Using the Volunteer Portal

Beginning with Donor Wrangler version 17, all organizations are able to take advantage of the Volunteer Portal. This guide will take you through the steps of enabling the volunteer portal, as well as giving the basics of its use.

Enabling the Portal

To enable the portal, go to the Options screen, and click the System Settings tab. Under Volunteer Portal, choose "Yes", as shown below:

If you wish, you may also choose to enable the Enhanced Login Screen option. This will take your login from looking like the standard login you've been used to to a new one like this:

You will also need to enable user access to the portal. Under each user account, you will have to edit their settings and grant them access accordingly. The View Volunteer Data permission will let them see history, run reports, and view any published events. The Manage Volunteer Data setting will allow them to delete history, edit/publish events, and change default email settings.

Setting Basic Configuration Options

While still on the Options page, click the Appearance Settings tab to set some useful and relevant options. These are shown in the box in the screenshot below.

The Organization Name setting dictates what appears on the Enhanced Login Screen, and in the title of every page as you navigate the system. The Public Facing Header Text is the text that will be shown in the upper left instead of "Donor Wrangler" if a non-logged in user views a public facing page (IE the volunteer time log page, which they don't have to be logged in to use.) The recommended setting is either simply your organization name, or something like "Back to [Organization] Website". The Public Facing Header Link is the website that the user will be taken to if they click on that text. The link must be complete and include the http://, not just the www. portion.

Logging General Volunteer Hours

Once you've enabled the Volunteer Portal, you can configure some basic Roles that volunteers can select to log volunteer time under. Use the "Add New Role" button to define your roles. Once you have a role created, it will appear on the Volunteer Log page, which is accessible by clicking the "Log Time" button.

Logged time will automatically be associated with a donor's profile if the email address provided on the logging form matches up with the email address on their profile. You can also use the "View Reports" button in the upper right to run reports and export data.

To share a link for individuals to log their time, if you've enabled your Enhanced Login Screen, you just need to send them the link to your Donor Wrangler installation (IE: YOURNAMEHERE.donorwrangler.com). Otherwise, the link is YOURNAMEHERE.donorwrangler.com/volunteerlog.php

Creating Volunteer Events

You can use the Volunteer Event feature to recruit and sign up a large number of volunteers for an event, such as a 5K race or gala.

Understanding the Structure

Throughout the system, you will see references to Roles and Slots. These concepts are important to understand in order to build an easy to follow sign up. A Role is a specific task or duty for an event. For instance, you may have a check-in table outside of your annual gala. The Role would be Check-In and Ticket Table. Once you define the instructions and duties for the role, you can add as many Slots as needed. A slot is simply a period of time that someone is needed for a particular role. Slots can be spread over different days and times. With our check in table, for instance, you may have 2 volunteers needed when the doors first open, 4 within a half-hour of the event starting, and 2 to monitor the table and guard the cash box during the course of the event. Before setting up an event, it's worth it to think through what roles you need to fill, and how many different people you'll need to fill all of the necessary slots for that role.

Understanding Email Settings

There are a number of email settings that can be configured, and it can seem overwhelming, but don't sweat it! First off, there are default, global emails that can be configured under the "Settings" tab within the Volunteer Portal. 

Fill in each field using the directions on the right and the basic templates as your guide. These are the default messages that will be pre-populated when you configure your first event, so don't make them specific to any one event. When you go to create your first event, you'll have the opportunity to tailor each message to the event in question at the bottom of the event edit screen.

Setting Up Your Event

While you are creating your event, you should leave the status set to "Closed" until you're ready to send it out via social media or your newsletter. Otherwise, fill out the fields as you see fit! The instructions are not displayed publicly on the page until a volunteer reaches the signup area. Below that, tweak your email messages as needed. Note that if you have a series of events, or will reuse an event from year to year, you can clone the event, but this is best done after all roles and slots have been configured. The cloned event will be an exact duplicate will all sign up data removed. You can then simply update the dates and times as needed.

Once you have saved your event, you're ready to begin adding Roles and Slots! The "Add New Role" button to the left of the "Sign Up" header is where you'll begin. When you add a role, you have the choice to name it, give a short description of their duties that appear on the page, and detailed instructions that appear once they sign up. You also have the ability to select whether or not approval is needed. For highly sensitive or people oriented roles (such as the check in table, which requires good customer service skills) you may wish to have an approval process so that you can screen those who sign up and accept only the trusted ones you know. Once a role is in place, the "Edit Role" link appears to the right of the role name in grey.

Once a Role is defined, use the "Add New Time Slot" button to add new slots. Once a slot is set up, you can manually add a volunteer by using the "Add Volunteer" button (this label changes to "Sign Up!" if you're not logged in). The slot management interface is shown below with some sign up data already included. You can see that you define the date, start time, and end time. You can also add as many actual individual openings as you need by using the "Add Slot" and "Remove Slot" buttons in the lower half. As volunteers sign up, the slot rows begin to fill up, and can be edited by an administrator.

As soon as a volunteer signs up, they will receive a confirmation email, if approval is not required. If approval is required, they will receive an initial thank you and a follow up after they've been approved. (Again, you change the text of these messages on each individual event's edit page.) If you would like to be notified when someone signs up, enable email notifications on the My Account page. (This is located under Users if you have permission to edit accounts other than your own.)

Sharing the Event

Once you are satisfied with your event, run a few tests by signing up yourself to verify that the emails are formatted to your liking, and that there are no typos. You can then edit the event to mark it as "Open". To send via email, social, media, etc. just copy and paste the link to the event at the top of the page and share it however you'd like!

Volunteer Information on a Donor's Profile

Once the portal is enabled, Volunteer History will appear as a new tab on the user's profile. You can use the "Log Volunteer Time" button to manually log time for a specific donor. Otherwise, you can delete and filter data here.

Other Questions?

If you need any assistance, please use the Support page within Donor Wrangler to request assistance. We'll be happy to help you!

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