Help Center

Managing User Groups

A user group is a way to group qualifying volunteers under a single "umbrella" so that volunteers and organizations can (1) measure engagement for multiple people who are volunteering on behalf of their larger group, and (2) engage community initiatives as a group.

A user group may be a company, club, church, or other organization whose members volunteer as agents of their larger group. It can also be a group of selected volunteers who have needed expertise or training in an area (for example, volunteers who are veterinarians or are qualified to prepare tax returns).

As a site manager, you have several capabilities regarding user groups:

  • Access to data (such as need-response and hour information).
  • Ability to assign initiatives and needs privately to one or more selected user groups.
  • Ability to create, edit, and delete user groups.
  • Some degree of control over who can be admitted into a user group.

View our video on the user-group management area.

This article is a guide to working with user groups on your Connect site. It covers the following topics:

Accessing the User-Group Management Area

To access the user-group management area, go to Volunteerism > User Groups in your site manager panel's left-hand menu.

The Manage User Groups page displays a table listing all existing user groups on your site. You can view the following information in the table:

Column Description
ID Each user group is assigned an ID number when it is created.
Title Title of the user group.
Initiatives Number of initiatives to which the user group is assigned. If a user group is assigned to an initiative, the initiative information will not be visible to people who do not belong to the user group.
Members Number of people that are in the user group. See Adding Members to a User Group to learn how someone can become a member of a user group.
Status Statuses are active, pending, and inactive. To view user groups by status, click the up/down arrows in the column header.
Allowed Domains Email domains that allow a user automatic acceptance into a user group. You specify a domain when creating or editing the user group.
Domain The site on which the user group originated. Unless your site uses a Galaxy Link to share data with another site, all user groups will display the same domain—yours.
Join Link  Click the Copy icon in this column to copy the "join link" to your clipboard. When a user clicks on the "Join Link" for a user group, they are immediately added to that group.
Reporting Link Click the Copy icon in this column to copy the "reporting link" to your clipboard. This link takes a user to the user-group report, which shows hours, responses, impact value, and other important data for the past six months.

The ID, Title, Initiatives, and Status columns are shown by default. Use the Table Filter to show additional columns or hide columns from view.

Creating and Editing a User Group

To create or edit a user group:

  1. Access the user-group management area by going to Volunteerism > User Groups in your manager panel.
  2. To edit a user group, click on the user group title. To create a new user group, click the Add New User Group button.
  3. Complete or edit all applicable fields.
    Field Description
    Status Select Active, Pending, or Inactive as applicable.
    Title Type the title of the user group.
    Description Type a user-group description. This field is for site-manager use only and does not appear on the front end of your site.
    Allowed Domains If a volunteer's email address is from an "allowed domain," that volunteer will automatically be added to the user group. Examples of email domains are,, and
  4. Click the button to Create or Update the user group as applicable.

You are now ready to add members to the user group.

Adding Members to a User Group

There are several ways for a volunteer to join a user group on your Connect site:

Note: The user import tool can be used to assign new or existing users to a user group en masse. For more information, contact Customer Care.

Adding an Individual Volunteer to a User Group

To add a user to a user group:

  1. From Volunteerism > User Groups, click on the title of an existing group to open it.
  2. Scroll to the User Group Members area at the bottom of the page. If the group has any existing members, they will be shown in a table here.
  3. In the Add New Member box on the right-hand side of the page, begin typing the first or last name of the volunteer you want to add to the user group. As shown in the example below, the volunteer's name should pop up.
  4. Select the volunteer from the name(s) provided so that their name appears in the field.
  5. Click Add New Member.

The new member will appear in the User Group Members table at the bottom of the page.

Note: To remove a member from a user group, click the applicable X under the Options column in the list of user-group members. Volunteers also have the option to remove themselves from a user group.

Note: You can also add or remove a user-group member by going to that volunteer's profile (from Volunteerism > Users) clicking User Groups, and adding or removing as needed.

Adding Multiple Volunteers to a User Group

Click here to view a video on adding volunteers to a user group in bulk.

You can use the user filter to add multiple volunteers to a user group in bulk. For this method to work, the volunteers must all have a profile element in common: the same email domain, the same company, the same interest, etc.

