Classic View No Longer Supported as of June 29th, 2018
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 19 March 2018 05:52 PM
VolunteerHub is dedicated to providing a secure, positive and user-friendly experience to you and your volunteers. Over the years, information security on the web has become more and more important, and as a result, websites and browsers have increased their security standards. One such update was announced in a recent blog article from Google, in which the web giant explained that Google’s Chrome browser will show a “Not secure” warning to users attempting to access any unencrypted site as of July 1st, 2018. Therefore, to ensure your volunteers’ information remains secure and that your volunteers feel comfortable using your VolunteerHub site no matter the browser, VolunteerHub will no longer support the unencrypted (http) Classic View of the volunteer interface in the future and will move all sites to Volunteer View.
All current Plus, Pro or Enterprise sites will be migrated to Volunteer View automatically on the evening of June 28th, 2018. Legacy “Starter” plan sites will also be migrated to Volunteer View at that time.
Administrators are urged to convert their sites to Volunteer View prior to this date to ensure their volunteers receive a positive user experience as a result of the transition. This step is essential to protecting your volunteers’ information and experience in your site as well as ensuring you and your volunteers are receiving the latest VolunteerHub updates and features!
Continue reading below for more detail regarding this decision.
This change affects only what volunteer users see in sites not yet in Volunteer View and has minimal effect on administrative functionality. If your site is already in Volunteer View, this change does not affect you.
Rather than wait until the automatic cut-off date, we highly recommend you convert your site to Volunteer View prior to the cut-off to ensure your volunteers receive the best experience possible and that all settings in your site are optimized for Volunteer View before it switches over. A video tutorial on how to convert a site from Classic View to Volunteer View can be found in this portion of a recent webinar. Please note that once you've converted your site to Volunteer View, that change is permanent and cannot be reversed, so be sure you're ready before clicking the activate button in the Apps page.
If you have any questions or need help as you convert your site, please send us a message!
Basically, HTTP is not secure, while HTTPS is.
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol, while HTTPS stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure. HTTPS sites are encrypted and are therefore more secure, and each site will have an SSL Certificate that helps “decode” the site for a visitor. This protects that visitor from hackers, particularly against “middleman attacks” where the hacker could steal the visitor’s information by “listening in” during that visitor’s connection to your site.
For the most part, no. Volunteers should be able to access your site’s landing page(s) with the same links they always used. However, if you previously sent direct links to your events in your VolunteerHub site rather than sending users to a specific landing page or the main URL (e.g., yourorg.volunteerhub.com), you will need to provide new Volunteer View links to those events.
For example, if the links you sent previously contain “V1” in the URL (e.g., “https://abc.volunteerhub.com/EventsV1/Event/Summary.aspx?EventID=4451908”), those links will not work in Volunteer View since “Version 1” links are actually administrator-facing pages in the latest version. Instead, you’ll want to click on the Volunteer View button at the top of your site, right-click on the event you want to share and share that link (e.g., https://abc.volunteerhub.com/event/index/4451908) with your volunteers. Notice that the second link does not contain “V1,” which means that’s not an old version (admin) link.
Otherwise, any necessary preparation of your site will be covered in the aforementioned webinar as well as in this article. This includes sites with buttons in the schedule message, which is now fully supported in the latest version of Volunteer View (but is still not recommended). If you have any questions regarding recommendations or best practices for your schedule message and segmenting your site with Volunteer View, please review the above webinar or send us a message!
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VolunteerHub January 2018 Mini-Release Notes
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 10 January 2018 06:00 PM
Several minor updates to existing functionality have been added in VolunteerHub. Each update in this release is listed below.
Increased Color Flexibility
By popular demand, we’ve provided an option to bypass international WCAG standards for Primary and Secondary Colors in your landing pages. While we highly advise against applying this unless absolutely necessary, you may now check a box above the color fields to remove the WCAG requirement that your colors have a 3:1 contrast ratio. However, the system will still require that you choose colors with a contrast ratio of at least 1.25:1 to ensure legibility of various headings and text within the site.
Registration Wizard Return Placing
Immediately after registering for an event, the user may now click “Back to Event List” to return to their previous place in the schedule and continue signing up for events more quickly!
We’ve updated the colored time pills above event names in Volunteer View to be more flexible and specific for events lasting 24 hours or more.
Minor Updates & Bug Fixes
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Volunteer View 2.0 Is Here!
