Enhancements for Groups functionality
In our 2.36 update we have released Groups functionality - ability to organize members into groups - such as 'Board of Directors', 'Volunteer Committee', etc. These groups are independent of membership levels - one group can include members from different levels. These groups can be used to keep track of member participation in committees, restrict access to website pages to a particular group, or for advanced searches and emails. Seehttps://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Member+groups
We are contemplating a number of possible further enhancements to this and would love to get your feedback.
Here are our initial ideas:
1) Group moderators. Group moderator is a member of group who does not not have any WA administration functionality but can add/remove members to group.
Note: To do this it will be necessary to let group moderator access the full list of members and member details.
- Should moderator be able to send mass emails to group members?
2) Administrator role with web editor access limited to particular group pages.
Current functionality allows you to setup account-wide web editors and group-specific read access to web pages. This enhancement would allow you to assign a web editor in a particular group - who would only be able to edit/create pages in that group.
- Is this the same person as group moderator in 1)?
- Should this person be able to add any functional - or only content pages?
3) Group-limited events. (And probably an admin role to add/edit group-specific events)
4) Administrator role with member record edit rights for a particular group. This can come handy if you are using groups for chapters.
5) Ability for people to apply to groups during the membership application process - with workflow to review and confirm their participation in a group.
To echo what many other people have said: Having two types of groups.
1. Groups where members can opt in and control their membership
2. Groups where an admin has to add you.
Having the ability for a member to sign up for a subset of the groups we use is necessary. For instance, a member should not be able to sign up for the Board Members group yet should be able to select the other member groups.
We are using groups for playgroup formation (we're a moms group). The playgroups communication is largely handled off-line and in separate facebook groups. What we DO need are:
(1) a group lead that is sent an email notification whenever a member is added or removed from the group; this is so they could add the person to their email thread or facebook group. and remove them! so we're not giving away membership.
(2) ability to close a group. we have groups that don't want to accept more members but we still want to track who is in it. we're having to do crazy naming and hope that no one checks the box. would like to "close" a group and have it hidden from the list shown to members.
(3) would like the group lead to also be able to get an email list export of their group without having to give (and train) them admin rights. so somewhere in the website. perhaps this could be done on the member directory gadget? group leads have an export option on that gadget? or a separate groups gadget that could be configured.
Jon Reneberg commented
Our club would like some groups to be open to all members to join or un-join in their initial form, or from their profile, such as "flat water", "whitewater", etc. We'd also like to be able to create groups that are not open to all, such as "Board Member." This could be as simple as a checkbox in the Groups admin page when adding or modifying a group to allow members to modify or not.
Good comments Katheryn, thank you. We're not working on this now, but we will take this into consideration in future.
I currently have 58 special interest groups in WA I have created save searches for each these groups so that email blasts can be run. My Members, under update profile, select participation in any and all interest groups. All this is great. Here are the issues that I have to workaround:
1. IGLeaders should not need to be an admin to send emails to their groups. If there was a way to leverage the link you present in the directory that shows all of the members in the group in such a way that group leader clicks on the link and the email list populates their exchange mail or you provide them capabilities to email would be great. If members in the group could also email the list of participants, that would be greater.
2. When the member self-enrolls into the group, it would be nice to display the group description so that they fully understand what they are signing up for. I put in detailed descriptions but there is no way to display this information on the screen. I have to print the listing to a pdf and link it to the website. Report has too much info, just need group name & description. Would be nice if i could at least save as excel, cut and paste information into a webpage.
3. A real nice to have: ability to limit the number of members that can sign up for a particular group. Essentially be able to close the group when a certain number of members sign up.
4. Another nice to have would be to have a graphic be associated with each interest group. Graphic would essentially brand the group
Tim Cummings commented
The Position of Group Moderator should be "selectively" able to do anything to manage the group, group emails, and group web pages. By selectively, an Administrator can grant or limit these abilities ... So an administer could/could not add and delete members based on authority granted for that group.
