Tip of the Week November 6, 2017

Use the Date of Last Activity field to see when a volunteer served last

Volgistics makes it easy to see the last date a volunteer served with the Date of Last Activity field recorded in the Statistics box on the Core tab of the volunteer record. You enable this field to be shown by following these steps:

  1. Select Setup from the menu.
  2. Expand the ‘Other options’ link.
  3. Select ‘Statistics’.
  4. Check the ‘Date of last activity’ checkbox in the ‘Statistics’ box.
  5. Click the ‘Save’ button.

The Date of Last Activity field is based on the last service entry recorded on the Service tab of the volunteer record.

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Tip of the Week October 30, 2017

Spread holiday cheer with the VicTouch Greeting Cards feature.

If your organization uses the VicTouch module, you can create holiday cards which will be displayed when volunteers sign-in. The setup options allow you to customize a heading and message, and choose a date range for when the cards will be shown. You can use the graphics that are included, or upload a unique image for your organization. Images can be in GIF, JPG or PNG file formats and must be under 48 kb in size.

You can setup two different holiday cards at a time with different date ranges selected for delivery. The holiday cards can be changed during the year to send greetings for all of the holidays your organization wants to acknowledge. The Greeting Cards feature also allows you to setup birthday and start date anniversary cards that will automatically be shown to volunteers when their special day arrives.

Help topic 2326 has more information on the Greeting Cards feature. See Help topic 2327 for instructions on how to setup your account’s VicTouch greeting cards.

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Tip of the Week October 23, 2017

Make Assignments inactive to remove them from view while keeping service information

There may be times when your organization no longer needs to track an Assignment record. In these cases, the Assignment can be deleted—but this will also delete the Assignment details from volunteer service records. The date and hours will remain for the service entry, but the Assignment information will no longer be associated with the records.

To prevent this, we suggest making the Assignment inactive instead of deleting it. This will remove the Assignment from view (unless the “Include Inactive Assignments” checkbox is marked), while still retaining the Assignment details on the volunteer’s record. You can find information about how to make an Assignment inactive in Help topic 2537.

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Tip of the Week October 16, 2017

Mark batches of Awards as presented at the same time using Tickler feature

If your organization uses Awards as a way to recognize your volunteers, you may have certain dates when you present the awards to your volunteers, such as a recognition banquet, awards ceremony, or the end of your fiscal year.

In this case, you can quickly enter the same date for an entire group of volunteers who are eligible by using the Tickler feature in your account. Here is how to do this:

  1. Select ‘Tickler’ from the menu.

  2. Check the Award(s) you want to mark as presented.

  3. Click the ‘Go’ button.

  4. Check the checkbox in the Item column for the Awards you want to record the date for.

  5. In the box at the bottom of the column, enter the date you want the Awards to show as being presented

  6. Click the ‘Save’ button.

The date you entered will automatically be recorded on the History tab of the volunteer records.

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Tip of the Week October 9, 2017

Use the Volgistics Store to get invoices and receipts for payments

Each Volgistics account has a secure Volgistics Store where users can manage a variety of needs for their account such as arranging payments, creating invoices, and adjusting their service level. The Store can be accessed by System Operators with the Administrator user level and by anyone else who has the accounting access code for the account.

The following help topics explain how to do common tasks in the Store:

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Tip of the Week October 2, 2017

How to Stop Automatic Reports from Printing

Volgistics has a feature that can be setup so that certain reports will automatically process during the overnight maintenance cycle. These reports can be delivered to your account’s In Box tab on a certain day each week, or on a certain date each month. There may be times, however, when automatic reports have been setup by a System Operator who is no longer with your organization. Or it may be that an automatic report served a purpose once, but it is no longer necessary.

In these cases, the automatic reports just take up space and clutter the In Box tab of your Volgistics Mailbox, and you may not know how to find or stop them. To address this, Help topic 1311 explains “How to Stop Automatic Reports.”

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Tip of the Week September 25, 2017

Use the Contacts tab to record secondary contacts for group records

If your organization uses group records, you can record the main contact’s name, address, phone number, and email on the Core tab of the group record. However, there may be times when you need to record additional contacts. In this case, you can create a new contact Kind and track these additional contacts on the Contacts tab of the group’s record.

You will not be able to send email messages from Volgistics directly to these contacts. However, you could create custom Address Label Reports with the addresses of the additional contacts for your group records. The contact information could also be included in reports such as the Volunteer Contacts List so the information can be exported from the system.

You can find directions on how to create additional group contact records in Help topic 1990.

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Tip of the Week September 18, 2017

Include volunteer names on ‘child’ records in Excel reports

In databases, a ‘child’ record is a piece of information that relates back to one particular record.

Because Excel Spreadsheet reports are designed to be able to contain a very large amount of detailed volunteer information such as service entries and checklist dates, it is necessary to create different worksheets within the Excel workbook to hold all of this information. Help topic 2165 explains more about how this works. By default, these ‘child’ records relate back to the ‘parent’ record using the volunteer number.

However, if this is confusing, you can change the report to use the volunteer’s name in place of the volunteer number. To do this, select “Include volunteer names in ‘child’ records” on the Options tab when you create the Excel report.

