Now that you've signed in as an administrator, you can begin to customize your Hub, including your site's branding and messages as well as the volunteer application.
Updating Your Site's Look & Feel
Your site's Look & Feel consists of custom verbiage, graphics and colors.
Navigate to the Landing Pages tile (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Go to the Landing Pages tile in the main menu to edit your default page.
Click on the orange ellipsis button beside the landing page named "Default," and choose Edit Landing Page. The "Default" landing page is the main page where all volunteers will land when they navigate to your new VolunteerHub site (e.g., "orgname.volunteerhub.com"). Therefore, the "Default" landing page will control the default look and feel of your site.
Sites with the Plus, Pro or Enterprise plan have the ability to create additional landing pages, which may or may not inherit the look and feel of the default page. We will discuss additional landing pages in more detail later in Part 6 of this tutorial.
You can now change several look-and-feel elements for your VolunteerHub site. For the purposes of this tutorial, let's go over some of the more basic elements.
Scroll down to the "Look and Feel" section of the page (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The Look and Feel section allows you to change the site's color scheme and add custom graphics and social media links.
There are two graphics you can upload into the Volunteer View:
- Logo Graphic: This field allows you to upload a logo image to display in the top-left corner of the Volunteer View. Logos should be in a horizontal format with a white background (for best results, upload an image that is 800 pixels wide and 280 pixels tall - larger images will automatically be resized). To upload your logo graphic, click on the Browse button and select an image from your computer.
- Banner Graphic: This field allows you to upload a background picture to display across the top of the Volunteer View behind your Schedule Message area (see Step 4 below). Banners should be in a wide, horizontal format. For best results and to avoid pixelation, upload an image that is 4000 by 800 pixels. REMEMBER: Your site will resize depending on the size of the browser window or device, so not all of your banner graphic will be visible at all times. To upload your banner graphic, click on the Browse button and select an image from your computer.
Next, choose your site's color scheme by selecting primary and secondary colors to match your organization's logo or website. The Primary Color will appear behind the date separators in the Volunteer View, and the Secondary Color will be the color of your buttons and hyperlinks (and therefore we recommend choosing a brighter color here). Choose your colors by entering a hex value in the Section Header Color and Button/Link Color fields or by clicking on the color tiles beside each field to open the Color Selector (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Use the Color Selector to apply virtually any color to your Hub.
ACCESSIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Colors chosen in the Section Header Color and Button/Link Color fields must be dark enough so that all users, regardless of age or level of vision impairment, are able to read the information in your site. This is required in order for every VolunteerHub site to have compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) put forth by the World Wide Web Consortium and is due to the fact that both colors are applied to text within your site in various places. You can learn more about these requirements here.
Finally, check the Social Media box to enable "Share on Facebook/Twitter" links within your events and at the end of the event registration process. This allows volunteers to share events or recent event registrations on Facebook or Twitter, so be sure you enable this only if it's acceptable for your opportunities to be shared publicly. If the volunteer clicks the "Post on Twitter" or "Post on Facebook" link, this will open the corresponding site in a new tab and allow the volunteer to sign in and edit their post before publishing to Twitter or Facebook. The resulting post will include a link to the event in the landing page the event was shared from, so be sure you've disabled this feature for private landing pages (you'll learn more about private pages in Section 6 of this guide).
Note again that events shared on social media do not grant immediate access to that event. If your organization has permissions enabled to restrict access to a set of events, those events will remain hidden from unapproved volunteers (instead of being taken to the event page, those individuals will see a message stating that the opportunity isn't available as well as a link taking them to the main events page).
Now that you have customized the look and feel of your Hub, you can also add the customized Messages to specific pages within your Hub. These Messages are special, customizable text areas that appear on specific pages throughout your site and are intended to help you customize and enhance your users' experience. We do not recommend leaving these fields blank.
For now, we will focus on the Schedule, Sign In and New User Messages. These can be edited just below the "Look and Feel" section described above in Step 3.
Each of the message sections described below, as well as numerous text fields throughout VolunteerHub, are rich text editor fields that allow for additional text formatting as well as the insertion of images and hyperlinks.
The Schedule Message appears on the main page of your Hub's Volunteer View, which lists your upcoming volunteer opportunities (Figure 4). To edit the Schedule Message, use the Schedule Message field (below the "Look and Feel" section) to type and format a customized message. This message will typically be the first thing your users see whenever they enter your site, which makes it the most important customizable area in your site.
Figure 4. Customize your default Hub page by adding a personalized Schedule Message.
The Schedule Message is typically used as a welcome message and often contains basic instructions for signing up for activities as well as contact information for a Volunteer Coordinator in case the volunteer has questions or needs assistance. It can also contain other information, such as links, announcements and important information for all volunteers. HOWEVER, keep this information concise, and do not use this area to link to other landing pages (this diminishes user experience).
Next, create a custom Sign In Message. This message appears on the Sign In page where a user creates a new account or logs into an existing account with his or her username and password (Figure 5). It's a great place for a welcome message if your organization does not allow users to view the schedule until after logging in, though that is typically not required. However, be careful not to include instructions to click in a certain location on the page, as the layout of the page will change depending on the device the user is accessing your site on.
Figure 5. The Sign In Message appears on the Sign In page of your site.
Finally, you can create a New User Message, which appears on the first page of the New User Registration Wizard when a new user clicks on the Create Account button on the Sign In page (Figure 6) to create an account. This message is very important! We highly recommend noting any required steps in the registration process you want the volunteer to know before they create an account, such as background check, interview and training requirements, account approval requirements or general age restrictions. You will also want to add a "Thank you for your interest" or "Welcome" message to make the page more inviting.
