This article is for Connect site administrators using the Advanced Events Module (AEM).
Listed below are some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding advanced events. This list is updated regularaly, so check back often.
- What is an advanced event?
- How can I register for training in advanced events?
- How do I get the advanced event link to show up on the User Dashboard?
- What is the unique URL for my advanced event?
- Can I assign an advanced-event need to a user group?
- How do I make a need public?
- Why aren't my needs showing up?
- Why aren't my needs being displayed in the correct order?
- Why isn't my employee access link working?
- Advanced-event needs are showing up on the agency profile page, and I don't want them to. Help!
- Can I clone an advanced event?
- Can I run more than one advanced event at the same time?
- How can I view all of the volunteer responses (including to custom questions) within an advanced event?
- Can a volunteer edit their response to an advanced-event need?
- My team data includes instances of "Name Needed." What does this mean?
- What is the difference between a public need and a private need?
- How can I view needs that have been assigned to a company?
- How can I access need data for an advanced event that has been deleted from the site?
- Oops! I put the wrong need into the wrong advanced event. Can you move it to the right advanced event for me?
- I have a question that isn't addressed here. What say you?
What is an advanced event?
An advanced event is typically a large-scale event in which multiple nonprofit organizations participate by offering volunteer opportunities. An example of an advanced event is United Way's "Day of Caring."
The Advanced Events Module (AEM) is a tool for managing such an event. In addition to providing access to searchable volunteer opportunities, you can use the module to present waivers, gather important event-related data from agencies and volunteers, and manage corporate participation.
Advanced events can also be used for posting private needs available to a select group of people (companies, clubs, advocacy groups, etc.) Please contact us if you'd like assistance setting advanced events up for this purpose.
How can I register for training in advanced events?
Click here to register for training in the AEM. This training lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. Click here to view a video of the training.
How do I get the link to my advanced event show up on the User Dashboard?
We recommend featuring your advanced event as a spotlight. You can also use the image rotator or highlight it in a blog post.
What is the unique URL for my advanced event?
The general URL for your advanced event consists of two parts: your domain, and /aem. For example, if your domain is galaxyvolunteers.org, your advanced-event link will be galaxyvolunteers.org/aem. This link will take the volunteer to a page that features all active advanced events on your site. They can then click on an advanced event to view its description and needs.
If you have only one active advanced event on your site, they will be taken to that advanced event. If you have multiple advanced events, volunteers will be taken to a page that shows all of the events, and they can select an event.
Note: When creating a spotlight (Settings > Spotlights), you only need to enter /aem into the Target URL field; there is no need to type in the entire domain.
If you have multiple active advanced events and want to point volunteers to one advanced event in particular, you'll want to use the unique URL for that advanced event. There are two ways to get this URL:
- Copy the link from the advanced-event page: Go to the /aem link described above and click on the event. The unique URL will be displayed in the address bar, and you can copy it to your clipboard as needed.
- Build the link using a formula: To build a link, you first need to know the advanced event't unique ID number, which you can find in the table shown in Modules > Advanced Events on your site manager panel. Once you have that number, use this formula to create the URL, replacing "XXXX" with the ID number:
Example: If your domain is galaxyvolunteers.org and the advanced event ID is 1234, the unique URL would be:
Note: If you point users to the general /aem link and you have multiple active advanced events, the user will see all public, active events and will be able to select the one they want to view.
Can I assign an advanced-event need to a user group?
No. User groups are only available for standard (non-AEM) needs. To assign an AEM need to a group, you should use the AEM's companies feature. If you want to assign needs to user groups, we recommend setting your event up as an initiative rather than an advanced event.
How do I make a need public?
There are several reasons why a need might not show up in the volunteer's view, but the most common is that the need hasn't been made public. After you've activated an AEM need, you must make it public if it is to be available to your site's users. To make an AEM need public:
- Go to the All Needs area of the advanced event.
- Mark the box to the left of the need to be made public (or select the box at the top of the column to select all needs).
- From the Actions for Selected dropdown (located above the needs table), select Make Needs Public.
Once a need has been made public, you'll see a check mark in the Public column of the needs table:
Why aren't my needs showing up?
