Finding a volunteer's application date and/or when the record was added to your database.
If you use online application forms to receive information from prospective volunteers, you may sometimes need to know when a volunteer submitted their application. There is not a field in Volgistics that tracks this exact date because application information is usually routed to the Applications tab of your Mailbox until you process the application.
However, you can review your account's Event Log if you need to find the exact date an applicant submitted an application. The log will show an Event called "Application Submitted" and the Description column will list the applicant's name. In many cases, you can speed up the search if you're looking for a particular name by using the Find feature. You can usually bring this up by holding down the "CTRL" key on your keyboard while pressing the "F" key.
Once an application is received into your database, Volgistics tracks the date it was received by using the "Date Entered" field. You can find this field in the Dates box on the History tab of each volunteer record. It is also available on most reports that have volunteer information. Please note, if the record was added to your database in some other way than receiving an application form, the "Date Entered" field will reflect the date the record was created by the other method.
Give access to the Volgistics Store without giving access to your volunteer database.
In many organizations, payment and billing is taken care of by a person in a department outside of volunteer services. In these cases, you can provide them with access to the Volgistics Store for your account without giving access to the volunteer database used to manage your records. Access to the Store allows a person to perform operations such as:
To allow access to the Store, simply provide your account's nine digit Volgistics account number, as well as the Accounting Access Code for your account. If you have access to the Setup page, you can find the Accounting Access Code by following these steps:
- Select Setup from the Menu.
- Expand the "System operators" link.
- Select "Accounting operator."
View a sent email message to see recipients
Volgistics keeps a list of email messages received on the History tab of each volunteer's record. While this is useful if you know the names of the volunteers who received a message, there are times when you may not remember this information. In these cases, you can usually find recipients by looking at the sent email message. To do this:
- Select Mailbox from the Menu.
- Select the "Out Box" tab.
- Click the subject of the sent message.
The names of people the message was sent to will appear under "Recipients". People who were included on the list to receive the message, but to whom it was not sent, will appear with their names crossed through. A volunteer may not have had the message sent to them if they do not have an email address on file, or if they have an invalid email address, or if they had opted-out the type of message that was sent.
There are some circumstances when recipients will not appear in this list. For example, if you're a Site Level Operator you will not see any recipients. Volunteers will also not be listed here if they have been archived or deleted.
National Volunteer Week Approaching
National Volunteer Week is coming up fast and we wanted to make sure you are aware of it. National Volunteer Week was established to inspire people to volunteer to make their communities a better place, to recognize your current volunteers, and to encourage volunteerism in general. The U.S. and Canada will celebrate National Volunteer Week this year from April 23-29, 2017. Australia's volunteer week is scheduled for 8-14 May 2017 and the United Kingdom's is scheduled for 1-7 June 2017.
There are many resources available on the web to help you brainstorm ideas on how to celebrate volunteer week for your organization. One resource for ideas can be found here.
Receive self-scheduling alerts by email as a System Operator
Self-scheduling alerts can be setup on the Schedule 'Rules' tab of each Assignment record to send notifications whenever a volunteer adds or removes themselves from that Assignment's Schedule. These notifications can be sent to system operators via the Volgistics Mailbox and/or to coordinators by email. This ensures that staff and supervisors are made aware of any schedule changes that may have occurred to their Assignments' schedules.
However, there may be times when a system operator would prefer receive these notifications by email. This can be arranged by creating a coordinator record for that system operator, giving the coordinator that operator's email address, and then assigning that coordinator to the Assignment record(s) that they'd like to receive notifications for. The operator will then be able to receive self-scheduling notifications that are sent by email to the Assignment's coordinators.
If your Volgistics Account uses text messaging, an operator can even configure their Coordinator record to receive these alerts by text message. This option will be available on the 'Account' tab of that Coordinator's VicNet access.
