Tip of the Week May 2, 2016

Create clickable links to your Application Form from the Opportunity Directory

To create an HTML link that visitors to your Opportunity Directory can click on to navigate directly to a particular Application Form, you can enter your application form's URL as the 'Web site' for the Assignment records you advertise (so long as you're not already using your Assignments' 'Web site' field for other purposes). Since the Opportunity Directory doesn't include any native features for linking to application forms, this can be an effective workaround.

The 'Web site' field for your Assignment records can be found on the 'Assignment' tab. When you include Assignments' Web Site information on the Opportunity Directory, it will appear as a clickable hyperlink, allowing visitors to click on that link to be directed to that web site – in this case, a corresponding Online Volunteer Application Form.

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Updated Password Security Policies

As part of our commitment to the security of your volunteer data in Volgistics we will soon be making some changes to the way passwords can be saved and sent to volunteers, coordinators, and System Operators. These changes will be going into effect with our next update, planned for Friday, May 6. Before the changes are released, we wanted to let you know how this might change your processes within the system.

Changes we're making

After the change, Volgistics will no longer send passwords out to volunteers, coordinators, or System Operators. Instead, the system will send them a link they can use to set a new permanent password.

Password reset email

In addition, volunteers and coordinators will no longer be able to re-use their current password. When they update their password, they'll be required to enter something other than their current one.

On the Vic tab in a volunteer's record, you'll still be able to set a temporary password, but you can't send it to the volunteer. If you need to send something by email, you can send them a reset link.

Volunteer Vic Tab

Likewise, the Tags page will include the ability to set a temporary password for multiple volunteers, but won't actually send it to them. There will also be a new option to send a reset link to the tagged volunteers. They can use that link to set their own permanent password.

Tags page

Like before, if you set a temporary password for a volunteer or coordinator, it will overwrite their permanent password. So they'll need to use the temporary value you set in order to access the system.

If you send a password reset email, or if they request one using the 'Forget your password?' page, it will not change their current permanent password. So if they remember their password after getting the email, they can still use it to login without the need to set a new password. The reset links will also expire after 24 hours.

Changes you'll want to make

Volgistics uses a customizable message when sending volunteers and coordinators their VicNet passwords. In the past, a temporary password was inserted directly into the message. We recommend updating the wording here to make it clear that they'll need to click a link to set the password, since the password itself will no longer appear in the message. This message text is used when you send password reset links to your volunteers, and also when they request one using the 'Forget your password?' or 'Need a password?' links on the VicNet login page. To make this change:

  1. Choose Setup from the menu
  2. Select VicNet
  3. Click Ground rules
  4. Under "Password email" enter the text you would like for the top and bottom parts of the message. The password reset link will be inserted in between these parts.VicNet ground rules password email
  5. While you're here, take a look at the password strength rules just above this section. Requiring volunteers to use secure passwords is an important step to making sure their personal data is safe.VicNet password strength rules
  6. When you're finished, click the Save button to save your changes.

If you're in the habit of setting temporary passwords for new volunteers and sending them out by email, you won't be able to use quite the same process. In this case you could start sending the password reset links, allowing volunteers to set their own permanent password instead of using a temporary password. Or, you could set a temporary password for all of the volunteers at once and communicate this to them through another channel. For example, by including it in a volunteer handbook, or letting everyone know at an orientation session.

Questions?

If you have any questions about these password changes, or anything else in Volgistics, we're here for you! Just click Help from the menu or visit the Support page to send us an inquiry.

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Tip of the Week April 25, 2016

Protect your account with strong passwords

Data security is often at the forefront of the news today. We strive to make your Volgistics account secure behind the scenes, prevent unauthorized users from gaining access by using three-factor authentication for login, and security blocks to prevent repeated login attempts.

However, security experts feel that the greatest threat to security is the use of easy-to-guess passwords. Passwords such as the ones listed here make it easier for unauthorized users to gain access to your account. We encourage account Administrators to require strong passwords for System Operators. Experts recommend that passwords be at least 11 characters long. Click here for information on how to setup the password strength settings for your account.

Please note that if an unauthorized user does hack a password to gain access to one particular account, they will only have access to that account's information. The data in other accounts is not accessible. Similarly, if a volunteer's login information for VicNet is jeopardized, only that particular volunteer's information is available in the VicNet account.

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Tip of the Week April 18, 2016

Finding and recording volunteer absences

If your organization needs to keep track of when volunteers do not show up for scheduled assignments, Volgistics can help. The first step is to make sure all volunteer service for the date in question has been entered into the system. When this is done, you can create a Set to look for volunteers who were scheduled on a certain date, but who do not have any service recorded for that date. Help topic 2320 shows how to do this.

Once you identify the volunteers who were absent, you can use Volgistics' Service Measure feature to keep track of the date and assignment they were absent from. Help topic 2275 shows how to create, and use, a Service Measure to do this.

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Tip of the Week April 11, 2016

Volunteer & Assignment Matching

Volgistics' matching features for volunteers and assignments were recently revamped to make them more user-friendly and practical for regular use. Now, in lieu of categories or 'levels' of matching, volunteers are now considered as matching-or not matching-an assignment based on the criteria selected for that assignment record.