Several conditions have to be met in order for a need to show up publicly on your Connect site:
- The advanced event must be active.
- The need must be active.
- The need must be public.
- The need must not be in the past.
- The need must have volunteer spots available.
- The need must be accepting responses.
Condition #1: The advanced event must be active.
Typically, you will activate the event when creating it. To make an existing advanced event active, go to Modules > Advanced Events and select the event to activate. By default, you're taken to the Details area of that event, where you can change the status from Pending to Active.
Remember to click Submit Event to save any changes.
Condition #2: The need must be active.
To make a need active, go to the advanced event (Modules > Advanced Events) and click All Needs. A table displays all of the needs that have been entered for the event thus far. In the row of the need you want to activate, select Active from the Status dropdown.
Condition #3: The need must be public.
All needs are private by default; this means that no need, by default, can be viewed on the public site. In order to make a need viewable on the public site, you need to make it public. To make a need public:
Go to the advanced event (Modules > Advanced Events) and click All Needs. Mark the box for the need that you want to make public, and then select Make Need Public.
Note: To select all needs, click the checkbox in the table heading.
A green check mark appears under the Public column for that need, indicating that the need is now public. In the example below, the top two needs listed have been made public; all the other needs remain private.
Condition #4: The need must not be in the past.
The need's date is displayed in the Date column of the All Needs table. If the date is wrong and you need to change it, click on the need to edit it. Remember to click Update Need to save any changes you make.
Condition #5: The need must have volunteer spots available.
By default, if a need's volunteer spots have been filled, it is no longer displayed. If the need is not appearing, check to see if it is full.
Note: To change this setting, go to Settings > Main Settings, scroll to the Needs section, and toggle the Show Full Needs switch to Yes.
Condition #6: The need must be accepting responses.
A need will not appear if it is associated with a "registration closed date" and that date is in the past. An easy way to see the "registration closed dates" for needs is to go to the All Needs area, click on the Table Filter, and select to show Date Closed in the table of needs.
Why aren't my needs showing up in the correct order?
Advanced-events need in the volunteer view are displayed with the most recently updated need first. If you wish to have needs displayed in a particular order (alphabetically, chronologically, etc.), you can use one of the available sorting options. Once the needs have been re-sorted, you can copy and paste the new URL into your spotlight, social media post, email messages, etc.
To sort needs, select an option from the Sort dropdown.
Listed below are the two most commonly used sort orders for advanced-event needs:
- Prepared Order - The order of needs that you have specified under All Needs the Manager Panel for your advanced event.
- Soonest Day First - Lists needs chronologically, from the earliest date to the latest.
Note: This order does not incorporate need times, so you may find that a need that is later in the day appear before a need that is earlier in the same day.
Once you have re-sorted the needs, the URL in your address bar will change to reflect the new page. You can copy and paste this URL into your spotlights, social media posts, email messages, etc., so that people are directed straight to your preferred order.
Note: You can share the new link for for public advanced-event needs only. It does not apply for private needs.
Why isn't my employee access link working?
When a company is assigned to a need and invited to participate in an advanced event, the Company Manager receives an email with a link to the event. This link takes the Company Manager to their Company Dashboard.
At the bottom of this page is the Employee Access Link.
Note: A company must have a need assigned to it in order to get an employee access link.
The company manager should send this link to his or her employees. When clicked, this link will take employees the assigned need(s), where they can sign up.
The company manager should take care to send out the employee access link. When the link doesn't work, the problem is, more often than not, due to one of two things:
- The company manager has copied and pasted the link from the original "invite" email.
- The company manager went to the Company Dashboard and, instead of copying and pasting the Employee Access Link from the bottom of the page, copied and pasted the link from the address bar at the top of the page.
As implied above the Company Dashboard link is not the same as the Employee Access Link. One goes to the Company Dashboard (where the Company Manager can view needs, see how many volunteer spots have been filled, register employees, etc.), and the other goes to a listing of available needs.
Can I clone an advanced event?
