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Getting Started with POINT: 

Welcome! We are so happy to have you on board! First thing’s first, we are here for you. If you ever need anything, reach out to info@pointapp.org and we will fix you right up. 

Now, for the basics. 

  • POINT is a dual app and dashboard volunteer engagement system used by community organizations, charities, schools, and businesses. Your students use the POINT app (iPhone, Android and if they don’t have a smart phone they can login here). You, as the school admin(s), use the POINT dashboard.

  • POINT dashboard accounts are available for designated admins at your school. Make sure you use your school domain email when registering. If you want to use POINT on your own to get involved, you can make a separate account using a personal email. 

  • School dashboard accounts are set up with a main admin and one or more group admins. The main admin is responsible for things that involve the general student body, and a group admin may be responsible for a specific sub-group of students (like a grade or club). 

Admins can create and manage groups, recommend charity events, create private events for their students, and access analytics and reporting. Admins cannot create or force students to create accounts. 

Please respect your student’s data and only publicly report volunteering metrics in aggregate. When students sign up to volunteer with a charity, they may be asked to provide personal information like their name, city, email, or phone number. This is ONLY shared with the charity, and used for their volunteer registration purposes. We will never sell user data, and we ask that you do your part in keeping user data protected as well. 

Are you ready to dig into the nitty gritty details? We *think* we’ve got everything covered, but if you ever have a question that isn’t answered here, you can always reach out to us and we will get you an answer as quickly as we can! 

Find out how to make things happen here:

Don’t see whatcha need? Email us at info@pointapp.org & we’ll help you out.

How to Post an Event on POINT:

Students have access to the POINT app so that they can find and sign up for volunteering activities with charities around your city. School admins can also post events for your students to find. Have an NHS service event? Trash cleanup around the school grounds? PTO needs help with their fundraiser? Take 5 minutes to post on POINT and push a private event to your students! You can track signups, no-shows, and easily organize and remind your students about the event. 

**Important note**

You also have the ability to post a public event on POINT that shows up to everyone who has downloaded the app. This is great for community events that your school hosts, but not so great for events for which you want only your school’s students to volunteer. ALWAYS double check your privacy setting before posting! 

Ready for the step-by-step? 


1. Navigate to the “Events” tab and click “Create Event” 

2. Fill in all the pertinent information. The event form is pretty similar to what you’d find on Facebook or EventBrite, but we’ve got a few key features:

  • Add information about parking/what door to enter. Do this in the “What should volunteers know about the location?” section. This is huge. Even if the event is at school, certain doors may be locked after hours or on weekends, so this section reduces confusion and helps volunteers make the most of the opportunity. (We all know what it’s like to be lost even when you think you’re in the right place--it’s the worst.)

  • Pick a cause for each event. Feel free to choose a couple different causes that best represent your volunteer event! For example, if you are hosting a canned food drive for a local food bank, you could pick “food,” “poverty,” and “health.” Students can filter events by cause, so this is key to helping your event be seen in their feed. 

  • Describe what volunteers will do. Make sure you make your description includes all possible volunteer duties. If you will be providing your students/volunteers with food, coffee, or a T-shirt, you can put that here as well. 

  • Double check the privacy settings for each event. You can create events for your community, the full student body, or a specific group or club. Community members see events if they are public, and only your school sees private events. 

  • Invite the whole school or select a group. Make sure you choose the group for private events. Will it be available to the entire school or just to a specific grade or club? If it is or a select group, you can create the event within the group page or use the main event template but only invite a specific group. POINTer: You have to create a group first, then you can invite them to events. Find out more on creating groups here

  • Highlight the specifics. If your event needs any of the following, be sure to mark the corresponding option on the event template: a background check, signed form, or specific training. 

3. Hit “publish” and your event will show up on the app! (We’re just as excited as you are!)

4. If this is a recurring event, make it a template by checking the box that says “Do you want to make this a template?”. Now, instead of typing in the same information every time, just navigate to “Event Templates,” change the dates and times, then hit “Publish”. 

5. You can monitor who has signed up for your event by navigating to “Events,” clicking your event, then selecting “Volunteers.” 

6. Make sure you check in your student volunteers when they arrive. POINT seamlessly tracks volunteer hours, but we do need to make sure they *actually* showed up. Bring your laptop or tablet to an event and simply click “Check in” next to a volunteer’s name when they show up. POINTer: If you can’t bring a device to the event, you can verify/adjust hours on the dashboard after the event. 

7. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to use the chat box in the lower right  corner of our website, pointapp.org. This goes straight to the POINT CEO’s phone. For real. She can answer anything and everything. 

How to Share Your School’s Event: 

Once you create an event for your students to find, you can share the link to remind them to sign up. POINTer: the app sends push notification reminders to your volunteers at 1 week, 48 hours, and 2 hours before the event. We bug them so you don’t have to!

Step-by-Step: 

  1. Once your event has been published, you can navigate to “Events,” click on your event, and hit then the “Share” button.

