Volunteer Software

People Helping People

How do I speed up the Reporter?

Delete Old Data: Nothing slows down the Reporter more than years of hours records. Every time you add hours or print hours reports, the Reporter must sort through all of those hours. Included under the File menu is an option to Delete Old Data. Use this option to delete hours that you no longer need to refer to any more in order to speed up the Reporter dramatically.

Speed up the Network: When sharing data over the network, you’re at the mercy of what everyone else on the network is doing. The Reporter, like any database, is labor intensive and heavily dependent on the speed of the network much more so than other programs like word processors and spreadsheets. Sometimes you can move the Reporter’s data to a different, more lightly used server and see dramatic improvements.

Get a Faster Computer: Too often, people overlook this option. The Reporter is a powerful database program that is dealing with huge amounts of data all the time. It can easily overpower hand-me-down computers. Investment in upgraded computer equipment can quickly pay for itself in increased efficiency.

Add More Memory: For older computers, adding additional memory can offer modest speed increases for a minor investment.

In passwords, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between “Full” and “Read Only” for some sections. Why is that?

You’re right, in some sections there is no difference between them because it doesn’t apply such as in Reports and Spreadsheets. There also are sections where “Read Only” is the same as “None. Here’s a list of the sections with different access levels.

Read Only = NoneRead Only = Full
Reindex DataReference Codes
PreferencesWeb Assistant
Delete Old DataTouch-Screen Assistant
Select Data Set

How do I install the Reporter? I’ve lost the installation instructions.

The entire manual including installation instructions is included on the CD. Insert the CD, but cancel the installation that starts automatically. Use “My Computer” or the “Windows Explorer” to see the files on the CD. The manual is a file called Reporter.pdf. Double click on it to read the manual.

The Project Profile report shows people with “unknown” gender and ethnicity, but they seem to be filled in for every volunteer. Who are they?

It’s probably a terminated volunteer. Click on the “Inact.” dot above the volunteer list and check for a missing gender and ethnicity. Another way to do this is to run a spreadsheet like “Hours Summary by Volunteer” for the same period of time making sure to “include volunteer details”. This will include all of the same people that are on the Project Profile and you can quickly scan the gender column to find the missing one.

If you used the “Volunteers” spreadsheet instead, you wouldn’t see any terminated volunteers. Terminated volunteers are included on the “Hours Summary by Volunteer” if they had hours during the time period.

How long do I have to keep data in the Reporter? I have volunteers who have been inactive for years who are still showing up under placements and hours.

The Reporter doesn’t care how long you keep data. The only requirement is that you can’t delete a volunteer who still has hours on file because that would leave the hours as “orphans” with no “parent” (volunteer). To delete a volunteer, first delete all hours for him/her, then delete the placement, and finally the volunteer. You can delete all old hours at one time by clicking on File | Delete Old Data. Or you can just terminate the volunteer so that the Reporter keeps him/her out of the way.

I can’t enter any numbers!

On a few unique computers, the keyboard gets “stuck” usually when entering hours or placements. One customer reports that pressing Shift-Tab a couple of times will un-stick the keyboard. This trick seems to work for most people with this problem.

What are “Service Categories” and are they up to date?

Service Categories are set by the Corporation for National and Community Service and are used by RSVP’s, FGP’s, and SCP’s when reporting to them. They used to be called Basic Human Needs and we try to keep them up to date with the official list, but if you ever need to change them, you can do so in the References section.