Using the Comments field to track extra volunteer data
If you track volunteer data that doesn't fit into one of the pre-formatted fields inside the Edit Volunteer dialog, you can add that information to their Comments field. You can also have the volunteers add the information themselves online. And the best part is that you can use the filter tools to run reports, schedule, and send emails based on the information contained in the Comments field. By filtering the Comments section, you can differentiate volunteers based on information that isn't tied to a defined job, subdivision or title. In the following example, we'll track and filter by t-shirt size.
- Start in the Volunteers pane. For each volunteer, edit their profile and enter the data you wish to track in the "Comments" section. In this example, to track what t-shirt size volunteers prefer, we'll use the phrases "t-shirt: s", "t-shirt: m", or "t-shirt: l" to differentiate. Make sure that you use the exact same phrase for each volunteer within a group, so that you can easily filter by this information.
- To send an email to all of the volunteers who prefer a certain t-shirt size, go to the Announcements pane. Make sure the "To" section says "All volunteers" and also check the box for "But only volunteers who pass | this filter...".
- In the Edit Filter dialog that appears, there is a section in the bottom left-hand side of the window to filter using the "Comments" field. Select this filter, then using the drop down menu, select, "Comments field contains" and in the text box, type in the phrase you used to differentiate your volunteers. In our example, we'll type "t-shirt: m" to filter the email to just volunteers who fall into that category.
- After you click "OK", the filter is in place. You can double-check it is correct by hitting the "Preview..." button at the bottom of the email. In the preview screen, you should only see recipients of the email.
NOTE: Volunteers can have multiple fields entered in the Comments section of their profile. You can use the Comments to filter volunteers in other aspects of the program as well. For example, you can create mailing labels, rosters, or schedule a volunteer in an open schedule based on their comments