Advanced Release Date: June 15, 2016

Public Release Date: July 27, 2016

Automatic Upgrade of All 2.0 Sites: September 30, 2016

This round of enhancements is known as Version 2.6. As of September 30, 2016, all sites using our 2.0 version will have the 2.6 upgrade, which features a redesigned Manager Panel and Opportunity Scheduling. Please contact us if you are on Version 1.0 and wish to upgrade.

Click a link below to learn more about this latest round of enhancements.

Volunteer Module: New Manager Panel Layout

The manager panel now features the same layout as the platform's agency and user areas. All manager-panel features were preserved unless otherwise noted. This article reviews the main differences you'll see in the layout. For more detailed articles, click here.

Table Features

Tables in the manager panel have improved features for viewing and exporting. Click here to learn more about how to view data in the manager panel.

Options in Site Settings

The manager panel's Site Settings area has several new features, all located in the Settings area.

Setting the Default View for Users

Site managers can now set the list view or the grid view as the default for needs, events, and other pages on your site. This enhancement allows site managers to present their users with the layout they feel works best in their community.

Click here to learn more about list view and grid view.

Note: Grid view is the site default.

VIP Button

Volunteer Impact Pages (VIPs) are an effective tool for sharing your platform's news, goals, successes, and more. The "logged-in" version of all Galaxy product sites includes an icon to access a site's internal VIP.

Previously, the VIP icon appeared whether or not a site had completed a VIP. (If a site hadn't completed a VIP, the link took the user to a sample VIP page.) With this enhancement, a site can hide the VIP icon if they are not currently using VIPs.

Click here to learn more about Volunteer Impact Pages. Click here to learn more about managing the VIP setting.

Hide Full Needs

By default, if a need has reached its capacity for number of volunteers needed, it will no longer be displayed in the volunteer's view. Because some Site Managers do not wish to hide full needs, we have added a setting that allows site managers to choose whether or not full needs will be hidden.

Click here to learn more about managing this setting.

Data Explorer

The manager panel now features the Data Explorer, a new batch of reports. With these reports, system managers can move between views to access the data most relevant to them.

Click here to learn more about using the Data Explorer.

Note: Reports in the Data Explorer are in addition to those reports that were already in the system.

Custom Dashboard in the Manager Panel

The system manager dashboard no longer features the buttons, tabs, and graphs shown previously. With this new enhancement, system managers can now view a customized dashboard when accessing the manager panel.

This new panel is largely customizable in the same way that Volunteer Impact Pages (VIPs) are customizable. This means that system managers can view what they consider the most important information about their site every time they log in.

To learn more about the new manager panel layout and how to customize it, click here.

Hours Management Area

An "Hours Management" area has been added to the manager panel. This area is similar to the "Manage Needs" and "Manage Agencies" areas. System managers can use this area to view, edit, and add user hours. Click here to learn more.

Volunteer Module: Other New Features for System Managers

Ability to Rearrange Spotlights

System managers can now move spotlights up and down in their list, making it even easier to bring something to the forefront of their users’ attention.

Click here to learn more about using spotlights on your site.

HTML and Exports

In the past, HTML code was sometimes included in exports from the manager panel. With this new enhancement, exports will now exclude HTML code.

Links to Clusters Now Easily Available

Previously, if a system manager wanted to provide a link for "clustered" agencies or needs, they had to build the link using instructions provided in our Help Center. That link is now much easier to access. In each Clusters table (located in the Manage Agencies and Manage Needs areas), you'll be able to see how many agencies or needs have a certain cluster label.

That number link you to a page displaying the clustered items. You can then grab the link and share it with your volunteers.

Click here to learn more about using clusters on your site.

Setting To Suppress All Notifications

In situations where users should receive no emails under any circumstances (such as before a site goes live), system managers can now turn off all emails with one setting.

This setting is in the Settings > Main Settings area of your manager panel, in the portion titled Site Information. For more information on site settings, click here.

Ability to Prevent Users from Editing Their Email Addresses

Some sites, particularly those that use single sign-on (SSO) functionality, have complicated requirements related to their users' email addresses. In these cases, it is vital that students and other users not change their email addresses after being registered on the site. If you are interested in preventing users from changing their email addresses on your site, please contact our Customer Care team.