Include archived volunteers in Excel spreadsheet reports
Your Volgistics database is divided into archived and non-archived sections. The Archive is designed for long term storage of inactive volunteers. In your account's service level, archived records cost significantly less because they have more limited functionality than non-archived records. For example, archived volunteers cannot be tagged or scheduled, access VicNet or VicTouch, or receive email or text messages, and will not appear on birthday lists.
Another important difference is that archived volunteer information is not available on most reports in Volgistics. Archived records will still be included on Service Summary and Service Details reports, and can optionally be included in Statistics and Excel spreadsheet reports. To print a list of archived record information, the best option is to use a custom Excel Spreadsheet report and include the archived records on the Options tab. You can learn more in Help topic 1997.
Make sure volunteers at your domain receive your email messages
In the past when an email message was sent from your account, messages were always sent from our system on your behalf using your email address as the 'From' address. However, with more mail systems introducing more sophisticated email authentication protocols, like SPF and DMARC, it has become increasingly likely that these messages might be mistaken as 'spoofing'. As a result, many of these messages – particularly those sent to volunteers and coordinators who have email addresses at your organization's own domain – could be rejected as spam or blocked altogether.
To try to work around these authentication protocols, Volgistics has added a new option for sending email. This will cause the system to use 'VolunteerMail@volgistics.com' as the "From" address rather than your email address. However, recipients will still see the sender's name on the message and their replies will still be sent to the appropriate 'Reply-to' address, so the majority of recipients won't even notice this change. To enable this option:
- Choose Setup from the Menu.
- Expand the Messages link.
- Click "Ground rules".
- Under 'From address' select "Use VolunteerMail@volgistics.com as the from address (recommended)".
- Click the Save button to save your changes.
After making this change, messages you send – particularly to volunteers at your own domain –will be far less likely to trigger spoofing or fraud detection checks, and will be much more reliable. You can learn more in Help topic 1200.
Modify Schedule Statistics reports to cover different time periods
One of the stock Schedule Reports available in Volgistics is the Schedule Statistics (Stock) report. This report is useful because it allows you to quickly see how many openings are filled and un-filled for each assignment. Plus you can get an unduplicated volunteer count for how many volunteers are scheduled for the assignment.
By default, this report is setup to cover a one month time period that you select. However, you can modify the report to cover weekly or daily time periods instead. To do this:
- Select Print from the Menu.
- Expand the Schedule link.
- Select "Schedule statistics (stock)."
- Click the "Clone it" button.
This "spins off" a copy of the report with the same settings as the stock report. You can change the settings on the Options tab to cover a different time period. You can also save the modified report so you do not need to create it again.
Learn terminology and definitions in the Volgistics Glossary
Volgistics uses specific terminology regarding the different aspects of your account. It can sometimes be confusing if you do not know what a specific term means. For example, there is a distinct difference between an 'Account' and a 'Volunteer record', or a 'Coordinator' and a 'System Operator', or a 'Schedule Entry' and an 'Opening'. For this reason, Volgistics offers a Glossary of Volgistics Terminology which defines each term and offers a helpful resource when using the system.
Using and understanding the correct terminology for Volgistics' items and features can help keep all of your staff on the same page and encourage clarity in training, communication, instructions, and support. The Glossary can be accessed by clicking the 'Glossary' link which appears in the upper-right corner above any Volgistics Help Topic page.
Edit a volunteer's sign-in time for VicTouch
If your organization uses the VicTouch module, there may be times when volunteers arrive for duty and begin serving without remembering to sign-in. If this occurs and you find out before the volunteer leaves, you can easily correct this.
First, have the volunteer sign-in through VicTouch. If it is not practical to have the volunteer leave their station to sign-in, you can sign-in for them if you know their PIN. This can be done at the VicTouch station or at your own computer. Our blog explains how you can briefly start VicTouch to do things such as sign-in for a volunteer.
Once the volunteer is signed-in, bring up the Who's Here page in your Volgistics account. You can click the Edit link to change a volunteer's "Time in" to the time that they actually arrived. You can learn more in Help topic 2307.