When searching for needs, agencies, or events, you can use the Search By feature to filter items by various parameters, including distance, phrase or keyword, and Title. This article explains how your Connect system runs searches on various types of phrases and keywords.

Searching By Phrase

One of the search options for needs, events, and agencies is the Search by field.

Note: Because a site manager can override the term "phrase," your site might show the word "keyword" or "term" instead.

Searching Needs/Opportunities

The need search, which is the most used search on most Connect sites, works differently from the agency and event searches in the following ways:

  • Areas Searched: Your Connect system searches the following areas of a need posting for your term and any variations: need title, need description, need tags, agency name, agency tags.
  • Keyword/Phrase Variations: The system looks for your search term and any variations on that term. For example, if you search for "tutor," your results will include needs that have the words "tutoring," "tutored," and/or "tutors" in the title, description, agency name, or tags.
  • Ability to Omit Terms: You can select to prevent certain results from appearing in your search. For example, if you're interested in tutoring adults but not children, you can set up the search to omit any tutoring opportunities that have "child" or "children" in the title, description, agency name, or tags. To do this, use the "minus" sign before typing the keyword to be omitted. Using the above example, you might type tutoring - child. Note that you should include spaces on either side of the "minus" sign.

Keyword Less than Four Characters

If the keyword is three or fewer characters:

  • The system looks at titles and displays any needs that include the keyword. (For example, a search for "cat" should pull everything from "Cat Herders" to "Catalogers" to "Educators.")
  • It also looks at tags and displays anything that has an exact match.

Keyword Four or More Characters

If the keyword is four or more characters:

  • The system looks at titles and descriptions for words that match or include the keyword. For example, if you search for a word like "tutor," you will see needs that have "tutor," "tutors," or "tutoring" in the title or description. A search for "tutors," will yield fewer results because the extra "s" is not included in "tutor" and "tutoring." Only those needs with "tutors" will appear in the search.
  • The system searches tags for an exact match. A search for "tutor" will include any needs that have a tag of "tutor" (but not "tutors" or "tutoring.")
  • The system searches the posting agencies whose names contain the keyword. For example, a search for "comm" will pull all needs needs posted by any agency that has "comm" in the title (e.g., Downtown Community Association).

Searching Agencies and Events

When searching agencies or events by phrase or keyword, your Connect system search both the title and the description for an exact match. Here are a couple of examples of how this works:

  • If you search for "community," the system will display all items that include "community" or "communities" in either the title or somewhere in the agency profile (when searching agencies) or event description (when searching events).
  • If you're search for a partial word such as "comm," you'll see all items that include "comm" in either the title, agency profile (for agency searches), or event description (for event searches). So, for example, a search on "comm" will pull items that include "Community Center," "communication," commuters, etc.
  • The system also searches agencies and event tags. Tags are a designation applied by your site manager. If an agency or event is tagged "community," then a search for "community" will display it (but a search for "comm" won't, unless that partial word is included somewhere in the title or description).

Not Seeing What You Expect?

Your Connect system uses Full-Text Search in SQL Server to find agencies, needs, and events based on keyword. Full-text searches weights certain terms differently than others, so you may not always see the results you expect. When searching for needs in particular, try using several versions of the same term (e.g., tutor, tutors, tutoring) if you don't find what you're looking for at first.