To add volunteers in bulk to a user group:

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Users to open the user-management area.
  2. Run a filter to narrow the list of volunteers to those you wish to add to the user group. In this example, the site manager is running a filter for all volunteers whose email addresses end in ""
  3. Click Submit.
  4. From the Select an Action dropdown, select Add/Remove User Group.
  5. From the dropdowns that appear, select Add to the following user group, and then select the user group. In this example, the site manager has selected Galaxy Digital.

    Note: If the user group does not appear in the dropdown, go to Volunteerism > User Groups to ensure that the group is active. If you have not created the user group yet, or if it is still pending or has been made inactive, it won't appear in this dropdown.

  6. Click Update User Groups.

The selected users are now members of the user group. No email is sent automatically to inform them of this change, so if you want to let them know, you can use the email blast with the filter User Data > User Group > belongs to.

Note: You can also use the process described above to bulk-remove volunteers from a user group.

Accessing and Sharing the "Join Link"

Once you've created and saved a user group, your Connect system automatically generates a "join link" that you can copy, paste, and share. There are two ways that you can access a user group's "join link"; both involve copying the "join link" to your clipboard.

  • From Volunteerism > User Groups, click on the title of an existing group to open it. Next, click the Copy Join Link button in the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • Go to Volunteerism > User Groups, and use the Table Filter as needed to ensure that the user-group table includes a Join Link column. Click the Copy icon.

Once you have copied the "join link" to your clipboard, you can paste it into a message to any volunteer who should be in the user group. Once they click the link, they'll be automatically added to the user group.

Specifying an "Allowed Domain"

This feature is particularly useful if companies have been set up as user groups. If a volunteer signs up for your site using an allowed email domain (such as for a user group, they will automatically be added to that user group.

To specify an allowed domain:

  1. From Volunteerism > User Groups, click on the title of an existing group to open it.
  2. Scroll down to the Allowed Domains field and type the domain.

    Note: It is not necessary to include the "@" symbol in the domain; it will be added automatically. Separate multiple domains by a comma.

  3. Click Update User Groups.

Note: Allowed domains are not restrictive. Anyone can join a user group as long as they have a link, regardless of their email domain.

If a volunteer's email address already has the allowed domain but they were registered on your Connect site before you set up the allowed domain, they will not automatically be added. You either need to add them manually or send them the "join link." You can use the Email Blast tool to send an email with the join link to everyone on your site who has the same email domain.

Note: If multiple user groups have an "allowed domain" in common, a volunteer with that domain will be added to all applicable user groups.

Assigning an Initiative to a User Group

When creating or editing an initiative, you can select to make it visible only to certain user groups. If the needs within that initiative are made private, then the user group(s) assigned to the initiative will be able to see and respond to those needs.

Note: There are only two ways that a volunteer on your site can view a private need: if they click a direct link to the need, and if the need is part of an initiative to which their user group has been assigned. To learn more about need privacy on your Connect site, click here.

To assign an initiative to a user group:

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Needs.
  2. Click on Initiatives to open the Manage Initiatives page.
  3. Select an initiative from the table, or create a new one as applicable.
  4. For Privacy, select Show Only to User Groups. (Default is Show Publicly.) A new User Groups field appears below the option.
  5. Select a user group from the User Groups dropdown.
  6. Click to Create or Update the initiative, as applicable.

Once you've made an initiative available to a user group, you can share the private link with them. This URL is located at the top of the updated Update Initiative page, in the Initiative Link box.

Associating a Need Response with a User Group

As a site manager, you can add need responses on behalf of your site's volunteers. When adding a need response, you can also choose to associate the response with a user group so that the response, and any associated volunteer hours, is reflected in the user's records and in the user group resume.

Instructions for adding a need response are provided here. Note that, once you select the volunteer via the User Lookup tool, a user-group dropdown appears, and you can select the applicable user group at that time.

Applying a Benchmark to a User Group

You can reward members of a user group by creating a benchmark just for them. Volunteers who meet the benchmark criteria will get have a user-group badge added to their volunteer profile and resume. In this example, the site manager has created a special "Galaxy Digital All-Star Volunteer" benchmark for Galaxy Digital employees who submit 500 volunteer hours in 2017.


