wish to include text under your Small Group Finder title, you can create an HTML special content file and include the desired text. Then use the Subtitle-Content setting to point to the HTML file.

Include Only Specified Involvement Types (line 5)

To include only involvements of a specified Involvement Type in the group finder, include the setting OrgTypes with a value of the desire Involvement Type. For example, to include only groups of the type Community Groups, give the setting the value Community Groups. If multiple involvement types are entered, separate them with commas.


When the OrgTypes setting is used, it overrides the divisionid setting. All qualifying groups with the specified involvement type(s) are included in the finder, even if they are not in a division specified in the divisionid setting.

Define How Groups Are Sorted (line 8)

You can specify a particular extra value field to sort the groups in the finder. For example, if you give this setting the value SGF:Neighborhood, the groups will be sorted alphabetically by the values in the SGF:Neighborhood extra value.

Exclude Groups from the Finder (lines 12-13)

You may want to exclude certain groups in the specified division from appearing in the Small Group Finder. A group might be full, for example, or only intended for participants that you invite. You can use the ShowOnly… settings to define an additional criterion for inclusion in the group finder. Omit these lines if you will not use this feature.


The extra value name (“Status”) used in the example code above is only an example. You can name this whatever you like, but the name you enter in the XML file must exactly match the name of the extra value you have created, including any prefix (such as “SGF:” if you are using that prefix for all your Small Group Finder extra values).

Step 3

After you paste the text into the new text file, there are changes you will need to make. These are listed below.

  • Enter the Division ID # inside the quotation marks in line 2 after divisionid=. If you are using multiple Divisions, comma-separate them without a space. Example: divisionid="23,24"

  • On that same line, enter the Layout Name inside the quotation marks after layout=, only if you named your file something other than SGF-Layout.

  • The same thing is true for the shell. Enter the Shell Name inside the quotation marks after shell=, only if you named your file something other than SGF-Shell.

Step 4

The filters are the drop downs that will display on the finder, if you added Ad Hoc Extra Values with the prefix SGF: on each of the Organizations. We include some basic filters in the above text. The order in which you see these in the XML file, is the order in which they will display on the finder. You can cut and paste to change the order. Notice that all of these are set as locked=false. If you want a filter that cannot be changed, you can set it to true. You may want to contact support for help with that and to learn more about how that works.

Example: <SGFFilter name=”SGF:Gender” title=”Gender” locked=”false” lockedvalue=”” />

  • In this example, we have an Extra Value named SGF:Gender on each organization, with values on each org are either Male, Female, or Coed. The title is what will display as the title / label of the drop down. the name and the title do not have to be the same. However, the name must match exactly with the Extra Value on the orgs.

  • If your Extra Values are different, just edit the name and title. If you have more Extra Values that you want to use for filters, just copy one of those entire lines of text and paste if below one of the others. Then edit the name and title.

  • If you are not using filters, just remove the name and title from one link and leave it there as a template, in case you want to use them in the future. Then delete the other lines of text that begin with <SGFFilter.

Step 5

There are several lines of text for Settings.

  • The Submit Text is the text on the button they will click to filter for a group. You can rename it from Find Groups to Click Here or whatever you like. It just needs to be fairly short.

  • Show Headers can be set either true or false, depending on whether or not you want to display this text at the very top of the page: Select Group Options, and Search Results - Group(s) Found.

  • Text Size can be increased or decreased, and affects all the text on the page.

  • The other settings relate to fonts and colors. If you know HTML you can edit those as needed.

Step 6

After making all the edits listed above, click Save Content.

Check Out your Small Group Finder

This is the URL you will use

This is also the link you will post on your website. Be sure to replace YOURCHURCH with the name of your church as it appears in your TouchPoint URL. Also, if your XML file is named something other than Main, be sure to use that in place of Main.

If you created multiple XML files in order to post different finders on specific websites (such as Adults, Students) you would name each XML file something different, but the name must still begin with SGF- and have the .xml extension.

The name you use is the name that goes at the end of the URL.


The name that you use in the URL after /Index/, does not include SGF- nor .xml.

Latest Update


Added Caution text at end of Step 2.