Halloween may be over, but we’ve got so many new features being released… it’s downright scary! So put away your Katniss Everdeen costume (we know you wore one) and check out these treats we’ve prepared just for you!
Collect Phone and Address Information from your Volunteers
Our powerful email tools have always made it easy to coordinate your volunteers, but with some events you need more than just email. Want to collect your volunteers’ phone numbers so you can reach them the day of the event? Need your volunteers’ addresses so you can send them your monthly newsletter? Now sign up creators can choose whether entering a phone number or address is required as part of the sign up. The data you collect is integrated into our custom reports, which let you easily export the contact information to an Excel compatible file when your sign up is done! Now that’s handy.
Simplified No-Account Sign Ups
You spoke and we listened. Sign up creators kept telling us that some of their members didn’t want to create an account at SignUpGenius when they signed up, but they still wanted advanced functionality like email reminders and editing their sign up later. Other sign up creators were confused by the multiple access settings we made them choose from when they created their sign up. You weren’t satisfied… so we weren’t satisfied. We went back to the drawing board and decided to completely rethink the way we handled access settings and the way users sign up for things. What we came up with is a simpler, more powerful, and perfectly customizable setup. Now, we let the sign up creator pick and choose what users need to fill out in order to sign up. Accounts are optional by default and your users can receive reminders and even edit their items – all without having an account. We’re positive you’ll find the sign up settings are more intuitive and that no-account sign ups will satisfy even the most skeptical of your members! Welcome to a whole new level of genius!
Improved Admin Sign Up Tool
There are lots of ways people use our system. For a number of events, it is the sign up creator that is the one that is signing people up on the site using our admin tool. On a large sign up, this can be time consuming. Never fear - help is on the way! We’ve refreshed our admin sign up tool so that it’s much faster. Once you’ve chosen the person you’re signing up, you’ll see a pop-up view of your sign up that allows you to easily check multiple slots in one simple step! This format makes it much easier for you to coordinate where people should be signed up – and even let’s you sign up people for recurring positions easily. Sound simple? It is. So what are you waiting for? Get those volunteers signed up!
Modify the Header Text & Comment Text
We know you spend a lot of effort on your sign ups and want them to look just right. Now there are two more settings that help you customize it to get exactly what you need. First, adjust the column header on your sign up to specifically describe what your users are signing up for. Next, customize the text that shows next to the “my comment” field that is a part of every sign up. Customizing the comment text allows you to ask for specific items you want your users to enter. For example, if you are organizing a meal sign up for a new mom, you can customize the comment text to tell users to “Enter the meal you are bringing.” You can even require the comment be filled out and their answer will appear neatly on the sign up! Nice!
Ask a Custom Question
Need to ask your members more than can fit in the comment field? Maybe you need to know their t-shirt size? Or you want to find out whether they want chicken or steak for dinner? Is it important to know what classroom your parent volunteer is connected to? We can help. In addition to the comment, you can now design a custom question to ask your members when they sign up. Our new custom question tool lets you build a sophisticated question and collect your information via a drop down box, checkboxes, text box, memo field, or radio buttons! You can even add complex restrictions… like requiring your members to select at least two options but no more than three. If that weren’t enough, your custom question is integrated into our custom report so you can export all the data to an Excel compatible format when you are complete! Wowzers.
Simpler Email Invite Sending
Inviting your members properly is the key to great volunteer participation! We’ve introduced a more intuitive invite system to simplify the process of sending out your email invites. When it’s time to invite, you now have simple options that let you choose between sending to your existing group or entering new members. In addition, you can now come back at any time and resend your invites without retyping the emails. And to be sure you know how many to send, we now list the status of your previous email sends so that you know whether another message is necessary.
Whew! Now that’s an upgrade. We’re hope these changes make the system faster, simpler, easier, more powerful… and save you lots more time. We’ve got quite a few more things up our sleeve for this year, so check back soon for our next round of updates!
FAQs for this Upgrade
I’m in the middle of my sign up. Will my users be confused by the changes?
No. Most of the changes involve easier setup, management, and customization by the sign up creator. For the users, the sign up process remains simple and easy to use. In fact, the new features allow you to make it even easier for your members to sign up for something.
