Creating / Editing a contact record

Creating a volunteer from the public site:

Creating a volunteer from the public site:

But there are lots of different kinds of contacts you might want to add to your database, and you can always add a contact to the system administratively.

Creating a New Contact

Creating a New Contact

Click on the Contacts Tab and then click on the NEW button on the Contact object Home page

This gives you a blank contact record in edit mode.

This gives you a blank contact record in edit mode.

Most fields in the contact record are self-explanatory - but here's a few things you should know!

1. Registration Status - is a picklist with the following values:

Registered - means they registered on public site, OR you have granted them portal access so they have a log-in and password, OR they were imported on set-up as a record.

Not Registered is the status you should use for contacts you create administratively but have not yet (or may never) grant portal access  (for example. a vendor contact)

Pending  (Team Registration)- the status for individuals who are invited to join a team but have not yet confirmed by registering themselves on your public site. \

They MAY become registered at some point, until then they are 'pseudo-volunteers'. \ They are tracked based on the sign-ups their team captain does on their behalf, but they do not have a login, and there is no guarantee that their email address is correct.  

2. Employer: This field is the information that was submitted via the public site registration form.  It is the name of their employer as the volunteer entered it.  It is not automatically made their "organization name" because that field is a 'lookup' field.  So this is mostly informational rather than functional.

3. Organization Name - is a lookup field and a required field.  Each contact must be associated with an organization (usually their employer).  If you do not know what organization they are associated with, associate them with the organization 'Individual' or, if in the Household Account model, leave it blank.  A household organization will be automatically created.

4. Email - The email address is where system communications will be sent to them.  You can add an alternate email if you wish to have it as information. If you administratively grant them volunteer access, their email address will become their UserID

5. Birthdate - This field is not required for all contacts however:

• Anyone you wish to grant portal access to MUST have a birthdate entered

• For your agency partners, If you don't know a birthdate, pick something flattering that's over 21 :-)

6.  Calculated Birthdate - • Check this box if you're making up the date (for the purposes of making them over 18 or a minor). Their age will be upped one year every year but you'll know its an estimated number and NOT their actual date of birth.  

7. Person with Disability / Disaster Volunteer - These are custom questions that can be turned on or off for volunteer registration via the control panel.  They are available administratively whether or not they are active on the public site.


7. Orientation Completed - check this box if you require and restrict sign-up for opportunities based on whether orientation has been completed

8, Minor Waiver on File - if you require minors to submit waivers BEFORE signing up for opportunities, check this box when waiver has been received and filed.

9. Goods and Services - you can specify goods and services that an individual can provide your organization.  The multi-picklist for this can be modified by your system administrator.

10. Communication Preferences - indicates whether individual has opted in for additional local or national communications.  (By default these are on for new registrations.  Volunteers can opt out IF they choose to do so during the registration process.  You can optionally do a mass update of your imported data and opt people in (or request this status to be set to opted in during import).

11. Hours Served - this is an auto-calculated field.  Do not manually update this field or it will break the calculation that would normally be made here.

12. Court Ordered / Background Check / Skills Profile Completed - these are fields that indicate whether to apply certain restrictions or permissions allowing this contact to volunteer for restricted opportunities.

13. Invitation Information - refers to opting in to skill-based volunteer opportunity invitations and is usually populated by updates the volunteer makes during registration and in updating their skills profile.

Note: Exactly what fields will or won't appear when you create a new contact will vary depending on the Contact Page Layout that your system administrator has configured for your use.  Typically, fields that your organization isn't making use of will be removed from the page layout.l

Create / Edit Contacts as it appears for SF Lightning users:


Libby Ziemelis

I'm trying to find out if there's a way to add contacts administratively without having the default record type being "Volunteer." Is that possible?

Larry Deckel

There is only one 'record type' for contacts. All contacts are the same record type.
The most reliable indicators of someone being a volunteer are:

1) Contacts who have the profile "volunteer" (portal access and the authenticated website license)

2) Contacts who have related connection records.

Nicolette Winner

We have a contact that has a role of volunteer in our system, but now we need to grant that person portal access as an agency staff person. How do we make that change and retain her volunteer information? (She used her work email address while volunteering, which also complicates things.)

Larry Deckel

You first have to remove her volunteer license, and then change her to a partner license. See this post for details:

You'll also need to make sure that she is associated with the organization you are granting her portal access for.

Her volunteer info will not be lost. The connections will be retained. And she can still volunteer by returning to the volunteer portal and signing up for opportunities.


I have the same situation as Nicolette above, only the organization does not exist in the system. Is there a way to change her account so she has access to create an agency profile?

Larry Deckel

If her organization isn't already in the database you can resolve this in one of two ways.

Either administratively create the organization in her behalf, associate her as a contact, and then give her access from there. (She can then go into the portal and update info as needed).

OR.... just have her register her organization and herself on the public website. Then -- when its been submitted, change her pre-existing contact record to associate her with that organization. Now you'll have TWO contact records for her.... just merge them together and you're all set. (You'll still need to give portal access to the merged contact record after you've approved the partner organization.)


My question is probably most-related to this topic. When we enter an "alternate email" address, is that email address also used when notifications are sent to contacts? Or does the system only address the first email?

Larry Deckel

The alternate email is used strictly behind the scenes for you to keep track of another way to email the contact. The system only mails to the primary email address.


Question, if someone fills out their skills profile, does it automatically check the box? Or is this something you do on the admin end?

Larry Deckel

No, the field is not being automatically updated. And this is the source of the issue mentioned in the known issues forum:

If your organization is using ‘skills required’ volunteer opportunities, what we are doing is making a modification to this field as it MUST be check marked or volunteers are unable to sign up for skills-required opportunities. Once we do this for All Contacts however, it won’t be a useful source of information. (Please open a zendesk ticket if you need this update applied to your account).

Alternately - you could choose to manually update this field to keep it accurate.

The best way to find out who does and doesn’t have a skill profile is to run a report on volunteers with skills.

Create a report on all contacts WITH skill ratings. And that’ll give you a list of everyone who has a skill profile (as well as the specific skills they’ve reported!)


In Salesforce classic I could click on a contact record and view the record and all the related records. However, now that I am using Salesforce Lightening every time I click on a record it automatically opens a new window to edit the record. If I select cancel it closes the window and I'm back to the contact list again. Is it no longer possible to just view a contact record? Do I now have to generate a report every time I want to see how many connections a contact has?

Larry Deckel

Response to above comment: Have you installed and are using the app HandsOn Connect Lightning? The version of HOC that is automatically converted from classic has issues that are fixed in the HandsOn Connect Lightning app.

See this post on how to active the native lightning version of HandsOn Connect:

If you ARE experiencing this in HandsOn Connect Lightning - please open a support ticket so we can look at your configuration.

Abdullah Palisoc

So to piggyback on the contact records, I noticed applications I create such as NPSP lightning I'm unable to access the contact records similar to @connect. It only works in the Hands on Connect Lightning application.

Larry Deckel

Abdullah: If you're a HandsOn Connect client, please come to one of our daily lab sessions and show us specifically what your problem is, and we'll assist you with making sure your applications are properly configured to access the contact records.

Susan Fowler

I have a volunteer who initially came to us to do community service. That is now complete, but when I edit the record to remove the check it comes right back. How can I remove the community service desgination?

Godwin Ogbueze

Hi Susan - can you open a case regarding this at so we can better assist you? When you open a case, please include a screenshot of the field that you are referring to. Thanks!

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