Run Service Reports for a Single Site, Place, or Assignment

Tip of the Week April 15, 2019

When you run Service Summary or Service Details reports, there may be times when you want to limit the service information included on the report to one particular Assignment, or to just the Assignments that fall under a particular Site or Place in your account. You can learn more about how Sites, Places and Assignments are used in Help topic 2099.

To limit a report’s service data to a particular Site, Place, or Assignment, use the settings on the Include page to “Only include service in…” that particular record. The completed report will only include service information for service entries that are associated with the selected Site, Place, or Assignment. Please note that this will limit service data only.

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Volgistics Update: Automatic Height for Embedded Forms

Embedding an application form into one of your webpages makes the form appear as part of your own website.

The downside to this approach has always been that the form often includes a scrollbar, or it requires you to manually figure out and set the height in your HTML code. But the height can change if you update the form, or if a submission is missing required information, causing a scrollbar to appear anyway.

To avoid these complications, Volgistics has introduced a new feature to automatically set the height for these forms. It requires you to copy and paste a small amount of code to your page, but you’ll never have to adjust the height again. For existing forms, you’ll basically remove the old link and paste in the new code.

Remember, if you’re not familiar with editing HTML code, you can just pass the copied code to your IT team or your site’s webmaster.

This is the old style, with a scrollbar
Here is the new style, with the height set automatically and no internal scroll bar

Here’s how you can find the updated code for any new or existing application form:

  1. Choose Setup from the menu
  2. Open Online forms
  3. Click Volunteer application forms
  4. Click the name of the form that you’re working with
  5. Under the Links heading, you’ll see the new code under Embedded Form.

You can copy the code and paste into your webpage, wherever you would like the form to appear. If you’re updating an existing form, just be sure to remove the old iframe code first, otherwise you’ll have two copies on your page.

After you’ve added this to your website, let us know what you think! We’re always eager to hear from you about the new features we put out and how they’re helping you to accomplish your mission.

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National Volunteer Week (U.S. & Canada)

Tip of the Week April 08, 2019

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 7-13, 2019. Australia’s volunteer week is scheduled for 20-26 May 2019 and the United Kingdom’s is scheduled for 1-7 June 2019.

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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Finding a Volunteer’s Application Date And/Or When the Record Was Added to Your Database

Tip of the Week April 01, 2019

If you use online application forms to receive information from prospective volunteers, you may sometimes need to know when a volunteer submitted their application. There is not a field in Volgistics that tracks this exact date because application information is usually routed to the Applications tab of your Mailbox until you process the application.

However, you can review your account’s Event Log if you need to find the exact date an applicant submitted an application. The log will show an Event called “Application Submitted” and the Description column will list the applicant’s name. In many cases, you can speed up the search if you’re looking for a particular name by using the Find feature. You can usually bring this up by holding down the “CTRL” key on your keyboard while pressing the “F” key.

Once an application is received into your database, Volgistics tracks the date it was received by using the “Date Entered” field. You can find this field in the Dates box on the History tab of each volunteer record. It is also available on most reports that have volunteer information. Please note, if the record was added to your database in some other way than receiving an application form, the “Date Entered” field will reflect the date the record was created by the other method.

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Give Access to the Volgistics Store Without Giving Access to Your Volunteer Database.

Tip of the Week March 25, 2019

In many organizations, payment and billing is taken care of by a person in a department outside of volunteer services. In these cases, you can provide them with access to the Volgistics Store for your account without giving access to the volunteer database used to manage your records. Access to the Store allows a person to perform operations such as:

To allow access to the Store, simply provide your account’s nine digit Volgistics account number, as well as the Accounting Access Code for your account. If you have access to the Setup page, you can find the Accounting Access Code by following these steps:

  1. Select Setup from the Menu.
  2. Expand the “System operators” link.
  3. Select “Accounting operator.”

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View a Sent Email Message to See Recipients

