Note: This article's focus is on the next-generation Service Learning Module (SLM), released by Galaxy Digital in late 2017/early 2018. For information on the old version (Legacy SLM), click here. The SLM is an add-on module and is not part of a standard Connect platform. SLM features are only available to clients who have purchased the module.
Your SLM Leader Portal's Needs area offers the following capabilities to you as an SLM Leader:
- Viewing all needs that have been assigned to each course you teach
- Editing needs that have been assigned to your course
- Creating a new need on behalf of an agency that has been assigned to your course
This article explains how to access the Needs area and how to edit and create volunteer opportunities for your students. You'll also learn how to export all of the needs assigned to a course.
Note: Need is the default term on all Connect sites. Your site may use a different term, such as opportunity or service opportunity. If your site uses a language override, parts of it may not match the screenshots and terminology used in this article. Other language items that can be overridden are SLM, user group, and leader.
To access the Needs area of your SLM Leader Portal:
- Log into your Connect site.
- Select SLM Leader Portal from your profile menu.
Note: Your site manager must designate you as an SLM Leader before you can access the SLM Leader Portal.
- Click Needs to view your table of course needs.
- Select the block and user group for the course you wish to view. (Click image for a larger view.)
- Click Go. The Needs table will populate with all needs that have been assigned to your course. Note that you can search the table by need title and agency.
Note: Only an agency manager or a site manager can assign a need to your course. You can create a new need for your course, but you cannot assign an existing need that you did not create.
To edit a need that has been assigned to your course:
- Click the Edit (pencil) icon in the Options column for the need you wish to edit.
- Make changes as needed. Click here for field descriptions.
- Click Update Need.
Note: If you make the need private and it is assigned to your user group (course), only the students in your course will be able to view and respond to it.
All needs posted on a Connect site are agency needs; in other words, each need is associated with a particular agency that is registered on the site. If you are an SLM Leader who wishes to post a need for your course, be aware that the need must be associated with a registered agency. In addition, that agency must be assigned to your course before you can post a need on their behalf.
If you and a local agency agree that you can post agency needs for your course, contact your site manager to have the agency assigned to your course.
To add a new need from the Needs area of your SLM Leader Portal:
- Click the Add New Need button, located on the right-hand side of the page.
- Complete the fields on the Add Need form. Fields are described below.
Field Description Title Enter a need title.
Tip: Avoid generic titles such as "Volunteers Needed"; try to be specific with your titles.
Description Enter a need description. If training or a background check is required, you can include that information here. Privacy If a need is marked Public anyone who visits the site can view the need. If it is marked Private it will only be visible to the user groups (courses) to which it is assigned. Initiative Select the initiative, if applicable, with which to associate the need.
Note: This may not be an option on your site if initiatives are not used, or if your site's settings have hidden this field.
Agency Select the agency to be associated with the need.
Note: The dropdown will only display agencies that have been assigned to your course.
User Group Select the course to be associated with the need.
Note: The dropdown will only display courses (user groups) for which you are an SLM Leader.
Duration Select a duration. Options are Ongoing, Runs Until, Happens On, Custom Shifts, and Recurring Shifts. For needs associated with a particular date, students can search by date, and also by "soonest first."
Note: For all duration types, you must also enter the number hours for the need. This information is particularly important if Volunteer Check-in is being used, as it tells the system how many hours should be attributed to each volunteer.
Note: For all duration types except Ongoing, you also have the option of entering a need capacity (i.e., the number of volunteers needed) and time(s) and indicating a date after which students can no longer respond. Click here to learn more.
Capacity If applicable, enter the number of volunteer spots available for this need. Allow Team Registration? Indicate whether or not you want to allow team registrations. When searching needs, users can filter needs by which opportunities accept (or don't accept) team registrations. Minimum Age Select the minimum volunteer age accepted for this need. Once you've entered an age range (starting with this field), volunteers can search for the needs best suited to their age group. Maximum Age Select the maximum volunteer age accepted for this need. Once you've entered an age range (starting with the previous field), volunteers can search for the needs best suited to their age group. Family Friendly? Indicate whether the need environment is family-friendly. Volunteers can search specifically for family-friendly needs. Outdoors? If you select Yes to indicate an outdoor need, you will have the opportunity to provide inclement weather plans. Volunteers viewing this need will see this information in the Details area at the bottom of the need-information page. They will also be able to search all needs on your site by which ones are (or are not) outdoors. Wheelchair Accessible Indicate whether the need will be wheelchair-accessible. Volunteers viewing this need will see this information in the Details area at the bottom of the need-information page. They will also be able to search all needs on your site by which ones are (or are not) wheelchair-accessible. Attributes If you want additional details to stand out from the description above, include them here. Each detail (attribute) must be 200 characters or fewer. Attributes appear in the Details section at the bottom of the need-information page. Address Enter the address of the opportunity. Zip Code (required) Enter the zip code associated with the opportunity. Users can search needs by ZIP codes. Interests & Abilities Select interests related to the need. Your selections will help the site to match up this need with potential volunteers. Students can also search needs by interest. Additional Notification Recipients If you wish to have certain people copied on all responses to this need, toggle this option On and type each email address on a separate line. Waiver If a waiver is added, a student must indicate that they agree to it before they can complete their need response. Click Choose File to select the waiver to upload. Acceptable file formats are .doc, .docx, and .pdf.
- Click Create Need.
Note: To deactivate a need once you've created it, click the Deactivate Need button at the bottom of the Update Need form, and then click Yes to confirm.
To export needs from the Needs area of your SLM Leader Portal:
- Select the block and user group to view.
- Click Go to populate the table with the needs for that course.
- Click the Export Needs button, located on the right-hand side of the page.
The resulting spreadsheet has the following columns for each need:
- Need title
- User group(s) assigned
Working with Remote Sites
If your Connect site uses the Galaxy Link to access agencies, needs and events from another site, you will see a blue background to indicate data that did not originate on your site. For example, in this view of an SLM Leader's courses, the need titled "Mural Artists" originated on another site.
You can view the needs, add and approve hours, etc., for any need assigned to your course, regardless of the need's originating site.
You can add needs for agencies that have been assigned to your course, regardless of those agencies' originating sites.
See SLM Leader Guide: The Basics to access more articles for SLM leaders.