Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where is HandsOn Connect hosted?

A: HandsOn Connect is hosted on Salesforce.com’s platform in the cloud.  Salesforce.com is the pioneer and industry leader in cloud computing.  You can learn more at www.salesforce.com.

Q: How are HandsOn Connect and Salesforce related?

A:  The easiest way to explain this is to compare Salesforce.com to an iPhone.  An iPhone comes with a platform of existing functionality, and you can expand on this functionality by purchasing App’s from the App Store.  Like your iPhone, Salesforce.com has an App Exchange where you can select from over 1,000 applications to complement the functionality of Salesforce (i.e. Fundraising, Accounting, broadcast email, etc.)  HandsOn Connect is an app that plugs into Salesforce to provide access to our specialized volunteer management functionality and decades of best practices.  With HandsOn Connect you get the best of both worlds, best in class CRM from Salesforce and best in class volunteer management from HandsOn Connect.

Q: Can we manipulate the look and feel of the HandsOn Connect?

A: The public site which volunteers and other partners interact with is built around a content management system that allows for easy creation of site navigation and content.  The core functionalities and features of the site are hard-coded and ready to run, and you can create as many additional pages of content and navigation as you wish, quickly and easily.  The sites templates are flexible, and can match your brand and design. Some customizations may be available on a fee-basis.

Q: Can HandsOn Connect manage large scale events such as a Servathon?

A: Yes!  HandsOn Connect allows you to create events that bundle multiple volunteer opportunities for the purpose of marketing and reporting.  Each event has its own special page (with its own unique URL) where you can add rich content, add sponsor logos and tell people about the event.  Volunteers can also click on a link to show them all of the opportunities associated with the event, where they can sign up or express interest in the individual opportunities.  Your public website on HandsOn Connect will also have a special events tab that you can populate with whatever information you’d like.

Q: I need to provide reports to my board each month.  Can I do that with HandsOn Connect?

A: Yes!  One of the most powerful features of HandsOn Connect is its ability to provide real time reporting on ALL of the data you capture.  If you don’t find what you need in the standard report templates that are included with HandsOn Connect, you can create custom reports in different formats (tabular, summary or matrix) with the ability to drag and drop fields into the report, change the location of columns, filter data (equal, not equal to, less than, greater than, contains, does not contain, etc.), and create charts and graphs associated with your report.   Reports can be exported (in Excel or CSV format) for further manipulation, and you can save report templates so that you can run the same report each time you need it without having to create a new report each time.  Have a report that your board wants the 1st of each month?  No problem.  You can schedule a report to run and automatically have it sent to board members on the day(s) of your choosing! 

Q: We have a lot of volunteers who like to volunteer with family members/people at their church/people that they work with.  Can they participate in volunteer opportunities as a team?

A: Yes!  The team functionality in HandsOn Connect gives volunteers an easy way to manage a group of people that they want to volunteer with and allows you to report on the activities of the team, including the number of hours the team has volunteered and for which opportunities.  Teams can be either private (where a Team Captain invites specific volunteers to participate on the team) or public (where volunteers can search on your public site to sign up for a team that shares similar interests).  Team Captains can email all of their team members at once via HandsOn Connect and sign some or all of the members up for opportunities. 

Q: Can I “test drive” HandsOn Connect?

A: We can make available a public demo site that you can test drive to experience the process from an external user perspective.  The administrative site, however, does require intermediate experience with the Salesforce Platform and training in HandsOn Connect processes and procedures.  It is not something that can be administered effectively without the training that we provide as part of the deployment process. Instead, check out the recorded demos or join one of our live demos that you can ask to see specific functionality in HandsOn Connect that you need for your business practices.   (*If you are an experienced Salesforce user and want to at least examine the administrative site, email us at [email protected] and we will try to accommodate your request.)

Q: I’m concerned about protecting the security of the people we serve as well as our volunteers.  How does HandsOn Connect do that?

A: HandsOn Connect is a Force ISV Salesforce application, built on the Force.com platform and Salesforce CRM suite.  As a Salesforce App, it has passed Salesforce’s Security Review.  For details, please visit: https://developer.salesforce.com/page/Security_Review

As a Force ISV Salesforce application, most of HandsOn Connect’s security framework and policies are inherited from the client’s Salesforce instance and the policies set there.  We recommend the client review these resources from Salesforce:

Q: How much does HandsOn Connect cost?

