Version 2.13, Released March 20, 2018

Click below or scroll down to learn about the newest enhancements to your Connect site.

Note: These updates apply to all Connect sites using version 2.0 and later. They do not apply to the legacy (1.0) version of Get Connected.

New Features For All Sites

The following features have been added to all Connect platform sites.

Bulk actions for needs

Site managers can now select multiple needs and take the following actions on those needs:

  • Assign needs to an initiative
  • Assign needs to a user group
  • Make needs private or public
  • Make needs private and assign to a user group (single step)
  • Remove needs from an initiative or a user group

You can learn more about this exciting new feature in this article on bulk-management of needs.

Control over what fields appear on the user profile

You can now opt to hide certain fields from the volunteer profile. For example, if you don't want your users to have the Expected Graduation Date field in their profiles, you can turn that field off. You will still be able to see the hidden fields in the user's profile when viewed from your site manager panel. These controls are stored with the user-registration controls, so you can learn how to hide or show profile fields in the article Your Connect Site's User-Registration Form.


Users can now add themselves to a waitlist for full needs and shifts. They will be notified when space opens, volunteers can respond on a first come, first served basis when space is available, and site managers and agencies can manage the waitlist to make sure that sign ups run smoothly. You can read more about these new features here.

Consolidate response emails

Previously, if a volunteer responded to multiple shifts of a need, they would receive a separate confirmation email for each shift. With version 2.13, they will receive a single email listing all of the shifts they registered for. This enhancement will reduce the number of emails the volunteers receives and make it easier for them to look up the information they need.

Note: We strongly recommend that you update your Need Response Thank You message to make sure that your wording is in line with these updates. Click here to learn more about editing notification templates.

Easier navigation of the notifications-management area

The automated-notifications table (located in Communication > Notifications) is one of most asked-about areas of the site manager panel. A few updates make this table easier to use and navigate:

  • The table can now be sorted by column.
  • You can now filter columns by keyword.
  • A new Recipients column enables you to see which messages go to which types of users (site manager, agency manager, volunteers, or all users).

In addition, a number of the template descriptions have been updated for clarity. Learn more about automated notifications in this article.

New report: Responses by Initiative

With the new "Need Responses by Initiative" report, you can view all of the responses to the needs within a selected initiative. This new report will help managers who want to get an idea of the impact made by participants in a given initiative on their site. In structure, it is very similar to the response export available in the Advanced Events Module (AEM). Learn more about Connect site reporting for needs here.

Notify respondents when a need/shift is updated

To date, site managers or agency managers had to contact volunteers when important need or shift information changed. Now, site managers and agency managers can trigger a notification telling respondents that the description, address, date, or time of the need or shift has changed. You can learn more about this option in this article for site managers, and you can learn more about the Updated Need notification here.

New options in the user filter

The user filter has the following new options for filtering/exporting agency-manager data and emailing agency managers:

  • Filter agency managers whose agencies have responses from a selected user group.
  • Filter agency managers whose agencies have added a new need before, on, or after a selected date.
  • Filter agency managers by agency partner status--whether they are or are not a designated partner.
  • Filter agency managers whose agencies have participated in a selected initiative.
  • Filter agency managers by agency causes. For example, you can filter the list to those agency managers whose agencies have a cause of "Arts & Culture."

These new options will help you better engage your agency managers when you need them most. Learn more about the user filter here.

Volunteers can view shifts that occur on a selected day

When responding to shift needs, volunteers can now filter the shifts they see by the day of the week. For example, a volunteer who only wants to see the Monday shifts can narrow the list to show only the Monday dates. This new feature will make it easier for volunteers to find and respond to the shifts that best fit their schedules. Learn more here.

Team leader can now unregister their whole team at once

A team leader can now unregister their whole team at once. When they do this, the agency manager will be notified, and the team and all responses will be marked as inactive. This feature allows the whole team to change plans quickly if necessary. Learn more about how a team leader would unregister a team response here.

“Contact for support” email address setting

While every Connect site includes a link to Galaxy Digital's Help Center, site managers wanted volunteers and agency managers to have easy way to contact the site's local management as needed. Your Main Settings area now includes a place to specify an email address for users who have questions, and the footer of the user view now includes a Contact for Support button. Learn how to set this up in our Managing Site Settings article.

Notification on birthday

Clients have been asking for a special automated notification to wish site users a happy birthday on their birthdays. Your Connect site now includes a "Birthday Notification" template for that purpose. If a user has provided their birthday in their user profile, the birthday message will be sent to them automatically on the morning of their birthday! Learn more about this new notification here.

Updated Features For All Sites

The following features have been updated for all Connect sites.

Adding initiative data to various tables/reports

An Initiative column has been added to several tables in the site manager panel, making it even easier to see the impact made on a day of service or similar event.

More info on landing page for team join link

When a team leader since the "join link" to prospective team members, the link takes the individual to a page with information about the team. With this update, the team information page now includes more details about what a team member is signing up for, providing them with the information they need to make a difference.

