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Benchmarks: A Guide for Site Managers

This article applies to Connect platform site managers. If this article doesn't meet your needs, check out these related articles. Also available are videos on benchmarks and related badges.

As a site manager, you can set your Connect platform up to reward volunteers who submit their volunteer hours. This setup involves creating benchmarks for the number of hours to be submitted within a specified date range. Once a volunteer reaches a benchmark, they're awarded a badge* that they can share on social media. Badges also appear in their volunteer profile, volunteer resume, and in the notification that is sent to them when then achieve the benchmark.

This article addresses the following topics:

At the bottom of this page, you can find a list of other articles related to benchmarks.

What is a Benchmark?

A benchmark is a set number of volunteer hours that must be achieved within a certain time frame. Once a day, your Connect system runs a "benchmark check" to see which volunteers have achieved the benchmarks on your site. Notifications are then sent to those volunteers, informing them that they've achieved the benchmark, and associated badges appear in the email, in their user profile, and on their volunteer resume.

In addition to being useful for volunteers, benchmarks are a great tool for you as a site manager, particularly if your organization uses a Dollars for Doers program. Badges also serve as motivation for volunteers to submit their hours, and you can use benchmarks as a guide for recognizing your hardest-working volunteers in a more official setting later on.

What are Badges?

Once a volunteer achieves a benchmark the related badge appears in the volunteer profile, on the volunteer's resume, and in social-media posts shared to Facebook. (Twitter shares will include a link to the badge, but not the image of the badge itself.) Here's an example of how benchmarks and badges look in the volunteer profile:

badges_volunteer_view.png

Click here to see more examples of how badges appear to the volunteer.

The Benchmarks Management Area

You can add, edit, deactivate, and otherwise manage benchmarks from the benchmarks management area, accessible by clicking Volunteerism > Benchmarks.

menu_volunteerism.png

Like other management areas of your Connect site, you can do the following tasks from the Manage Benchmarks page:

  • View a sortable table of active, pending, and inactive benchmarks (By default, only active and pending are shown; click Show Inactive to view all benchmarks.)
  • Create, edit, and reactivate benchmarks
  • See the badges and required hours for each benchmark, along with other options and requirements

Elsewhere in your site manager panel, you can view benchmark and badge data from individual users' profiles, email volunteers who have reached a certain benchmark, and view a report of benchmarks awarded during a selected time period.

Creating or Editing a Benchmark

To create or edit a benchmark:

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Benchmarks to open the Manage Benchmarks page.
  2. Click Add New Benchmark create a new benchmark, or click on a benchmark name to edit it.
  3. Complete or update all applicable and required fields on the displayed form. Fields are described below.
    Field Description
    Status Select a status of Active to apply the benchmark on your site.
    Title

    Provide a benchmark title. This title will appear in the volunteer's profile with the badge awarded.
    field_title.png

    Note: A title can reflect the number of hours achieved, or it can be something more generic such as "All-Star Summer Volunteer." The wording of the benchmark is up to you! 

    Badge Select the badge to be associated with the benchmark. When a volunteer achieves the benchmark, this badge will appear in their profile, on their resume, and in social media posts. You can assign a badge to multiple benchmarks, but each benchmark can only have one badge. Click here to see images of the available badges.
    Hours Required Enter the number of submitted volunteer hours required to achieve this benchmark.
    Start Date These hours must occur within a date range. Select the starting date of the date range. 
    End Date Select the end date of the date range.

    Note: Due to storage limitations, your system will not check for a benchmark more than one month after its end date. For instance, if a benchmark's end date is December 31, the system will check for that benchmark every night until January 14. A volunteer, then, has one month to submit their hours in order to achieve the benchmark and get the badge.

    Approval Required Indicate whether approval must be required for the hours to count toward the benchmark. Hours can be approved by an agency manager or a site manager.
    Allow Individual Hours Indicate whether individual hours should be counted toward the benchmark.  
    User Group You limit a benchmark to a user group. In this case, only those hours for need responses that are tied to the user group will be counted toward the benchmark.
  4. Click Create Benchmark or Update Benchmark, as applicable.

Once you've submitted a new benchmark, it appears in the Manage Bookmarks table.

Note: If volunteers have already achieved a benchmark and you change its requirements (such as increasing the hours needed or requiring approvals when you didn't previously), the benchmark and related badge will not be removed from the accounts and profiles of those volunteers who already have them.

Examples of Benchmarks

This image of the Manage Benchmarks table shows a few examples of benchmarks:

  • One for 10 hours of volunteer hours within a month (September)
  • One for 24 volunteer hours within a year
  • One for 500 volunteer hours within a year

table_benchmarks.png

(Click on the image to view a larger version of it.)

Note that the third benchmark (for 500 hours of service) only applies to hours that are associated with a need response within the "Galaxy Digital" user group. All three benchmarks require approval, and all three allow individual hours to be counted.

Benchmarks for User Groups

Benchmarks can be for all volunteers on your site, or you can limit a benchmark to a single user group. For volunteer hours to count toward a user group benchmark:

  • The volunteer's need response must be associated with the user group.
  • All other requirements (if approval is needed, if individual hours are not allowed, etc.) must be met.

