Tip of the Week June 20, 2016

Keep billing contact's email address up-to-date to ensure account information is received

In many organizations, the person responsible for paying the account's service fees and managing invoices and receipts may not actually be an account Administrator. To allow this person to receive billing notices, Volgistics provides a separate email address for the account's billing contact. This email address can only be configured via the secure Volgistics Store, so there is not a way for the address to be updated by restricted system operators or the Volgistics Team.

However, each account's Administrator, or a person with the Accounting Access Code for the account, can sign into the Store and easily update the billing contact's email address. Help topic 1019 has step-by-step directions on how to do this.

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Tip of the Week June 13, 2016

Post documents for volunteers to download on VicNet

If your organization uses the VicNet module, you can post documents on the Home tab for volunteers to download and print from their home computers. These could be informational files such as volunteer newsletters or manuals. Or they could be items you need volunteers to complete and return such as background check forms or parking pass applications.

By placing these on VicNet, you can avoid making the documents available to everyone on the Internet because only your volunteers can login to VicNet. Another advantage is that you can complete the steps yourself without requiring your web site designer to place a link on your organization's web site. You can add documents to the Home tab of VicNet by uploading those documents to your Mailbox Documents Tab and then setting up a Document Link Box for the file.

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Tip of the Week June 06, 2016

Clean up your report list by deleting multiple reports at a time

As you or other system operators use Volgistics' reporting features, your 'Print' page may accumulate a large number of custom reports. Some of these may be automatic reports or other useful reports that will be used again in the future, while others may have been created just for one-time use. Deleting reports that you have no further need of can be a great way to keep your 'Print' page navigable and concise so that users can quickly find the custom reports they're looking for.

You can delete one report by selecting it from the 'Print' page and clicking the 'Delete it' button, but if you'd like to delete multiple reports at a time you can use the 'Delete multiple reports' button located at the bottom of the 'Print' page. This will generate a dialog box allowing you to check all of the reports you'd like to delete, and to delete them all at once.

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Tip of the Week May 30, 2016

Use VicTouch Greeting Cards as Event Reminders

If your organization uses the VicTouch module and you have an event coming up that you want volunteers to remember, consider using a VicTouch Greeting Card. Volunteers will see the reminder each time they login during the time period you select. Sending a reminder message through Vic Mail only causes the message to appear once for each volunteer.

The first thing to do for this is to make a graphic for the reminder. This must meet the following requirements:

  • Format: GIF, JPG or PNG

  • Height: 600 pixels or less

  • Width: 300 pixels or less

  • Size: 48 kb or less

After you have your graphic, setup the "Holiday card (1)" or the "Holiday card (2)" as your reminder. Help topic 2327 shows how to do this. These work great for reminding volunteers about upcoming events such as a deadline for updating their parking pass, service opportunities, meetings, classes, recognition banquets, or other community events.

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Tip of the Week May 23, 2016

Customize which fields show on the Volunteers Page

By default, the Volunteer List page shows the Name, Tag, Group name, Street, City and Status fields in new trial accounts. However, you can customize the fields that are shown here to make this page more usable for your organization. To do this, you will need access to the Setup page. Help topic 1202 provides instructions on how to customize these selections.

You may wish to avoid selecting too many fields because this will make the page hard to read if your monitor isn't wide enough to show all the columns. When using the Volunteers Page features, you can click on any of the column headings to sort by the column of your choice. You can also use the Search bars under the headings in each column to filter the Volunteer List you've generated based on specific field criteria. Defaults will be restored when you leave the page.

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Tip of the Week May 16, 2016

Fiscal Year, Calendar Year, and YTD Statistics

Your organization may have a Fiscal Year (also sometimes called a Budgetary or Financial Year) that differs from a standard Calendar Year. While a Calendar Year is measured from January 1st to December 31st each year, a Fiscal Year may begin on the first day of any specific month, and end on the last day of the preceding month in the following year.

Setting your Volgistics Fiscal Year is important to ensure the accuracy of Statistics, Service Summary Reports, and Award criteria in your Volgistics Account. In Volgistics, "YTD" statistics always refer to your organizations' Fiscal Year-To-Date, or the elapsed period in your current Fiscal Year. Such statistics are used for award and report ranges, and appear on the 'Core' tab of volunteer records, the 'My Service History' tab of VicNet, and the 'View my service' page of VicTouch.

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Tip of the Week May 9, 2016

Helpful hints for using Tags

The Tags feature in Volgistics provides a useful way to temporarily mark multiple volunteer records so you can perform tasks for all of these records at once. Help topic 2137 explains more about what tasks you can perform for tagged records.

Here are some helpful things to keep in mind when using the Tags feature:

  • Tags only stay in place during the operator's current session or until they are cleared. If you need to mark records so you can identify them when you log in again, use the Flag feature as shown in Help topic 2140.

  • Each operator in your account will only see records that he or she tags. If another operator at your organization is logged in at the same time, his or her tags will not show on your computer—and vice versa.

  • Tags are cumulative for your session unless they are cleared. For example, if you tag 8 records and perform a task, and then tag 5 more records without clearing your tags, the next task you perform for tagged records will be made on 13 records.

  • You can clear tags by un-checking the box on individual records, or you can clear all tags at once by clicking the 'Clear all tags' button found under Tags on the menu.

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Improve Security by Keeping Your OS and Web Browser Up-to-Date – Support for IE 7, 8, & 9 is Ending

Out dated operating systems (OS) and web browsers do not contain the lastest security updates, which may put your data at risk. Support for Internet Explorer 7, 8, & 9 is ending. Please see the blog post for more information.

The Volgistics system is automatically updated to include the latest new features and important security updates so you never need to worry about Volgistics being out-of-date. However, if your web browser (which in turn uses your operating system) is not up-to-date, your system may be at risk.

As new threats are discovered, web browsers and operating systems (OS) are continually updated to protect users. But, if you do not update regularly, you’re still vulnerable! The risk in this case is not limited to Volgistics, but extends to any Internet activity you engage in such as online banking or shopping.

The best course of action is to enable automatic updates for your OS and web browser. If you’re not able to use automatic updates for your web browser, you can find a handy resource to make regular updates here. You will need to use local resources to learn about making updates to your OS.

These simple precautions will protect the vast majority of Volgistics customers. However, if you’re still using Windows XP or Vista as your OS, things are much more complicated because of Microsoft’s lifecycle for support. Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April of 2014 and support for older versions of Internet Explorer in January 2016. Microsoft will end support for Windows Vista in April of 2017.

Because Windows XP uses Internet Explorer 7 and 8, and there will be increasing security vulnerabilities due to Microsoft dropping support, Volgistics will be ending support for these browsers in the near future. This means that if you’re currently using Windows XP, you will need to use a supported OS in order to access Volgistics instead. This includes access by System Operators, access by volunteers and Coordinators through VicNet, and the volunteer sign-in stations that run VicTouch.

Later, Volgistics will end support for Internet Explorer 9 so Windows Vista users will need to switch to a supported OS to access the system.

We understand that volunteer departments and not-for-profit organizations may have limited IT budgets and we empathize with any hardships that updating the OS on computers cause. However, as manufacturers such as Microsoft end support for older systems we are left with no choice but to end support also so your information is safe. If you have questions about the end of support for Internet Explorer, please submit a help inquiry and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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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.


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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