If you MUST delete data - it needs to be done with care.
While the recommended business practice is to mark records as inactive rather than delete them there may be a time when you need to delete records from your system .
If you do need to delete a record, the recommended business practice is to first delete any of the related objects first and then delete the record. For example, if you need to delete a Contact, first delete their Connections and Volunteer Team Members before you delete the Contact. If you do not delete the related objects then you will end up with a Volunteer Team Member that is not associated with a Contact, and this will cause errors in your data. But if you do this - you'll lose the hours and history of that contact as their connections will now be gone.
DO NOT DELETE ORGANIZATIONS without first removing all the related objects. If you delete an organization and haven't cleared the Volunteer Opportunities it will break the Find an Opportunity functionality of the system.
The biggest data mistake we find in instances of HandsOn Connect are when people delete Volunteer Opportunities. They delete the Volunteer Opportunity and wind up with a corrupted occurrence, because Occurrences REQUIRE a Volunteer Opportunity. Now its impossible for updates to take place on these occurrences and automations like changing email addresses for Opportunity Coordinators, or changing your Opportunity Approval Manager will return errors, because these corrupted occurrences can't be updated and saved!
How to "Safely" delete a Volunteer Opportunity
If you have a 'bad' Volunteer Opportunity that you just want to get out of the system - don't just delete it. First look at its related lists, and see if it has any occurrences or connections. You must delete them first!
FIRST delete the connections to the volunteer opportunity (and remember, if you do this, you'll lose all that volunteer history).
THEN, check each occurrence for the opportunity, and make sure it has no related items, and delete the occurrence.
THEN, when there are no related fields associated with the Volunteer Opportunity you can safely delete it!
Deleting an Individual Record
At the top of each record is a Delete button. (Delete buttons are generally only available to system administrators. Its best this way - as you don't want others deleting data unsafely just because the button is present!)
Mass Deleting of Records
Salesforce only allows Organizations (Accounts) and Contacts to be deleted from HandsOn Connect. Remember though that you still need to delete the related objects before deleting the Organizations or Contacts.
Before performing a mass delete, it is highly recommended that you archive the data before you preceding with the mass delete. See this post for how to archive your data.
To mass delete Organization or Contacts go to Setup/ Admin Setup/ Data Management/ Mass Delete Records.
Select either Mass Delete Accounts (for Organizations) or Mass Delete Contacts
You will then be taken to a screen to enter the parameters for selecting the records to delete.
You can filter the contacts based on any value in the contact record. Once you've entered the search criteria, click on Search to view the results.
There is a maximum of 250 records that can be deleted at once, so if your search results with more than 250 records, you will need to repeat these steps.
Salesforce does have a recycling bin for deleted records, unless you opted to Permanently Delete the records during the mass delete.
However, the Recycling Bin doesn't restore the relationships to the other records.
See this post to see how to manage the Recycling Bin.
Before deleting records - make sure you are scheduling regular backups of your data.
Mistakes happen. Make sure you don't perform any deletions or mass deletions unless you are backing up your data each week. See this post for instructions on how to back up your data. (No one else has a backup of your data, so this is your responsibillity!)