User group badges appear with all other badges shown in the volunteer profile and resume; there is no indication in either of those places that one badge is a user-group badge and another one isn't.

Inactive Benchmarks

You can deactivate or reactivate a benchmark at any time.

Making a Benchmark Inactive

Once you have deactivated a benchmark, it will no longer appear in the user profile or on the volunteer resume of any volunteers who have achieved it. 

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Benchmarks to open the Manage Benchmarks area.
  2. Click on the title of an existing benchmark to open the Update Benchmark page.
  3. Select Inactive from the Status dropdown and click Update Benchmark.

Another option is to select a benchmark and click the Deactivate Benchmark button at the bottom of the form, and then click Yes to confirm.

Reactivating a Benchmark

Once you have reactivated a benchmark, it will appear in the user profiles and volunteer resumes of volunteers who achieved it when it was previously active.

To reactivate a benchmark:

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Benchmarks to open the Manage Benchmarks area.
  2. Click Show Inactive Benchmarks. (The Manage Benchmarks table does not display inactive benchmarks by default.)
  3. Click on the title of an existing benchmark to open the Update Benchmark page.
  4. Select Active from the Status dropdown.
  5. Click Update Benchmark.

When the system next runs a check of hours, all qualified hours will be counted toward the benchmark.

Managing a Volunteer's Benchmarks

You can view any volunteer's benchmark information by going to their user profile:

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Users.
  2. Click on the name of the volunteer to view.
  3. Click Benchmarks. You'll see a table displaying all benchmarks that the volunteer has earned.
    table_volunteer_benchmarks.png

Removing a Benchmark from a Profile

If you find that a volunteer was awarded a benchmark in error, you can manually remove the benchmark. No email is sent to the volunteer when their benchmark is manually removed.

Note: If you must remove a benchmark, you may need to go to Volunteerism > Hours and mark the volunteer's hours as declined as well. The volunteer now has the opportunity to achieve the benchmark again, once they have submitted the required number of hours and if they meet all other requirements.

To remove a benchmark from an individual volunteer's profile, access the volunteer's benchmark list in their volunteer profile and click X under the Options column (shown in the table above). Click Yes to confirm the removed benchmark.

Click here to learn how to remove a benchmark for an entire group. 

Using the User Filter for Benchmarks

You can use the user filter for several purposes:

  • To generate a list of everyone who has achieved a certain benchmark.
  • To remove a benchmark from users in bulk. (You might need to do this if a benchmark was awarded in error; for example, if it was supposed to be awarded to a user group but that setting wasn't specified, and the benchmark went to everyone.)
  • Email all volunteers who have achieved a certain benchmark.

Creating a List for Export

To export a list of volunteers with a certain benchmark:

  1. Go to Volunteerism > Users.
  2. Click User Filter open the user filter.
  3. Create a filter for Volunteer > Benchmark > has received and select a benchmark.dropdown_user_filter.png
    Note: You can also select to filter all volunteers who have not achieved a certain benchmark.
  4. Click Submit to run the filter.
  5. From the Select an Option dropdown, select Export Users.
    dropdown_export_user.png
  6. Click Export Current User List.

A spreadsheet (CSV file) listing these volunteers will be emailed to you shortly.

Note: You can add more filters to the filter described above. For example, if you only want to view those volunteers who received a certain benchmark and joined the site after a certain date, you can add a second filter for "date joined."

Removing a Benchmark in Bulk

If the benchmark was award to a group of volunteers in error, or if you are "retiring" a benchmark for any reason, you can remove it in bulk. To remove a benchmark in bulk:

  1. Go to Volunteerim > Users.
  2. Click User Filter to open the user filter, and run a filter on Volunteer > Benchmark > has received, and select the benchmark you wish to remove.
    dropdown_user_filter.pngFrom the Select an Action dropdown, select Remove Benchmark.dropdown_remove_benchmark.png
  3. Select the benchmark to remove.
    dropdown_benchmark_to_remove.png

Note: Click here to learn how to remove a benchmark for an individual volunteer.

Emailing Volunteers with a Selected Benchmark

You can use the email blast tool to reach out to volunteers who have achieved a certain benchmark. To do so, you'd use the same filter described in Creating a List for Export, above:

  1. From your manager panel, go to Communication > Email Blast.
  2. Open the user filter and create a filter for Volunteer > Benchmark > has received and select the benchmark.

    Note: You can also select to filter all volunteers who have not achieved a certain benchmark.

  3. Complete all other applicable fields for the email. See the article Email Blast: Reaching Out To Your Site's Volunteers for more information on the available fields.
  4. Click Send Email Blast to send the message, which will be both emailed to the volunteers and delivered to their in-app messaging inboxes.

Note: You can add more filters to the filter described above. For example, if you only want to email those volunteers who received a certain benchmark and joined the site after a certain date, you can add a second filter for "date joined." You can also filter for volunteers who haven't achieved a selected benchmark.

Training Videos: Benchmarks and Available Badges

These training videos can further familiarize you with the benchmarks feature:

Related Articles and Videos

Here are a few other articles and that address benchmarks and volunteer badges:


*Award badges were designed by nishithv. The artists made these available for free for commercial use.

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