The example messages in the screenshots provided in this article are examples only and may not reflect recommended verbiage for your specific site. Specific recommendations for your organization may be provided during your implementation sessions if you are a new VolunteerHub client.
Figure 6. The New User Message is a great place to reach out to new volunteers as well as provide instructions on the registration process.
There is a fourth message on this page that allows you to add a Join Code Message to the Join Code page of the new user registration wizard. This message space can be used to explain to your users how to enter a join code on the page in order to be joined into a special User Group. For more information on join codes and user groups, please see part 4 of this guide on Creating and Managing User Groups. If (and only if) your site uses join codes, DO NOT LEAVE THIS MESSAGE BLANK.
Building the User Form (a.k.a., Volunteer Application)
Next, you can customize your users' experience by editing the User Form, a series of questions the user is asked when creating a user account in your VolunteerHub site (i.e., the new volunteer application).
Navigate to the User Forms tile > "All Users" user group > User Form sub-tab (Figure 7). Plus and Pro sites not using our Multiform feature can only create an "All Users" user form.
If your organization purchased the Enterprise plan or added Multiform to a Plus or Pro plan, please review the Multiform Knowledgebase article for details on that feature. The instructions below include details on editing the questions asked of every volunteer in your site and do not include group-specific questions.
This page lists all the questions that are asked of all users in your site. If your site is new, you should see ten basic profile questions. Your form can include as many questions as you like. In addition, you can create different types of questions, each of which provide a specific format or functionality.
Let's start by adding a new question to the User Form. To do this, click on the Add Question button at the top and select Create New Question. This will open a new window, where you can begin creating the new question (Figure 7).
Figure 7. Create a custom question for your users to answer during the registration process.
When creating a question, you will need to select the type of question you'd like to create. The type of question you select will determine how the question behaves. The system currently offers 12 different question types:
- Address: Provides two text-entry fields for street address as well as separate fields for city, state (requires two-letter entries) and zip (requires entries of at least five digits).
- True/False: Allows you to require the user to select between two opposing options, which is perfect for yes/no, I accept/decline or true/false questions.
- Date: Accepts and validates a date format, which can be entered into three separate fields (day, month, year).
- EmailAddress: Accepts and validates an email address format (requires the @ symbol and a web extension such as .com or .org at the end).
- File Upload: Allows users or administrators to upload a file to a user's profile. Files include: documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, photos, etc. The "User Profile Photo" token will allow an image to be displayed in the Volunteer View beside the logged-in user's name.
- Header: Adds a header above a group of related questions. Enter the header text or image into the Prompt field and any additional instructions in the Subprompt field.
- Number: Accepts and validates an integer within a range defined by the administrator. This is great for Year questions, but should never be used to ask for the volunteer's age (use the birth date question instead).
- List: Allows you to create a custom drop-down menu, from which the user can select one option.
- Name: Provides four separate fields for the user's title, first name, middle name/initial and last name. First and last name are required, while Title and Middle are optional (unless you also request Title be required from our support team).
- Phone Number: Accepts a ten-digit phone number with any formatting (e.g., 555-555-5555, (555) 555-5555, 5555555555, etc.). Use the Subprompt to provide users with your preferred format.
- Text: Allows you to create a single-line or multi-line free text field.
For this example, let's create a List-type question. Select "List" from the Question Type field.
Our sample organization provides a T-shirt to new volunteers at their first event, so we will create a question to ask the user for his or her shirt size. In the Question Name field, enter "T-Shirt" - this will be visible only to administrators as an identifier for the question in the User Form as well as in reports. Next, enter "T-Shirt Size" into the Prompt field, which will be visible to the user. In the Subprompt field, which is also visible to the user and is often used to explain, elaborate on or provide examples for the question, enter additional instructions or details. For example, you might say, "We provide T-shirts to new volunteers for certain special events. Select your shirt size from the list (sizes are unisex)."
If you would like to require a response for this field, select Yes for Require a response to this question. Keep the default selections for the To whom is this question and its answer visible and Who is allowed to change the answer to this question fields so that users can see the question and edit their response. (When set to Administrators Only, these fields allow you to hide the question from the volunteer. This is great for creating hidden fields such as Administrator Notes or Background Check Progress that your users cannot see in their profiles.)
If you would like to include user responses to the question in VolunteerHub's reports (Sign-In Sheet, Multi-Event Sign-In Sheet, and Event Registrations), select Yes for Include this question on reports. This will insert the question responses into those three reports going forward, which is very useful for contact information questions such as email or phone number.
Now, scroll down to see the "List Items" section (note that this area will be different depending on the question type you selected). Enter the first option you want users to see into the Text and Value fields (e.g., "Small" for Text and "S" for Value). The Value is visible to administrators in reports, whereas the Text is what the user sees in the completed drop-down menu. Then, click on the Add button to save your entry as an item in your drop-down menu.
Repeat this process for all desired choices (Figure 8). Don't forget to click Add after entering your final value/text options! You can also change the order in which the choices appear by dragging the items up or down with the grip icon.
Figure 8. You can add multiple values for users to select from when creating a list-type question.
If you would like one of the choices you entered to be selected by default once the user enters your User Form, select that value from the Default Selection field. When finished, click on the Save button back at the top. Your question will now appear in the list of questions under the main User Form page (Figure 9).
You can change the order in which the questions appear on the user form by dragging the items up or down with the grip icon (Figure 9).
Figure 9. Use the grip icons to reorder the questions in your User Form.
Now that you've customized your Hub, you're ready to start creating your event structure in VolunteerHub.
(Continue to Part 3: Creating Your Event Structure)
(Back to Part 1: Accessing Your 'Hub' for the First Time)