I'm always looking at our need view numbers, and our comparatively sad response rate. I can't help but feel that we're missing the boat on an important group of users - people who want to help an agency, but aren't SO convinced that they're committing to clicking "I want to help" or "respond to need" (however you have the response feature worded on your site).
1. Perhaps they're looking at a volunteer posting and have an important question to ask before committing. I'd like to see an option to ask a question (to the agency manager) and have that interaction tracked through the back end of the site somehow. We currently provide the option for agencies to provide contact information, but taking these interactions "offline" isn't doing anything to help us report our referral numbers at the end of the year.
2. Utilizing this same capability, I'd also like to see the option for a user to contact the agency through the site without having to click "Respond to Need" about something more general--perhaps they have time & talents to share that aren't perfectly aligning with any current volunteer postings. I understand there is some workaround here with posting a generic volunteer opportunity, but I don't feel that this is the ideal solution.
I'm sorry some of your agencies aren't seeing the responses they're hoping for!. We do have a couple of articles in our Help Center where we share some ideas for getting more responses:
I'll bring up both of your suggestions in our next enhancements meeting. We don't currently have a way to save emails in our system unless those emails are generated from the site manager panel (e.g., email blasts and email notifications). Agency managers and team leaders can send emails from the front end of the site, but we don't currently offer the capability to save those. I'll find out the reason why (I imagine it's for bandwidth reasons), and will update this forum post once I have more information.
Thanks for posting to the forums!
Thanks for bearing with me as I tried to put this idea into words. As a Volunteer Center, we're constantly dancing the fine line between a desire to make things as easy as possible for an interested volunteer and the necessity for our organization to quantify our value with referral numbers, etc.
I checked to see why we don't currently store messages sent from the front end of the site, and he's what I got:
1) We've never been asked to/had much demand. :)
2) Early on, many of our clients expressed a need to limit communication between partner agencies and volunteers through the system.
I imagine that my team is going to want to wait for more people to request this before taking any action on it, so if other site managers would like to upvote this request or chime in using the comments, that will help!
So, we already have the agency contact info. What if there was just a "Ask a Question about this Need" button that dropped people to that contact info for the posting agency? I agree that a lot of times people want more information before committing, but (alas!) aren't always great about scrolling to see the contact info!
Heather, thanks for chiming in! As more people express an interest in a suggestion, we're able to give it more weight when considering new builds.
This idea has been put on our list for consideration for a future build, but it is not including in the next couple of builds that are scheduled.