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 17 November 2017 12:55 PM
An exciting update to Volunteer View is now available for all current Plus, Pro and Enterprise sites at no cost, with lots of enhancements based on feedback from organizations like yours. This update contains major improvements to user experience, including updated functionality and layout to make designing your site even easier! (Yes, the Schedule Message will be available on mobile. Keep reading!)
If your organization has already gone live with Volunteer View, this update will happen automatically in your site. If you haven't activated Volunteer View yet, go to Setup > Apps > Volunteer View and press Activate Volunteer View to enable it in your site (be sure to read everything below first). If you don't see that button, send us a message to determine next steps.
Read on below to learn what's changing in Volunteer View 2.0 and what YOU need to do to optimize your users' experience!
Enhanced Schedule Design.
A number of layout changes are coming in Volunteer View 2.0 to make the site even easier to use and design. In addition, these changes will make it much easier to convert your site from classic view to Volunteer View.
If your site used Grid previously, it will be converted to List view automatically.
New and Improved Search.
Volunteers can now search for events by name or location using the search feature in the site header. Just click the magnifying-glass icon to access the search feature.
Streamlined Account Creation.
A number of improvements are coming to the account creation process for new users.
While users previously landed on the detail page of the event after signing up, users can now choose whether to return to the schedule or view the detail page after completing their registration for an event.
Volunteer View 2.0 removes the automatic hue adjustments to your Primary and Secondary colors from your VolunteerHub site and the emails sent from it. This means the color scheme in your site and emails will be truer to your organization's branding. Note, however, that you will no longer be able to choose colors that do not meet accessibility requirements (at least a 3.0 contrast ratio against white). If your site's previously chosen colors do not meet accessibility guidelines, the colors will be darkened automatically until you change them. This color restriction has always been in place; the software simply used to darken the selected color to meet requirements previously; now it requires the color be input with the correct contrast ratio initially.
Better User Experience.
Below are a few other changes we’re making in Volunteer View 2.0 to improve the user experience for volunteers.
While this update shouldn’t affect your site’s current user experience too much, there are some things you can do to ensure the best possible experience for your volunteers.
If your site is still in the old version but you're in a current Plus, Pro or Enterprise plan, you may (and should) convert your site to Volunteer View any time (there's absolutely no cost associated with it, as your plan includes general system updates). Once you've completed the preparatory steps in the section above, navigate to Setup > Apps and click the square Volunteer View button in the bottom-right corner of the page. Then, click the Activate Volunteer View button.
After activating Volunteer View, the following changes will take place:
Need help? If you need assistance or have questions regarding any of the above changes in your site, please contact support.
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VolunteerHub October 2017 Release Notes
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 25 October 2017 11:35 PM
Several updates to existing functionality have been added in VolunteerHub. Each update in this release is listed below.
New Open API Access
VolunteerHub offers a REST-based API for all VolunteerHub sites, now with a resource page that provides access to an open API file as well as interactive endpoints that allow you to test the API without a single line of code. The API can be used to pull a wide variety of information from your VolunteerHub site, such as users, event registrations, user groups and more.Please note that use of the API requires some development knowledge/experience, and our support team is not able to provide support on how to use the API outside of bug reports or assistance accessing the API information in the reference page or our support site. We’ve updated our API documentation to include information on the new Open API, such as how to access it and full descriptions of the available endpoints.
You can access the Open API resource page in your site by entering /openapi at the end of your site's URL (e.g., "YOURORG.volunteerhub.com/openapi"). At the top of the resource page, you'll find an open API file you can use to create custom connectors with applications like Microsoft Flow to automate various processes and integrate your VolunteerHub site with everyday applications like Outlook and Excel, send yourself emails or texts when someone creates an account, build custom reports, and more! In addition, you can use the interactive endpoint/parameter fields to build and test a query in the resource page without writing a single line of code.
All Superusers have the necessary authentication to perform queries against VolunteerHub’s API. If you are logged in as a Superuser and encounter an authentication error, please contact our support team so we can ensure your Superusers group has the necessary permissions to access the API.
The following issues have been resolved:
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Reported Email Outage October 21 and 24, 2017
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 24 October 2017 01:40 PM
We've received and confirmed reports of an email outage between Saturday, 10/21/2017 at 2:17pm and Sunday, 10/22/2017 at 11:19am Eastern Time. In addition, we received and confirmed a brief outage this morning, 10/24/2017, between 10:13am and 10:37am Eastern Time. Email services have been fully restored as of 10:37 this morning. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
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Automating Registration for Group Leaders
Posted by Gabrielle Long on 13 October 2017 12:37 PM
Save time by eliminating emails and phone calls with your group leaders while also increasing group retention and onboarding rates.
