Version 2.5 Release Date: February 24, 2016

All enhancements apply to the Get Connected 2.0 platform. If you are on Get Connected 1.0 and wish to upgrade to Get Connected 2.0, please contact us for information and to schedule your free upgrade.

Volunteer Module: New Features

Our new features include a more robust searching/filtering tool, new notification templates, more registration options, and improvements to the manager panel.

Advanced Search on Front End

Users can now apply multiple search criteria to find needs, agencies, events, advanced-event needs, and disaster-response needs. To search, select all filters that apply, and then click the Search button. In this example, the user is searching for needs by county, interest, and keyword.

To remove a search criterion, click the red to the left of it.

"Family Friendly" Added to Age Search

"Family Friendly" was added as a search option so that users can search for needs that are good for the whole family. To search for family-friendly needs, select Family Friendly from the Age filter, and then click Search.

Note: Like the other "age" options, "Family Friendly" will be visible in the dropdown list only if an agency manager has selected it for a posted need.

Agency Managers: To learn how to designate a need as family-friendly, click here.

Ability to Search within a ZIP Code

If a volunteer lives in a dense metro area, finding a need within five miles is sometimes not close enough. Get Connected now offers the ability to search for needs that are within a ZIP code--and not within a certain number of miles from that ZIP code.

To search for miles within a ZIP code, select the Distance filter, select the Is in option, and enter the ZIP code. Click Search to view all needs within that ZIP code.

"Teams" Added to Search

A new "teams" search feature allows users to search for only those needs that accept (or don't accept) team signups. To search for needs that allow teams, select the Teams option from the search filter and click either Accepting Teams or Individuals Only. Click Search to view the results.

Digest Email

The new digest email will consolidate information from the following three automated notifications into a single, easy-to-read message:

This convenient new email will be sent every Monday morning. The body of the email will pull in and summarize the needs and events added in the previous week that match the recipient's interests or were posted by an agency the recipient has fanned. The email will also contain applicable links to the new content. Not included in the email will be inactive needs and events, and needs and events that belong to an inactive agency.

Note: The "Need Notification for Users with Interest" template has been discontinued. The two "Agency Fan" templates are still available in Get Connected and will continued to be triggered as previously. If you wish to deactivate these notifications (since the agency fan information is also included in the new digest), you can do that. Click here to learn more.

Note: Like all notifications in Get Connected, this template can be edited as needed. For information on editing templates, click here.

Notification Template for Rejected Volunteer Hours

A new notification template, "Get Connected Hours Rejection: User," has been added to Get Connected. This message is sent to a Get Connected user whose hours have been rejected by an agency manager. It informs them that their submitted hours have been rejected and includes a link to to Add Hours area of their user profile.

For more information on this template, click here. For instructions on editing notification templates, click here.

Emails for User Unregistration

When a user unregisters from a need, the following notifications will be triggered:

When a user unregisters from an event, the following notifications will be triggered:

Like all notification templates in Get Connected, all of these notifications can be edited as needed. Click the links above to learn about the specific notifications that have been added. For instructions on editing notification templates, click here.

Note: Similar notifications have been available in the Advanced Events Module (AEM) for some time. With this enhancement, they are now available for standard needs as well.

Registration Questions for Existing Users

In the past, a user could be registered for a site (via signup or import) before required user-registration questions were put into place. As a result, a question could be "required," but there would be users on the site who had not answered it.

A new enhancement helps ensure that all users, both new and existing, have the opportunity to answer any required registration questions the system manager puts into place.

If a required user-registration is added:

  • New users will have to answer it as part of their initial registration
  • Existing users will be taken to the question in their Edit Profile area whenever log in.

Existing users will not be required to answer the question at that time, but they will be brought back to it every time they log in until they've submitted an answer.

Option Not to Use Blog

All Get Connected 2.0 platforms include a "From the Blog" section in the bottom right-hand corner of the user dashboard. The section will now be visible only if there are active blog entries present. (Previously, it was not possible to hide the "From the Blog" section.)

To hide this section, the system manager should go to the blogging area of the manager panel and either remove the existing blog entries or mark them as "Pending."

Click here to learn more about managing your blog in Get Connected 2.0.

Ability to Clear Spotlight Fields

If a site manager wishes to replace the information in an existing spotlight with new information, Get Connected now offers the ability to clear all of the spotlight's fields with a single click.

To save any change to spotlights, including clearing a spotlight, remember to click Submit. Click here to learn more about using spotlights in Get Connected 2.0.