Yes, you can clone an advanced event from Modules > Advanced Events. When you clone an advanced event, a second event is created that occurs exactly one year after the original one. The following specific elements are cloned:
- Agency, need, and volunteer questions
- Agencies (If an agency was added to the previous event, it will be added automatically to the cloned one)
- Event details (Title, description, and banner color)
Note: The title will include a "cloned from" message; when editing the cloned advanced event, you'll want to delete that message.
The following items are not cloned:
- Need responses
- Companies (Even if a company was added to the previous event, no companies will be added to the cloned one.)
- Assignments of private needs.
Note that you may have to adjust the dates for the event and for the individual needs if the event doesn't occur exactly one year after. Because all needs within a cloned advanced event are automatically marked as pending, you will also need to activate them before agency managers can make updates.
Advanced-event needs are showing up on the Agency Page, and I don't want them to. Help!
By default, all active, public needs associated with an active advanced event are displayed on the profile pages of the agencies that posted them. To prevent a need from being displayed, the need must be deactivated or made private.
Note: Once you deactivate a need or make it private, it will no longer be displayed anywhere on the site. If you accidentally deactivate an AEM need, contact us to have it restored.
Can I run more than one advanced event at the same time?
Yes! You can run multiple advanced events at the same time on your Connect site. When a visitor goes to your AEM page (http://[your domain]/aem), they'll see all active advanced events on your site and can click to view any event displayed.
In this example, the site is running two active advanced events: one set to occur on October 22, and the other on November 5. Note that events are listed in chronological order by default.
If an agency is participating in more than one advanced event, their Advanced Events section of their Agency Management Area will display both events (similar to what the user sees in the image above), and the agency manager can then select one of the events to open.
How can I view all of the volunteer responses to an advanced event?
You can export all of your volunteer responses into a spreadsheet with the click of a button. Just go to Modules > Advanced Events, and click the Export icon in the row of the applicable advanced event.
A .csv file will be generated, showing all volunteers who responded to all needs within the advanced event. Included are the volunteer names, email addresses, companies, teams, and answers to custom volunteer questions.
Can a volunteer edit their response to an advanced-event need?
Once a volunteer responds to an advanced-event need (and answered any custom questions such as t-shirt size), they cannot edit their response. As the site manager, you can edit the response for them by taking these steps:
- From your site manager panel, go to to the All Needs area for the advanced events.
- Click on the number in the Registered column for a selected need. This action brings up a list of all responses for that need.
- Click the applicable Edit Response (pencil) icon to view a volunteer's response details.
- Make any changes necessary. Note that you may need to re-check the waiver if one is required.
- Click Submit Response.
At this time, responses cannot be edited in bulk.
My team data includes instances of "Name Needed." What does this mean?
"Name Needed" appears when someone signs up a team but does not provide names and email address for all of the team members.
What is the difference between a public need and a private need?
A public need is one that can be viewed on your public Connect site. Public needs show up in two areas of the site:
- On the Agency Page of the agency that posted the need. (Advanced-event needs show up as "Time Specific Needs," as shown here.)
- On your site's Advanced Events page (http://[your domain]/aem)
Click here to see how to make a public need private.
How can I view needs that have been assigned to a company?
A private need can be viewed in the following ways:
- A Site Manager can use the Live Preview icon, located under Companies in the Manager Panel.
- A Company Manager must use the link provided to them in the company invite email. This link will take them to the Company Dashboard, which includes links to all needs that have been assigned to the company, as well as the Employee Access Link.
- A company employee must use the Employee Access Link, made available to them by the company manager.
If a company's assigned needs have been made public, they will be publicly visible on the site. Otherwise, they can only be viewed in the ways listed above.
How can I access need data for an advanced event that has been deleted from the site?
As of this writing, advanced events and related needs cannot be accessed on your site once you have deleted the advanced event. If you need to access a deleted advanced event, please contact us with that request.
Oops! I put a need into the wrong advanced event. Can you move it to the right one for me?
As much as we would love to fix this error each time it's reported, we cannot provide this service as a rule. When inviting agencies and adding needs, please take care to ensure that the right agencies and needs have been assigned to the correct advanced event.
I have a question that isn't addressed here. What say you?
Have a question about advanced events? Just contact us, and one of our galactic support agents will be in touch with you soon.