How will the new access changes affect my old sign ups?
None of the settings of your previously created sign ups will change – but the interface for administering them will look differently. For example, if you previously used our “public with email” access setting… that setting required that users create an account at SignUpGenius with their email address to sign up. By default, sign ups created when we used the “public with email” setting will still operate in the same way (users will still have to create accounts to sign up). However, if you want to utilize our new no-account option, you can login and edit your sign up and uncheck the setting that requires accounts. So to reiterate… everything will work exactly like previously by default – but you can update the sign ups to take advantage of our new options.
I like the old settings! Can I still create a password-protected sign up like I had previously?
Absolutely! You can still setup your sign up to work exactly like it did previously by determining which fields users can sign up for. The option for password-protection and group-only sign ups are still available under the advanced security options on our settings page.
If my users don’t have to setup accounts anymore, will they be able to update their data? Will this require more work for me as a sign up creator?
Under the new system, users can sign up with their name and email and bypass the account creation process. If they do not create an account, but have their email in our system, there are still two ways that they can edit their sign up item at a later time. First of all, your users will have the option when they sign up to send themselves an email with an “edit link.” That link will allow them to edit the item they signed up for at any time. They can keep that email in their email program and go back to it if they ever need to edit the item. Secondly, since the user signed up with their email address… if they were to go ahead and create an account with the same email, the user would be able to edit their data. If you do not require email addresses and the user only enters their name – there is nothing they will be able to do to edit their item in the future. This is the same way the “name only” sign ups worked previously on our site.
If my users don’t create an account, can they still swap their slot with other members?
Yes and no. To initiate a swap, you currently need to have an account. This just means that if a user would like to swap with another user, they register at SignUpGenius with the same email they used to sign up for your item… and then they initiate the swap. Any other users with emails in the system (regardless of whether or not they have created an account) will be available for the swap.
Do I still need an account to create a sign up?
Yes, sign up creators still need to have an account. Having an account at SignUpGenius still has many advantages and advanced users that are utilizing advanced features at our site will still want to create an account. However, for those that have limited involvement in our site (perhaps they quickly sign up for one item), we've removed that barrier for them.
Will the phone and address information I collect be available to the other users that visit my sign up?
No. The contact information you collect is private and available to the sign up creator only. Email, phone, and address information is never displayed publically on the site. The only information that is displayed publically on the sign up form is the person’s name and the sign up comment. As previously, you also have the option to hide the name and comment for a completely anonymous sign up.
How can I ask more than one custom question?
One custom question will be included in our free version of SignUpGenius. However, we’re close to releasing a professional, subscription-based upgrade that will give you upgraded features including the ability to add multiple custom question and even include hidden fields that are only available for administrative purposes.
What happened to the RSVP sign up? I can’t find that setting any more!
The settings for an RSVP sign up have changed slightly in our sign up creation screens. While the RSVP format can be useful for the right type of event - with our previous setup, we constantly had users accidentally choosing an RSVP sign up format when they really did not want an RSVP sign up. We’ve tried to make the distinction between standard sign up and RSVP sign more clear in the setup process. Instead of selecting the RSVP setting on the dates/time page, you will now choose the RSVP option in the “layout settings” area of the “slots” screen if you have created a sign up with one date.
I’ve got another question that’s not listed here!
No problem. Write your question below in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer.
Posted by T Orthwein on Monday, November 05, 2012 11:03 AM EST
Can I edit the email reminder text somewhere?
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, November 05, 2012 11:35 AM EST
Hi Tabitha - You can customize and send a manual email, but the reminders have to be a pretty simple format, as they sometimes are also sent by text message. So they are not currently customizable. We do hope to offer more advanced reminder scheduling in the future. The manual email sends are completely customizable. Thanks for writing!
Posted by Suzanne St. Onge on Monday, November 05, 2012 10:15 PM EST
Ho w can I email a printable version of the sign up to someone? For example, I am the volunteer coordinator and would like to send the schedule with the names of the volunteers who signed up to the event coordinator so she knows who to expect. I can't seem to get that to happen if I don't want to give the account login and password out to others.
