Working with volunteer opportunities
Creating volunteer opportunities
AbleOrganizer offers tools for volunteer opportunities management. The volunteer opportunities feature allows you to create pages where individuals can sign up multiple attendees. Using the form building tools in this platform allows you to create a system for managing offline registrations as well.
How it works
- Create volunteer opportunity forms within AbleOrganizer's form builder.
- Create volunteer opportunity pages and associate event registration forms with them.
- When someone fills out an volunteer form, the system generates a thank you message and displays a thank you page.
- AbleOrganizer records the volunteer registration as part of someone's contact record.
- AbleOrganizer provides details about volunteer registration within reports.
Registration forms are built through AbleOrganizer's online form builder. This tool provides a drag-and-drop interface for authoring forms used to allow people to register through an online form. It also allows people to take advantage of volunteer registration options, and keeps this information organized in an easy-to-understand fashion.
If you have installed all of the sample content for AbleOrganizer, you will find a variety of examples of volunteer opportunity forms you can use as examples for your site. You can also create your own forms from scratch using the form builder.
Authoring a volunteer registration form
When authoring a volunteer registration form, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself how volunteer registration is supposed to work. Are people registering for themselves, or are they able to make signups as groups of volunteers?
The settings page for a registration form
On the settings page, you will want to make sure you include a message thanking volunteers for their interest. You might want to ensure your form redirects to the proper page for thanking people after registering. In case you missed it, there's documentation for how to do this within the form builder.
You can include multiple address and name fields within a form, just select the fields you want to use and you have a new form, ready to use in your website!
Once you have created a registration form, it can be associated with any piece of content in your website. To create an online volunteer opportunity page, you will want to use the Volunteer Opportunity content type, available from the content creation page.
Heads up! You can actually use any content type in your system to handle volunteers registration, but the Volunteer Opportunity content type is the preferred method. There is some special code in the CRM Core volunteer module that allows volunteer opportunity pages to be tracked effectively. Stick with this content type and your reports will always work properly.
Configuring the default form
There are several default settings you can use to control volunteer opportunity forms in your website.
When you have a volunteer opportunity form you are happy with for general use, goto the volunteer opportunity admin screen to set some defaults. You will see a widget similar to the following screenshot.
In this widget, you will find controls that allow you to select the form used for the volunteer opportunity page and control how it displays on the page.
- Check the box labelled 'Use CRM Core Profile for this node' in order to include a form on the page. Uncheck this box if you ever need to display a volunteer opportunity page without a form for registering.
- The box labelled 'Select profile for this node' allows you to select a registration form. If you have set a default registration form, it should be pre-selected here. This form will allow you to override the default selection and use any form on your site for registering people for volunteer opportunities.
- Check the box labelled 'Display the form include with other content' to have your form appear beneath other content within the volunteer opportunity page. Uncheck this box to display it another way.
- Enter text in the form label to give your form a title. 'Register now,' 'Sign up,' and other evocative asks are good titles for volunteer opportunity registration forms.
This widget allows you to automatically associate volunteer opportunity forms with volunteer opportunity pages by default when they are created in your site. Select Volunteer commitment form from the drop down and save the page to use the selected form each time you create new volunteer opportunities.
Overriding form values
When you create a new volunteer opportunity, you can override some of the settings associated with the volunteer opportunity form itself. You will see a widget similar to the following within the form for creating a new volunteer opportunity.
These settings allow you to override the several settings associated with volunteer opportunities.
- Enable wait list organizes volunteer opportunites with limited number of slots
- Volunteer signup message thanks e-mail rule will allow you to select a thank you e-mail template to send to people when they have complete volunteer signup.
- Volunteer mail list message defines e-mail template that is sent when wait list status is changed.
When someone registers for a volunteer opportunity, AbleOrganizer can generate e-mails and direct people to thank you pages thanking them for getting involved. You can personalize the experience using web-based administrative tools that let people know you appreciate their interest.
Thank you pages
The thank you page for a registration page is configured within AbleOrganizer's form builder on the settings page for each form. You can redirect users to any path in your website to say thanks. To create a thank you page, go to the content creation page in your site and simple create a new page.
AbleOrganizer can generate personalized HTML e-mails to volunteers upon registering. Go to the CRM Core Volunteer settings to select the e-mail template you wish to use by default. This will set a default e-mail message that will be used for saying thank you to volunteers.
When creating a new volunteer opportunity registration page, you can select thank you messages that are different from the default one. Just look for the CRM Core Volunteer widget, which includes a drop down that will list all rules tagged for use as volunteer opportunity registration messages.
AbleOrganizer is capable of storing multiple e-mail templates for thanking volunteers. You can find a list of the rules for sending thank you e-mails on the rules administration screen. This screen includes a complete list of rules configured for the system. The CRM Core volunteer feature ships with a rule titled 'Volunteer opportunity signup' for sending thank you messages to contacts.
You can control the contents of this message by clicking the edit link next to the title, and clicking the edit link on the resulting page. Look for the field labelled 'The mail's message HTML body,' this contains the contents of the message that will be included in the message. Feel free to edit the contents.
To create multiple signup e-mail templates, instead of editing this rule, simply select the link to clone it instead. This will create a copy of the default mailing message you can customize to create new messages.
A registration record is an activity record associated with a contact. It can be generated automatically when someone registers for a volunteer opportunity, or manually (for instance, for a group of volunteers registered by site admin).
For any contact, go to the activities screen to see a complete history of volunteering for that contact. You can create a new volunteer record by selecting the link for 'Add activity' from the top of the screen.
When viewing an activity record, there are a number of fields that include the following.
- Participants, which identifies the person registering for the opportunity. Although you can include multiple participants, it is typically best to only include one per record.
- Registration Date, which refers to the date the registration was recorded in the system.
- Opportunity, which refers to the actual volunteer opportunity page where the registration was received.
The volunteer module includes a number of basic reports that can be customized, extended and used as templates for creating your own custom reports.
Most reports include additional summary reports, providing additional details related to each category of information.
- Overview, summarizing details about volunteer activity within your site.
- Volunteers, displaying details of who has registered for your volunteer opportunities, along with attendance.
- Opportunities, displaying details about the number of people who have registered, and the last date of registration. Includes links to a summary report for each opportunity listing details about registration.
- Sources, containing details about how people are signing up for volunteer opportunities, and the source of registration.
Customizing volunteer reports
The volunteer reports included in AbleOrganizer can be customized and extended using the volunteers reports settings page. This page provides you with controls allowing you to edit the colors used to generate charts, the presence of labels / legends, and the appearance of different types of charts. The default settings created on this page can be overriden by specific reports throughout the system.
Individual reports are built as views or panels within Drupal, and the platform provides tools for customizing the layout, contents and settings for individual report components.