If you are a nonprofit that provides service opportunities for court-ordered community service, you have unique requirements for tracking that service. You may need to know the nature of an individual's conviction, the court docket number, the number of hours required, the parole officer, and more. With user groups, you can:

  • collect that information discreetly
  • set aside special opportunities for members of the court-mandated user group 
  • track and report on community service hours.

This article walks you through the steps of creating and managing a "court-mandated" user group:

You will also see how to: 

Step 1: Set Up a "Court-Mandated" User Group

When creating a user group for court-mandated community service, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • For Title, use something like "Court-Mandated Service Hours." Later, when members log their hours, they'll select this designation.
  • For Public Description, explain that they'll need to select the user group when logging hours later on. You might also emphasize that membership in the group is private, and that not even the other group members know who else is in the group.
  • For the Show Résumé to Members option, we suggest selecting No. For other user groups (such as corporate or civic volunteer groups), members enjoy seeing their group impact on the resume. Because your court-mandated volunteers are not working as a unified group, the resume will not be applicable. (All volunteers, including those in your court-mandated group, will still have access to their individual volunteer resumes.)

Learn How: See Creating and Editing a User Group for instructions on creating a user group on your Connect site.

Step 2: Set Up User Group Join Questions

Before you begin adding members to your user group, think about the information you'll need from them right off the bat--such as their reason for conviction or their court docket number. You can then create user group join questions to gather this information easily and discreetly. Here's how it works:

  1. You send an individual the user group join link.
  2. When they click the link, they're taken to your user group join questions.
  3. Once they've submitted their answers, they are added to the user group.

Learn How:  See User Group Questions: Collecting Information from New Members for instructions on creating, editing, viewing, and exporting user group questions and answers.

Step 3: (optional) Set Up a Initiative for Court-Mandated Community Service

It's not necessary to set up an initiative for court-mandated community service opportunities, but an initiative does offer several benefits:

  • When posting opportunities, your site's agencies or programs can select whether they want the opportunity to be available as a court-ordered service opportunity.
  • If there are some agencies that should not be posting court-mandated opportunities, you can exclude them from the initiative.
  • You can customize the confirmation, reminder, or follow-up notifications for court-mandated opportunities--so if there are special instructions for all volunteers who respond to court-mandated opportunities, you can provide them through the initiative setup.

Keep in mind that if the needs within the initiative are to be privately available to members of the court-mandated user group, you'll still need to assign the need to the group. Also be aware that opportunities can't be assigned to more than one initiative at a time. So, for example, you can't assign an opportunity to both your Day of Caring and your court-mandated initiative.

Learn How: Click here to learn more about setting up initiatives.

Step 4: Begin Assigning Needs to the User Group

When needs are assigned to a user group, members can view them by going to the User Groups area of their profile and clicking View Needs.

If an assigned need has been marked private, it will appear with a "lock" icon, as shown for the "Office Work" need below:

Learn How: See Assigning Needs to User Groups for instructions on assigning needs, both individually and in bulk. In addition, check out this video on assigning needs in bulk.

Step 5: Add Members to the User Group

It's time to begin adding members to your user group! You can add new members at any time. Note that, if you've attached user group join questions, you'll want to use the join-link method to ensure that new members answer the questions before being added to the group.

Learn How: Click here to learn how to add members to a user group.

User Group Reports

As a site manager, you have access to the following reports related to user-group activity and impact:

  • User Group Résumé - Even if you've suppressed the user group résumé from the user group members, you can still access it from the Manage User Groups area of your site manager panel. (From the table filter on that page, select to show the Resume Link column, and then click the Copy button to copy the link to your clipboard.)
  • User Group Summary - Located in your Reports area, shows total members and hours for all user groups on your site.
  • Hours By User Group - For a selected date range, you can view all of the members of the user group, as well as their submitted hours.
In addition, all user exports on the site include information about associated user groups. 

Learn More: Click here to learn more about user group reports.

The Email Blast and Your Court-Mandated User Group

If you need to send an email to the members of your user group members, the email blast has a special filter for messaging user groups. Note that you can also opt to exclude court-mandated user-group members from an email blast that is going to the other users on your site.

Learn How: For more information on using the email blast and the user filter, see Email Blast: Reaching Out To Your Site's Volunteers.