Jessica Reinhardt commented
The logical process for forming a message is to begin with the email tool. There are also cases where I might want to message two groups. It would be great if I could select a member group from the email to selection box within the email portion of the site rather than having to start with the group search in member or contact areas to start an email.
Chuck Pena commented
If you use a group member as the eligibility to signup or view an event. Can you make it be required that they belong to both groups to see or is it always either group. Or better yet, not a member of a group. Could be used to control members on probation but not suspended.
It is my understanding that only administrators have the ability to send group/mass emails. Our group leaders(groups as defined by WA) are not administrators (we have over 110 different groups). We have created advanced searches for each group so the members of the group show up and the groups webpage, but we had to use a list server to allow the group leader to send an email to their group. It would be very beneficial for the leader to be able to send the group emails from WA
John Schroeder commented
Perhaps it is my lack of familiarity with WA. Is there a way a member, any member, can log in and 'opt-in' to a Special Interest Group?
Then, is there a way that an email can be directed to just this SIG, without having to create and manually update the Mailing List Groups?
I will scan your links for hints.
Would like an EMail Group. This group would have access to the Mass email and Advanced Search and Saved Searches.
Not be part of the maximum administrators count.
James Kerich commented
Can you please add to this list to "Add group functionality to contracts as well as members". We have many contacts which are not members. We would like to organize those contacts into groups so that we can target information and solicitations to them. Currently, we have no way to organize contacts into anything that is useful from a marketing perspective. Having Group functionality that is available to contact would be helpful. Maybe even just simply moving the entire group capacity to the contact level instead of the member level would be the best solution. You already have the backbone to support web page control and some functionality to limit who can be associate with a group, so you are half way there. Would love to see this added to your list as something that could be done.
James Kerich commented
Number 5 above would be fantastic. Having users both in their membership profile page and new members (as part of the new member application) page select which groups they want to participate in would be really valuable. However, I would like the ADMIN user to control which groups people can "sign up" for. For instance, we are using groups to associate people with committees within our organization. current the admin user has to go in a manually add the person to a committee which is a real hassle and waste of time. One of the groups we have set up is Board of Director. That is a group we simple don't want to offer as a group someone can "sign up" for. That group we would like only admin access too. However, other groups such as general committees we want people to sign up for an let us know they are interested and/or want to be on that committee. This would be helpful.
Why do you think you cannot achieve what you want with current Wild Apricot functionality? What stops you and makes it inconvenient to do what you want? Please, share your comments - they will help us better understand the problem.
See also the following posts - they might related to your suggestion:
John Schroeder commented
We are a sports oriented club. Within the club there are groups with certain interests. For instance, one group is interested in skiing, and other is interested in kayaking. Individuals may be interested in one, the other or both.
I want a way to let the members segment themselves according to their special interests. Then we might assign leaders to each special interest who can then email (blast) just those interested in that topic. As the leader of, say, the kayak group I can avoid blasting those who do not kayak.
A bonus might be to allow members to opt-in or -out of a SIG independently or upon assignment by the Administrator. This way we could have open and restricted SIGs.
Dmitry Buterin commented
Your point is well taken.
It is on our roadmap for 2010 to provide ability to finely select event announcement recipients - including by groups. See http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308920-archive/suggestions/8833867-ability-to-select-recipients-for-event-announcemen
Chief Dzoggie commented
We really appreciate the Groups functionality, since we have a number of small local groups that cannot justify a separate account/website and need to receive general shared announcements as well as targeted e.mails - but sadly automatic event announcements cannot be sent to a particular group or groups. They always go to all those signed up to receive event announcements, meaning that we have to deal with numerous requests to limit announcements or else be taken off the announcement list. Many of our contacts do not want to receive event announcements other than for the group(s) to which they belong.
It would be really fantastic when checking the automatic announcements options for events to be able to specify which group(s) should receive the announcements. For us - and we believe for at least some other customers - this would be the ultimate improvement to Wild Apricot ... everything else is just right on.
Thanks for listening,
Dmitry Buterin commented
Thanks for weighing in!
As we are still collecting feedback on this, it has not been moved to the roadmap yet so the timeline is not firmed yet.