Managing Initiatives as a Site Manager

Created by Brittany Crow, Modified on Fri, 24 May 2024 at 11:45 AM by Brittany Crow

❖ Heads up! This article is intended for Site Managers. Only Site Managers can create and manage initiatives for the site. 


 Video training: This article includes steps for creating and managing Initiatives on your site; however, you can also watch the following video walkthrough for a more in-depth look at this great feature!


Initiatives are a great tool for grouping Needs that fall under specific categories. Does your organization or agencies have Needs associated with a special event? Do you have Needs that occur during particular times of the year? Would you like to have a way to associate a Need with a specific group of volunteers—like youth volunteers or employees within a company? If you answered yes, then we recommend creating an Initiative to meet those needs! Here we cover:

So you know: Some sites have language overrides in place. This means you may see Programs in place of Agencies, Opportunities in place of Needs, Prerequisites in place of Qualifications, and so on. Please contact us if you'd like to have language overrides in place on your site! 


How to add Initiatives

To get started: 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Needs

2. Select the Initiatives tab. 

3. Click Add New Initiative

4. Fill out the required fields and personalize the Initiative! 

  • You can add color with the color selector and change the text color to match. 
  • Pick an icon that is aligned with that Initiative. 
  • Write up a description that outlines the goals and purpose of that Initiative. 
    • This can be another way for you to further personalize the Initiative! 
    • You can add links, images, graphs, etc. 
    • Feel free to edit the text with the editor by changing the font color, etc. 

So you know: 

  • The maximum width for an image in the Initiative banner is 993px
    • There is a 20px padding around the edge of the description and an additional 70px padding added to the left-hand side of the banner. 
    • This means your image won't touch the sides of the banner. 
  • The description appears at the top of the Opportunity page that the Initiatives is assigned to. It shows up in a banner with the information and personalization you include.

5. Personalize the Confirmation, Reminder, and Follow-Up Messages sent to volunteers automatically. 

  • The message you type in these fields will populate in the specific automated notifications listed under each message type. 

 So you know: You must insert the {{initiative_message}} template key in the specific automated notification for it to pull your message into the notification.

  • For more information about automated notifications, click here

6.  Click Create Initiative


How to add questions to an Initiative

You can add custom Initiative Response Questions for volunteers to answer when they respond to an Initiative! These questions are a great way to: 

  • Collect important information—like shirt sizes or how they heard about the Need
  • Determine if they have the desired skills or experience for the Need, etc. 

You can also add custom Initiative Need Questions that agency managers must answer when associating a Need with an Initiative. This is a great way to have your agency managers answer important questions that provide additional details and justification to volunteers responding to the Need! 

  • Want to make sure the agency manager has associated an appropriate Initiative to a Need? You could ask them: 
    • Does this Need align with the goals and objectives listed in the Initiative description? 
    • What are the goals and objectives of this Need? 
  • Do you want to provide additional details for volunteers about that Need and Initiative?
    • For example, let's say you have a youth-focused Initiative, you could ask: 
      • What supervision will be provided during this Need? 
    • Maybe you want to ask clarifying questions about the Need, like: 
      • Will photos be taken? 
      • Do volunteers need to bring personal protective equipment? 
      • Can volunteers bring their pets? 

So you know: Initiative Need Questions and the answers provided by agency managers appear to volunteers on the Need's profile page under Additional Details


How to exclude an agency from an Initiative

Do you have an agency whose mission doesn't quite align with the purpose of an Initiative? Maybe they aren't such a great fit? You can opt to exclude those agencies from associating their Needs with the Initiative! 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Needs

2. Select the Initiatives tab. 

3. Select the Initiative you want to update. 

4. Click the Excluded Agencies tab. 

5. Use the Add An Agency dropdown to select the agency you want to be excluded from associating their Needs with that Initiative. 

6. Click Add

So you know: 

  • You can add all agencies by clicking Add All Agencies

  • You can quickly remove an agency from the exclusion list by clicking the X icon under the Options column. 

  • Want to remove several agencies from the exclusion list at once? Check the boxes by each agency and click X Remove beside Actions


How to assign an Initiative to a Need

When you're ready to assign an Initiative to a Need, you can do so when creating a new Need or by updating an existing one! This selection is made after you assign the Need to a specific agency. 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Needs

2. For an existing Need, click the Need Title from the table you want to assign the Initiative to. 

  • Click here for more information about creating Needs! 

3. Use the dropdown beside Initiative to assign the Initiative to that Need. 

✏️ Quick tip: If you require an Initiative Need Question for agency managers, then we recommend assigning the Initiative to a Need with the bulk-add option. This overrides the requirement so that agency managers are the ones answering the question when they update the Need. 

4. Be sure to click Update Need to save your changes! 


How to assign an Initiative in bulk

To get started:

1. Go to Volunteerism > Need

2. On the Manage Needs page, check the boxes beside the Needs you want to assign the Initiative to.  

3. With the Actions for Selected Needs dropdown, select Assign or Remove Initiative

  • Click here to learn more about making bulk edits to Needs. 

4. Use the dropdown to select the Initiative you want to assign and click Update Initiative

✏️ Quick tip: Follow the same steps but change your selection to Remove from the assigned initiative before updating. This removes any assigned Initiatives from the selected Needs. 


How to export Initiative data

Ready to export and review your Initiative data? 

1. Go to Volunteerism > Needs

2. Select the Initiatives tab. 

3. Click Export Initiatives

  • This exports that data to a CSV. 


Export answers to custom Initiative response questions

Want to see how users are responding to your custom Initiative response questions? You can from your Reports area! 

1. Go to Reports

2. Select Needs then click the Need Responses by Initiative report. 

3. Use the Initiatives dropdown to select the Initiative. 

4. Export the report to a .csv file. 

  • The answers are exported in the file.

The volunteer perspective

Once you have assigned an Initiative to a Need, your volunteers can then see information about that Initiative when they click on the Need from their dashboard. This includes the personalized description you wrote for the Initiative as well as the custom Initiative Need Questions and their answers.