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Tagging Needs

Tags are a great administrative tool for providing your site's users with quick access to needs that meet similar criteria.

Example: It's fall, you're gearing up for the holiday volunteering season, and you want to give your volunteers easy access to holiday-specific needs. With tags, you can create a link specifically for holiday opportunities. You can then share that link in various ways, including social media posts and a spotlight.

How can you do this? By using tags.

What is a Tag?

tag is, essentially, a keyword or term. Assigning a tag to a need is a way of indicating that the need meets certain criteria or fits within a certain category.

Note: Needs will already have one or more interests assigned to them. Tags are handy if you have categories or "interests" that are not one of your site's default interests.

Tags can be assigned in one of two ways:

  • By the site manager, using the Volunteerism > Needs area of the site manager panel
  • By the agency manager when adding a new need in the Agency Management Area (In this case, tags are called clusters.)

In both cases, the site manager is responsible for creating the tag. In the second case, the Agency Manager selects from the available tags that the site manager has previously created.

Tagging a Need from the Site Manager Panel

To tag a need from the "back end" of your Connect site:

  1. From your manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Needs.
  2. Select the need to tag (or click Add New Need if you're creating a need from scratch). 
  3. Scroll down to the Tags field and type the tag you want to assign.

    In this example, the "handicapped-accessible" and "high skilled/pro bono project" tags have already been assigned, and the site manager is adding a new "holiday opportunity" tag.
  4. Click Add. The tag appears below the Tags field.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Update Need.

Note: To remove a tag, click the "X" to the right of the tag. Click Update Need again to save the change.

Sharing Tagged Needs

Let's say you've tagged several needs as "holiday opportunity." Now you can create a link that, when shared with your site's users, will take them to a page that features those tagged needs.

The general format of the link should be as follows:

http://[your domain]/volunteer/agency/needs/?tag=[assigned tag]

If the tag is more than one word and those words are not hyphenated, us a plus sign (+) in place of the space(S). Using our "holiday opportunity" tag as an example, the site galaxyconnect.org would use the link below. (For easier reading, we've put the site- and need-specific text in bold.)

http://galaxyconnect.org/volunteer/agency/needs/?tag=holiday+opportunity

Note: If the link doesn't work with the plus sign, use the %20 code in place of any spaces in the tag.

Suggestions for Sharing Tagged Needs

Now that you have a link to the tagged needs, you can share it in various ways:

In addition, tags can be searched in the keyword/phrase search function.

Note: The content of the linked page will change as you add the tag to (or delete it from) individual needs.

Tagging Needs as an Agency Manager

When adding a new need, an agency manager can select from a list of pre-established tags. From the agency manager's perspective, these tags are called clusters.

In the example above, the agency manager can choose up to three tags, or clusters, when creating or editing a need: Animals, Mentoring, and Packing/Sorting.

Note: If tags have been assigned from the site manager panel, they will appear in the agency manager's list of selected clusters. They will not, however, appear in the Clusters dropdown.

Establishing Clusters for Agency Managers

As the site manager, you are responsible for establishing which tags, or clusters, will appear in the Clusters dropdown for the agency manager.

To establish clusters:

  1. From your manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Needs.
  2. Click Need Clusters.
  3. In the Cluster Name field, type the new tag (or cluster) and click Add New Cluster. In the example below, the site manager is adding a cluster for holiday opportunities.


  4. Click Add New Cluster. Once the cluster has been added, it is listed in the displayed table. In this example, "Holiday Opportunity" has been added to the "Animals," "Mentoring," and "Packing/Sorting" clusters we saw previously.

    The new cluster is also shown in the agency manager's view:

Sharing Clustered Needs

With needs you've tagged from the site manager panel, you must build a link to share with your users. This isn't necessary with clustered needs; with clusters your Connect site builds the link for you. To access the link:

  1. From your site manager panel, go to Volunteerism > Needs.
  2. Click Need Clusters to view a table of established clusters. For each cluster, there is a Needs column that shows how many needs are in the cluster.
  3. Click on a number in the Needs column to view the page listing those needs.
  4. Copy and past the URL from the address bar onto your clipboard.
  5. Share the link as desired. Click here for suggested ways of sharing.

Important: The link for clustered needs will not include admin-tagged needs, even if the tag/cluster name is the same. Using the example in this article, the "holiday opportunity" cluster link will not include needs that the admin tagged "holiday opportunity" from the back end. To ensure that all needs with the same tag are included in a link, we recommend using one method or the other (admin tags or clusters), but not both. 

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