Changes to agency sign up language

To sign up their agency for a Connect site, agencies previously needed to click a link that read "Do you represent an agency? Learn what Get Connected can do for you." Because that message did not reflect the desired message of many of our clients, we have changed the default text to "Click here to sign up your organization." Unlike the previous default text, the new wording can be completely overridden at your request. Contact our Customer Care team if you would like to request an override.

Verified Volunteers option now available on site manager panel

Sites that want to allow their agencies to integrate with Verified Volunteers will now see background check information when posting a need from the site manager panel. This feature was previously reserved only for agency managers. These changes allows site managers to work on needs that require a background check and see volunteers who have been screened.

Additional notification recipients will now be emailed on unregistration

For each need posted, an agency manager can specify one or more "additional notification recipients" to be notified when someone responds to a need. Previously, additional notification recipients were not notified when someone unregistered. With version 2.13, those individuals will be notified both when someone registers for a need, and when they remove their need response. Click here to learn more about the Additional Notification Recipients field on the need form.

ZIP code not required on the site manager's Edit User form

Several site managers have been frustrated by the fact that ZIP codes were required when adding or editing users. The ZIP code field and all fields on the Edit User form of the site manager panel (except first name, last, name, and email) will no longer be required. This is the case even if you require the field on the front end.

Changes to downloaded exports

As of now, there are two exports on Connect sites that are too large to run on demand: the user export (from Volunteerism > Users) and the hours export (from Volunteerism > Hours). Those two emails will be emailed to you (rather than generated immediately). With version 2.13, you will now have the opportunity to specify the email where you would like the export to be delivered.

Company and Address fields removed from the need-response form

When a volunteer clicks to respond to a need, they are shown a need-response form where they can provide further notes and details. Previously, that form included optional Company and Address fields. Because those fields are available in the user profile, they have been removed from the need-response form, simplifying the need-response process for volunteers.

Updated Values of Volunteer Hours by State

Independent Sector has released an updated value for volunteers' time by state, and these updates have been set as the default values for all Connect sites. If your site has a value in the Value of a Volunteer Hour field in site settings, that value will be used instead of the default. Clearing the value and submitting the page will cause your site to begin using the default rate. You can specify the rate in the Main Settings area of your site's settings.

Fixes For All Sites

The following bug fixes have been applied to all sites.

“Required email suffix” affects Step 1 of SSO and the Edit User form

If a site has a required email suffix for all users, the requirement will now be enforced for SSO users, and for users who edit their profile. The requirement will not affect site managers; they can still add or edit agency managers whose emails do not conform to the rule.

Improvements to team-management area of site manager panel & New count of team size and searchable team names on /manager/teams

You can now filter teams by team name in the team-management area of your site manager panel (Volunteerism > Teams). In addition, a new Team Size column shows the total slots that have been reserved for each team on your site.

Waiver requirements added to Volunteer Check-in

If a need has a waiver, it is presented to volunteers as part of their need-response form. Previously, there was no way to required a volunteer to agree to the waiver if they wanted to check in to the need without having a previous response to it. With version 2.13, if a volunteer checks in and there is no need response recorded, they will be required to agree to the waiver before they can complete check-in. (This enhancement does not affect needs that don't have a waiver attached.)

Updates to email templates

Notification template keys have been updated for consistency across templates. For example, all templates now include the to_firstname, to_lastname, site_link, site_name, and signature template keys. In addition, we have improved the consistency in template key names; for example, while both the site_name and site_title template keys used to pull the same information, site_name is now the only template key used for a site's name.

These are small changes that many site managers may not notice, but they were necessary for consistency and clarity.

Team leader can now keep reserved spots when unregistering members

When a site manager removes team members from a team, the slots for that team are still held. Previously, this didn't happen if a team leader removed team members; the team would lose their slots, which would go back to the general pool of volunteers. With version 2.13, both site mangers and team leaders can unregister team members without fear of losing the team's reserved slots.

Coming Soon site setting removed

The Coming Soon site setting has been removed. When activated (usually by accident), this setting prevented everyone, including the site manager who activated the feature, from using the site. If you wish to put your site into Coming Soon mode temporarily, contact our Customer Care team with your request.

Other Modules

Although there were no changes to the Advanced Events Module (AEM), Legacy Service Learning Module (Legacy SLM), or Disaster Response Module in this release, several of these changes are relevant to managers who rely heavily on the AEM but would like to consider initiatives as an alternative. For example, it's now very easy to email all agency managers who are participating in a selected initiative, and the "Need Responses by Initiative" is similar to the AEM's response export. If you have not already considered using initiatives instead of the AEM, you may wish to read our article explaining the differences.

Additionally, the SLM was recently updated extensively, and SLM managers who have not seen our previous release notes should check them out. Many of the enhancements listed above apply to the new SLM.