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 6:53 AM EST
Hi Suzanne. To send a copy to a friend, login and click on "Reports & Stats" at the top of your sign up. You can easily export an Excel spreadsheet that you can email to someone. Hope that helps!
Posted by Fredrica Fester on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:24 PM EST
Wow! Still learning my way around all these changes, but I like what I see so far! REALLY love the improved admin signup tool. Y'all have been working hard. Thanks!
Posted by Eve Martirano on Thursday, November 08, 2012 12:12 PM EST
I am one of three class parents running the show. How can we all have access to the site with same log in so we dont have to recreate the group every time?
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Thursday, November 08, 2012 3:21 PM EST
Hello Eve. If you have multiple users that need to use the same group, you do have the ability to duplicate a group and transfer it over to someone else. That feature is found in our "My Groups" area which is linked in the right hand navigation of the My Account page. In addition, for a full solution we are about to unveil a multi-admin functionality that will be part of our pro version. If you'd like to be a part of our beta test, you can get more information here: http://www.signupgenius.com/about/signupgenius-pro.cfm
Posted by Hemlockfest 2013 Volunteer Coordinator on Friday, November 09, 2012 12:56 PM EST
We just finished the eighth annual Hemlockfest and it was a total success. We used Genius for the second year to manage over 100 unique volunteers in about 240 shifts. What a great resource! I think the new improvements will make it even better. One thing I hope we'll see in the future is to be able to control and edit the text of the automatic reminder emails. Thanks again - totally awesome!
Posted by Gail Paulus on Friday, November 09, 2012 1:34 PM EST
I'd be interested in beta testing of multi administrator testing
Posted by Del Mar Eventing on Friday, November 09, 2012 8:55 PM EST
This site is fabulous. I use it to organize volunteers for an international horse show. One thing I haven't figured out how to do is when someone notifies me they cannot help, how do I keep them from getting another email request? And I would love to help with the beta testing.
Posted by Jamie McCrensky on Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:21 AM EST
Im using Sign Up Genius for parent teacher conferences. It has helped to eliminate tons of paper and has made a tedious process much easier!
Posted by Beth Reitz on Saturday, November 10, 2012 1:16 PM EST
I used Sign Up Genius for the first time in the past few weeks. The new features are EXACTLY what I need to really make this work for our purposes. Thank you!!!!
Posted by Kristine Brown on Sunday, November 11, 2012 8:31 PM EST
I noticed something about users being able to "swap" but can't find how to make that active on my sign-up.
Posted by Melena Siebert on Monday, November 12, 2012 6:39 AM EST
I often create sign ups for multiple days (volunteers working at different ball games, for instance). It would be great to be able to send and email to the group of people signed up for a specific day/time, but not the whole group. I have mentioned this before - any chance this is being worked on? :) Thanks - love the site!
Posted by Melena Siebert on Monday, November 12, 2012 6:59 AM EST
Also, an "import contact" function would be great. Being able to import my entire google contact list, and then be able to select specific contacts for various groups would rock!
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, November 12, 2012 8:49 AM EST
Hi Melena, thanks for writing and for sending your feedback! For importing contacts - there is a way to get your contacts in from Google pretty quickly. Google has the ability to export your entire contact list or a contact group to a CSV file. You can then open the CSV file in Excel and copy/paste the email column into our site. It's not as easy as a "one-click" solution, but it's pretty quick and you can import hundreds of emails into our system easily this way. In terms of more specific email sending by date - that is still on our development list, we just have some other items that have been taking up our time. Thanks for your patience!
Posted by Shamita Karan on Monday, November 12, 2012 10:54 AM EST
Will the email reminders send email to everyone in the group and just the person signed up to bring snack on that day?
Posted by Jean Venner on Monday, November 12, 2012 12:30 PM EST
Someone else (who is no longer her) set up our sign-up genius for folks to order altar flowers. The dates on it end with the first Sunday in January 2013. How do I go about deleting early dates in 2012 and adding each Sunday in 2013?
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, November 12, 2012 12:33 PM EST
Shamita & Jean - thanks for writing and we'd be happy to help. Please post your support question via our "help" tab at the top right of this page. That way we can interact with you privately and can answer questions specifically about your account without your info being posted publicly on the blog. We will respond quickly. Thanks!
