Question Branching: Add a Branched Group

Written by Lauren Neulinger

Last published at: June 29th, 2021

Question branching is available in the Standard license and above. Please reach out to the Support team (support@foundant.com) or your CSM to enable this feature in your site.

The question branching feature allows you to show a specific question group to applicants if their response to a previous question, or combination of questions, triggers it to show. 

For example, you might need to ask additional questions if an applicant selects a specific list item in a question (e.g. a certain program area or extracurricular activity). You can build those additional questions in a separate question group, and configure question branching rules to tell the system when to show that group.

This article covers form level branching. If you have access to Advanced (process level) branching as well (with an Advanced or Standard +2 license), additional information is available here: Advanced Question Branching


Initial Steps and Add a Rule

  1. If you haven't already done so on the form, add the question(s) that you'll use to build question branching rules.
    • An applicant's responses to these questions will determine whether or not they'll see the branched group on their form.
    • In this example, we plan to build rules based on the 501c3, County Served, and Program Area questions, which have already been built on the form below.
  2. Click Add New Group to add a new question group.
  3. Give the group a name, check the box for "Show this Group based on Question Branching Rules," then click Save Group.
  4. Click the pencil icon to edit the question group you just added. This is where you'll configure the rules determining when this group should appear.
  5. Click Add AND Rule.
  6. Select the form question, the comparator, and enter or select a value. 
    • In the example below, we selected the "Is your organization designated as a 501c3?" question, the "Equal To" comparator, and selected "Yes" as the value. An applicant must select "Yes" as their response to this question in order for the rule to be true.  
  7. Click Add Rule.
  8. This branched group would now appear if the first rule is true. 
    • If this is the only rule you need to build, click Save Group and move to the Final Steps section of instructions.
    • If you need to build additional rules, continue to the other sections of instructions.

Add Additional Rules

These instructions continue from the Initial Steps and Add a Rule section.

  1. Click Add AND Rule again and add another rule, the same way you added the first.
  2. Now the first and second rules must be true in order for this branched group to appear. In the example below, an applicant must select Yes as their response to the 501c3 question and Gallatin as their response to the County Served question in order to see the branched group.
    • If only one rule needs to be true, click the pencil icon to edit the rule group.
      • Select OR as the operator, then click Update Rule Group. In this example, this would mean that an applicant would see the branched group if either (or both) rules were true.
  3. Continue adding additional rules as needed, click Save Group when you're done, then move to the Final Steps section of instructions.
    • The Add a New Rule Group section of instructions steps you through adding a subgroup of rules. Continue to that section if you need to account for a rule with multiple acceptable values. 

Add a New Rule Group

These instructions continue from the Initial Steps and Add a Rule section.

  1. If you have one or more stand-alone rules, but also need to add a rule with multiple acceptable values, add a new rule group.
  2. Click Add AND/OR Rule Group.
  3. Give the rule group a name, select the OR operator, then click Add Rule Group.
  4. Click Add OR Rule and add the first rule within the group.
  5. Add as many additional rules to this group as needed by clicking Add OR Rule again.
  6. The rules within this subgroup are considered together. 
    • In the example below, an applicant could select either Arts or Community Development as their response to the Program Area question in order for this rule to be true.
  7. Click Save Group, then continue to the Final Steps section of instructions.

Final Steps

  1. Now that you've configured the rules to determine when the branched group should appear, the final step is to add questions to the branched group.
    • If you make questions required within this group, they'll only be required for applicants who see this branched group on their form. 
  2. After building a branched group, we recommend testing your branching rules. To do so, click Preview at the top of the page while editing the form. 
  3. Try filling out the questions used in the branching rules in different combinations to make sure your rules work as expected. 
    • The branched group should appear and disappear as you expect according to the rules you built.
    • If needed, click the name of the form to edit it again.
      • Then click the pencil icon next to the branched group to edit the rules.


For additional step-by-step guidance:

The following walk-thru is available in the WalkMe Help Menu: 

  • Add a Branched Group

Watch this video to learn how in form question branching can improve your grantmaking by simplifying the applicant experience.