What is an Opportunity?
In ServiceReef language we call any opportunity to serve an opportunity. You may call these trips, events, or any other type of description but we're talking about the same thing... means for serving. An opportunity could be an hour long local serving event, a domestic serving opportunity, a couple week global short term mission trip, or even a six month global internship. No matter the scope or time or context, ServiceReef has the tools to help you configure your opportunity just as you need it to be crafted. Let's unpack just how we might set up an opportunity and overview all the various resources available.
TIP: We recommend you print this page and follow up as you go through the step by step process. Take notes on your print out and keep this as your go-to reference for setting up an event.
Step 1 - Mission Control
Everything starts with Mission Control - your key actions page. You can access this from your top right drop down menu and selecting Mission Control.
Once you have opened Mission Control look for the box titled Opportunities where you will see quick links for viewing current opportunities, posting new opportunities, and viewing past ones.
For this quick start guide we are going to select the Post New Opportunity.
Step 2 - General Information
You begin building an opportunity on the General Information page where you will need to make your first key decision: what type of opportunity is this?
- Fixed Dates - this is your most typical type of opportunity where you have a fixed beginning and end date to your trip. Most every short term trip will be a fixed date trip. This is the default.
- Ongoing - these opportunities can start and stop at anytime. For example - you may have opportunity for someone to serve at your global hospital but you first are asking people if they are interested and then assigning the date range and fundraising goals for the event once you've made a plan.
- Simple Registration - these opportunities do not require the participant to create an account but you only capture name and email address for registrants. This is great for local serving opportunities.
NOTE: in the future, once you have created a trip you will be able to simply clone previous events for lightning fast opportunity setup.
Once you have determined what type of opportunity then you're off to a series of fields to help participants better understand the key information. Here you will need to know the following:
- Opportunity Name - here you name your opportunity but we do recommend you name it something that people can recognize and something that makes it simple for you to identify on the backend. For example, don't use a name like Kenya... try using Kenya Youth 2020 (summer) as an example.
- Start Date & Time / End Date & Time - these fields allow you to place your date and time for starting and stopping. The date is the most important. You can leave the time field empty but these are especially nice for local serving opportunities.
- Time Zone - this will default to your organization's time zone but this is the reference point for all of your registration cut offs and other time related items.
- Registration Start Date - this is a field that allows you to publish the event for people to view but doesn't allow them to register until the date/time you specify.
- Registration Deadline - this is fairly straightforward. This is where you want the registration to end.
- Description - this field allows you to give a general description for your event - consider things like an overview of the itinerary, type of work, partner organization, and testimonies of others who have participated on this trip in the past. You may know all about this location but those exploring do not. How would you describe the trip if they called you asking for information?
- Custom Categories - now if you have created custom categories then here is where you want to select the ones that apply. For example you might want to select which partner organization and which church campus. Your members will be able to search opportunities list by these categories.
- Terms & Conditions - do you have specific terms for someone applying for this trip? This is a good place to load those so the participant must agree before being able to apply for the trip. You may consider having the text from your various forms here even if you plan to have them sign a paper copy as well.
- Privacy - where do this trip appear? - the first security question is asking if this trip is to appear to only your organization, your organization plus your partners, or private. The private field will not publish this opportunity on any of your list so you will need to send a direct link to someone to register for this opportunity.
- Privacy - who can see the details of this trip? - this security question allows you to show all data about the trip to someone who has this page link OR you can choose to keep all of the information private. This is a good best practice for trips to restricted access areas. No one can view any of the trip data until they have applied AND have been accepted.
- Primary Contact - this is an important field to complete so that those with questions know who to contact. This may or may not be your trip leader.
- Opportunity Location - this allows you to note where the destination of this event is planned. Make sure to fill in at least the country so a map point will plot on your map.
Click Next and the platform will save your data and move on to our next page.
Step 3 - Requirements
Here we move on to various requirements. This page is broken into two sections. The first focuses on quantity of participants and the second on requirements for your applicants.
Maximum Spots Available - allows you to set how many openings you can allow on this opportunity. The system will shut down registration when this number is filled (based on reaching the total quantity of approved applications).
