What's that? Well, Promotion Commotion may sound like a stop on the way to Conjunction Junction, but really it's the excitement over our new Promote features!
Well...OK, really, ONE new feature, and a name change for Tools. Oh, Tools; we hardly knew ye.
In the navigation menu, you'll now see that "Tools" has become "Promote," to make it clearer what this collection of features is for. Use them to get the word out and mobilize your supporters!
What are emails for, you ask?
Well, they provide a great way to communicate with your volunteers and thank them for their hard work, or ask them to pitch in on a new Opportunity (or both!). Or send whatever messaging you think might be needed.
Clicking on Email in the navigation menu will take you to the Emails Dashboard, where you can view the history of all sent emails or create a new one.
When viewing the email history, you'll see the content of each email, when it was sent, and by whom. You'll also be able to view the list of recipients, as well as any Groups or Opportunities associated with the email. (More on this in another paragraph or two, there's a lot to cover!) Click in the upper right to create a new email.
When creating a new email, you'll start by selecting your recipients. Just start typing and you can search for specific Volunteers by name. You can also search for a Group or an Opportunity to send an email to all members of a particular Group, or anyone who has participated (or is registered to participate, we aren't discriminating here) in a particular Opportunity. Pretty slick! Once you've selected your audience, you'll be able to write out your subject line and copy and insert merge fields to customize your message for each recipient. Then, just click Send in the bottom right to push your message out into the world, or use the "Schedule Send" option to do just that.
BUT WAIT....THERE'S MORE!
Yes friends, there IS more to see. Not only can you send an email from the Emails Dashboard, but we've added the ability to see sent emails and create a new email when viewing a Group Dashboard. This makes it easy to manage communication with a Group, all from one place! When creating an email, the builder experience will be exactly the same, no matter which page you start from.
So, sending emails from the Emails Dashboard and sending them from a Group Dashboard sounds pretty good. But we don't just do "pretty good" around here! So we've ALSO added email functionality to Opportunity Dashboards!
Yep, you can view email activity related to an Opportunity or create a new email, all from the Opportunity itself. Just like creating a new email from a Group Dashboard, you'll see the same email builder.
Now, eagle-eyed users may notice a slight change to Opportunity Updates as well. We've moved the placement and added a new option when creating an Update to not have it show on the Opportunity page. Updates are still a great way to send out urgent updates to your volunteers, especially day-of-service updates, since they will send via email, but ALSO as push notifications via the VOMO mobile app and SMS messages.
Excited to check out emails? Well, be sure to check out our required reading first and contact your Virtuous Account Manager if Emails doesn't appear in your Admin Dashboard.
Yes, we are keeping the Schoolhouse Rock thing going.)
In this release, we've also made a change to our integration with Virtuous, or more specifically, to the way data flows from VOMO into Virtuous. Based on feedback from users, we've chosen to have all data flow into Virtuous using the Gift & Contact Import Tool instead of directly syncing to the database. This should improve data health in Virtuous and falls in line with Virtuous best practices. VOMO data will still be sent to Virtuous in real time, and then it will be held and bundled nightly for import the next day. You'll see VOMO Bundles when viewing the import page.
Because it's possible for a volunteer to serve before they are imported into Virtuous (depending on how often imports are completed), any serving time will be queued and then synced to Virtuous once the Individual is created. Because what good is data health if you're missing out on crucial information?
You can learn all about our Virtuous integration in this spiffy article.
...And the Rest
As with every release, this latest update also includes a number of other fixes, tweaks, minor modifications, and assorted nudges. Among this month's assorted fixes:
- Some Admins reported an issue with logging into the Check-in Kiosk using social media accounts, and some members were able to bypass the lobby when signing up with social media accounts. Since logging in should be the same no matter what method you choose, we've corrected both of these issues. Actually, we corrected them back in May, but we're pretty glad we did, and we just felt like telling you about it. And now we have.
- Also in the "we fixed this back in May" category, we squashed a bug where the time limit on background checks was not behaving, specifically when using Sterling. Background checks will be following the rules from now on.
- One more: back in May, we also identified an issue with registration forms not showing when new Volunteers signed up and joined an Opportunity. This seemed like bad form (pun definitely intended) so we made sure forms will not shy going forward.
- We've heard from some users that uploaded documents were not displaying correctly. We've eliminated this bug, so documents won't be hiding any longer. They have been set free!
And that's the list! Phew! As always, if you have any questions about these or other features, feel free to contact our support team.