A: We know that paying for a volunteer management technology can be a burden on your organization, so we’ve created a sliding scale for fees that are discounted based on your affiliate status, nonprofit status, and annual program budget.  For more information, please email [email protected].  

Q: I love HandsOn Connect!  What are the next steps to getting started?

A:  We are thrilled that you would like to move forward with HandsOn Connect!  Please email [email protected] and we’ll get you started!

Q: I am a volunteer looking to participate in an opportunity.  Where should I look for a project in my area?

A: To find an opportunity in your area you can begin your search at www.HandsOnNetwork.org

Q: Who can use/buy HandsOn Connect?  Do I need to be a 501c3?

A: HandsOn Connect can be used by an organization of any type. There are substantial discounts for qualifying non-profit organizations, and further discounts for nonprofits that are affiliates of the HandsOn Network.

Q: We have several counties throughout the state (or chapters throughout the nation) and we want to have one point of entry for volunteers and organizations as well as aggregate reporting.  Can HandsOn Connect do that?

A: Yes!  Phase one of the HandsOn Connect State Portal offers the ability to create custom search widgets that can be embedded on your existing website that connect visitors to opportunities that are posted by HandsOn Connect users located in counties/cities in your state.  We can even produce search results that include opportunities that are not on HandsOn Connect, for those counties/cities that are using a different technology and posting projects through www.AllForGood.org.   We also offer robust reporting for all the counties/cities that are using HandsOn Connect as part of the State Portal Phase One Feature Set.  For more information, please email[email protected]

Q: Can HandsOn Connect support projects with international locations?

A: Yes. Si. Ja. Oui. Da, 对, はい....  HandsOn Connect is fully supports multilingual, multi-location and international.

Q: I already have the nonprofit starter pack from Salesforce.  How does HandsOn Connect differ from that?

A: The nonprofit starter pack in Salesforce provides tools for internally managing donors and constituents.  HandsOn Connect is designed specifically for managing volunteer engagement and provides a public website for volunteers and nonprofit organizational partners.   Having both of these together in Salesforce provides a complimentary, powerful unified platform for nonprofits that work with volunteers.

Q: What benefits does HandsOn Connect provide to volunteers?

A: HandsOn Connect provides volunteers with a simple yet powerful way to manage their volunteer activities. It provides automated search and email tools to notify volunteers when opportunities and events come available that match their interests. Using the site, they can express interest in specific opportunities and maintain a record of their future and past volunteer activities, including the hours they served.

Q: Can I use HandsOn Connect with my existing website?

A: HandsOn Connect can be integrated with your existing website several ways:

  • It can replace your current website, as it can be themed with your brand and design, it has a full and flexible content management system (CMS), and can be easily expanded to house all your content. 
  • It can be a separate stand-alone website, where we can cross-link HandsOn Connect with your website to allow users to easily navigate between the two sites.  We also support more advance integrations such as Single Sign On (SSO) to make it easier for your volunteers or employees to "switch" between sites.
  • HandsOn Connect has widgets such as for search and signup that can run on your existing website.
  • We provide a full API for tighter integrations, where we or you can build on your website the functionality and user experience, or utilize APIs to transfer data between existing web technologies and HandsOn Connect.  Pricing for integrations is handled on a case-by-case basis.  For more information, please email [email protected]

Q: Can I sell sponsorships on my HandsOn Connect website?

A: Yes. HandsOn Connect allows you to place different levels of sponsorship graphics on your website. You can even indicate whether you want them to appear based on a specific interest area that a volunteer searches on or they can appear on opportunity search pages.

Q: Can I use HandsOn Connect to prepare for and respond to emergency situations in my community?

A: HandsOn Connect offers robust volunteer management that makes a range of disaster preparation and response management possible.  A complete Disaster Module.

Q: Can I use HandsOn Connect to work with non-English speaking populations in my community?

A:  Yes!  Multilingual support is part of HandsOn Connect.