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VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

TECH TIPS
with Michael Lee Stills

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

Computer Image

~ March 2004 ~ Topics

Tech Tips adds New Contributor

Hello Tech Tip Readers.

I would like to introduce you to Mary Lou McNatt. Beginning next month in April, Mary Lou will be alternating months with me to provide you with fresh new ways to use technology in your volunteer programs. Mary Lou has many years of experience working with volunteer programs, advancing our profession and has a passion for introducing the Mary Lou McNatt Pictureadvantages of technology to volunteer programs. She was instrumental in obtaining Ivan Scheier’s body of work on volunteerism and putting it online. Check her work out at this link: http://academic.regis.edu/volunteer/ivan/.

She was my co-chair for the Technology division at the 2002 International Conference on Volunteer Administration. Mary Lou has been a valuable colleague, collaborator and friend and has contributed to some of the tips I have offered you. I am excited to have her bringing her ideas to you directly. Tune in next month, check out her contributions and welcome her to Tech Tips.



Using Tags in VolunteerWorks

Many of you may now be using VolunteerWorks as your database for your volunteer program. Many more may still be considering it for the future. I have been using VolunteerWorks for about 6 years now and have enjoy each new release. One of the early features was the ability to tag individual records. While new releases allow you to manage the records in multiple ways, I still find that I fall back to using tags to target and separate out specific volunteers. Often I use tags in conjunction with filtering.

Here is a simple example:

I might use the filter feature to sort out the teen volunteers from the adults. Then I might have a few teens in mind for a special project.

In the very left column where you see the person shadow, hold the Control key and click on the person you desire with the left mouse key. A check mark should tag the individual. Repeat for all desired individuals.

If you find yourself using tags a lot then set up a filter for tags. I have one set up in the Assorted folder. The settings for a tag filter are:

  1. Enter the Filter set up window.
  2. Choose Assorted for your Folder and name it "Tagged Records."
  3. Click on the Conditions (Set A) tab
  4. Click on the Add Button
  5. Choose Master for the Tab field
  6. Choose Tag for the Field field
  7. Choose Checked for the Is field
  8. Click on OK and then Save.

Now you have a Tagged Record filter.



Conserving Mailing Labels with VolunteerWorks

One of the most overlooked and intelligent features of VolunteerWorks is the ability to print labels that start anywhere on a sheet of labels. I often only use a part of a sheet to print a few labels. Let’s say we want labels for 7 volunteers but we have a sheet of thirty labels. The first time you print the labels the first 7 will be used. But what do you do when the next time you want to print say another 10 labels. Most of us would run a new sheet of labels through.

With VolunteerWorks you can start your labels where the last run left off. In fact, I have not been able to figure a way to do this with MS Word. Perhaps if we all write to Bill Gates they might listen to us…or not.

Starting in the middle of a sheet of used labels is very simple. I can’t tell how much I love this.

Follow your normal process for printing labels but before you press the print button, you may have noticed that there is a tab at the top called Labels. Click on this tab and you will see a picture of the sheet of labels you are using. Click on the label where you want to start with. Then Print. That’s all there is to it. Again, it is one of the most overlooked features of VolunteerWorks and it will save you a lot money by not wasting a new sheet of labels with each print job.


Do you know of a better way? Or do you have any questions?
Drop me a note at Michael@MichaelStills.com.

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