Early last year, we posted a Quick Tip to help you "Allow New Volunteers to Reserve Events for Their Group." Since the release of the Volunteer View and feedback from organizations using this process, we've refined our strategy for having your group leaders search and register for group-enabled events and input the number of group members attending, all without ever having a phone call or email conversation with the Volunteer Coordinator. This can be extremely helpful for larger organizations dealing with hundreds of groups, especially for large annual events where there may not be room for every group expressing interest.
Since a growing number of organizations are finding success with this updated process, we want to break it down for you step-by-step so everyone knows how to apply it to their group management efforts.
The steps below will allow your group leaders to:
While it may take a little time to set up, the result of this process will provide a unique and more efficient experience to group leaders while potentially increasing the information you’re gathering about your groups and group members. In short, group leaders will answer questions about their group and sign up their group for an event. An administrator will then convert that registration to a user group reservation on the event and provide a landing page for the rest of the group members to complete their individual registrations.
In order to provide a different user experience for a group of users, they will need their own user group. User groups can allow you to change the questions in a user’s volunteer application, change which events the user can see and sign up for, change how you communicate with and report on groups of users and even change what your site looks like for a group of users.
To create a "Group Leaders" user group:
If your organization has an Enterprise-level VolunteerHub site, or if your organization has purchased the Multiform feature, you can create special questions for your site’s volunteer application that only group leaders will see. This will allow you to capture information about new groups expressing interest in volunteering without having them fill out an external web form and manually entering that information later. This step is key if you want to eliminate manual communications with new group leaders.
To create Multiform questions for the “Group Leaders” user group:
Keep in mind that group size often varies from event to event. Therefore, you do not need to create a question to ask the group leader for his/her group size, since this is something they will be prompted to provide when signing up for each event.
Providing a new landing page for group leaders can significantly improve their user experience by reducing the amount of time it takes them to find an available group activity as well as eliminating the need for them to contact you to determine which activities are available and will fit their group size. In addition, this can increase the number of groups your organization can onboard, as the inability to find eligible group shifts can actually deter new groups from expressing interest.
To create a “Group Leaders” landing page:
Reserving group activities for the “Group Leaders” user group will allow your group leaders to access those events in the new landing page as well as indicate the number of attendees for each event.
To create a reservation for “Group Leaders” on an event:
Don’t forget that this step will need to be completed for any new group events you add to your VolunteerHub site in the future. Because reservations must be created for each instance of an event, we highly recommend using the Batch Modification Wizard to add the reservation to all group activities at once, which will save you a heap of time!
You’ll need to know when a group leader registers his or her group for an event. To receive a real-time notification, simply CC the Event Contact on confirmations.
To CC your Event Contact on group activity confirmation emails:
The final step to prepare your site for the new group leader experience is to make your new “Group Leaders” page accessible. To do this, simply add instructions to your organization’s primary website specifically for group leaders to follow.
For instance, in the Volunteer page of your organization’s website, you will have instructions for Individuals to click on a button to start volunteering (and that button will be linked to your default landing page most times). For groups, on the other hand, you will provide separate instructions stating that members of returning groups should use their group’s specific landing page, whereas the leader of a new group who’d like to express interest in volunteering with your organization should click a special link directing them to the new “Group Leaders” landing page.
So what does this all look like to a group leader?
Once the group leader clicks that link, they’ll first see all opportunities available to groups (i.e., the events you reserved for “Group Leaders”) as well as how many slots are available on each. Next, they’ll create an account and complete the volunteer application, which consists of the User Form within the “All Users” user group in addition to the questions in the User Form within the “Group Leaders” user group since the landing page they are creating their account in has auto-joined them to “Group Leaders.” Finally, the group leader will complete their registration for the event. That registration will include a page asking for the user’s party size, at which point the user can indicate the size of their group.
Whenever a group leader registers for a group event in your site, your Event Contact will receive an email notification. At that point, you need to return to the Registered Users page of that event to convert the group leader’s registration to a true reservation, which will segment off the necessary number of slots on that event so that only other members of that leader’s group can register themselves for the event.
To build a user group and landing page (for a brand new group only):
To convert the group leader’s registration to a user group reservation:
Finally, once you’ve converted the group leader’s registration to a true group reservation, simply send the leader an email with a link to his or her group’s landing page to confirm their group for the event. Their group members will each register for the event individually within the group’s landing page, and as a result will be tracked as members of the group so you can report on the group’s activity down the road.
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