Streamlining of User Registrations

System managers now have the option to allow users to skip steps 2 through 5 of the registration process. This option is stored under the User Registration tab in Site Settings.

Click here to learn more about Get Connected's user-registration process.

Volunteer Module: Updates

Name Change on Email Sent

In Get Connected 1.0, the system manager could to enter the "From" name that would appear on automatic notifications. The feature was removed for the 2.0 release, but it has now been restored to the General tab in Site Settings.

If you leave this field blank, emails will be shown as coming from "No Reply."

Note: We recommend leaving this field blank, as the name "No Reply" will have an easier time getting through spam filters. Changing the default "Email From Name" in Site Settings may reduce the number of users who receive your Get Connected emails.

Note: Regardless of the Email From Name, the default return address for all Get Connected emails is

Click here to learn more about entering your organization information in Site Settings.

Hiding of Needs That Are Full

If a need, event, advanced-event need, or disaster-response need has no more capacity, it will not appear on the list of needs on the site, and it will not appear on the calendar. Users who have responded will still be able to access the need through their Need Responses tab (in the user profile) and through any other direct link.

Open-ended Questions on Hours Form

System managers can now add the following types of custom questions to the hours-submission form that volunteers and agency managers use:

  • Text (long and short)
  • Radio button
  • Dropdown
  • Check box

Questions are controlled under the Hours tab in Site Settings. Click here to learn more.

Note: Previously, only dropdown questions could be added. System managers can add a total of two questions to the hours-submission form. To learn more about the types of questions available, click here.

Ability to Require Hours-Submission Questions

In addition to adding various types of questions to hours-submission form, system managers can now opt to make a question required. Questions are controlled under the Hours tab in Site Settings; click here to learn more.

"Null" as Default for Team Number

The default capacity for a team is now left blank when team creators respond to needs. This helps to avoid data entry errors and encourages thoughtful entry of information.

"My Agencies" in Utility Bar

For agency managers, "My Agency" or "My Agencies" will now appear in the utility bar at the top of Get Connected in order to distinguish it from the Agencies menu item in the left hand navigation.

This change conforms to language overrides to "agency" and "agencies." For example, if your site uses the term "organization" rather than "agency," the utility bar will now read "My Organization."

Volunteer Module: Fixes

Check Boxes More Prominent

Some users reported the check boxes on various front-end pages were difficult to see. Those check boxes have been made more prominent.

Default Icon for Needs Without Interests

A new icon has been added for needs that do not have a primary interest.

This icon replaces the blank circle that previously appeared for needs that have been imported with no assigned interest.

Advanced Events Module: Updates

Community Impact Areas

Community Impact Areas (CIAs) have been added to the front and back end advanced-events need forms. They will only appear if there is at least one active CIA on the site. As with CIAs on standard needs, if CIAs are used, agency managers are required to select a CIA for each need posted.

Click here to learn more about CIAs.

Change in Default Sort Order

The default sort order of needs on a given advanced event has been changed to descending by date updated. Users can still see the manually sorted order created in the back end by choosing the Prepared Order sort option.

AEM: New Features and Fixes

This round of enhancements does not include new features or fixes for the AEM. 

Service Learning Module (SLM): New Feature

Custom Questions on Hours Submission Form

Custom questions can be created on a block-by-block basis for the students’ and agencies’ hours forms. Small text, large text, radio button, drop down, and check box questions can be created, each can be made required, and the answers to these questions appear in exports.

For more information on adding questions in the SLM, click here.

SLM: Update

Status Column Added to Block List

In the site manager panel, a "Status" column has been added to the block list so that system managers know at a glance what students are currently working on.

SLM: Fix

Removal of Outdated Fields in Manager Panel

Two fields, Logo and Site URL, were used in SLM 1.0 but not in SLM 2.0. The fields have been removed to avoid confusion.

Disaster Response Module (DRM): New Feature

Quicker Access to Disaster Opportunities

If the DRM has been activated by the system manager and there is an active, non-expired DRM need on the site, then the site will show a red banner for responding to DRM needs.

This banner appears in both the logged-in and logged-out views.

Emergency Contact Field Added

New fields for emergency contact information has been added to the DRM volunteer profile.

Additional Choices in Skills and Service

In the DRM volunteer profile, additional choices added to the lists in Skills and Services.

DRM: Updates and Fixes

This round of enhancements does not include updates or fixes for the DRM.