Sept 2016 Release Notes

The September Release has a number of bug fixes and brings added flexibility to all HandsOn Connect users.  Additionally, a significant number of features and improvements (not listed here) have been brought to pilot users of HandsOn Connect 3.0 including the first round of improvements to team functionality, improvements to the CMS, and the first release of the new 3.0 partner portal.  

Be sure to join us for the roadmap previews in September to find out more about HOC 3.0

A number of issues have been reported regarding the way Facebook publishes information about your organization and what happens when volunteer opportunities are shared from your site via the Share button on the opportunity detail page.  These range from random images being published on facebook, to random information referencing Volunteer Michigan showing up from opportunities shared from your site.  

These issues have been fixed, but require administrative action on your part if you want to control the image appearing on Facebook when someone types your URL into a facebook post.

(NOTE:  These instructions only apply to HOC 2.0 users).   See below for HOC 3.0 instructions:

Administrative Action Recommended:   Improved Facebook Integration - HOC663, HOC673,

1) Do not leave "Site sub Header Name" blank in the control panel

Go to Control Panel / Site Configuration and make sure that the field "Site Sub Header Name" has text in it.  This is the text that appears when someone types your URL into facebook.  Do not leave it blank.   (Keep in mind this text also appears on your home page as your site sub header (unless you are using the banner logo).  

1) Do not leave "Site sub Header Name" blank in the control panel

2) Populate the Syndication Logo in control panel with the image you wish to have appear on Facebook.

On this same page, scroll down to "Site Images & Document Upload" and upload the image you wish to have appear on facebook to the file "Syndication Logo"

For Facebook compatibility, that image must be at least 200 x 200. Use images that are at least 1200 x 630 pixels for the best display on high resolution devices. At the minimum, you should use images that are 600 x 315 pixels to display link page posts with larger images. Images can be up to 8MB in size. Try to keep your images as close to 1.91:1 aspect ratio as possible to display the full image in News Feed without any cropping. If your image is smaller than 600 x 315 px, it will still display in the link page post, but the size will be much smaller.

(Note: You can safely replace the syndication logo that was originally in place here.  It was 100 x 100 and too small for Facebook to pick up and use.)

2) Populate the Syndication Logo in control panel with the image you wish to have appear on Facebook.

3) Have Facebook 'scrape' your site again to pick up these changes:

Once you've uploaded the new logo into HOC, Go to: Enter your site URL, and click on ‘Debug” . Then click on “Scrape Again” to get Facebook to start using the new logo.

HOC 3.0 instructions for Facebook Intergration

In HOC 3.0 - your sites 'syndication logo" and 'syndication name' are handled differently than in 2.0.  

To Update your site name and site image for syndication for 3.0 do the following:

1)  Go into your CMS and get the URL for your site image.  OR,  add an image to the CMS with your logo at size 300 x 300 and get the URL for the Image.  The URL will look something like this:

2)  Go into Pages and search for the page called /search  .  This is a special page that just has the search engine optimization features. It does not have any content:

3)  choose the meta-tag og:Image and enter the URL of the image.  Click on "Add Meta"

4) choose the meta-tag og:site  and put in the name of your site.

5) Click Save.

Then go to your Facebook account and have facebook scrape your site again as shown in step 3 above.

Guest Volunteer Hours and Total Hours Fields in Occurrence Record now returns correct hours!  (HOC-216)

It's been one of the most elusive bugs in the system, but our developers have finally sent this bug packing!  For reasons that have long eluded us, the summary field "Guest Hours Served" in the occurrence record sometimes showed double the correct hours for guest volunteers. As a result, the "Total Hours Served" field was also incorrect, as it added the Volunteer Hours Served and the Guest Hours Served to produce its total.  This seemed to occur when editing connections directly, but not via the connections grid in the occurrence record.  But this resulted in a number that was a combination of doubled hours and undoubled hours.  Ugh!

