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.
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.
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:
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.
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:
Volgistics’ online application form feature has been updated to meet the guidelines most feel will be used to create the American Disabilities Act (ADA) standards. Accounts that use custom fonts, font sizes, font colors, or buttons may need to update their settings to meet compliance.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990 and is designed to remove barriers that disabled individuals may face. Basically, the law’s intent is to give people with disabilities the same access to service and opportunities that people without a disability have. At this time, there are not any official guidelines about what a web-based service such as Volgistics needs to do in order to be ADA compliant. However, the general recommendation is that web content should meet the standards for the AA Level of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0.
We believe having a disability should not prevent a person from engaging in volunteerism and we know many of you using Volgistics share this belief. Because of this, we’ve recently released an update to Volgistics to make its application form feature meet the success criteria of the AA Level of the WCAG 2.0 standards for HTML and CSS technologies. This means the application forms meet the visual requirements of the guidelines and were optimized to work with the most popular screen readers visually impaired individuals use to access the internet. Updates for the other online forms volunteers use (the Opportunity Directory and the VicNet portal) will follow.
If you are using fonts, font sizes, or font colors that are different from the default selections, or have uploaded custom buttons for application forms, you should make sure the choices meet the requirements if you would like WCAG compliance. Volgistics help topic 2561 “Application Forms and ADA/WCAG Compliance” explains how to do this.
As always, if you have questions or feedback, please let the support team know by sending an inquiry.
You can also print hard copies of these help topics to give out at volunteer orientations or trainings. Click the “Printable view” link at the bottom of any help topic to do this. Or, you can include direct links to the help topics in welcome email messages. You can find help on how to create and send personalized email messages in help topics 2195 and 2103.
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 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.
If your organization uses the VicNet module, your volunteers will need a password to login to the secure portal. You can manage the settings on the VicNet Ground Rules page to allow volunteers to change their own password, and volunteers can acquire a new password at any time by clicking the “Forget your password?” link on the sign-in page.
When a volunteer’s password is reset they are provided a temporary password. Upon logging in they’ll be prompted to replace this temporary password with a new, permanent password they’ll use henceforth. Help topic 1305 explains more.
Include the Source, Batch, or Directive fields for service entries on Service Details Reports
Service Detail reports are designed to provide specific information about service entries that appear on the volunteer’s Service tab. When you create a custom Service Detail report and select to list volunteers on the Options tab, you can include volunteer fields on the Fields tab. Listing volunteers allows you to select the Source, Batch and Directive fields.
The Source field is beneficial because it shows how the service was entered. “Manual” means a System Operator entered the service, or edited a service entry. “VicNet” means the service was entered by the volunteer on the Time Sheet tab of VicNet, and “VicTouch” means the entry was created by the volunteer signing in through VicTouch. Including the Batch field will show the batch number service was posted under if any apply. The Directive field will show which Service Measure, if any, the service entry was applied to.
Simplify VicNet access for users who have a volunteer and a Coordinator record.
If your organization uses the VicNet module, you may have users who have a volunteer and a Coordinator record in the system. In this case, the user would need to enter the appropriate login name and password combination each time to be taken to either their volunteer or Coordinator VicNet account.
These records won’t be linked in any way, so the user must take care to manage the login name and password for each record separately. This is especially true when setting or resetting passwords. If the email address and password are both set as the same values for both records, the user will see an option when logging into VicNet to select between their volunteer and Coordinator accounts when they login to VicNet. Help topic 1093 explains more.