The revised matching features can be a great way to place volunteers in assignments based on specific requirements or qualifications they possess, helping service to be allocated efficiently. Matching can be used to find volunteers who fit the needs of particular service events or locations and can even be setup to determine eligibility for those assignments, automatically allowing volunteers to schedule themselves where they're a good fit. Help topic 2249 explains more about the new Volunteer & Assignment Matching features, and you can learn more about the update in the blog.

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Tip of the Week April 4, 2016

Add links to training videos, web pages, and more on the VicNet module.

If your organization uses the VicNet module you can place a link on the Home tab of VicNet to training materials the volunteers need. Volunteers can login and click the link to be taken to the web address that has the information. This allows you to post links to training sites for your volunteers, but not make these links available to the general public. Please note that there is not a way for the actual content of the web site (i.e. the training video, document, PowerPoint, etc.) to be hosted through Volgistics. You will need to host the material on your organization's web site, host it on a third party's site (such as Screencast or YouTube), or use an existing web site that already has the material in place.

The setup uses an image as the link to the URL address. Once you have an image to use, follow the process shown in Help topic 2288. It will work the same even though you're not setting up an advertisement. You can see an example of how this is used to link to the Volgistics' volunteer training videos in our Sample accounts.

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Tip of the Week March 28, 2016

See New Message notifications on the Welcome Page

Volgistics' "Welcome Page" is the landing page—the first page system operators will see when they log in. In addition to providing new feature messages, account statistics, birthday lists, and tips of the week (like this one) the Welcome Page will also include a 'Mail' section directing operators' attention to a variety of unread messages, alerts, and notifications, including:

  • New messages

  • Schedule alerts

  • Upload alerts

  • Download notifications

  • Pending applications

  • Unread help inquiries

New messages (such as reports), schedule alerts (for volunteer self-scheduling), as well as upload alerts and new download notifications can all be viewed on the Mailbox 'In Box' tab. Pending applications can be viewed on the Mailbox 'Applications' tab, and unread help inquiries can be viewed on the Mailbox 'Help E-Mail' tab. A quick glance at the 'Mail' section of the "Welcome" landing page can be a great way to keep an eye on any unread messages or notifications an operator may wish to quickly consult.

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Tip of the Week March 21, 2016

Spellcheck your entries and emails with browser add-ons

Because Volgistics is entirely web-based, you can use the features within your own web browser—such as built-in spell checking add-ons and plugins—to assist you in using Volgistics' tools for managing your volunteers. 'Spell checker' or 'Spell check' features can help spot and correct misspelled or mistyped words or phrases passively while you work, and can be a great resource when recording data, composing messages, and more.

Spell checker add-ons are included by default in many web browsers, but if your interface doesn't seem to offer one of these features you can obtain one easily and at no cost by performing an online search. Simply query 'spell checker download' along with the name (and, optionally, version) of your current web browser in your preferred search engine.

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Tip of the Week March 14, 2016

Volgistics has guides designed to help volunteers with the VicTouch and VicNet modules.

If your organization uses the VicTouch or VicNet modules, Volgistics offers guides and tutorials for your volunteers!

Help topic 1147 "How to Sign-in and Sign-out at VicTouch: A Brief Guide for Volunteers" has information for the VicTouch module. The direct link for this is:

https://www.volgistics.com/ex/Help.dll?ACT=21&HID=&TOPIC=1147

Help topic 1148 "How to use VicNet: A Brief Guide for Volunteers" has information for the VicNet module. The direct link for this is:

https://www.volgistics.com/ex/Help.dll?ACT=21&HID=&TOPIC=1148

Help topic 1215 "How to use VicNet Mobile: A Brief Guide for Volunteers" has information for the mobile view of VicNet. The direct link for this is:

https://www.volgistics.com/ex/Help.dll?ACT=21&HID=&TOPIC=1215

You can also print hard copies of these help topics to give out at volunteer orientations or trainings. Click the "Printable view" link at the bottom of any help topic to do this. Or, you can include direct links to the help topics in welcome email messages. You can find help on how to create and send personalized email messages in Help topics 2195 and 2103.

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Document Storage Is Now Available

Document Storage Is Now Available

We’ve been working hard to get the next phases of the VicDocs feature ready, and we’re pleased to announce that they are now available. You can go paperless by uploading and storing documents in a variety of popular file formats. Accepted file formats include PDF, DOC, XLS, TXT, JPG, PNG, and more!

Due to the increases in bandwidth, storage, and administrative costs, you will need to add VicDocs to your account’s service level in order to upload documents. We have tried to keep the increase in fees for VicDocs as small as possible.

Once VicDocs is part of your service level, you will be able to store up to 50 documents that are up to 10 MB in size for each volunteer, Coordinator, and Site, Place, and Assignment record in your account. Features are included for filtering documents to show just a particular document type, just documents uploaded in a certain date range, or just documents uploaded for a certain type of record.

You can learn more about the new VicDocs feature in the video below:

You can also find additional information in these help topics:

Help Topic 3019 – "VicDocs"
Help Topic 2547 – "Getting Started with VicDocs"

We hope you find VicDocs to be a great way to help your organization become more efficient by going paperless! As always, please feel free to submit a help inquiry if you have any questions.

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