In VolunteerMatters, the project-catalog is the central resource for volunteers to search, browse and sign-up for your volunteer project needs. When you advertise for prospective or registered volunteers to sign-up to help, you are typically asking them to visit the Project Catalog in order to find a need they would like to fulfill. The project catalog shows all projects that have current or future needs, whose publish start date is on or before today, whose publish end date is on or after today, and that is not hidden. When creating a project you can specify the publish dates as well as a publish mode that determines which types of users should see the project in the catalog (public, volunteers, administrators, or hidden).
As always, the main purpose of the project-catalog is to advertise your volunteer opportunities to prospective and existing volunteers. Sometimes you may want to direct or advertise a specific pre-defined subset of projects and that's where the ability to create custom Project Catalog URLs comes in.
The elements available to be used in defining and creating the custom URLs are:
- Sites/Branches or Regions
- Project Tags
These can be used by themselves or combining them.
The creation of the URL is an entirely manual process. You first take the base custom URL:
Then add the classification section: ?branches=&tags=&keywords=
So you have https://customercode.volunteermatters.org/project-catalog?branches=&tags=&keywords=
NOTE: If you are using "Regions" instead of Sites/Branches you will replace "branches" with "regions" in the url: https://customercode.volunteermatters.org/project-catalog?regions=&tags=&keywords=
Then add to it any classification elements you want returned in the list following the instructions below.
Note: Customer Code is the typically the base domain of your website URL. So if your website is www.myawesomesite.com your customer code would be "myawesomesite". You can also obtain your customer code from your VolunteerMatters System URL.
For sites/branches or regions you will need to list their associated ID/Value number in the URL, for project tags you will use the tag unique ID, and with any keyword classification elements you will use the keyword itself with %20 for any spaces.
Project Tag URLs
To create a project tag custom URL you just need to add "?tags=" to the end of the standard project catalog URL followed by the unique tag ID(s) desired. For example if you wanted to display a series of projects that are tagged with your "Children & Youth" project tag, you would first locate your "Children & Youth" unique tag ID from the "Project Tag" area (under "Configuration" in the main navigation). Then append that tag ID to ""?tags=" section of the URL. So if the tag ID in this case was "Children_Youth", the result would be "?tags=Children_Youth". Then append that to the end of the main custom project catalog URL:
This will now automatically display a list of all projects that are tagged with that project tag on the project catalog when the volunteer arrives via that URL.
If you wished to use multiple tags you just need to add a comma and then the next unique tag ID and so on. Such as:
Note: Project tag URLs can be used on public and admin only tags. If it is a publicly available tag it will also list the tag's group as a drop-down search box for volunteers. It will also pre-populate that box with any public tag custom URLs used.
To create a keywords custom URL you just need to add "?keywords=" to the end of the standard project catalog URL followed by the actual keyword(s) desired %20 for any spaces. For example if you wanted to display a series of projects that return using a "community partner" keyword search you would add "?keywords=community%20partner" to the end of the project catalog URL:
This will now automatically add the "community partner" keyword search and will display a list of all projects that return that search on the project catalog when the volunteer arrives via that URL.
If you wished to use multiple keywords you just need to add a comma and then the next keyword and so on. Such as:
For more information on keyword search click here (coming soon).
For Branches/Regions/Sites this can be an advanced skill. If you need assistance with this please contact support.
These instructions are subject to change depending on your browser type and version number.
To obtain a site, branch, or region number it will take a little additional work as you need to obtain the associated ID number on the back-end of the system via the inspection tools of your web browser.
To do so:
- Log into your VolunteerMatters system and from the initial landing page, the "Volunteer Dashboard" you will need to locate the "Search for Volunteer Opportunities" box.
- Place your cursor in either the "Sites" box (this may also be labeled Branches, Regions, etc.) and right click and select "Inspect" or "Inspect Element".
- Then you will need to locate the proper ID (branches) in the code and then expand to see the choices and their associated IDs/option values. For the example below the Downtown site ID is "6".
- Once you have the number you will place it in the custom URL. To create a project tag custom URL you just need to append "?branches=" to the end of the standard project catalog URL followed by the site/branch value(s) desired:
NOTE: If your organization uses "regions" it will need to be "?regions=" instead. All others (branches, sites, communities, etc) use "?branches". Branches also do not use numbers but names. For any value names with a space use %20 for the space similar to a keyword custom URL.
- If you wish multiple sites you simply need to separate them with a comma. For example if you wanted "Downtown Branch" and "Town Center Branch" you would need 6 and 10. So the URL would be:
Once you have the keywords, tag IDs, or site/branch/region values you can use them to make any combination desired just separating each by the & character. For example if you wanted the list of projects to include:
Branch A (ID=7)
Branch B (ID=8)
Keyword = Community Partner
Project Tag ID = Children_Youth
Your URL would look like this:
They can be in any order after the main URL just so the first one is prepended with a ? and they are separated by the & character.
NOTE: The Project Catalog includes a 1 year filter by default on the "Opportunities Before" filter criteria. This is included with any custom URL as well. If you would like to use a custom URL without this default date filter just add "&dateTo=" to any of the custom URLs created from the instructions above. For example:
This will clear the automatic date filter criteria and return only the items specified in the URL.
Direct Project URL to project detail
You can always advertise a direct Project URL by clicking on the "Project Page" button when in the project catalog and then copying the URL from your browser address bar.