Maximum Pending and Approved Participants - this field allows you to set a separate quantity governor for how many maximum are in a pending/approved status. This is great for those of you who have a flood or applications and want to shut this down at a stage of reasonable management. For example, you may have an event with 30 places available but you know when you open registration you might have 300 applications. Here you could limit the quantity of applications to say 50 in this pending status.
This area allows you to enter lists for things like restrictions, perquisites, and next steps. These are great places to let people know about what's expected of them and to begin clarifying these expectations.
Step 4 - Media
The media tab is what makes your opportunity page visually rich. Remember that people are exploring and perhaps even nervous as they look through your opportunities. This is your opportunity to guide them, clarify things for them, and bring ease to any anxiousness.
We always recommend you at least add several photos to each trip. Photos are great to help people get an idea of the opportunity, what you do, what kind of people have done this before, a glance at the partner, and so much more.
Make this richer by adding a video. If you're not video savvy that's no problem. It's fairly simple to make nice slideshows these days even from your phone so perhaps you could create something simple. Either way, try and find a way to display images and video of your opportunities.
The last item you'll find on this page is the ability to pre-set a social media message. Here's how this works. When someone is looking at your event or a story shared from your event they will see an option to share that via social media. When they click the share button and the dialogue box pops up for Twitter or Facebook (examples) it will be pre-loaded with the default text you enter here. This is really helpful as you focus on using consistent hashtags.
Step 5 - Application
The application tool in ServiceReef is extremely powerful. For a deep dive on setting up a master application/template to use across trips, check out our Templates section of the Knowledge Base.
When you are setting up a trip, you will have some options on how best to leverage your application. We will break this down into 2 sections to better explain.
You begin building your application by select various settings. Let's unpack:
- Approvals - ServiceReef defaults to assuming you will manage an approval process for new applications. You can turn this off if desired. We typically see this on for global events and often disabled for local serving events. The longer the event the more the application is needed. Also note: applications will generate an email alert to all opportunity admins when each individual applies so you don't have to keep checking the status.
- Application Fee - many organizations will require an application fee often around $100. This is a great way to measure commitment for the applicant. Note: you can create a discount coupon for team leaders or others to waive this fee.
- Custom Confirmation Message - when you do accept each individual to the opportunity they will receive a confirmation email. Here you can customize the content of that message. We suggest you think about using this email to guide them to next steps, tasks items, things to pray about, and contact information. Try placing yourself in their shoes and consider all the questions they will have at this point.
The application tool is broken into two key functional elements: the master application and the opportunity application.
- Master Application - Have you even had to fill out the same application more than once? None of us have time to do that! The Master Application tool of ServiceReef allows you to create system wide applications you can use on multiple events. Many organizations will have lengthy general applications but only a few specific questions related to the opportunity. You can create multiple Master Applications so perhaps you have one for local, domestic, and global. Here's how this works - the first time the applicant fills out their application they will answer each of these questions. The second time they apply they will see all of these questions with their previous answers where they can simply keep the previous answer or update the field during their second application process. This will save you and your members significant amounts of time, not to mention frustration.
- Opportunity Application - This is the same toolset for building an application but these questions are ONLY for this specific opportunity. These may be questions related to the type of work, physical conditions of the location, or anytime else related to this trip or location.
We understand the complexity and the necessity of applications. These rich tools will help make your life and your participants lives much simpler with tools that work as you would design them.
Step 6 - Financial Details
Financial details are extremely important to handle with excellent and clarity. ServiceReef provides powerful tools with simplicity of use. Let's review the features.
- Pay or Raise Funds - Do participants have to raise funds or pay for this opportunity? This first question determines if the financial tools need to be enabled or not. Most short term trips do require fundraising but you may also have a fee for local serving events to cover costs.
- Total Cost & Due Date - Here you enter the total cost of the opportunity and when the payment is due. This does not include the application fee from the previous page.
- Allow donations or not - For the most part you are going to allow for donations and fundraising but you can disable this for events where you have a charge but do not allow fundraising.
