This article is geared toward site managers whose sites use the Galaxy Link.

What is the Galaxy Link?

Galaxy Link is a new technology that enables two or more Connect platforms to share data with each other. Platforms can choose to share (or not share) the following types of data:

  • Content: agencies, needs, initiatives, events, advanced-event needs, and users
  • Response Content: agency fans, event RSVPS, and need responses
  • Reporting Data: information that shows up only in the Reports area

The Galaxy Link can be used for a variety of sharing relationships, including:

  • A state site and local sites with in the state
  • A volunteer center and various local nonprofits
  • A United Way and local corporations
  • A volunteer center and local campuses

As long as both parties have Connect software, and as long as both parties agree about the nature of the sharing relationship, they can share information so that volunteers have a variety of opportunities and events that are catered to their needs and preferred causes.

This article focuses on the volunteer's perspective of a site that uses the Galaxy Link.

Data Sharing: The Volunteer Perspective

A volunteer who is using a site with shared data will be able to see whether a need, event, or agency originated from another site. The volunteer can respond to any remote need or event, or fan any remote agency, as long as it's displayed on their site. The steps involved in that response may vary, depending on the settings; see Responding to Remote Content.

Searching for Needs, Events, or Agencies

Volunteers can filter the need, event, and agency lists by site:

Viewing Needs, Events, and Agencies

If a volunteer is using a site that receives content from another site, they will see a "Brought to you by ..." message on any remote agency, need, or event.

This message appears at the end of the Details area for needs and events, and below the "Who We Are" and "What We Do" section on an agency's profile page.

Responding to Remote Content

The phrase "responding to remote content" refers to fanning an agency from another site or responding to a need or event from another site. When a volunteer responds to remote content, one of two things will happen, depending on the site's sharing setup

  • The volunteer is redirected to the remote site
  • The volunteer is not redirected and can respond to the remote need on their home site.

Responding on the Remote Site

If a site is not set up to open remote opportunities locally, a volunteer who responds to a remote need will be redirected to the site where the need originated. To respond, the volunteer must first log in to (or sign up for) the new site.

Note: The volunteer is first asked for permission to be redirected. They are taken to the new site only after they have clicked Yes.

Because the volunteer is responding to a need on a new site, they will see any custom questions that have been added for that site. Because they are no longer on their home site, they won't see any local custom questions.

Responding on the Home Site

If a site is set up to open remote needs locally, the volunteer remains on their home site and completes the response there. They will see the “Brought to you by …” message, but the experience will otherwise "feel" as if they are simply responding to a need, event, or agency that originated on their home site.

If their home site has added custom questions for needs, the volunteer must answer those custom questions, even if the need itself is from a remote site. Any custom questions added by the remote site will not be visible to the volunteer who is responding on a local site.

Logging Volunteer Hours

A volunteer must log their hours on the same site where they responded to the need. So if a volunteer responded on their home site to a remote need (i.e., they responded to another site's need without leaving their home site), they should log their hours locally (i.e., on their home site).