Well, those days are over, and now these fields will  show correct results for all managed connections.  In addition to identifying and correcting the bugs that were causing the doubling, we'll also be going into your instance of HandsOn Connect and rerunning all the calculations, thereby cleaning up the data to update these fields to their proper values. There's no action you need to take, though for those of you who had, at our suggestion, removed these funky fields from your occurrence page layout, you can now put them back in if you like.

We still recommend, as we have in the past, that you calculate hours by using the hour fields in the individual connection records -- but if you have a need to, you'll now once again be able to use these summary fields for reports on hours related to occurrences and rely on their values in the occurrence record

Note: The update to guest hours only affects managed connections.  Occurrences related to self-reported connections will not be updated (though since volunteers cannot report guests on their self-reported connections), this should be moot.  

Fixed: Guest Volunteer Hours not calculating for Date and Time Specific Opportunities when administratively creating connections for past dates(HOC-660)

It was reported that when administratively creating connections, for dates in the past, and marking the attendance as Attended (and Hours verified), that guest hours served wasn't being properly calculated.   (It worked when you reported attendance on an existing connection, but not when creating a new connection in the past with Attendance already verified.  This has been fixed, and now administratively created connections will properly populate both hours served and guest hours served for these connections).

More intelligent creation of Self-Reported Volunteer Opportunities and Occurrences (HOC-538)

As you already know, the tracking of self-reported volunteer hours is done in a special volunteer opportunity called "Self-Reported Volunteer Hours" that is created for each organization when new organizations are added to your data.  The triggers that automatically create these opportunities have been significantly improved in two ways:

1) The trigger now only creates self-reported volunteer opportunities for accounts of record type 'nonprofit'.   Previously, all organizations were having self-reported opportunities associated with them (corporations for example), which was a wasteful use of data space (since you can only self-report service for active nonprofit partners).

2)  The self-reported volunteer opportunities are now not created until you change the status of a nonprofit organization from pending to 'active partner'.   This makes it easier to merge organizations if duplicate organization records are created.  It also means you don't have extra self-reported opportunities for nonprofit organizations that you aren't partnering with and for whom volunteers can't self-report anyway :-)

This change prepares the way for the following new feature:

More intelligent creation of Self-Reported Volunteer Opportunities and Occurrences (HOC-538)

HandsOn Connect 3.0 can run on the Household Account model instead of the Bucket Account Model

For the last 6 years, HandsOn Connect has run on what's called the 'bucket account' model.  Each new volunteer is assigned to the bucket organization we call "Individual". This has been standard practice for nonprofits for many years.

For those of you wishing to add the NonProfit Starter Pack version 3to Salesforce, so that you can manage donations and other financial transactions - we have detailed instructions on installing the NPSP for the bucket model and configuring it to work smoothly with HandsOn Connect. We also offer a paid option via the HandsOn Connect AddOn Store for us to do the installation and configuration for you, as well as train you on the NPSP.

With the release of NPSP 3 - the Salesforce Foundation has stated a preference for nonprofit organizations to use the new "Household Account Model."  In this model, a 'household account' is created for each contact, instead of using a separate household object (as they did in the past under the bucket model).

To pave the way for the future, HandsOn Connect has been made compatible with the Household Account Model, and under HOC 3.0 new HOC clients will automatically be configured to use the Household Account model.

It is not recommended or necessary for those of you already on the bucket mode to switch account models. An account model is usually set at the time an organization first starts using Salesforce and changing from one account model to another is a complex and time consuming process. However, after migrating to HOC 3.0 in the future, if you also wish to have your data updated and make the switch from bucket model to household account model, we will offer this as a paid data migration option.

