VolunteerHub integrates with both Blackbaud-hosted and locally installed versions of The Raiser's Edge. The VolunteerHub Synchronizer is a special plug-in we provide that allows you to synchronize your volunteer information, such as name, date of birth, contact information and event hours into The Raiser's Edge with the simple click of a button. The integration also allows you to merge your VolunteerHub users with existing constituents in Raiser's Edge or to create a new constituent with the volunteer's information from VolunteerHub.
For more information on the Raiser's Edge integration and pricing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article covers the following topics:
- Running the Synchronizer
- Managing Duplicate Records
- Viewing Synchronization History
- Integrated Fields
- Frequently Asked Questions
Running the Synchronizer
Important: Before running the VolunteerHub Synchronizer plug-in in The Raiser's Edge, use the Deduplicate feature in VolunteerHub to ensure duplicate volunteer accounts are not added in The Raiser's Edge.
Open The Raiser's Edge and click on Plug-Ins in the left column (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Click on Plug-Ins to access the VolunteerHub Synchronizer in The Raiser's Edge.
Click on VolunteerHub Synchronizer in the second column or in the main area of the page (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Select VolunteerHub Synchronizer from the list of plug-ins.
Click on the Start button in the VolunteerHub Synchronizer window (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Run the VolunteerHub Synchronizer with the click of a button.
After running the synchronizer for the first time, future synchronizations will send only those values that the volunteer or administrator has changed in VolunteerHub.
Note that The Raiser's Edge users who run the plug-in must have sufficient permissions to create and edit constituents as well as create, edit and delete timesheets.
Managing Duplicate Records
After running the synchronizer, the window may present you with possible duplicate records. These are separate records that exist in VolunteerHub and in The Raiser’s Edge with the same name, often with different personal information such as address or phone number.
Click on the drop-down menu under The Raiser’s Edge column to select whether to combine the VolunteerHub record on the left with a current record in The Raiser’s Edge or to add it as a new record (Figure 4).
Figure 4. The synchronizer also has a deduplication feature.
Whether you opted to create a new record or combine the VolunteerHub record with a Raiser’s Edge record in the drop-down menu, you can view the results in the Records module of The Raiser’s Edge by clicking on Records > Constituents and searching for the volunteer’s name using the search bar provided.
If you combined the two records, you can click on the Addresses tab to view the updated address (Figure 5). If your organization requested that updated information append the existing record, you will see historical address information for the constituent here, with the VolunteerHub address marked as “preferred,” meaning it is the current address for the constituent.
Figure 5. Updated address information will appear under the Addresses tab in the constituent's record.
You can change the preferred address by double-clicking on the address you’d like to mark as current and checking the Set this address to the preferred address and Send mail to this address checkboxes (Figure 6).
Figure 6. Check these checkboxes to make the selected address the user's primary address in The Raiser's Edge.
Resynchronizing Duplicate Records
VolunteerHub Synchronizer plug-in versions 1.1.0 and later include a feature that automatically detects when a constituent record is already matched with a VolunteerHub user and presents a warning message (Figure 7 below) when you attempt to merge a second user account into the same constituent. This helps you avoid common errors encountered when duplicate records exist in VolunteerHub since only one VolunteerHub user can sync with a constituent in Raiser's Edge at any time.
Figure 7. A warning is presented when attempting to sync two different VolunteerHub users into the same RE constituent.
If you select Yes, the VolunteerHub user previously being merged into the selected Raiser's Edge constituent on the right will no longer be synced into that constituent record. Going forward, the new user selected on the left in the plug-in will sync into that constituent record instead. If you select No, your changes will not commit. At that point, you can choose to do one of the following:
- Return to VolunteerHub to make sure that user isn't a duplicate.
- Select a different constituent for the new VolunteerHub user.
- Create a new constituent for the new VolunteerHub user.
Viewing Synchronization History
Each time you run the VolunteerHub Synchronizer in The Raiser's Edge, a history of updated records is added to the Attributes tab of each updated constituent's record (Figure 8). This history includes the VolunteerHub User ID and the date that user record was last updated using the VolunteerHub Synchronizer tool.
The VolunteerHub Last Sync date lets you know when user records were last updated, which is a great tool for those organizations formatting the user data in The Raiser's Edge in specific ways, such as for mailers or special reports.
Figure 8. View historical VolunteerHub synchronization data in the Attributes tab of the constituent's user record.
