Tip of the Week May 21, 2018

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 14, 2018

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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Tip of the Week May 07, 2018

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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Tip of the Week April 30, 2018

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, and 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 23, 2018

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 16, 2018

National Volunteer Week (U.S. & Canada)

National Volunteer Week has arrived! 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. This week the U.S. and Canada are celebrating National Volunteer Week from April 15-21, 2018. Australia’s volunteer week is scheduled for 21-27 May 2018 and the United Kingdom’s is scheduled for 1-7 June 2018.

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.

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Tip of the Week April 09, 2018

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 itself in our blog.

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Tip of the Week April 02, 2018

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 26, 2018

See New Message notifications on the Welcome Page

Volgistics’ “Welcome Page” is a landing page—the first page 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 19, 2018

Link to web sites for volunteer records from within Volgistics

Volunteer records in Volgistics have a Web site field on the Core tab. On group records, this field can be used to record the organization’s web site. On individual volunteer records, you can record the volunteer’s personal web page or their page on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus.

When a valid URL address is recorded in this field, you can include a Visit link by the field. This link will take you directly to the web site entered in the field. If you’re already signed into your account, such as Facebook, the link provides an easy way to go to the volunteer’s page and do something like make a post on their timeline or send a private message.

If the Web site field is hidden or the Visit link is not enabled, you can change this by following these steps:

  1. Select Setup from the menu.
  2. Expand the Field options link.
  3. Select Core tab.
  4. Select Web site.

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