Tip of the Week March 18, 2019

Volgistics keeps a list of sent email messages on the History tab of each volunteer’s record. While this is useful if you know the names of the volunteers who a message was sent to, there are times when you may not remember this information. In these cases, you can usually find recipients by looking at the sent email message. To do this:

  1. Select Mailbox from the Menu.
  2. Select the “Out Box” tab.
  3. Click the subject of the sent message.

The names of people the message was sent to will appear under “Recipients”. People who were included on the list to receive the message, but to whom it was not sent, will appear with their names crossed through. A volunteer may not have had the message sent to them if they do not have an email address on file, or if they have an invalid email address, or if they had opted-out the type of message that was sent.

There are some circumstances when recipients will not appear in this list. For example, if you’re a Site Level Operator you will not see any recipients. Volunteers will also not be listed here if they have been archived or deleted.

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Receive Self-Scheduling Alerts by Email or Text as a System Operator

Tip of the Week March 11, 2019

Self-scheduling alerts can be setup on the Schedule ‘Rules’ tab of each Assignment record to send notifications whenever a volunteer adds or removes themselves from that Assignment’s Schedule. These notifications can be sent to system operators via the Volgistics Mailbox and/or to coordinators by email or text message. This ensures that staff and supervisors are made aware of any schedule changes that may have occurred to their Assignments’ schedules.

However, there may be times when a system operator would prefer to receive these notifications by email or text. This can be arranged by creating a coordinator record for that system operator, giving the coordinator record that operator’s email address, and/or opting the coordinator into text messaging via the ‘Account’ tab of their VicNet access, and then assigning that coordinator to the Assignment record(s) that they’d like to receive notifications for. The operator will then be able to receive self-scheduling notifications that are sent by email or text message to the Assignments’ coordinators.

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National Volunteer Week Approaching

Tip of the Week March 04, 2019

National Volunteer Week is coming up fast and we wanted to make sure you are aware of it. 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. The U.S. and Canada will celebrate National Volunteer Week this year from April 7-13, 2019. Australia’s volunteer week is scheduled for 20-26 May 2019 and the United Kingdom’s is scheduled for 1-7 June 2019.

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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Include archived volunteers in Excel spreadsheet reports

Tip of the Week February 25, 2019

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.

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Tip of the Week February 18, 2019

Make sure volunteers receive your email messages

Did you know there’s an easy change you can make in your account that will often dramatically improve email delivery rates for your volunteers?

Because Volgistics sends messages to recipients on your behalf, sometimes these messages are viewed as suspect by target email domains. This is especially true for CCed email addresses. And from time to time, it can abruptly become a major issue in response to internal changes made by certain email providers. Emails sent from your account will suddenly begin to get rejected. But there are measures you can take to help your messages get through more reliably. All of these measures are found on your account’s Messages Ground Rules setup page.

The first, easiest, and most valuable step you can take is to configure your account to use the recommended message settings: to let Volgistics handle Sender ID, and to use VolunteerMail@volgistics.com as the from address. Volunteers will still reply to you, and are unlikely to notice any difference, but this can drastically reduce the likelihood that your messages are rejected. You can learn more about this in the “Volgistics Account Settings” section of Help Topic 2046.

If your organization strongly prefers to handle their own Sender ID and/or use their own from address, an alternative solution is to add Volgistics’ IP Addresses to your organization’s email service. This is especially important when attempting to contact recipients who have email addresses from your organization’s own domain. You can learn more about this in the “Network or Provider Settings” section of Help Topic 2046.

Another option that is always advisable is to encourage your volunteers to add Volgistics’ sending email addresses to their “safe sender list” so that their email providers are instructed to trust messages that you send them through your Volgistics account. You can learn more about this in the “Volunteer and Coordinator Settings” section of Help Topic 2046.

Please keep in mind that even after following these steps, you’ll need to manually “Reset” the email addresses of any volunteers that have already been marked as invalid (red). This will make it so that the system continues to try to send them messages that are addressed to them, instead of skipping them when messages are sent.

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