The table below shows all fields that can be synchronized into Raiser's Edge via the integration.
|Home Phone||"Home" phone|
|Work Phone||"Business" phone|
|Email Address/Opt-In||"Email" phone and DNC status|
|Mobile Phone||"Cell Phone" phone|
|UserUid (unique identifier)||"VolunteerHub UserUid" attribute, "VolunteerHub" alias|
|Date of Birth||Birth date|
|First Name||First Name|
|Middle Name||Middle Name|
|Last Name||Last Name|
|Event Date||Volunteer Module - Timesheets - Date|
|RE Job ID||Volunteer Module - Timesheets - Job|
|Event Hours||Volunteer Module - Timesheets - Hours|
|User Groups |
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In addition, the following attributes are added in Raiser's Edge:
- VH adds "Volunteer" and "VolunteerHub" constituent codes to synchronized records.
- VH adds "VolunteerHub" as the Info source for synchronized records.
- VH stores the date of last synchronization to the "VolunteerHub Last Sync" attribute.
- All address-related information 1) overwrites the preferred address, 2) creates a new address type as preferred OR 3) creates a new address type without marking as preferred.
- New records can have the Primary Addressee and Primary Salutation fields set to default values.
- V 7.92.5508.4+
Frequently Asked Questions
Does any information sync back from RE into VolunteerHub?
Only the Job Code Names for timesheet entries are synced into VolunteerHub. These will appear after the sync has been run for the first time within the event creation and edit pages in VolunteerHub.
How do I assign Job Codes to events so they display in my timesheets?
Your events in VolunteerHub must have an RE Job Code assigned to them. For a Template, edit it, choose an RE Job Code from the dropdown box, and Save. This will update all future instances of that Template only; it will not update past instances, which must be updated individually. To update past events/instances, open each instance (opening each in a new tab may save you some time), click Edit, select an RE Job Code, and save. The Job Codes will then populate the timesheets the next time you run the VolunteerHub Synchronizer plug-in.
Do user group affiliations sync into RE?
Yes. Please view this article for more information.
Can I sync responses to additional custom user form questions into RE?
No. You will need to import those manually.
Which VolunteerHub report is best when importing affiliations and custom User Form questions into RE?
We recommend the unformatted Event Registrations report since it includes the VolunteerHub Unique User ID we sync into RE as an Alias and Attribute.
Is it possible to roll back changes made to RE by the sync?
No. However, if you need to make a change, it’s best to update the user in VolunteerHub and run the sync again. This way, you only make that change once.
How can we change the way the fields are mapped?
Field mappings will be configured during the initial setup call to configure the integration. If you’ve already been using the sync and need to change one or more of those field mappings, Send a Message to VolunteerHub Support.
If changes are made to a record in VolunteerHub, will those changes also be made in RE?
Yes, as long as the changes were made to fields included in the integration.
How often should I run the plug-in?
We recommend running it at least once a week, though programs with more active volunteers may sync more frequently and smaller programs may sync less frequently. If you are about to go live with a new VolunteerHub site, we recommend running the plug-in every day until initial site activity wanes.
Will the sync remove relationships between existing constituents in RE?
No. If you sync updates to an existing constituent from VolunteerHub and that constituent is connected to another as a spouse, that relationship will remain intact. However, the VolunteerHub Synchronizer does not create relationships between constituents where none previously existed.
If information is missing in a VolunteerHub user’s account, will it overwrite existing data in RE with blanks?
In most cases, no. The primary instance where blanks may replace existing data is in the case of the volunteer’s name for unrequired fields, primarily the middle name. Titles (e.g., Mr., Ms., etc.) are not required by default, but you can request that the Title field be required going forward by Sending a Message to VolunteerHub Support.
Why is the address missing in my constituent's record?
There will be no street address in the Bio 1 tab of a constituent's record if that question was left blank in VolunteerHub. However, depending on the settings requested during initial sync set-up, in most cases you will retain the previous address in the Addresses tab as an alternate.
What is the "Sync Point" tab in the plug-in for?
This tab is generally used by our support team only and allows us to change the date as of which changes to user accounts will be synced into RE. This is usually set for new situations where the VolunteerHub site has existed for a long time before implementation of the integration. We recommend against making any changes to this page unless instructed to do so by our team, as otherwise you may trigger the sync to miss user and event updates that it would have otherwise synced over.
What does the "Force Resynchronization" button do?
The Force Resynchronization button should never be pressed without explicit direction from our team, as this will force the plug-in to reset and ignore previous deduplications made using the plug-in.
Can I sync only certain users, event registrations or hours?
No. The integration will sync over every user, event registration and hour granted. This cannot be changed.