User Registration Instructions

If a system needs to give guidance to users on the login page, the system manager can now work with Galaxy Digital staff to add registration instructions.

Note: This enhancement was added in response to some clients who have complex single sign-on arrangements.

Check of Browser and Edition

Some users report poor performance with outdated versions of Internet Explorer no longer supported by Microsoft. With this new enhancement, your system will check a visitor's browser and recommend an upgrade, as necessary, for optimal viewing and use the site.

Note: Click here to learn more about which browsers and editions our products support.

Volunteer Module: New Features for Agency Managers and Users

Opportunity Scheduling

When posting a need, Agency Managers and Site Managers now have two additional options for need type: Custom Shifts and Recurring Shifts. These are in addition to the three existing need types of Ongoing, Runs Until, and Happens On. Click here to learn more about this new feature.

Data Preview in the "Add Hours" Form

When adding user hours, agency managers and users can now view pertinent information about the associated need or volunteer. This new feature will help volunteers who have responded to needs with similar need titles, as well as agencies who have volunteers with similar names. Shown below is the view of an agency manager who has selected both a need and a user in order to submit hours for the user.

In the above example, even if there were multiple needs with the same title, or multiple users with the same name, the agency manager can still identify the need (by the date) and the user (by the email address).

Click here to learn more about this feature as it appears for users. Click here to learn more about this feature as it appears for agency managers.

Volunteer Résumé for Deactivated Accounts

When a user deactivates their profile, they will now receive an email containing a link to their volunteer résumé so that they can have a record of their service.

"Agency Name" Search Feature Added

In the past, when searching for agencies, users found that our "search by name or phrase" feature inadequate for finding specific agencies. We have added a new "name" search that allows a much more direct search for agencies.

New Options for Sharing

If you click the Share icon for needs, events, and other content, you'll see that you have two new options for sharing information on your site.

  • LinkedIn sharing (item 1 above) - Use this feature to let your professional network know about a need, agency, or event and ask them to get involved.
  • Ability to copy link (item 2 above) - Users can now copy the link to needs, agency profile pages, and events right to their clipboard from our share menu. This is extremely handy when sending links via email or text.

Click here to learn more about the available sharing options.

Volunteer Module: New Features for Portals

Tool to Copy a Hub's Notification Templates

Campus Connect and Corporate Connect sites can now copy the notification templates from their hub when they want to make sure both sites have consistent messaging.

This setting is made in the Communication > Notifications area, under the Update Templates heading.

Campus Connect and Corporate Connect users, click here to learn how to use your hub's notification templates.

Volunteer Module: Updates

Removal of 1.0 Features

The following 1.0 features have been removed or hidden in this latest upgrade:

  • Polls (previously located in Plugins)
  • Forums (previously located in the System area)
  • Categories (previously located in the System area)
  • Templates (previously located in the System area)

Polls and forums were removed because they were legacy modules that are no longer supported in version 2.0. The "categories" area was hidden to prevent confusion with causes and interests. The "templates" feature was hidden because it is used only by the Galaxy Digital staff and not system managers.

Footer Includes Galaxy Digital Logo

The following Galaxy Digital logo has been added to the footer of all Galaxy product platforms.

Clicking the logo will take the user to our website, The logo and link were added to improve our client sites' positions in search engine results.

Easier Access to Google Analytics

Previously, if a system manager wanted to use Google analytics on their Galaxy product site, they could either access a limited version from the manager panel (System > Analytics), or they could reach out to Galaxy Digital to set up fuller access. With this new enhancement, system managers no longer have to contact Galaxy Digital for this. There is now an option in Site Settings to set up Google Analytics.

This setting is located in the Main Settings area of Site Settings, under the Custom Codes heading. Click here to learn more.

Increase Logo Size

Agency logos on so-called “cards” been made slightly larger for easier viewing. We still recommend that agencies upload logos that are roughly the same height and width; this will help the logo look as large as possible in the space provided.

Messaging Records for System Managers

System managers can now look at a list of the alerts Galaxy Digital staff have pushed to their site.

If you have a Galaxy Digital alert, you'll see a red banner across the top of your manager panel screen, as shown above. Click the banner to view the message. Messages are stored in the manager panel and can later be accessed by clicking the bell icon in the top right-hand area of your screen.