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TLS 1.2 Required After October 15, 2017

This blog post is about a security update that is on the horizon for Volgistics. Before we tell you about the update, though, a little background information is in order. So hang on and we’ll get to the information you need in a little bit. (If you’re the tech savvy type and want to jump ahead, go to the What’s Going to Happen? and Extra Considerations for VicNet and VicTouch sections below).

Have you ever wondered why some websites have a little padlock icon in the URL address? Basically, the lock shows that the website you’re connecting with is secure. One thing this means is that the information you send to the website, and receive back, is encrypted during transit. This means even if it is intercepted, it will be a bunch of meaningless gobbledegook to the people who grabbed it.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the offshoot of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and is one of the methods used to encrypt your information so it is safe as it travels back and forth over the Internet. As with anything valuable, the hackers are always trying to find vulnerabilities in TLS so that they can gain access to your information. Because of this, new versions of TLS are released from time to time as vulnerabilities are exposed in the old versions. This ensures that your information is still safe as long as the newer versions are used.

What’s Going to Happen?

Which brings us to what this blog post is about! Experts have found vulnerabilities in TLS versions 1.0 (1999) and 1.1 (2006) and these vulnerabilities mean that hackers could intercept your information if you do not use a more recent version. To prevent this, Volgistics will require TLS 1.2 for connections to the system after October 15, 2017.

For the vast majority of Volgistics account holders, this will not require any action because most likely you are using an up-to-date web browser that has TLS 1.2 enabled. Or, if action is required, it will be minor such as updating to a new version of your web browser, or making a change to the browser’s settings. If you have any doubts, a quick visit to https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html will let you know if you have TLS version 1.2. Here is how the section of the website that has to do with TLS will look if everything is okay:

If you visit the website and TLS 1.2 does not show, the easiest fix is to contact your IT team if you have that luxury. If you do not have an IT team, send us an inquiry telling us 1) the device you’re using (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, etc.), 2) the operating system on the device, and 3) the web browser with the version number you’re using. With this information, we will be able to let you know what to do to be ready for the change.

Extra Considerations for VicNet and VicTouch.

Now that you’ve made sure that you will still be able to access the system, you should consider the VicNet and VicTouch modules if you use these.

VicNet. The VicNet module is designed to give volunteers and Coordinators access to the system from computers and devices with Internet access. Checking if the change will cause any issues here will be difficult because you do not know what computers or devices the volunteers and Coordinators are using. In most cases, the change should not cause a problem for VicNet access, or if it does, simple updates to the device or web browser should correct the issue.

The information Volgistics has on VicNet use shows that there are a small percentage of users who still have the Windows XP operating system, or an Android tablet with an older operating system (version 4.4 (KitKat) or older). These are the people who are most likely to report that they can not access VicNet. These users will need to use the Chrome or Firefox web browsers, or upgrade their equipment, in order to access VicNet. From the usage information we have gathered, not many VicNet users will be impacted so it may be easiest to wait to see if users report a problem and then let them know what they’ll need to do.

VicTouch. The VicTouch module is designed to be used as a sign-in station where volunteers clock-in and clock-out when they arrive and depart. You can update this area before October 15, 2017 so you can be ready for the change ahead of time. If you have an IT department available, the easiest approach will be to contact them and let them know that support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will be deprecated as of October 15th. They should be able to check if the computers or tablets you use for your VicTouch stations can connect with TLS 1.2. If you do not have an IT team available, the information below will be useful.

From the analytical information we have, the most affected VicTouch connections will be from Android tablets with version 4.4 (or older) operating systems. Android referred to version 4.4 as KitKat, if this helps. The quickest way to see if your device will allow connections with TLS 1.2 is to exit VicTouch and then visit https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/viewMyClient.html. You can see an example of how a good connection looks in the What’s Going to Happen? section above.

If you visit the website and it shows you do not have the ability to use TLS 1.2, try using Chrome or Firefox as the web browser instead of the Android browser that comes pre-installed on the tablet. If Chrome or Firefox is not currently installed on the tablet, you will need to download them from the app store.

If you are not able to use Chrome or Firefox to connect with TLS 1.2 on the computer or device you have, you will need to upgrade your equipment in order to connect with Volgistics after October 15, 2017.

Please submit a help inquiry if you have any questions about the requirement to connect with TLS 1.2, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

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Tip of the Week September 11, 2017

Track Assignments Automatically

In Volgistics, a volunteer’s Role in an assignment shows their relationship to the assignment. For example, a Role of Assigned means that the volunteer is actively serving while a Role of Substitute might mean the volunteer is available to fill in for other volunteers in that assignment. The volunteer’s Service tab shows the Role they have in assignments.

You can optionally setup the system to automatically add the Role of Assigned to a volunteer’s record whenever the volunteer is scheduled or receives service in an assignment. To do this:

  1. Select Setup from the menu.

  2. Expand the ‘Assignment tracking’ link.

  3. Select ‘Ground rules’.

  4. Check the box by ‘Record assignments automatically’.

  5. Click the Save button to keep your selections.

Help topic 2265 explains more about the settings for automatic assignment tracking.

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