Creating Virtual Locations for Virtual Opportunities/Occurrences in HOC Salesforce

Effective June 18, 2020 HandsOn Connect is implementing new functionality to create Volunteer Opportunities and Occurrences that will be searchable as Virtual Volunteer Opportunities.

Virtual Opportunities and Occurrences will be defined by their taking place at a new type of location:  A virtual location.

This article describes how to create Virtual Locations, which will then be searchable as virtual opportunities via the public site.

For anyone using HOC prior to June 18, 2020.  You'll need to open a support ticket and request that this feature be enabled for your organization.   By default, we will turn it on in both Salesforce and for your Sharing Portal.

If you do not wish this activated for your partners in the sharing portal (but available in SF) please specify this.

Also, if you wish to have the success page for ISO-EIO updated to show the location info (see this article, Option 2), include that in your request.

What defines a Volunteer Opportunity and/or Selected Occurrences as Virtual?

Virtual Opportunities are those that take placer at a Virtual location.
Locations In HandsOn Connect can now be defined as one of two types:

1) Address (this is the default, and represents any location that has an address and/or can be located on a map)

2) Virtual (This is a 'location' that is designated as virtual - meaning it doesn't take place at a physical address). A virtual location may be your home, a virtual meeting taking place in a web conferencing app, a streaming site, etc.). A virtual location is any location that you don't physically have to arrive at in order to participate.

Creating a Virtual Location using the Volunteer Opportunity Wizard in Salesforce

When creating a Volunteer Opportunity, select "Create New Location".   After doing so you will see the option to select the Location Type.   For regular physical locations leave the default as address.  For Virtual Opportunities choose "Virtual" as the location type.  

  • Use the Special Directions field in the location to give instructions on how to participate in the Virtual Opportunity.  This field can be used for any information relevant to participating in the virtual opportunity that you don't want to make available in the opportunity description. (so that only those signed up for the opportunity can see the URL for online participation or additional instructions.
Speed Up Virtual Location - Google Docs
Speed Up Virtual Location - Google Docs
Speed Up Virtual Location - Google Docs
Speed Up Virtual Location - Google Docs

NOTE:  For Virtual locations, the street address, city, state and zip are not required and can be left blank.  You can optionally fill this info in, but it will have no effect on search results.

Converting existing occurrences to 'Virtual"

If you have previously created VIrtual Opportunities and wish to convert them to the new format (for ease in search, feature opportunity blocks, etc) simply do this:

  • Edit the existing location of the opportunity
  • Change the location type field from "Address" to "Virtual".

It will now appear as Virtual on the public site.

What about Express Interest Only opportunities?

Some organizations have created Virtual Opportunities as Individually Scheduled Opportunities - Express Interest Only with No location.   This is still an option and you don't need to convert these if you don't want to.   They won't however, show up automatically as Virtual Opportunities in the search mechanisms (unless you have already implemented a way to search for them using tags or saved searches).

You can however, convert these to the new format by creating a new virtual location (or using an existing virtual location), and associating the Occurrence of your Virtual ISO - EIO opportunities to use a virtual location.

Special Directions access for Express Interest Only Opportunities

So now if you are making Individual Scheduled Opportunities - Express Interest Only (ISO-EIO) opportunities virtual by associating them with a virtual location (the easiest way to include them in Virtual Opportunity searches), you may be wondering exactly how the volunteer will get to see the Special Directions info for that Virtual Opportunity.

See this article for the options you can employ to share the Location info (Special Directions) for Virtual Volunteer Opportunities.


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