One of the core features of Timecounts is integrated communication. With Timecounts, you no longer have to chase after old emails to check if you sent a volunteer an invitation to your event. Instead, you can review your communication history with a volunteer in the volunteer's profile card. Because messaging is shared with all admins, you also don't have to worry about a volunteer's question ending up in a coworker's inbox.
The heart of communication in Timecounts is the Team Inbox, located under 'Messaging' in the main navigation. We call it a 'Team' inbox because it is shared between all of your admins, known in Timecounts as 'Team Members'. All Team Members can review sent messages, see new messages, and reply to volunteers within the Team Inbox.
Messages in all four tabs - Inbox, Outbox, Sent, and Archived - are grouped by context. This means you'll see the event, assignment, or schedule that you're messaging about in the first column. To filter to only see messages with a certain context, just click on the context. If you're sending general messages in your volunteers, these conversations will be grouped under 'General'.
Messages include both emails and SMS texts.
The Inbox is for volunteer replies. All new replies will appear at the top of the messages list in the Inbox tab. Click on a message to see the conversation and reply. When the message thread is open, you can click on the volunteer's name to open the profile card.
Use the toolbar buttons to Mark Read, Mark Unread, and Archive messages.
The Outbox is for outgoing messages. If a message can't be sent to a volunteer, you'll see an alert appear in the Outbox. This is usually because the individual you tried to send an SMS text or email to hasn't opted-in to that kind of communication.
A record of all sent messages.
Messages that are archived from the Inbox end up here, in the Archive tab.
You can send new messages in the Team Inbox, by creating a new message with the button in the toolbar. If you can't remember the name of the person you'd like to send a message to, you can find people using the Community Directory in the message window.
Send an email or SMS text by choosing either the envelope icon or phone icon. Messages sent in either format will continue the message thread, so you never lose track of who you've been in touch with.
The Community Directory also makes it convenient for you to select groups of people to send to. You can find people based on tags or events. Selecting an event in the Community Directory will show you everyone who has been confirmed or waitlisted for that event.
Messaging throughout Timecounts
Timecounts has 'Message' buttons in toolbars throughout the platform to allow you to quickly message people where you are managing them.
Places you can message include:
Stored form responses
Inside the profile card
Save time when sending stock messages or canned responses by using Saved Templates. You can save any message as a template by clicking 'Save As Template' underneath the message box. Edit, delete, and create new templates in the message's 'Saved Templates' dropdown.
To merge in a volunteer's first name, use the field *|FNAME|*.
Types of Email Messages
Timecounts sends a few different types of emails, depending on the content. The email type will determine the content and the design of the email. All email templates include unsubscribe information, your organizational logo, and your organization's contact information. Volunteers can reply to all email types - their replies will end up in your Team Inbox.
General Community Message
The General email template applies to any email sent through the Team Inbox, the profile card, or the 'Message' button in all toolbars (except for inside an event). The template includes your logo, contact information, and a space for your personal message.
General Event or Gathering Message
The General Event email template applies to any message sent from the schedule (event) or Volunteers (gathering) toolbar with the 'Message' button. The template includes your event details and personal message.
Invitations have their own special formatting that highlight the event or activity that you're inviting your volunteers to signup for. The invitation email includes a button link to the signup page.
Is there a way to set it up so my emails get forwarded to my email address?
We do not forward email communication to an outside mail client. We will soon be adding email and SMS to our admin notification options, so you can set an instant or daily alert if you wish to be updated when someone has send you a message.
I do not want volunteers to see my personal email address when sending messages - how do I add a general email account ?
This is not necessary. Volunteers will never see your personal or work email as shown within your Timecounts user settings unless you specifically share that within the body of an email. Each admin should have their own account when logging into Timecounts as this gives accountability to the organization when someone takes action - but it is not known to a volunteer as they only see the message is from the Organization.
Any emails that we exchange with volunteers appear to be seen by all admins. Is there a way to change that?
Timecounts uses a team inbox which allows for delegation and transparency among collaborators. It also ensures privacy when corresponding with volunteers as we do not use your personal email, it is centralized in relation to opportunities. There is no way to change this or connect it with your mail client for this reason. If you wish to correspond directly with a volunteer, you can do so outside of Timecounts. By opening a profile card, you will notice a person's email is blue, which means you can click on it to open up directly in your own mail service to send a private message. There will be no copy left within Timecounts of this correspondence.
When we send email to all contacts will it BCC the emails?
Yes, it is not a listserv - sending an email to a group will only appear coming from you, the do not see the other recipients, and they cannot reply to anyone but you.