Posted by FELICIA OH on Monday, November 12, 2012 12:41 PM EST
Can you use a SignUp without sending out to specific emails? Is there a link i can use instead? I want to insert a link into a forum group post. thanks, felicia
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, November 12, 2012 5:10 PM EST
Hi Felicia. Please see our FAQ page below for the answer.
Posted by Brenda Winn on Monday, November 12, 2012 7:34 PM EST
Please allow importing of email address books from popular email software sites like yahoo, gmail, etc. I cannot stand having to type 22 emails into the SUG web site, not even once!
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 7:55 AM EST
Hi Brenda. Thanks for writing. We actually already have a way to import emails from gmail, yahoo, outlook, etc. See this frequently asked question from our help page:
Posted by Brenda Winn on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 11:37 AM EST
In this day and age, copying and pasting ANYTHING using Excel as a shortcut is not the solution my SUG friends! But whaddya want for free?! Better just to email the invite to yourself and distribute from there.
Posted by joe Johnson on Sunday, November 18, 2012 5:45 PM EST
Can I delete a signup for somebody as an admin?
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, November 19, 2012 8:08 AM EST
Hi Joe. Absolutely. You can add, edit, or delete as the admin. Simply login and look for the "add/edit/delete people" button in the administrator's toolbar at the top of the sign up. For more tips on what you can do as the administrator, check out our FAQs page via the help tab at the top of this page. Hope that helps!
Posted by Christi Brooks on Monday, November 19, 2012 11:30 AM EST
Can more than one person add, edit, and send out the invitations? We have three people who do the invitations for our class, and I would like any of us to be able to send out and edit invitations for our group. Is this possible?
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, November 19, 2012 11:45 AM EST
Hi Christi. Thanks for writing. If you feel comfortable, you can share the admin login information so that all three of you can login as the administrator. For a more complete solution, we will be offering full multi-administrator capability in our professional version which is very close to beta testing. If you are interested in more information about the pro version, check out the link below:
Posted by Michelle Troy on Saturday, December 29, 2012 12:39 PM EST
1) Can I have the user enter in multiple names? I would like the teacher to enter in the names of the students during specific time slots. 2) Can I set a limit and send a separate wait list email when I reach that limit?
Posted by Dan Rutledge on Monday, December 31, 2012 7:54 AM EST
Thanks for writing and great questions. For your first question - the administrator of the sign up can sign people up themselves using the "add/edit/delete tool" that appears in the admin's toolbar at the top of the sign up page. If you want someone other than the sign up creator to have access to enter in people, then you may be interested in the multi-admin features of our pro version, which is just about to be beta tested. See this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/about/signupgenius-pro.cfm
Regarding your second question and the wait list functionality - wait listing is not a built in feature, but there is a good way to do it that many people use. All sign up items have a quantity limit. So, once the quantity is reached, no more people can sign up. If you'd like to take a wait list... you simply create a second sign up item called "wait list" and people can sign up for that item when the original item is full.
Hope that helps. If we can provide more info, please write us via the HELP link at the top of this page, as we can provide faster and better service than we can through blog comments. Thanks!
Posted by Denise Farabaugh on Tuesday, August 16, 2016 2:55 PM EST
How can I sync a Groupwise address book with Sign Up Genius?
Posted by Betsy Lytle on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 12:02 PM EST
Denise, If your emails are not in an address book or are in an address book that is not supported, we recommend that you export the email addresses into Excel from your mail program. You can then copy the column of email addresses and paste them into the SignUpGenius input box. Please make sure you copy email addresses only with no names.
It is also not necessary to send invites through our site. You can choose to take the sign up live without sending emails, and instead email the link to the sign up yourself using your own email program. You can post the link on your organization's website and send it out through social media as well. The link to your sign up can be found by viewing the live, published version and copying the URL from your web browser address bar.
Welcome! This blog provides the latest news about SignUpGenius including recent upgrades, contests, and special promotions. We also do our best to provide inspiration and resouces to help you organize and lead your group effectively. Thanks for visiting!