Note that both the volunteer and the response must be associated with the user group in order to qualify for the user-group benchmark and badge. If the volunteer belongs to a user group but their need responses aren't associated with it, your Connect system will not count the related hours toward the benchmark.

For more information on creating and managing benchmarks, click here.

Deactivating a User Group

To delete a user group from your site:

  1. From Volunteerism > User Groups, click on the title of an existing group to open it.
  2. From the Status column at the top of the Update User Group page, select Inactive.
  3. Click Update User Group.

Once a user group is deactivated, it shows up in faded text in the table of user groups.

Importing a User Group

Galaxy Digital's import tool includes the ability to import the following user-group information:

  • Title
  • Description
  • Allowed domains

To import user groups or get more information, contact Customer Care. To learn more about Connect site imports, check our our Imports FAQ and our Policy for Data Imports.

User Group Reporting

Your Connect site compiles the following reports that are specific to user groups:

  • User Groups by Initiative
  • User Group Summary
  • User Group Report and Resume
  • Top 50 User Group Prospects

You can also see user-group data in various exports (such as the user, response, and hours exports), and you can filter users by user group in the user filter (located in both Volunteerism > Users and Communication > Email Blast).

User Groups by Initiative

Accessed from the Needs section of the Reports area, this report includes a dropdown for selecting an initiative. Once you've selected an initiative, click Go to view the following data:

  • Names of all user groups assigned
  • Number of initiative needs to which each group responded
  • Number of user-group members who responded to needs within the initiative
  • Number of agencies whose initiative needs were responded to by each group
  • Total number of need responses by the user group for this initiative
  • Number of  volunteer hours for the initiative; the table differentiates between hours that were entered (but not yet submitted), pending, approved, and denied.

Like all other reports, the User Groups by Initiative report can be exported into a spreadsheet by clicking the Export icon above the table.


User Group Summary

Accessed from the Users section of the Reports area, this report displays the following user-group data for a selected date range:

  • Domain ID and name of the site where each user group originated (useful if your site is sharing data with another site via a Galaxy Link)
  • Group ID and title of each user group that can respond to your site's needs
  • Total users within each user group
  • Total need responses for each user group
  • Number of unique users who responded to needs

    Note: Total need responses will differ from total unique user responses if a single user responded to more than one need. For example, if a single volunteer has three need responses, the report will show the three responses and one unique user.

  • Number of hours for each user group; the table differentiates between hours that were entered (but not yet submitted), pending, approved, and denied.

User Group Report

The User Group Report is a front-end report that is available to all members of all user groups. It uses attractive, user-friendly graphics to convey the following information for the entire user group for the past six months:

  • Total number of volunteer hours submitted
  • Overall impact value
  • Number of members
  • Total number of needs to which the group responded
  • Number of volunteer hours by month
  • Number of need responses by month
  • Number of need responses by primary interest of the need

    Note: Primary interest is determined by the agency manager when they post the need.

  • List of needs to which the group responded
  • List of agencies with with the need responses are associated

If the user group has been assigned one or more initiative, the report includes an option to view all of the above data by initiative.

To access it:

  1. You must be logged in as a member of a user group,
  2. From the profile dropdown, select My User Groups.
  3. In the My User Groups area that is displayed, click the applicable Copy button in the Reporting Link column.
    This action saves the report URL to your clipboard.
  4. Open a new tab and copy the report URL into the address bar.
  5. Press Enter.

Once you're viewing the report, you can select an initiative from the Filter by Initiative dropdown in order to view stats by initiative.

Top 50 User Group Prospects

If your site has multiple volunteers who share a common email domain (such as, those users may be good candidates for a user group based on that domain. This is particularly true if the  domain is for a local company or other organization that may be interested in tracking their volunteerism. The Top 50 User Group Prospects report, located in the Users area of your Reports page, provides an easy way to see what the most common domains on your site are.

This report lists the most common email domains on your site and shows how many users have that domain. It does not include domains that are already associated with a user group.

The Volunteer Experience

The following articles focus on the volunteer experience of user groups:

  • User Groups for Volunteers - Covers the basics of belonging to a user group: viewing user groups, responding to a need as part of a user group, accessing the user group report, and leaving a user group.
  • About User Groups: Volunteer FAQs - Frequently asked questions and answers for volunteers participating in user groups.
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