What is a volunteer event?
A Volunteer event is a way to bundle a number of Volunteer Opportunities together for the purpose of marketing and reporting.
Examples: National Volunteer Week, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or a large event like a servathon with multiple projects associated with it.
It's called a "Volunteer Event" in HandsOn Connect, to differentiate from Salesforce's own standard object "Event" which is used for scheduling appointments on the internal Salesforce Calendar.
On the public site -- Volunteer Events are referenced as Special Events
A volunteer event can be any number of opportunities, either affiliate-managed or partner managed. They are just a number of different volunteer opportunities that are taking place as part of a larger 'event'.
How a volunteer event appears on the public site calendar.
Volunteer Events show up on your calendar in their own color (see "Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service 2012" above). Clicking on the calendar link will take you to the events page for that event.
You do not sign up for events themselves. You sign up for the opportunities that are PART of the event.
Clicking on an event on the calendar will take you to a splash page for the Event. Here you can add rich content, add sponsor logos, etc and tell people about the event.
All the Volunteer Opportunities that take place as PART of that event are not listed on the calendar -- only the event itself.
The Special Event only shows up on the calendar on the specific days during the event where a date and time specific opportunity is listed. (Individually Scheduled Opportunities that are part of a special event will NOT cause the special event to show up on the calendar, because ISOs never appear on the calendar, only on search pages. )
Splash Page for an Event
The Special Event Detail Page has links to a list of all the Opportunities associated with that event.
Clicking on either of these links will take you to the SEARCH page which has the complete list of all the volunteer opportunities associated with this special event.
How do events get reflected in a Volunteer Opportunity Description?
Any opportunity, that is associated with a Volunteer Event - has the Event name appear on the opportunity detail page. The event name is a link to the event splash poge.
What are the behaviors of opportunities and special events in the various search modes?
On the Search page -- All opportunities that are part of a special event appear in search results. Special Events themselves DO NOT appear in the search results.
On the Calendar page - The name of the Special Event appears on the calendar, which links to the Event splash page. The opportunities that are PART of the special event, do not get listed in the calendar view. (This prevents the limited space available in the calendar view from being dominated by all the opportunities in the special event.)
The name of the event ONLY appears on the calendar on days where there is a date and time specific occurrence, occurring on that day. (This gives you the flexibility to have event-related opportunities that span a longer period of time without cluttering up the calendar or confusing volunteers.)
(Note: Individually Scheduled OPpportunities that are associated with a special event, will not cause the event to appear on the calendar, unless there are date and time specific occurrences that day as well).
When to create a special event - and when not to:
Create a special event record:
- If you want high visibility for the EVENT itself, pushing more people to the SPLASH page for the event, before going to the opportunities. (Great for setting context, displaying sponsor ads, etc.)
- To cut down clutter on the monthly calendar page.
- If you want the monthly calendar to direct people to the splash page - rather than to the individual opportunities.
Don't create a special event record:
- If you don't want people to have to view a splash page about the event itself.
- If you want individual opportunities to all appear in the calendar view -- instead of the link to the event splash page.
- If you want to emphasize individual opportunities more than the event itself, (An alternative way of branding opportunities as part of a special day is to put the name of the 'event' in the opportunity title itself, rather than creating a special event record. .. (i.e. MLK Day 2013 - Paint a School). You can have an 'event' and not create a special event object. This puts the emphasis on the opportunities, instead of the 'event' if it needs no special splash page.
Best Practice: Create a special event object when you want to highlight a splash page. Don't create a special event object if you don't want people to read an extra page and instead get more directly connected to the opportunities themselves.
Who can create volunteer events?
Only fully licensed Salesforce users (whether System Administrators or Staff) can create Volunteer Events and associate volunteer opportunities with them.
By default - associating Volunteer Opportunities to special events are not enabled in the partner portal -- but a field allowing a partner to associate an opportunity with an existing Volunteer Event can be enabled for the sharing portal. (Open a help ticket to request adding this field to your partner portal is you want partners to be able to associate their opportunities with the events you have created)
Tips: Want easier access to individual occurrences when using "Special Event" splash pages?
Some users choose to manually embed direct links to volunteer opportunities that are part of an event in the splash page of that event. It's a bit of work to do so, but an option if you want to USE a splash page -- but give people a more direct way to get to the individual occurrences themselves (See example above)