Use the Date of Last Activity Field to See When a Volunteer Served Last

Tip of the Week November 11, 2019

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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Make Assignments Inactive to Remove Them from View While Keeping Service Information

Tip of the Week November 04, 2019

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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Spread Holiday Cheer with the VicTouch Greeting Cards Feature

Tip of the Week October 28, 2019

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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Stopping Automatic Reports

Tip of the Week October 14, 2019

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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New Volgistics Feature: Applications Tab Improvements

Volgistics Mailbox Update

The latest Volgistics release made a significant visual change to the Volgistics mailbox. When you open the mailbox you will no doubt notice the width has increased significantly.

This width increase is a result of functionality we added to the Applications tab of the mailbox for accounts that use our Site Level Access feature. Every tab of the mailbox is wider now, but only the Applications tab has changes to functionality.

Even if you do not use Site Level Access, we made several improvements on the Applications tab that may benefit you. And, for VicTouch users, we’ve added a feature that will show the current date and time on the screen. You can skip to a section of the blog post that interests you.

Headquarters and Site Level Access Enhancements on Applications Tab

Other Applications Tab Updates

New VicTouch Feature

Headquarters and Site Level Access Enhancements on Applications Tab

The Applications tab of the Volgistics mailbox allows organizations to audit prospective volunteer records when someone completes an online application form. Auditing is a way organizations can catch possible duplicate records, or just receive certain records such as those who filled out a specific application form. When an account uses Site Level Access, the Applications tab can show different applicants to different System Operators (or users).

If you’re not familiar with Volgistics’ Site Level Access feature, it is a feature used in situations such as a hospital that has multiple campuses, or a city that has multiple departments. Administrators can limit a System Operator’s view to one location (Site) and the volunteers who serve at the location. Other operators can access information from all Sites and volunteers. The operators who can see all the information in the account are referred to as Headquarters Operators, and operators who are limited to a Site (or pool of Sites) are called Site-Level Operators.

Headquarters Operators now have a Site column on the Applications tab that lists all the Sites the applicant indicated they are interested in serving at (the pending Sites). If the applicant selected more than two Sites, a More link appears. When the link is clicked, the other Sites the applicant selected show. Operators assigned to specific Site(s) will not see the Sites column because their view of the Applications tab only shows the applicants who indicated they were interested in the operator’s Site.

We’ve also given Headquarters Operators a useful tool to filter the Applications tab based on the applicant’s Site choices. In place of the All Sites box, Headquarters Operators now have a Site dropdown they can use to filter the Applications tab. Headquarters users can use the dropdown to filter the tab to show applications where the applicant selected any Site available, or just the applications where the applicant did not indicate a Site. They can also select to filter the tab to show just the applications for a specific Site.

With the update, Headquarters Operators now have the ability to receive applicants and add all of the pending Sites to the volunteer record, or they can choose to receive the applicant records without adding the Sites. If the Headquarters Operator chooses to add the Sites, the application will no longer show on the Applications tab for the Site-Level Operators. If the Headquarters Operator does not add the Sites, the applicant will still show on the Applications tab for Site-Level Operators. In this case, the Site-Level Operators still see the applicant on the Applications tab and the operator’s Site is added to the volunteer record if the operator receives the application into their Site’s database.

The changes to the Applications tab for Headquarters Operators make it simple for headquarters to review the pending applications for each Site. A Headquarters Operator can also quickly receive applications and add the Site(s) without taking additional steps. All they need to do after receiving the new records is notify the Site-Level Operators about the new applicants. Organizations who prefer to have the Site-Level Operators bring in their own applications are still free to do this.

The final change we made to the Applications tab for accounts using Site Level Access has to do with applications identified as a possible duplicate of a record already in the database. Here, the Site(s) the possible duplicate serves at show to make it easier to locate the possible duplicate record for review.

You can find more details about how application forms work with the Site Level Access feature in help topic 2127 “Site Level Access and Online Volunteer Application Forms.”

Other Applications Tab Updates

In addition to the Applications tab changes related to Site Level Access, we also made three other updates on the tab.

The first is when a pending record is on the Applications tab because it was imported by one of our conversion options, the Application column will show the record was imported into the account.

This makes it easier to identify and work with just a certain group of records. For example, an operator can click on the heading of the Application column to sort the Applications tab and group all of the imported records together.

The second update hides the columns and information on the Applications tab if an operator’s access rights hide the field. For example, if the Type field is set to hidden for Basic User level operators, these operators will not see the Type column when they select the Applications tab.

The final change has to do with the information that shows when someone submits an application identified as a possible duplicate. Here we added the possible duplicate’s number to make it easier to locate the record. We also cleaned up the formatting when fields for identifying information on the duplicate’s record are blank, or there is more than one possible duplicate in the database.

New VicTouch Feature

The last new feature in this release is that you can add the date and time to the VicTouch sign-in station’s display. This will add the day of the week, date, and time to the upper right corner of the screen on every page volunteers see after they put in their PIN.

