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.
Track the total number of shifts or visits volunteers serve
Organizations may want to track how many times their volunteers have served, rather than just how many hours they've served. Volgistics makes this possible with Service Measures. These are an ideal feature for recording special types of service performed, and can be easily configured to keep track of the number of 'Shifts' or 'Visits' that volunteers complete.
To setup a Service Measure to keep track of 'Shifts' or 'Visits', you'll start by selecting 'Setup', then choosing 'Service tracking', and clicking 'Service measures'. Select any available measure to get started. Enter a name (such as "Shifts" or "Visits"), keep the Format set to 'Whole number (0)', enter a 'Default value' of "1", and then click the 'Save' button. Once you've done this, re-select the Service Measure, click the "Make default value retroactive" button, and then click 'OK'.
This will update all existing service entries and setup all future service entries to count as "1" Shift or Visit. You can then include this data in many types of custom reports, such as custom Service Summary Reports or Service Details Reports, to obtain information on not just how many hours volunteers have served, but how many shifts or visits they have served.
Find Volgistics W-9 form online
Many organizations are required to have an up-to-date W-9 form from companies that they do business with. For convenience, we update our W-9 form regularly and you can access it online. This allows you to save the W-9 form as a PDF document, or print a copy of the form without downloading it.
Please go to the following URL address if you need a copy of our current W-9 form:
Review the basics in the Volgistics Getting Started Guide
For new or prospective Volgistics users, or for experienced users who would like to freshen up on the core settings and features of their account, Volgistics offers a comprehensive Getting Started Guide. This guide provides an easy-to-navigate tour of the system and covers numerous introductory topics explaining fundamental settings and features.
The Getting Started Guide can be a valuable resource for organizations that are planning or beginning to use Volgistics, or who would like a simple way to familiarize new employees with using and making the most of its capabilities.
Message history is available on History tab of volunteer record
When you use Volgistics' features to send email, Vic mail, or text messages to volunteers, a record of the messages sent to each volunteer is kept on his or her History tab. You can view this record to see if the message shows as being successfully delivered, or as failing.
Volgistics initially shows the message with a green icon that means that no errors have been received for the message. If a delivery failure notification is received from the recipient's email or cell phone provider, the color of the icon will change to red and the reason for the failure will appear if you hover over the icon with your mouse pointer.
In addition to custom messages you send, this feature also tracks automatic email and text messages, such as schedule reminders and VicNet password messages. You can learn more about message tracking in Help topic 2064.
Find a volunteer's last access to VicNet
If you use the VicNet module to allow volunteers to login to the secure portal to do things such as update their contact information, download forms, receive messages, view or record service, and more, you may sometimes need to see when a volunteer signed into the module last. You can do this by following these steps:
- Select Volunteers from the Menu.
- Find the volunteer record you need.
- Click on the Vic tab of the record.
The date the volunteer last signed-in will appear after "Last access was." If the volunteer has never signed-in to the module, this will show "(never)" instead of a date. You can also add this field to the list that appears when you select Volunteers from the menu. You can find directions on how to do this in Help topic 1202.