This article applies to Connect site administrators using the Advanced Events Module (AEM).

The Advanced Events Module (AEM) was developed for handling large-scale events in which nonprofit organizations participate by offering volunteer opportunities. While this module is a good tool for such events (an example is the United Way's Day of Caring), it can be used for smaller events as well.

This article provides an overview of the Advanced Event module. It includes links to instructions for completing the various tasks involved in developing an advanced event. More links will be added to this article as more advanced-event articles are written.

How Does the Module Work?

The Advanced Events module is an administrative tool; while agency managers and users can participate in the event via the "front end" of the site, the Site Manager has ultimate control. This doesn't mean that the Site Manager is going to be burdened by responsibility; in fact, once the event has been set up correctly, it should run smoothly for everyone, with minimal oversight.

There are several phases to an advanced event:

Please note that the "phases" can, and do, overlap; in some cases, at least, one phase doesn't have to end before the other one begins.

Phase I: Create the Event

The first step is to create the event. This involves simply giving the event a name, a description, and a scheduled date. It also involves deciding on the color of the banner that will be used on the advanced-event page for users.

Learn How: Click here for instructions on creating the event.

Phase II: Establish Sign-Up Settings

In this "legwork" phase of creating the event, you'll ask yourself the following questions:

  • What will we require of agencies that want to participate? Will they need to sign a waiver? To provide certain information beyond what is in their agency profile?
  • What information do we want them to give us about each need that they post?
  • What will we require of volunteers who want to participate? Will they need to sign a waiver? To provide certain information beyond what is in their user profile? 

If you're going to require waivers, go ahead and get those written and save them as a PDF or Word document; you'll be able to include these in the user and agency registration form for the event.

Learn How:

  • Click here to learn how to load waivers onto your system.
  • Click here for more information on adding supplemental questions for agency registration, need postings, and user registration.
  • Click here for information on viewing the answers to any custom questions you added to the registration/need-posting process.

Phase III: Engage Your Agencies

Once you've locked in the items required for registration, you're ready to bring your agencies on board. Once registered, these agencies can begin posting volunteer opportunities related to your event.

Learn How:

  • Click here to learn how to add agencies to an advanced event. This article also covers how to contact those agencies, how to access the Live Preview, and how to delete an agency from an event.
  • Click here to learn how an agency manager would post a need to an advanced event.  

Phase IV: Involve the Volunteers

You can use two different approaches for offering opportunities to volunteers:

  • Make the opportunities public so that all visitors to your site can view and respond to them
  • Assign individual opportunities to a company or group of people

These approaches are not mutually exclusive; for example, you can assign a need to a company and make it available to the public.

Learn How:

  • Click here to learn the difference between public and private needs, as well as how to make a need public and how to offer a need privately to a group
  • Click here to learn how to manage corporate involvement for an advanced event.
  • Click here for our guide to company managers using the advanced event module.

Phase V: Be Available for Support

Once you have set up the event, involved agencies, and made opportunities available to volunteers, your role as a Site Manager primarily becomes one of support. As Site Manager, you can add, edit, or delete volunteer responses; edit opportunities as needed; add volunteer hours; and export data, among other things.

Phase VI: Share Your Successes!

Your Connect site offers numerous opportunities to export advanced-event data to a spreadsheet, which you can then use to present your successes to your board, your supporters, and your community.