To enable this, select Setup on your menu, expand VicTouch, and then select Ground Rules. Check the Display date & time box that shows under the font-related fields in the Appearance section then click the Save button.

You will need to shut down and restart VicTouch at each station you have setup for volunteer sign-ins. If you have the station set in kiosk mode, help topic 2283 shows how to shut VicTouch down.

We hope you find these new changes to the system useful! As always, we’d love to hear from you whether you have feedback or questions. Just select support on your menu to send an inquiry to the team.

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Keep Your Account’s Billing Procedures Accessible and Ready

Tip of the Week October 07, 2019

As renewal dates approach and/or administrative personnel change, it can be important to make sure that there are authorized staff handling the billing for your Volgistics account and that they are able to access the Store, receive billing notifications, and know how and when to plan future payments. Here are a few billing-related tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure the billing contact is up-to-date. Advance billing notices, billing confirmations, and other automated billing messages will be sent to the billing contact email address you set. Help topic 1019 explains more.
  2. Make sure the billing contact can access the Store. You can do this by making an administrator the billing contact, or providing the billing contact with your Accounting Access Code. Help topic 2143 explains more.
  3. Volgistics doesn’t generate order-invoices automatically. However, an authorized administrator or accounting operator for Volgistics account can create one at any time. Help topic 2071 explains more.
  4. Volgistics will never adjust your service level automatically. Creating and paying an invoice for a different service level will not cause it to change. You’ll need to update your service level manually. Help topic 2166 explains more.
  5. Volgistics doesn’t accept purchase orders as a form of payment. But if you need to generate one for your internal payment processing requirements, you can still attach it to your invoice. Help topic 2545 explains more.
  6. Volgistics payments can be mailed to our physical or remittance address. If you plan on using a courier service to send a payment urgently, be sure to use our physical address. Help topic 2304 explains more.
  7. If your payment does not arrive by the date your account is due, your account won’t be deleted or become inaccessible right away. Instead, it will be placed on a 30-day ‘Hold’ status. While on hold you will still be able to access the account, but it will be on a more limited basis than usual. Volunteer features such as forms and modules will continue to operate normally and volunteers won’t see any change. However, operators will be unable to add new volunteer records or print most reports until payment is received. An expired Volgistics account will only be deleted if no payment is posted for it within 60 days of its ‘Paid through’ date. Our Terms of Service explain more.

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Use the Contacts Tab to Record Secondary Contacts for Group Records

Tip of the Week September 30, 2019

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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Include Volunteer Names on ‘Child’ Records in Excel Reports

Tip of the Week September 23, 2019

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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Recruit Senior Citizen Volunteers

Recruiting older volunteers offers an excellent way to bring people who have top-notch skills and outstanding experience to your organization. People over age 65 are often retired and have lots of spare time to donate to a great cause. Connecting with this group can happen easily if you follow our volunteer recruiting tips for baby boomers.

Use Your Existing Network to Find the Right Additions to Your Team

Everyone knows people over the age of 65. Put the word out that your organization would like to recruit older volunteers. Tell your current volunteers, and give them business cards to pass on to their parents, grandparents, and neighbors. Ask your own older relatives for recommendations of where to go to find potential volunteers.

Visit Places Seniors Frequent

Senior centers, churches, and senior living facilities all offer excellent chances to connect with seniors. Set up a meeting through whoever is in charge. Ask them to advertise the meeting as a chance to learn more about volunteer opportunities. You may want to arrange for one of the seniors who already volunteers with you to accompany you to the meeting. They can answer questions about the tasks they perform for you and the environment of your nonprofit.

Connect With People Online

When organizations look for ways to recruit senior volunteers, one often-overlooked option is the internet. Seniors are frequent users of social media, and you can connect with them on Facebook to discuss volunteering. Post ads targeting those over 65, or join groups that appeal to older users.

Tailor Volunteer Jobs to Your Audience

Retired people can bring a great deal of knowledge to your nonprofit. Take advantage of their experience to make your organization even stronger. Ask every senior volunteer you recruit what they did for a living and what types of special talents they have. You may discover something unexpected, such as a fluency in Japanese or a gift for carving wood. You can make jobs specifically to play to those unique skills.

Too many people write off retirees and seniors simply because they’re older. That’s a mistake. Ask these individuals what types of jobs they want to perform instead of assigning them the simplest tasks — their ambition may surprise and delight you.

Accommodate Physical Limitations

Some, though not all, seniors may have physical limitations. Many of these issues come with age, but they don’t prevent someone from being an effective and enthusiastic volunteer. Discuss any accommodations that must be made up front so that you all know what the situation is. Check in periodically to ensure that nothing has changed and that your volunteer continues to feel comfortable with your arrangement. Offer any adjustments you can to make their job more pleasant.

Now that you know how to recruit senior volunteers, put your plan into action using these tactics to start. One other thing you might like to try out is the volunteer management software from Volgistics, which can help you schedule volunteers and set up remindersContact us to schedule a free demo.

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