TSA New in Version 5.7

Touch-Screen Assistant Messaging

If you use the optional Touch-Screen Assistant, you can now send messages to your volunteers whenever they sign in or out. You can send messages to individuals, filtered groups, or everyone. You can set messages that will be sent throughout the year whenever any type of volunteer's renewal date comes due. Birthday messages will also be sent automatically, if you choose.

Touch-Screen Assistant sample message

Touch-Screen Assistant Reference

Who's Here

This screen shows who is currently signed in. It shows the date and time each volunteer signed in to serve at a job. Once the volunteer signs out, their record is automatically removed from this screen and their hours are either automatically transferred to the Volunteer Reporter or moved to the "Approve Hours" screen based upon the settings you have chosen on the "Settings" screen. The data on this screen is normally sorted in order by the date and time, but you can change the sorting by clicking on a column heading. For example, to sort by the name of the volunteer, click on the column heading "Volunteer".

Touch-Screen Assistant  Who's Here tab

If you need to sign out someone who has forgotten to do so, you can do it right here. Click on the Sign Out button to manually sign out a volunteer. Enter either the time the volunteer should have signed out or the total number of hours the volunteer served. You can also delete the record of when the volunteer signed in without posting any hours.

Touch-Screen Assistant  admin sign out volunteer

Approve Hours

After a volunteer signs out, this screen will show the date and number of hours the volunteer served at a single job. When the hours are listed on this screen they are waiting for your approval before being posted to the Volunteer Reporter. Once you approve an hours record on this screen, the hours are automatically posted there without any further intervention.

Touch-Screen Assistant  admin approve hours

Based upon a setting on the Settings tab, you can choose to approve all hours by setting the approval limit to zero or approve only those hours records over a certain limit. For example, you can choose to approve only hours records over 4 hours which means that any volunteer who signs in and out within a four hour period of time will have their hours automatically posted to the Volunteer Reporter and those hours will never appear on this screen. Only hours above the limit set on the Settings tab will be shown on this screen waiting for your approval.

You can approve the hours one record at a time or all of them at once. If you approve a single record by clicking on the Approve button, that hours record will immediately be posted to the Volunteer Reporter without any further confirmation. This makes it very fast for you to approve a number of hours records in succession. If you click on the Approve All button, the Administrator will confirm with you one more time before posting them all at once.

You can also edit a single hours record and change the date or number of hours before approval. Finally, you can delete a single hours record in which case the hours will not be posted to the Volunteer Reporter.

The data on this screen is normally sorted in order by volunteer's name, but you can change the sorting by clicking on a column heading. For example, to sort by the job's name, click on the column heading "Job".

Assign PINs

Each volunteer needs a PIN (personal identification number) in order to sign in or out. On this screen you can assign new PINs and change existing PINs. When you first start using this program all the PINs will be empty. You can either leave them empty and let your volunteer's pick their own PINs or automatically assign a PIN to everyone. Either way will work fine.

If you have volunteers who both use the Touch-Screen Assistant to sign in and out as well as use the Web Assistant to enter hours from home, it can be good for them to be able to use the same password for both. The Touch-Screen Assistant enables you to duplicate each volunteer's Web Assistant password, but only if their Web Assistant password consists of just numbers and is not already used as someone else's PIN.

Touch-Screen Assistant  admin assign PINs

To automatically assign a PIN to everyone, click on the Auto Assign button and pick a starting PIN number. You should probably start with at least a 4 digit number like 1000. The only problem with assigning a PIN to everyone is that then all of those PINs are taken and can't be chosen by anyone else. For example, no one can choose PIN number 1000 as their own because it will already be assigned to someone else.

If you let each volunteer pick their own PIN, you'll either have to let them originally sign in with their social security number and then change their PIN or you'll have to add each PIN one at time on this screen. To add or change a single PIN click on the Edit button. If you want to remove a PIN completely so that a volunteer cannot sign in, click on the Edit button and then backspace over the exiting PIN.

The Print button will print an list of all volunteers and their PINs in order by either their name or PIN.

Messages

The Touch-Screen Assistant has a complete messaging system built-in that enables you to communicate with your volunteers as they sign in and out. It is, however, a one-way communication from you to them. They cannot respond to your messages, only read them.

You can send four different types of messages, plus a universal birthday message. The four types are Individual, Group, Everyone, and Date Based.

Touch-Screen Assistant  messages

Individual This is sent to a single person whom you pick off a list.

Group This is similar to an individual message, except it is sent to a filtered group of people. After you select the filter, click on Count & Prepare to determine how many volunteers will be sent this message. The same message will be sent to everyone in the filtered group

Everyone This kind of message is sent to everyone who signs in or out during a period of time. It can be useful to remind everyone of an upcoming event or deadline. For example, send a message to everyone who signs in over the next two weeks reminding them of an upcoming luncheon.

Date Based This message is sent to anyone who has some kind of upcoming renewal date. For example, if you use one of the volunteer user-defined date fields called "Training Due" to keep track of when every volunteer needs to next renew their annual training, you can create a reminder message that is sent to each volunteer a month before their training is due. You can set up this kind of message once and leave it in place for years in order to remind volunteers of something coming due.

Birthday Message To set the default birthday message, click on the Birthday Message button. Follow the directions on the screen to set up birthday messages to be sent to every volunteer near their birthday.

To add a new message, click on the New button. Choose which type of message and enter the appropriate information. The options are different for each type of message. For some messages you can choose to automatically delete the message after the volunteer reads it while others you can choose to send it just once to a volunteer or every time they sign in or out.

Touch-Screen Assistant  messages

For each message enter who the message is from, the subject, and the actual body of the message. It's just like sending an email to someone except they will receive it when they sign in on the Touch- Screen Assistant.

Settings

These settings affect how the Assistant looks on the touch-screen monitor.

The Screen Title is shown at the top of the touch-screen monitor. Typically it would be the name of your organization or something general like "Volunteer Sign In".

The Sign In Message is shown as the last step when a volunteer signs in. You can insert a general message for everyone like "The annual banquet will be on May 15."

The Sign Out Message is shown as the last step when signing out and you can type any message.

You can change it to any number you want. Remember this number because it is the only way to exit from the Assistant.

Touch-Screen Assistant  settings

You can choose to show just job names, or a combination of job and station names. If you are not using station names in the Volunteer Reporter, you'll want to only show job names here.

A check mark enables volunteers to use their social security number to sign in if they don't know their PIN. This can be useful when you first start using the Touch-Screen Assistant so that volunteers can get signed in once and immediately set their own PIN for future use. Of course, this will only be useful if you keep track of volunteer's social security numbers in the Volunteer Reporter.

Another check mark enables volunteers to change their own PIN. Again, this can be useful when first starting so that volunteers can pick their own PIN. Removing this check will protect your system from any mischief makers randomly changing the PINs of others.

You can choose to show each volunteer's lifetime hours to them each time they sign in and out. If you choose to do so, their lifetime hours are displayed along with the sign in and sign out messages.

The last number on the screen enables you to set how the Assistant handles hours. If this is set to zero, all hours will be sent to the Approve Hours screen for your approval before posting to the Volunteer Reporter. If this is set to 4.00 for example, then all hours less than four hours will go straight to the Volunteer Reporter without waiting for approval, but any hours over four will wait for your approval on the Approve Hours screen. You can choose any number for this limit.

Colors

Select a color scheme for the touch-screen monitor. Your selection will only affect the touch-screen monitor, not this computer. You can select colors three different ways, either a pre-defined scheme, custom colors selected from drop down lists, or custom colors you create. We have created a few pre-defined color schemes from which you can choose.

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