POINTer: You cannot share an event link until it is published on the POINT app.

2. A link will pop up that you can copy and paste into any social media. Use the buttons to connect you straight to Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. 

3. When you paste the link into your status bar, your followers will be able to view details, download the app, and sign up! 



How To Edit My School’s Profile: 

Note: Only main admins can access.

Your school profile is important--this is where all your students connect with you. Be sure to make it snazzy! 

You can edit your school’s profile by navigating to “Profile” on the dashboard sidebar, then clicking the little pencil in the upper right hand corner.

 

Tips for Making a Great Profile: 

  1. Make sure the username is affiliated with your school and not your own name. 

  2. Make sure the “About” section isn’t too wordy; 2-3 sentences should get the point across! App users have the ability to click on your website link on your profile page and can get more information there. 

  3. Try not to use your school logo as your profile picture--using pictures of your student volunteers or school mascot is more engaging.



How To Edit The Causes My School Supports:

POINT was developed to connect people with causes they care about, and users find events based on their favorite causes. The 20 different POINT causes are inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about them here

The main admin can add 2-3 causes your school supports by navigating to “Profile” on the dashboard sidebar, then clicking the little pencil in the upper right hand corner. POINTer: Education is a shoo-in, but you can also choose other causes like Arts & Culture, Health, Equality, Community Development, etc. 

These causes will show on the school profile, and do not automatically populate for events you publish. You can choose different causes for each event, depending on what the goal is for that specific event. 

Want more info on causes? You can check out the cause descriptions on the Charity Causes page to read more about each one. 

POINTer: You can see and follow the top causes your students care, and get notifications when related events are posted so that you can recommend them to students. Find out how here!



How to Check in my Volunteers on POINT: 

It is really important that for events hosted by the school, you check in student volunteers on POINT so students get their hours verified. 

Here’s What to Do:

  1. At the beginning of your event, navigate to “Events” then “Volunteers.” 

  2. Click the green “Check In” box next to the students’ name when they arrive.

  3. If someone has to leave early, you have two options: 

  • Click “Check out” button next to their name when they leave. 

  • After the event has ended, go back to the event and edit that volunteer’s hours by clicking the little pencil. 

POINTer: If you are busy during the event and can’t get to your computer, no worries! You can always edit check in and check out times for volunteers after the event has ended. If you don’t check out a volunteer, their hours will be automatically calculated to match the event hours.

How the Dashboard and the App Work Together

Your students download the free POINT app from the App Store or Google Play. (If they don’t have a smart phone they can use the POINT web app here).

When you upload student names and emails to the dashboard, students are sent an email with a join code unique to your school that they enter on the app to link their account to the school (learn how to do that here). This enables you to track their volunteer activity. 

Once a student has signed up for POINT and added their school, they can browse all of the events posted by local charities plus any that their school posts. They can click an event description then sign up by tapping “Go.” It’s really that easy! 

Need more details? You got it. Read on. 

For students, we made the POINT app:

POINT empowers student volunteers to immediately, flexibly, and independently discover local nonprofits, minimizing the amount of effort required to find nearby opportunities for their favorite causes. Volunteers no longer have to search for events through a website, or find out via word-of-mouth and register weeks in advance so they can go through the necessary background checks and paperwork. With POINT, student volunteers can log in to the app to find nearby events--even on the same day. They can go through all the necessary administrative work to register in minutes, and jump right in as a volunteer.

For schools, we made the POINT dashboard:

A unique code is generated when a school administrator uploads student data (learn how here) and that enables all student volunteer activity to instantly synchronize with your dashboard. Goodbye paperwork! The dashboard lets you create events, manage student groups, and see analytics like the causes students care about, where they volunteer most, how many hours they’ve volunteered, and more. 

When students show up to an event, their attendance is automatically recorded on the school dashboard. If students complete volunteer activities outside of a registered POINT event, they can submit their hours manually through the POINT app and that charity will confirm via email that the hours were completed.

As the school administrators, you can track required community service hours for graduation, or just track all the good that your students are doing in the community! The reporting feature on the dashboard lets you see the impact your students have in the community, and easily share out high-level statistics.



Everything you Need to Know about Admins: 

Your school dashboard account will have one main admin that has access to billing, settings, and your school’s profile. All other admins will have only have access to the groups that the main admin has assigned them. 
You can add new admins by navigating to “Settings” then “Add new admin”.

Note: You’ll have to create a group to assign them to first.

The main admin has access to:

  • Billing

  • School Profile

  • Adding new admins

  • POINTer: One school can have up to three main admins

Group admins have access to: 

  • The groups they create

  • The groups they were assigned to by the main admins

  • Creating events

  • Verifying hours 

  • POINTer: Schools can have unlimited group admins, but they can only be faculty and staff! No students!

Important note: If you are an admin but want to use the POINT app to find ways you can do more good outside of school or with your family, make sure you use a different email than the one you use to sign into the dashboard (which should be your school domain). 



