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Product Release Notes - October 2017

Advance Release Date: September 25, 2017

Planned Public Release: October 18, 2017

Click below or scroll down to learn about the newest enhancements to your Connect site.

Note: These updates do not apply to the legacy (1.0) version of Get Connected.

New Features for All Sites

The following features have been added to all Connect platform sites.

Qualifications

Site managers can now create a system of qualifications to limit access to certain needs or prevent unqualified volunteers from responding to a need. You can use this system to store valuable information about volunteers, such as training expiration dates, driver licenses, and more. This valuable tool has several important elements, and you can learn more about them in these articles:

Note: As you'll learn in Managing Qualifications, agency managers must be first given permission to assign qualifications to needs before they'll see that option on the need-posting form. 

Map View for Needs, Events, and Agencies

In addition to grid view and list views, your Connect site now includes a map view of needs, events, and agencies. Locations shown on the map are based on address, so accuracy depends on filling in address fields. If only a ZIP code is entered, the map will show a location in the middle of the ZIP code. As with grid and list view, you can change your site settings to make map view the default view for all users.

Benchmarks and Badges

When volunteers document a certain number of hours, site managers can reward them and record their accomplishment in their Connect site. Benchmarks allow managers to set a number of hours, a date range, and other conditions. The system then checks nightly for volunteers who have reached that the benchmark and emails them with a shareable badge. Badges also appear in the volunteer's user profile and on their résumé. 

Updates for All Sites

The following features have been updated for all Connect sites.

Hide Registration Steps

Some sites want to streamline their registration as much as is possible. To this end, site managers can now turn off certain default steps (selecting causes, selecting interests, and selecting agencies) in the registration process.

Change Number of Causes or Interests

Sites can now have more or fewer causes and interests than the default 16 of each. Options are 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, or 24 of either, and the limits are set independently (for instance, you can have 20 causes and 8 interests). The count is limited to units of 4 for design purposes. To learn more, click here. To request that your count of causes or interests be increased or decreased, contact our Customer Care team.

Updates to the User Profile

Availability

Volunteers can now be asked to tell the site what days of the week, and what times of day, they are available. This feature replaces the availability fields that previously appeared on the need-response form. Availability appears in the user profile, can be added to the user registration form, can be searched in the user filter (and used in the email blast), and can be viewed in a new Volunteer Availability report.

Distance Willing to Travel

Volunteers can now add a "distance willing to travel" mileage to their user profile. This information can be particularly useful for disaster response. You can add this question to the user registration form, and you can also search distances willing to travel in the user filter (and the email blast). The user filter looks specifically at users who are willing to travel to a given postal code.

Favorite Agency

If companies in your community use a Dollars For Doers type of program, you can have volunteers indicate a favorite agency for corporation donation-matching, or for corporate donations made based on hours volunteered.

Household Income Removed

The Household Income question has been removed from volunteer registration, the volunteer profile, and the list of registration questions that can be added. Historical data will be preserved.

New and Updated Reports

The "Today's Shifts" report has been updated. You can now enter date ranges (rather than viewing shifts for a single day), and need titles are now clickable. When you click a need title, a new "Volunteer Availability" report will open in a new tab, showing all scheduled and available volunteers for the selected shift. Availability is based on both the availability information entered in a volunteer's profile, and the volunteer's perceived availability based on their other need responses.

A new "User Qualification Summary" report provides data about each of the active qualifications on your site, including the number of needs with the qualification and the number of volunteers who meet each qualification.

To learn more about reports, see the Reports Overview.

Bulk User Group Assignment

Site managers have a new way to add volunteers to a user group: They can add them in bulk from the user filter. This feature will be particularly useful for site managers who wish to add a number of existing users to a user group (for example, adding employees with a common email domain to their company's user group). Click here to learn more.

Available Overrides

The following new terms can be overridden in your software:

  • Qualification
  • Benchmark
  • Favorite (for "Favorite Agencies")

To learn more about other available overrides, see our Language Overrides article.

Other Modules

Advanced Events Module

There were no changes to the advanced events module this release.

Service Learning Module

There were no changes to the service learning module this release.

Disaster Response Module

A new initiative type now appears for sites that have the Disaster Response Module (DRM). Marking an initiative with this new "Disaster Response" type will allow site managers to manage disaster-response needs in the ordinary need system, granting them access to shifts, team sign-ups, a red banner prioritizing those needs, and more. This new feature is not part of the DRM but is only available to DRM clients. Click here to learn more. 

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