Public release date: March 29, 2021
Intro to the Enhancements
The features in this release focus on two areas and include a number of miscellaneous improvements. The first area of focus is Qualifications. The second area of focus is the way sites connect with one another, often referred to colloquially as "hubs and portals." These two focuses overlap significantly in this build, as it includes updates to the ways that Qualifications work across sites, better enabling Community Connect sites with Qualifications to connect to the Get Connected sites that prioritize connections. The miscellaneous features added benefit a variety of diverse use cases and clients.
This group of enhancements affect all clients' sites.
New permission level for "required to respond to any"
Site managers can now set qualifications with a permission level of "required to respond to any." These qualifications behave just like "required to respond to selected," except they do not need to be assigned to needs. This means that all needs will be visible but a volunteer cannot respond unless they have been approved for the associated qualification. The site will check for this type of qualification each time a user tries to respond to any need on the site. This makes setting up sites faster and easier and is designed to support use cases like "site-wide waivers."
New permission level for "required to use the site"
A second new permission level will let site managers set a qualification that prevents a user from leaving their profile page until they are qualified. This also supports a "site-wide waivers" use case, but this type of permission level is much more restrictive and limiting to a user: they can register for the site without this qualification, but they cannot do much of anything on your site until they have been qualified. This is recommended for sites that want users to be "pending" as they sign up.
Correct answers in auto approve
When you create multiple-choice qualifications, you can select one answer to be correct, and any user who gives that answer will be automatically approved. All other answers will be automatically rejected. This is handy for situations where the site manager does not want to manually review what users answer, and there is just one specific answer that should designate someone as qualified. For instance, "Do you speak Spanish?" may have a "Yes" option which is set to automatically approve a user.
Site managers can mark a user's qualification answer as "resubmit" to trigger a message to them and give them another opportunity to answer. This is useful for when a user makes a small mistake but does not deserve to be rejected outright.
First of the year expiration
Some sites qualify all of their volunteers each year at the same time. For cases like this, we recommend this new "first of the year" expiration type. Any qualification with this expiration type will expire all answers on Jan 1 each year. Use this to make sure you keep up with annual requirements of your organization.
Videos in overlay
Youtube and Vimeo videos added to qualifications now open in an overlay when clicked. This will keep the user in the site while they watch training videos, so they don't have to leave and come back.
Adjustment to bypass requirement of site manager when updating user's qualifications
Site managers can now submit answers to qualifications on behalf of users without being forced to answer the user's missing required qualifications. You can submit one at a time so that you are more targeted and efficient.
This group of enhancements only affects clients that utilize our Galaxy Link and have a sharing relationship with another site. Other clients are not affected.
Approving Content and the Galaxy Link area
If your site receives content from another site, you will now have a "Galaxy Link" area in the left navigation of your manager panel. This area will show content-receiving sites each need, agency, event, and initiative added by their partner(s). Most importantly, content-receivers can use this area to "accept" content posted by their partner sites, and there is a setting to let sites manually approve all content rather than have it all automatically appear.
Qualifications across sites
Up until now, needs with qualifications have only been allowed to show on their local site. If a need/opportunity had a qualification, it was not displayed on a connected site. We are now able to share those needs with partner sites, and content-sender's qualifications will be a part of the volunteer's response process. This dramatically expands the possibilities for site sharing agreements.
Bifurcation of email and reporting relationships
Until 2.19's release, sending emails across sites and sending reporting data across sites were controlled by the same mechanism. That mechanism has been split in two, and we can now create and edit these relationships separately. Two sites can now establish a reporting relationship without one partner being able to email users on the other site, or two sites can create an email-sending relationship without sending reporting data. And of course, these relationships can exist independently of any content sharing.
Anonymization option for report-sharing relationships
If two sites are sharing reporting data, those data can be anonymized to protect user. Users who respond to needs on another site will still be visible in the Manager Responses area, but reports will be anonymized so that user privacy is protected. This makes a number of reporting relationships possible that were previously not acceptable due to the sharing of personal identifiable information.
Bulk filters for controlling the flow of needs across sites
Bulk filters for sharing and hiding needs have been added to the Manage Needs area. The tools can be used to manage needs from another site en masse, speeding up site managers' ability to control the flow of needs/opportunities to their users.
Donations can be sent to either site when content is shared
If two sites have a content sharing relationship, and they both take donations through our integration with Stripe, users will now have more chances to choose where they want to donate after responding to a need. This flexibility will feel more natural to the users and will empower them to send their money where they want.
These features affect all clients' sites.
Redo hours area
We updated the area in site settings where site managers add and edit custom hours questions and properties of the hours form. The data have a whole new storage system that allows us to capture even more hours questions, and the hours questions you add to your site can be even more targeted based on how users are entering hours. There is no limit to the number of custom questions that can be created. Site Managers can now choose which fields are shown and required.
Redo Agency/Program stats area (no show report)
We know that agency/program managers have long wanted new reports and functions, and we know that their stats area has not been updated in some time. We redid the stats area so that it includes more data on responses and hours, and there are new tools there that will help them coordinate the volunteers data who work with them.
Choose users' landing page
Site managers can now choose the landing page (first page) for users when they log in. If your site has a critical initiative, important training data on a CMS page, or something else you need everyone to see, you can use this feature to make sure it's visible to volunteers upon logging in.
Duplicate hours popup
Perhaps the most important data we capture in our software are the hours served by our client's volunteers. With so much emphasis on this data, and with so many ways to capture hours, there are occasionally duplicate entries made. The software will now look for existing hours that match the hours data entered and alert the person entering the data of the possibility the hours might already be logged. This should reduce duplicates and increase confidence in the hours data.
Need contact fields
There are two new need fields to help you document and communicate who is in charge of volunteer opportunities. These will be especially useful to sites capturing hours and reporting them to FEMA, but it will also help let volunteers know who is in charge at a service location if it is someone other than they agency/program manager.
A few of our clients work across timezones, and they need to communicate which shifts fall in a given timezone, so that their volunteers know when to show up. Site managers can communicate timezones to users by turning the new timezone setting on, and we will collect and display timezones as shifts are added and edited. This will primarily benefit clients who cover a large geographical area, clients are the edge of timezone, and state site clients.
Locked UG membership
When a site manager adds a a user to a user group, they sometimes want to make sure that the user is permanently a part of that user group. To this end, site mangers can now stop users from leaving a user group with a simple setting. This will ensure that users stay in a group they are assigned until a site manager removes them.
User filter for shift date
You can now filter your users based on the date they are going to volunteer. Use this to email all users who have a response on a particular day when the weather is bad, you need to cancel, or there is COVID related information you need to share.
Some small changes were made to they way we show our SMS module to clients. It will now appear for all clients, even if they do not have text credits, but they won't be able to send anything from the tool without credits. This will show people the tool before they choose to buy credits.