HandsOn Connect DocumentationAnnouncements and Release NotesRelease NotesRelease Notes 2017HOC 3.0 Release Notes - 03.11, 03.12, and 03.13 (1/27, 2/2, 2/9, and 2/15)

HOC 3.0 Release Notes - 03.11, 03.12, and 03.13 (1/27, 2/2, 2/9, and 2/15)

Improvements to HandsOn Connect 3.0  are coming out every week, and over 100 items has been addressed in the last 3 weeks.   These release notes highlight the most significant improvements and new features available in HOC 3.0

Pilot: New Express Interest Opportunity Types Available

Current HOC 3.0 users have two volunteer opportunity types available:

  • Date and Time Specific (Sign Up) -- Use this type of opportunity when you need a certain number of volunteers, all of whom will be volunteering on the same date, start time and end time.  You can create one or more occurrences or shifts of dates and times for this opportunity.  Use this type of schedule if you need, for example, 5 volunteers on May 18th from 6 - 8 pm, or every Monday from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm.   When using the “Sign Up” schedule type, volunteers who meet your sign-up criteria like minimum age, are automatically confirmed for the opportunity. No additional action is needed on your part.  When your specified maximum attendance is reached, volunteers will have the option of joining the waitlist for that opportunity.
  • Individually Scheduled Opportunity (Express Interest with Schedule) - Use this type of opportunity when you have a flexible schedule of when you need volunteers. Each volunteer may be scheduled for a different date and time.  You define a range of times when volunteers are needed.  For example, you are looking for volunteers over the course of the next 4 months on  Mondays between 9 - 5 and Fridays between 9 - 12.  Volunteers will see the times you need volunteers, and will be able to express interest in volunteering for any period of time within your specified schedule.  You are notified of their interest and then can review the proposed time or times they wish to volunteer. Then confirm, decline, or reschedule them as you wish.  Volunteers can express interest in additional dates at any time, making this volunteer opportunity type ideal for volunteers who engage with you on an ongoing basis, and minimizing your need to contact the volunteer to schedule them.  Simply confirm and the volunteer is notified that they’ve been approved for the proposed dates.   The system also makes it easy for you to administratively schedule volunteers for one or more connections, if you wish.

The following two new types of opportunities can be added to both your partner sharing portal and for use administratively:

  • Date and Time Specific - Express Interest --  Use this type of opportunity when you need a certain number of volunteers, all of whom will be volunteering at the same date and time, but you want to review and/or contact each volunteer before confirming them to volunteer. This is useful if you need volunteers to submit to a background check or other review before confirming them.  Volunteers are not confirmed to attend until you have reviewed their pending connection and either mark it as confirmed or declined.
  • Individually Scheduled -  Express Interest Only  -- Use this type of opportunity when you simply want volunteers to indicate they are interested in an opportunity. There is no schedule of days or times volunteers are needed. You are not even required to list a location. This opportunity type is well-suited for general interest opportunities like “Contact me in times of Disaster” or “Interested in working as a Board Member?”.  It can also be used to generate lists of people interested in receiving more information on a topic or on an event being managed outside of HandsOn Connect.  It is also a way to create ‘virtual’ or ‘volunteer from home’ opportunities.  Simply leave the location blank, and put the details of how to complete the virtual opportunity in the project description.Volunteers click on express interest and connections in pending status are created for you. You then have a list of interested volunteers to do with as you wish. No further action is required on your part.  If you wish to do so, you can email volunteers with further information or administratively schedule volunteers for specific dates and times and record their volunteer hours.

These two new opportunity types are being piloted now and any HOC 3 customer can request they be added to their instance.   To request these two new opportunity types, please open a support ticket in zendesk and request "Add new opportunity types".  

A webinar, showing these new opportunity types was held last week, and a recording is available here:


Prerequisite Opportunities functionality now available for HOC 3.0

A Prerequisite Opportunity is one that a volunteer is REQUIRED to sign up for in order to signup or express interest for another opportunity.  (Example: You require volunteers for a painting project to also attend the prerequisite 'painting training' opportunity.  They will be unable to sign up for the opportunity unless they also signup or express interest in the training OR have attended that prerequisite in the past.  

When a volunteer signs up or expresses interest in an opportunity that has a prerequisite, they will be also automatically be directed to signup or express interest in an occurrence of the prerequisite opportunity.

In order to keep HandsOn Connect easy to learn and use, this 'advanced' feature is not automatically enabled administratively.  If you wish to use this functionality follow these instructions to enable prerequisites in your instance of HandsOn Connect:


Once enabled, follow these instructions on how to create a prequisite relationship between two volunteer opportunities:


Improvements to Sharing Portal

A number of tweaks and improvements have been in the sharing portal to make creating volunteer opportunities quicker and easier:

  • Help Tips added for Opportunity Types (for those using four opportunity types)
  • Removed field "Minimum Attendance" -  This field has no functional use for portal users since it has noa bearing on opportunity sign-up and is only useful to administrators who may want to create custom reports to monitor whether minimums are being reached.  This field has been removed for partners (who cannot create custom reports that make use of the field), and will automatically be populated with a value of 1 administratively.
  • Maximum Attendance field only appears for Date & Time Specific Opportunities - This field can be confusing and misleading to partners, as it only impacts maximum attendance for date & Time Specific opportunities. What it actually does is turn on waiting list for opportunities that have reached the max number of Confirmed connections.   Since Individually Scheduled opportunities allow many, many connections to be assoiated with one occurrence, the number should always be set at a high value.  To avoid confusion, this field is not presented when creating Individually Scheduled Opportunities, and automatically populated with a value of 2000 (confirmed connections) on the back end of the system.  (That is the recommended maximum number of confirmed connections for a single opportunity).  This saves the partner user from having to understand or populate a correct number, and speeds up creating Individually Scheduled Opportunities.


