Creating a Virtual Volunteer Opportunity in HandsOn Connect
The first thing to consider when creating a Virtual Volunteer Opportunity is how you want to manage it.
- Do you just want to distribute information about what to do and how to get involved?
- Do you want to schedule the volunteer to perform or complete the virtual opportunity by a specific date?
- Do you want to track whether or not the volunteer actually completed the virtual opportunity?
- Do you want to award hours of service to the volunteer for their or your own metrics?
- Do you want volunteers to be able to search for Virtual Opportunities on your site, separate from location-base opportunities?
HandsOn Connect offers a lot of flexibility in how you can manage Virtual Volunteer Opportunities. In this series of articles - we'll start with the most basic way to do this, and offer ideas about how to more deeply manage and track virtual volunteerism, if that's your objective.
Let's start with a basic way to list a virtual volunteer opportunity. For this example we'll choose to create an opportunity where volunteers are asked to knit blankets at home, and send them to our Volunteer Center, where we'll then donate them to local shelters.
Create a Volunteer Opportunity as Individually Scheduled - Express Interest Only
Individually Scheduled, Express Interest Only opportunities are ideal for Virtual Opportunities as they do not require a location for the opportunity.
Give the opportunity a name that clearly identifies it, and indicates its a Virtual Opportunity.
In the opportunity description, give details on what the volunteer needs to do to complete the project.
For detailed instructions, it might be best to include a downloadable document that includes information on how to complete the project, where to mail or deliver it, and any other relevant details:
How to attach a downloadable file to an opportunity description
There are two ways to upload documents and create links to them for downloading. Storing Files in Salesforce is probably the easiest, but here's an article explaining both methods. Use the one you find quickest and easiest :-)
Can you use date and time specific opportunities for virtual opportunities?
Date and Time Specific Opportunities, and Individually Scheduled Opportunity - express interest with Schedule require that a location be associated with each occurrence. As such - they are not ideal for Virtual Opportunities, because Virtual Opportunities don't take place at an actual location, right?
That said - if you need create a date and time specific virtual opportunity, where virtual volunteers log into a webinar or virtual classroom or make a phone call at a specific time, you can do this by creating a sort of 'Virtual Location" record.