- Show total amount to be raised and balance - Let's fast forward for a moment. Each participant will be given their own personal fundraising page to send to donors and ask for funds. This page allows them to post photos, write their letter, post a video, and more. This question is asking if you want to show progress on those pages or not. Some organizations like to display this to show the public the goal while other organizations prefer not to show this so that participants could potential "over-fundraise" and potentially help others on the trip. Either way, you have the ability to manage this preference.
- Allow editing of personal fundraising page - so covered in the item above that each participant will receive a dedicated personal fundraising page. Most all organizations allow for their participants to manage these pages and messaging. You can choose to lock this down if you're working in a highly restricted area.
- Approve editing of personal fundraising pages - You may like to have something middle of the road from the above mentioned tool where you want to allow editing of these pages but you first want to approve. This may seem tedious but it's extremely important when working in restricted access areas.
- Default Personal Fundraising Text - this area can either be your default and set page text or it could be your guide for helping your participants build their fundraising letter. Just be sure to clarify as this is the text that will go live as soon as their fundraising page goes live.
- Milestones - Here you can enter various milestones for fundraising to help your participants know when certain fundraising goals should be met.
- Donations to Organization - Many organizations prefer to offer a general fund donation option for each opportunity. For example, each individual may need to raise $2500 for their trip but you also need $7500 for general supplies.
- Donation Deadline - Will there be a date that donations are no longer accepted for this opportunity? This can be prior to the opportunity start date or after. If so, enter the date that you want donations to expire (after this date, the donate button will no longer appear on the event page, nor on any individual participant page for this event). If not, please leave the space blank.
- Accounting Event Code
- What is an event code? Event codes are unique identifiers brought over from your accounting software and line item descriptors per project.
- Where do I get an event code? You will copy an event code from your accounting / donation / CRM management system and paste that code here in ServiceReef.
- What happens to the event code? Each donation will show association to an event code in your donation excel exports and the ServiceReef API.
- How does this help me? These event codes help you manage your internal records of donations to events and people for your internal financial management.
We will review financial management tools in other sections of tutorials and guides but for now these are our settings for setting up an event.
Step 7 - Notifications
Notifications can be managed on both the Organizational level (across all trips) or on each individual trip. This provides you the flexibility of ensuring participants are communicated to in meaningful ways. For example, you may wish to turn off the "Participant Declined" email at an organization level since you will reach out to to all applicants directly via phone calls.
Our most popular notifications are the Weekly Reminder, which lets participants know each Friday regarding their fundraising progress, any forms they need to fill out, upcoming deadlines, etc. Meeting Reminders are also incredibly helpful to increase attendance as they go out several days before the meeting to remind everyone.
On this screen, you can turn on/off the emails that you wish to send. There is also the ability to edit the notifications for some paid subscription levels. If you need this functionality, please contact us.
Step 8 - Team Leaders/Admins
ServiceReef provides a lot of detailed controls for Team Leaders or Admins on your trip. To add a Team Leader/Admin for this specific trip, you can type in their email address to find them (they must first have a ServiceReef profile).
Once you have the right person selected, you can indicate if they should be notified on certain events and limit their permissions on various tasks. For example, you can allow them to see the donations for users (which helps as they can be your front line for any questions from the participants), approve or decline participants, etc.
Step 9 - Forms
This area allows you to add any forms to the trip that applicants need to fill out prior to leaving. If it is something that they need to complete and return to you at a later time, you can mark the forms completed from within the Participant Management section as you receive them. This will provide a quick way to keep everyone aware of what is still outstanding for that participant.
Step 10 - Resources
Resources allow you a single area to upload information or documents related to this trip. These could be guides to the location, quick expectations for the trip, or any other piece of information that would help them prepare for what is ahead.
Like most of the areas above, this is an optional section, but will appear to participants on the home page of the trip (under the Resources tab). Having a central location for items like this allows you to quickly direct your participants to answer their frequently asked questions.
Congratulations! You've done it!
This is big! You've just set up your first opportunity. That takes some work as you're exploring a new system and learning about all of the rich features you now have. Just remember that you'll be a pro in no time and this process will go much faster as you become more familiar with the tools and leverage the clone event tool to speed up the process rapidly. Remember our goal for you... want want to see your efficiency increase significantly so you can focus on the participants, mission, and impact!