User Guide for the VM Module

(Log In as Volunteer)
(Product Maintenance)
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== Product Maintenance ==
== Product Maintenance ==
* Updates and maintenance of the Volunteer Management Module will be done by the Sahana team and are focused on future enhancements and efficiency of the Volunteer Management Module.  
*Updates and maintenance of the Volunteer Management Module will be done by the Sahana team and are focused on future enhancements and efficiency of the Volunteer Management Module.  
* The system is geared to minimizing and eliminating all bugs or problems within the module that may slow down or stop the Volunteer Management Module from working effectively.
*The system is geared to minimizing and eliminating all bugs or problems within the module that may slow down or stop the Volunteer Management Module from working effectively.

Revision as of 07:48, 14 August 2007


Welcome to the Users Guide for the Volunteer Management Module, where understanding and using Volunteer Management Module is made easier.



The Volunteer Management Module, is a multi functional program that allows volunteers to register as system user to edit and update their personal information at any given time with a secure password and security features that enhance the Volunteer Management Module.

Installation Notes

  • If you have not installed Sahana make sure that the 'vm' folder is located inside of the 'mod' folder and Sahana will take care of running the program for you.
  • If not, place the 'vm' folder inside of the 'mod' folder, then you will need to run the dbcreate.sql file on your database. The dbcreate script is located in the 'ins' directory.

It should be made sure, however, that during fresh installation, the Access Control featured should be enabled so that access restriction and constraints can be applied to different people with different levels of authority and privileges in the system, later. This implies that there needs to be at least one person with with 'main operations handler' (mainops) status for administrative purposes.

Welcome Screen

The welcome screen might look different depending on various organizations or systems using the Sahana software. But however, the framework should look similar with a menu for different modules on the left and a user log-in area with username and password field right underneath it. The example provided here has a stripped down Sahana menu with just the VM module and the Administration modules, along with the user log-in feature:

Welcome Screen

New Registration

  • New users must first click on the Volunteer Management menu item on the left where they will be presented with a registration screen, where they can register with all the required information and hit submit. There is also a provision to optionally upload a picture for the user. If there is not record of personal information of a new registrant in the system, then the Volunteer Management Module will be inaccessible.
  • Once a user name and password has been created for the Volunteer Management Module, all registered users must login with their user name and password to further explore the module.
  • Once a user is logged in to the Volunteer Management Module, he/she will be able to access and change personal information at any time. However levels of restriction may be placed on accessing certain pages. This is under the control of the main operations handler or the site/project manager, positions which people can sign themselves up for and wait for approval or positions which the mainops or site manager assigns to registered people.

Here is a picture from the registration page, which highlights one of its key part:

Skill tree

So, with other registration information, volunteers can input their skills using the explandable tree and can also choose to apply for the site manager position. Restrictions not listed in the tree, or any other special needs for the volunteers, if any, can be input in a big text field.

Levels of Access control

Levels of access control are given to volunteers depending on permission by validating a user to view or change sensitive information pertaining to project(s) and volunteer(s).

  • The Volunteer Management Module is setup to restrict the amount of sensitive information that a user may be able to view or change depending on the level of access.
  • Level of access control determines the amount of information that will be displayed to a user.
  • If a user is not of the correct level of access to view sensitive information, restriction will be applied to the users permission access to determine what is viewable and what is restricted to the user.

Basic Volunteers are limited to the minimum levels of access. As registered users, volunteers have only permitted levels of access which consist of:

* Menu: Projects 
             - Only permitted to access and view the projects that they are assigned to. 
             - Project Details 
             - Description 
             - Specialties Needed
             - Assigned Volunteers to that specific project.  

- No permission to view/access informaiton about the Site Manager or other working volunteers of that specific project; Denied access alerts will be displayed.

* Menu: Messaging 
             - The sub-menu of messaging will allow you to view your In box, Out box, Send Messages
             - Gives the option to delete messages in their In box or Out box	
       * Menu: Edit Your Details
             - Volunteers are able to access or change the information they registered with.
             - Volunteers can also upload pictures of their selves and change any basic information as needed.
       * Menu: Change Password
             - Changing users password at any time is easily accessible; Passwords are unique and only viewable to and higher levels of permission access.  

Advance Volunteer or Administrator have higher level access and are able to view all the basic information as a Volunteer but with added features that are only given to Site Managers and Operation Managers. These level of access enables these specific users to view sensitive information pertaining to a volunteer(s) and project(s).

Higher Levels of access allow these approved users by Sahana Administration to edit,delete and add volunteers to any project or to delete a project or change that project information at any time.

