With version 2.12 (beta release in December 2017; full release in January 2018), you'll see some big changes to how initiatives, user groups, and privacy work:

  • Needs can now be assigned directly to user groups.
  • Agency managers can both make needs private and assign needs to user groups.
  • Whole initiatives can no longer be assigned to user groups.

This article is an overview of these changes. Existing articles in the Help Center will be retired or updated as necessary in time for the full release of version 2.12 in January 2018.

Assigning Needs to User Groups

Needs can now be assigned directly to user groups and no longer have to be associated with an initiative to be available to a user group.

The Setup Prior to Version 2.12

If you look at the initiatives form (Volunteerism > Needs, Initiatives), you'll see that the Show Publicly and Show Only to User Groups options are no longer there. Here's how this looked prior to version 2.12 (click image for a larger view):

This setup had a several of drawbacks, as we learned from client feedback, including:

  • Private initiatives didn't mean private needs. It was cumbersome to remember that needs within a "private" initiative weren't necessarily private, and that the needs had to be made private, too.
  • All user groups assigned to an initiative could see all needs. It wasn't possible to make individual needs within an initiative privately available to individual user groups. If multiple user groups had private access to an initiative, everyone in each user group could see all of the needs within it.
  • The combinations could get confusing. The various combinations (private initiative-public need; public initiative-private need; etc.) and the way they appeared to volunteers were hard to keep track of. 

The 2.12 Setup

With version 2.12, needs--whether public or private--can be assigned directly to user groups. Needs can still belong to initiatives, but they no longer depend on initiatives to be privately available to groups.

Making a Need Private

It is still necessary to mark a need as private in order to hide it from the general public on your site. The same Public/Private option is available on the need-posting form for site managers. New with version 2.12, this option is also available to agency managers.

Assigning a Need to a User Group

Once a site manager or an agency manager has created a need, they will see a new User Groups table at the bottom of the Update Need page. (Click image for a larger view.)

To assign the need to a user group, simply select a user group from the dropdown and click Add User Group. (Click image for a larger view.)

Assigning a need to a user group will have the following effects:

  • A member of an assigned user group, when filtering needs by user group, will be able to find this need. In addition, their My User Groups area will have a link to their group's assigned needs.
  • If the need is private, then members of the assigned user group will be able to see the need by default when viewing needs on your site. Private needs will include a "lock" icon next to the need title.

Note: If someone has a private link to a need, then they will be able to see the private need, regardless of whether they belong to the assigned user group.

What Does This Mean for Initiatives?

Initiatives are now public by default. As long as they contain public needs, they will be searchable on your public site. If all needs within an initiative are private, however, the initiative will essentially be "private." User group members with access to private needs can view those needs from their My User Groups area.

When a site is upgraded to version 2.12, all active initiatives that have user groups assigned to them will automatically be reconfigured. The needs within the initiative will be assigned to the user groups directly. This will ensure that your user groups do not have any interruption or change in how they are able to view the needs assigned specifically to them.