Improvements to Connections Grid in Sharing Portal

The list of connections that appears in the sharing portal for each volunteer opportunity has the option to select individual connections, and then take action on them  (email, mark confirmed)  This grid has been improved in the following ways:

  • Previously, selecting the "All" check box only selected the 10 visible connections , and did not select connections on additional pages.  Now the "All" check box will select ALL connections, across multiple pages. This makes it possible email more than 10 volunteers at a time.
  • When filtering connections to limit the connections displayed, the ALL button will now select ALL connections that meet the current filter.  So it's possible to select all the volunteers who are starting at specific occurrence date and time, across multiple pages, without selecting the connections who do not meet the filter requiremments.


Improvements to Reporting (pilot) in Sharing Portal

Reporting for Partner Staff is now available as a Pilot.  A number of improvements have been made to the speed and availability of reports that can be run and exported by partners.  Administrator can create reports using standard SF reporting functionality, and make them available in a folder accessible to all partners using the sharing portal. Improvements in this release cycle include

  • Able to share more report types
  • Report Description available in report list view

If you'd like to participate in the pilot of Reporting and have it added to your partner sharing portal, please open a ticket in zendesk.

Improvements to Facebook Registration and Login (pilot)

Improved process of first-time users of Facebook login and/or Registration.   Facebook Registration and Login is a pilot feature.  Any HOC 3.0 customers who wish to join the pilot and offer facebook registration and login please open a request ticket in Zenesk.  Facebook login and registration is now available for users of Advanced Registration System (premium add-on) as well.

Improvements to custom themes

A number of improvements have been made to each of the alternate public site themes available to new and migrating HOC 3.0 customers.

CMS: Improvements to Registration and Personal Information forms (HOC3-1666)

The different fields that can be included or left out of the registration form are not organized by the sections the fields actually appear in.  These same improvements have been made to Organization Setting block (organization registration), and the Personal Information Block.

Check-In Kiosk v2 released (premium add-on)

The HOC Check-In Kiosk add-on has been updated to v2 and now includes the following additional features:

  • Activation Code - provides security and prevents volunteers from checking in from home if they know the check-in kiosk URL.  Activation code ensures that only authorized kiosk users can activate the kiosk for checking-in volunteers.
  • Multi-Time Zone Support - for organizations with projects across multiple time zones - the kiosk can be configured to adjust for the time zone the opportunities are actually taking place in.
  • Check-out feature now credits extra time to volunteers wh check-out after the project end time.
  • When configured to allow check-out,  the check-in button now reads "Submit" to avoid confusion while checking out.

If you are not a current check-in kiosk user and are interesting in adding the check-in kiosk to your HandsOn Connect instance, please contact [email protected] for pricing information and details.

Improvements to Advanced Registration System (premium add-on)

A number of improvements have been made to the capabilities possible for those using the Advanced Registration System (ARS), forms, and parental consent modules.   This premium add-on makes it possible for us to create custom registration pages, integrate payment processing, and update existing Salesforce objects with information entered during registration, opportunity sign-up, or through custom forms based on your specific business needs. Here are some of the highlights of new functionality available:

  • Fixed bug related to 'next' button not appearing during registration workflow
  • Improvements to Donation Page
  • Improved integration of form fields to Salesforce records
  • Parental Approval functionality now available  (when activated, has a minor enter a parent's email address.  Parent must respond and 'approve' that their minor child can sign up for volunteer opportunities.

If you wish to add the ability to customize registration pages, opportunity sign-ups and create custom forms that integrate with Salesforce, please contact [email protected] for pricing information and details.

Misc Bugs corrected

Here's a few of the most irksome bugs that have been squashed in these releases:

  • Date fields in custom volunteer opportunity questions were not allowing data to be populated.  This has been corrected.  (HOC3-1605)
  • Corrected a variety of spelling/grammatical errors in uneditable messages and content
  • Setting a partner organizations record to 'auto-approve" not allows you to give a particular organization the ability to publish opportunities directly when created in the portal, instead of submitting them to you for review and manual approval.  (HOC3-1637)
  • Error messages resulting when updating personal information if multiple  custom registration questions were presented have been corrected.   (HOC3-1744)
  • A variety of bugs fixed related to multi-lingual sites.
  • Corrected error when submitting skill documentation date  (HOC3-1840)
  • On the public site, the header on the skills page has been corrected to read "Volunter Skills Profile for...." (HOC3-1712)
  • A number of incorrect URLs in automated emails sent out in HOC 3 have been corrected for most customers.  (If you find any broken links in emails sent to volunteer leaders or opportunity coordinators, please open a zendesk ticket and we'll update your email template for you!)
  • Record types when an organization registers via the public site are now correctly applied depending on the account model of your HOC instance.  (HOC3-1945)
  • Resolved occasional error messages that resulted during team creation in some circumstances  (HOC3-1988)


Larry Deckel

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