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Characteristic Field Overview

Characteristic fields are versatile fields that can be used to track useful information about volunteers and/or Assignments. An example of information that is frequently tracked with a characteristic field is skills. A characteristic field such as Skills can be added to the Profile tab in a volunteer record, the Profile tab in an Assignment record, or both.

When a characteristic field is established for both the volunteer record and the Assignment record, the field can be used to match volunteers and Assignments. When it is created for the volunteer record alone, it can be used to track information about the volunteer only. Likewise, when it is created for the Assignment record alone, the characteristic field can be used to track information about the Assignment only.

When creating a Characteristic field, the user must decide whether "Just one" (item) or "As many (items) as you want" can be chosen for that field, and they must then define the items that will be options under this field. In the example of Skills, it would be practical to allow "As many as you want" to be selected, and then items ("Accounting," "Grant Writing," "Data Entry" and "Public Speaking," for example) might be entered as Skills items.

Once a characteristic field has been created, it can be used for tracking purposes. Open either the Assignment or volunteer record, and go to the Profile tab. Indicate which skills are required for the Assignment, or which skills a volunteer has, by marking the box(es) next to the appropriate skills on the Profile tab. The image below illustrates a "Skills" box on the Profile tab for an Assignment that requires Data entry skills.

If you have chosen to track the field in both volunteer and Assignment records, the same Skills box will also appear in each volunteer record. Indicate that a volunteer has specific skills by marking the relevant boxes in his or her record.