Custom "Check Box" Questions Cannot Be Required

When creating custom questions (in areas such as the user registration form and in advanced events), you can specify one of five question types:

  • Large text field
  • Small text field
  • Checkbox
  • Dropdown
  • Radio button

All question types can be marked as required except check boxes. This change was made because users were unable to skip check box questions if (1) none of the options applied and (2) there was no "does not apply" option available.

For more information question types, click here.

Easier Adding of Volunteer Hours

System managers will now have an easier time adding hours to need responses with new features that calculate the default time. For more information, click here.

"Duration" Field for Standard Needs

A Duration field has been added to the need-posting form for easier calculation of the default time spent volunteering. Duration data will be used when adding hours in the back of the site and by our Volunteer Check-in feature. Click here for more information.

"First" and "Last" Options on Pagination

First and Last links have been added to the front end pagination system so that users have an easier time navigating their search results.

Updates to "Password" Field

Passwords must now be a minimum of eight characters. Passwords are case-sensitive and can be a mix of letters, numerals, and symbols.

Site managers resetting a user's password from the manager panel could previously see the new password as they were typing it. Passwords will no longer be visible and will appear as a series of dots, just as they do on the front end.

Ability to Import Department

Galaxy Digital staff can now help system managers import a Department for their users. We anticipate that this enhancement will be particularly useful for Corporate Connect clients.

Additional Options in My Profile

Users now have more links available when they click their profile picture in the top right of the site. Note that it is now easier to navigate to the hours-tracking and need-response information stored there.

New Videos Limited to YouTube

Although we are grandfathering in all videos currently on Galaxy product sites, we now limit new videos to those on YouTube. This change does not affect an agency manager's ability to add a Vimeo or YouTube video to an agency profile.

Removal of "Contributor" User Type

Previously, three user types were allowed on a site:

  • Managers - also known as admins or Site Managers; could access the manager panel
  • Contributors - could not access the manager panel but could post new articles to the site's blog
  • Users - everyone else (volunteers and agency managers); could only access the front end of the site

Because the "contributor" type was used so rarely in previous versions, it has been discontinued.

Volunteer Module: Fixes

"Nearby" Dropped on Dashboard

The word “nearby” (shown below) has been dropped from the Dashboard.

Previous Version of Dashboard

Old Version of DashboardNew Version of Dashboard

This term was causing confusion for many users, and we felt that the functionality of this area could be left intact without it.

Option to View More Blog Entries

The blog widget on the Dashboard now includes a link to view more blog entries.

Click here to learn more about blogging in your Connect product.

Advanced Events Module

This round of enhancements includes no updates or fixes to the Advanced Events Module (AEM).

New: Ability to Export a Responses for a Single Need

Agency managers have always been able to export all of the responses for a given advanced event, but they can now narrow their export down to just the responses to a specific AEM need.

Note that you can also message the volunteers from the left-hand side of the page.

Disaster Response Module

This round of enhancements includes no fixes to the Disaster Response Module (DRM).

New: Ability to Add a User within the DRM

When your site is turned into a Volunteer Action Center using the DRM, volunteers are sometimes interviewed for positions in person. A system manager working in the DRM area of the manager panel can now add a new user to the site without leaving the module.

New: Ability to Add a DRM Profile to an Existing User

In addition to allowing system managers to search for disaster response profiles of users, system managers can now add them to users from DRM. This means that a manager can put this information into the system on a volunteer’s behalf without assuming the user.

New: Ability to Clone DRM Needs

System managers and agency managers can now clone DRM needs, making it even easier to set the system up with content with time is of the essence.

Update: DRM Messaging Moved to Email Blast

Previously, site managers who wanted to message users or agency managers regarding disaster response had to do so from the Communication tab within the DRM. This feature has been moved to the Email Blast tool.

This filter is also available in the Volunteerism > Users area of the Manager Panel. In that area, you can export the filtered list as needed.

Service Learning Module

This round of enhancements includes no updates or fixes to the Service Learning Module (SLM).

New: Professor Ability To View Student Responses

Professors and course assistants can now see who has responded to which needs within their SLM environment. This new feature is especially helpful when trying to dig into how responsive a student has been on which needs are not getting enough attention from students.