Log In as Volunteer

Log in brings you a whole bunch of features that you can do as volunteers or administrators as the system. This is what a typical screen looks like when a normal volunteer is logged in:

Login Screen

After being logged in, there is a number of things the volunteer can do. He/she can access the Volunteer Management option from the menu to see a list of features like viewing his/her info, accessing the mailbox, register to volunteer for a project (if that hasn't been done already) or view a list of projects he/she has been assigned to. Also, the user can change his/her details, change password, view the mailbox (check the inbox, outbox and send out messages) and of course, log out.

View Project

Page after log in for a volunteer

The following screen shot shows what the page to view project details looks like.

Project details for a volunteer

The screen also consists of a table showing other volunteers assigned to the same project, along with their pictures.


The mailbox feature is another feature that the volunteers can access. It lets them receive and send messages. Sending can be done to more than one person at a time. The message sending interface looks like this:

interface to send out messages

Change credentials

Also, there is a feature on the menu on the left where users can change their system password:

Change password

All the afore-mentioned log in features are available to basic volunteers. To access more features like editing details and so forth, a registrant has to be an advanced volunteer or an administrator, if not the mainops or the site manager.

Log in as Administrator/System Manager or Main Operations Handler

Logging in as a project administrator, site manager or the mainops gives provilege to a whole bunch of features not accessible as a regular volunteer. The volunteer management page for a site manager looks like:

Project details for a volunteer

So there are a lot more options that shows up on the administrative account of a site manager or the mainops. The administrative privileges include features like assigning volunteer(s) to projects, viewing a list of volunteers who are assigned to different projects, editing volunteer details, adding projects and positions, searching for volunteers, reporting on project/volunteers status, approving or revoking a volunteer or a registered user's abilities, privileges and access controls, among others.

Assign to project, Edit/Remove/Add Project

The mainops can assign volunteers to projects and different positions within it, including site manager. The project to which the mainops wishes to add volunteers to has to be chosen first. Then, a list of volunteers shows up where different positions can be assigned, using a drop down menu.

Assign to project window

At the top of the same page, a list of positions available for that particular project including pay rate, targeted number of volunteers, total number of volunteers already assigned, is shown also. More importantly, administrators can edit, remove or add positions to projects.

Edit, Remove or Add positions

The edit project and add project allows entering of a position, description for it, the pay rate and the targeted number of volunteers. The screen looks like this:

Edit or Add positions

View Volunteers

There is also a link to see all the volunteers assigned to different projects within the system, where a list of volunteers is generated in form of a table, along with the picture, status, affiliation to organizations (if any), location of the project, start and end dates:

Show assigned

There is another link in the menu on the left under 'Volunteers' where the administrator can view all the volunteers, assigned ans unassigned. Choosing View All from the menu displays a list of projects which can be clicked on to obtain further information on an individual one. A part of the page which has the information on an individual project looks like the one shown below where volunteers along with their positions, hours, location and images are displayed. In addition to that there is also a column with a cross mark against the name of each volunteer which allows the administrator to remove him/her from the project.

View all projects

Search for Volunteers

In case, volunteers need to be searched, this can be done using the search (basic and advanced) available for the site/project manager or the mainops. The interesting feature of the search engine is that it returns results close to the original name of the volunteers based on soundex and metaphone allowing margin for mistakes or uncertainty with the names. Here in the example, a search entry for Jackie returns a volunteer name Jack, which is the only one close to the find string.

Search for volunteers

Reporting Feature

Another interesting and helpful feature available as administrative privilege is the reporting feature which generates a list of volunteers that have ever worked in any project, along with their affiliation, position held, number of hours worked, total monetary value of the projects they worked on and so forth. A printer friendly version for this reporting is provided for printing purposed with less graphics. Also, a small information-break-down bubble shows up every time the mouse is over a row containing some information regarding a volunteer, with all the information on him/her.

Reporting feature

Also reports can be filtered either project, organization or both. Similarly, volunteer-specific reports can be generated as well.


The final feature available for site/project managers deals with the management of projects and positions. The link to 'Modify Abilities/Limitations' under 'Management' menu item allows the addition of a position or skill for volunteers or the removal of already listed skil/skill set:

Modify abilities/limitations

Similarly, the 'Approve Abilities' link under 'Management' menu item, links to a page where the site/project manager can either approve, revoke or deny applications from new registrants to become site managers or simply appoint a volunteer to be one:

Approve abilities

Product Maintenance

  • Updates and maintenance of the Volunteer Management Module will be done by the Sahana team and are focused on future enhancements and efficiency of the Volunteer Management Module.
  • The system is geared to minimizing and eliminating all bugs or problems within the module that may slow down or stop the Volunteer Management Module from working effectively.