Automated notification messages are triggered by specific events; for example, when a volunteer responds to a need, two notifications are sent: one to the volunteer, and one to the agency manager. Templates for these messages are stored in the Communication area of your site manager panel, where you can access them for viewing, editing, and more.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

For site managers on platforms that use the Galaxy Link, this article also includes instructions on updating your templates to match those of the site whose needs are being shared with your site.

Note: Click here for our index of templates, which includes links to learn about the various templates available. Notification templates, when triggered, are sent both via email and to the user's in-app messaging mailbox.
Note: Currently, there is no "test" feature to see exactly what a sent notification will look like. To view a notification as it will appear to a user, you must "trigger" the message by taking the needed steps. For example, to see the message that goes to a volunteer when they respond to a need, you would need to respond to a need. You can set up a test need for this purpose.

Accessing Notification Templates

Notification templates are stored in the Communication area of the navigation menu, located on the left-hand side of the manager panel.

Click Notifications to see a table listing all of the available notifications on your site.

Note: The templates table shows each template’s name, description, recipient type, update status, and status. It also includes a Reset option. You can sort the listing by clicking the column headers, and you can filter it by typing keywords into the fields beneath the column headings and pressing Enter on your keyboard.

Viewing and Editing Notification Templates

As Site Manager, you can view the text of any notification template. If you wish to change the content of a template, you can do so.

Viewing a Template

Click on the name of a template to view it. On the screen that is displayed, you’ll see several fields and pieces of information:

StatusTemplates are active by default; select Inactive to deactivate a template.
TitleUsed by Galaxy Digital to identify the templates; cannot be edited.
NameUsed by Galaxy Digital to identify the templates; cannot be edited.
TypeModule with which the template is associated; cannot be edited.
RecipientThe type of user (volunteer, agency manager, site manager, etc.) who will receive the message; cannot be edited. If a notification has a recipient type of user, it will go to multiple types of users.
DescriptionExplanation of what's included in the template and what triggers it; cannot be edited.
SubjectThe message's subject line
MessageThe text of the message
Template KeysTemplate keys are codes that are replaced with specific information to better personalize the message.

Editing a Template

Notification templates are worded to apply to any number of Connect sites. Because your site is unique, you may want to make changes so that the templates better reflect your organization's platform. For example, you might want to add links, images, greetings, or a custom signature to contribute to the impression you wish to convey to your agency managers and volunteers.

Static Elements of the Templates

Before editing a template, it's important to know which elements of the templates cannot be changed. Those elements are listed here:

  • Template title, name, type, recipient, and description
  • Text of template keys
  • Presence of a template key (For example, if your template does not include an "event_name" key, you can't add that key to your template.)

You can only change a template's status, subject line, and message.

Steps for Customizing a Template

To edit an automated notification template:

  1. Open the template list in your manager panel by clicking Communication > Notifications.
  2. Click on the title of a template to open it.
  3. Make changes to the editable fields as desired. For information using the text editor, see "The Text Editor".

    Notes: You can use only the template keys available for the template you're working on. Changing the text of a template key will corrupt the coding of the template.
    While it is possible to copy and paste text from another program (such as Word), we recommend waiting until you have pasted the text into the Text Editor before formatting it (adding bold text, italics, etc.). Pasting heavily formatted text can result in formatting inconsistencies in the final, emailed message.

  4. Click Submit to save your changes.

Managing Your Site's Notification Templates

As a site manager, you have the following capabilities in the Notifications area of your site:

Creating a Custom Signature

Once you have created your custom signature, you must specify that you want it to be included in a message by adding the "signature" template key.

Creating a Custom Signature

To create a custom signature:

  1. From the Communication > Notifications area, click the Signature tab.
  2. Click the Signature tab.
  3. In the Email Signature field displayed, enter the signature you wish to use. 
  4. Click Update.

Applying the Custom Signature

To apply your custom signature to a template:

  1. From Communication > Notifications, click on the template to which you want to add the custom signature.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the template message, and place your cursor at the spot where you want the signature to begin.
  3. Click the {{signature}} template key, located in the list of template keys to the right. As shown below, the template key will appear in the message.
  4. Click Submit.

The custom signature will now appear in the designated space when the message for this template is sent.

Resetting to the Default Template

If you have edited a template, you may decide at some point that you want to restore it to the default. To restore a notification template to the default, click the Reset icon for the template you wish to reset.


Click Yes to confirm the reset.

Knowing When a Template Has Been Updated

Occasionally, we update the default text, text, description, or template keys of an automated notification template. If a change is made, you'll see a "thumbs up" icon under the Update column for the template.

Click on the "thumbs up" icon to preview the changes. To incorporate them into your template, click Submit.

Important: If you have already revised a template, updating it will cause you to lose your customized version. If you want to see the updates but don't want to lose your version of it, copy and paste it to another location before updating.

Turn Off a Template

All of your notifications are turned on by default. If you don't want a certain template triggered, you can deactivate it. To deactivate a template, select Inactive from the Status dropdown for that template, and then click Okay to confirm.

To reactivate a template, select Active from the applicable dropdown, and click Okay to confirm.

Note: Notification templates apply for both emails and in-app messaging. In other words, if you deactivate a template, the message will no longer be sent via email or to the user's in-app messaging mailbox.

Using Templates and the Galaxy Link

If another site (such as a United Way or regional volunteer center) shares volunteer Needs on your site via the Galaxy Link, check that the messages sent from your site are identical to those sent from the volunteer center.

To update your templates:

  1. Go to Volunteerism > Notifications and select Update Templates.
  2. From the Source Domain dropdown, select the site whose templates you want your site to use.
  3. Click Update Templates.