HandsOn Connect 3.0 can run on the Household Account model instead of the Bucket Account Model

Greater Local Customization of HOC now possible.  Many previously restricted picklist values can now be edited to meet local business needs

We get many requests from HandsOn Network affiliate asking if they can make changes to picklist values such as "Impact Area" "Gender" "Interests" in their HandsOn Connect instance.  Many picklists have been marked as "DO NOT EDIT" on the HandsOn Connect Complete Field List.   Some are marked do not edit, because the values are tied to coded system functionality, however many others have been marked 'DO NOT EDIT" due to the original data requirements for annual affiliate reporting to the HandsOn Network.  

Many of the items originally required by the HandsOn Network are no longer part of annual affiliate reporting, and after discussion with Points of Light we've gotten permission to allow changes to be made to many more picklists so that HandsOn Connect can better reflect your local needs.

The following picklists (formerly restricted) are now allowed to be edited to meet your local business practices:

Contact Fields:

  • Volunteer Type  (however must keep "Volunteer" as one of the values
  • Education Level
  • Ethnicity/Race
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Marital Status
  • Target Population
  • Volunteer Activity Type

Connection Fields:

  • Decline Reason

Volunteer Opportunity Fields

  • Age Groups Served
  • Genders Served
  • Populations Servevd
  • Primary Impact Area
  • Secondary Impact Area
  • Activity Type
  • Training Type
  • Volunteer Activity Type

Organization Fields:

  • Age Groups Served
  • Genders Served
  • Impact Area
  • Populations Served


Notes about changing picklist values:

  • Details on how to edit picklist values can be found in this article.
  • For objects with multiple record types - you'll also have to edit the picklists for each record type as explained in the article linked above.
  • If you delete existing picklist values, be sure to define a replacement value to avoid corrupting existing records that are using the value you're about to delete.
  • Editing picklist values will NOT automatically update the volunteer opportunity wizard to reflect those changed values. The volunteer opportunity wizard would have to be customized to use your new value list.  This requires working knowledge of editing flows, and your changes will be lost and need to be redone when future updates to the volunteer opportunity wizard are released.  Premium support is available to update your volunteer opportunity wizard to reflect the changes you wish to make to opportunity / occurrence related picklist values.   Premium support is also available to modify the object-based picklist values for you if you're not comfortable making these changes on your own.
  • Changing the default values of Impact Area for Volunteer Opportunities may reduce effectiveness of search on All For Good and other external websites that won't have your custom impact areas / interests mapped in their search engines.

Fixed: Premium Partner Portal:  Problems looking up contacts when administratively creating multiple ISO connections (HOC-569)

The ability to "create multiple connections" for Individual Scheduled Opportunities has worked fine for internal users, but due to sharing issues with contacts in the 2.0 premium partner portal, Partner Organizations couldn't always administratively schedule the volunteers for ISOs.  

This has been corrected, and now partners can look up any of their contacts and administratively schedule them for multiple connections for their ISO opportunities.  Individually Scheduled Opportunities continue to improve for partners.  Be sure to encourage your partner organizations to start using ISOs instead of TBS opportunities for their opportunities that are not date and time specific!

Fixed: Saved search URLs for calendars not persistent (HOC-632)

It was reported that the 'saved search' functionality that theoretically made it possible to have multiple 'saved' views of your opportunity calendar, did not work once you moved the calendar forward by one or more months. At that point, the filters were being lost and the unfiltered calendar returned for subsequent months.

This has been corrected - and saved search filters for calendars will be maintained as you move from month to month.

Fixed:  Some Volunteer Opportunity Custom Questions not appearing on public website (HOC-677)

Some change in the Salesforce Spring '16 release caused a problem with creating Volunteer Opportunity custom questions of type = picklist.  These questions were not appearing on the public site due to a missing bit of punctuation that this VisualForce page normally automates.   This issue has been corrected.

Fixed:  Some Volunteer Opportunity Custom Questions not appearing on public website (HOC-677)

Fixed: Display problems of picklist registration questions (HOC-685)

An additional item related to registration questions of type picklist -- they were appearing on the public site with the picklist values displaying over on the right edge of the page.  This too has been fixed!  


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