Organize your opportunities, engage volunteers based on their activities and report on specific programs and activities via event groups.
If you haven’t created many event groups, you may be missing out on a lot of functionality that VolunteerHub has to offer. Event groups are much more than simple folders for categorizing your opportunities; they provide you with the functionality you need to run your volunteer program smoothly in VolunteerHub.
This guide will show you how to:
- Understand how to structure your event groups for optimized reporting
- Create event groups and determine which are visible to volunteers as filters
Understanding the Hierarchical Structure
Event groups, in the most basic sense, are very much like a set of categories that will allow you to organize the opportunities (i.e., "events") in your site. These categories have a considerable impact on your site's reporting capabilities. Therefore, your event groups shouldn't be a simple list of activities; instead, they should form a hierarchical representation of your volunteer program. Most event group structures start at the program level, then are broken down in to opportunity types, and finally into activities or shifts.
Take this example:
Figure 1. Event groups should be hierarchical, like an outline of your volunteer program.
This organization has three main programs or volunteer areas: a thrift store, a warehouse and an office. Each of those main areas is broken down into sub-programs and/or positions. Similarly, if your organization has opportunities in several states or provinces, you might start with location, then break down each into program and finally into activity. This hierarchical format will be key in ensuring your site is capable of the functionality necessary for your volunteer program to succeed long-term! The more layers you have, the more your site can do.
That said, here are some important things to remember when building your event groups:
- DO Add Layers: The more layers you have in your event group structure, the more robust your site's reporting and communication functionality will be. In addition, you have full control over which of your event groups are visible to volunteers, so don't omit a layer simply because you're concerned it will overwhelm your volunteers; event groups are administrative functionality and are only visible to volunteers if you allow them to be (see section below on how to show/hide event groups as filters).
- DON'T Add Dates: Event groups should be reusable categories and should never contain dates. In other words, you should have a single Annual Gala category, not a new category each year (e.g., 2017 Gala, 2018 Gala). Remember that the events in your event groups will contain dates, and your site has various event filters; so, adding dates to your event groups will just cause more manual work to get the reports you need later on and will clutter up your event groups for no real reason.
- DO Avoid the Who: Event groups should represent what volunteers will sign up for, but never who will do the signing up. In other words, if you work with specific corporate or community groups, they do not belong in your event group structure. Build them in your user groups instead! In addition, try to avoid using the word "volunteer" in your event group structure to reduce confusion between the two structures.
- DON'T Delete Event Groups: You should never delete event groups that contain events, past or future! Deleting the event group deletes all sub-groups, along with all events, registrations and hours contained within.
Creating an Event Group
To add a new event group, click the Create New Event Group button at the top of the Event Groups page. You'll then see a few options:
- Event Group Name: Give your event group a name. If you plan for this event group to be visible to volunteers as a filter, be sure to choose a name that your volunteers will understand.
- Show as filter in schedule: Should your volunteers see this category as a filter (Figure 2)? If so, check the box. Be careful, though; you don't want to enable this option for all of your event groups, so be sure you only check this for the main layers in your hierarchy so you don't overwhelm your volunteers with filter options.
- Make this a subgroup of: Should this event group be a subgroup of one of your existing groups? If so, select the existing group here. This field is what allows you to create a hierarchy within your event group structure.
Click Save when done.