Everything you Need to Know about Groups: 

One of the best features of POINT’s dashboard is separating your students into groups. You can track hours and data for particular grades and clubs. You can even make private events for only the people in a certain group or groups. 

Creating a Group

  1. Navigate to the “Groups” section of the dashboard sidebar

  2. Click “Create Group” 

  3. Follow the prompts with these helpful hints:

    POINTer: Make the group name indicative of who is in the group, e.g., “10th Grade Honor Roll,” “National Honor Society,” or “Varsity Football Team.” 

Creating a Sub-Group 

This is a great feature for clubs or groups that may have different sectors or committees. For example, “Environmental Club” might be the parent group and have subgroups like “Water Conservation Committee,”  “Forestry Committee,” “Animal Life Committee.” 

  1. Navigate to the “Groups” section of the dashboard sidebar. 

  2. Create a new group and choose “Parent Group” from the dropdown. Pick the main group that you want.

  3. Pick the students that will be added to the subgroup (they must be a part of the parent group).

Editing a Group

Super easy. Hit the pencil icon at the top of the page. Edit away.

Groups vs. Grades

When you sign up your school, POINT automatically creates four groups: 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade. In order to separate between volunteers (the general public who signs up for your public events) and students (the users whose activity you are tracking), the user must be assigned to a grade. That’s why when you upload a CSV with your students info in it they have to have the “Grade” data field filled out.

POINTer: You can edit the groups and the grades yourself but remember that removing a student from a grade will remove them as a student and transform them to a community volunteer not affiliated with your school. Make sure you pay attention to “Grade” vs. “Group” in the dropdown menu!

How do charities use POINT? 

POINT’s mission is to eliminate barriers to doing good by connecting volunteers and nonprofits through technology. Everything we do is to support the work of local nonprofits and maximize the impact they have on our community.

Charities use a similar POINT dashboard that schools do to manage their own volunteers. Charities post public events on POINT so your students can sign up to volunteer. Charities have access to group management features, live reporting and analytics, contact information for volunteers, and more. 

Have a charity you want to see on POINT? Send a contact person’s information to info@pointapp.org and we will reach out! 



How to Follow Causes & Charities

POINT was developed to connect people with causes they care about, and users find events based on their favorite causes. The 20 different POINT causes are inspired by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Read more about them here

The main admin can have the school account follow causes that your students care about the most (you can see analytics for their favorite causes on the dashboard). When your school follows a cause, you’ll get notified any time an event that supports that cause is created and can blast it out to your students! 

Causes in orange are ones you follow. You can see which charities support that cause by clicking on it. Your students have the ability to do this on their app as well.

If you’re wondering exactly what each cause supports, you can see that in the “Cause Details” section. These are the same descriptions that your students see on their app when they follow causes. 

How to View and Follow Charities: 

There are 140 charities in Central Ohio that use POINT to find and manage volunteers. If you want to keep up with the charities that your students like the most, you can follow them on the dashboard. When you follow a charity, POINT will send your school account a notification when that charity posts an event so you can share it with your students. 

  1. Use the filters to search for charities by geographic location, cause, or volunteer age limit.

  2. Pick the charity you want, and then tap “Follow.”

  3. Click on their events to see details and click the green “Share” button to blast the link to your students! 

Tips for Posting Events for your Students

POINT makes it as easy as it should be for your students to do more good at your school.  When you post an event on the POINT dashboard, your students see it on the POINT app. 

If you want to kick your game up a notch, it’s the high quality, informative posts that’ll draw the most people in. We know it’s easier said than done, so here are a few tips to make sure you include the details that make a difference.

  1. When you create an event on POINT, the image goes front and center. We call it the event header image. It’s helpful to use a picture of people instead of using logos or text. If you don’t have a picture of students, stock photos work great! (You can find free high-quality stock images on Unsplash.)

  2. Start the event with a verb. Instead of “Men’s Community Dinner” try “Support homeless men by serving dinner”. 

  3. We recommend 2-hour events. If you have a long day planned, you can create shifts! 

  4. Share your event with your students to get the word out! Learn how here

  5. Don’t forget to check in your student volunteers at the beginning of the event! Remember, if you don’t manually check out students, POINT calculates their hours to match the length of the event or shift they signed up for.

POINTer: If you don’t make your event private to just your students, anyone in your city with the app can show up. Make sure you check the event privacy settings!



Getting the Word Out about POINT in your School:

You’ve done the smartest thing you could possibly do to level up your student volunteering: you’ve joined POINT. Now it’s time to get your students excited about POINT and out there doing more good! Here’s a few ways to make that happen. You can find our logo, some posters, and some pictures to use in newsletters/social media in our press kit here.

Feel free to copy and paste the text below and use it. Just remember to replace <Our school> with your school’s name. It sounds like common sense, but sometimes people might be rushing and forget to replace it. We just don’t want it to be you—we’ve got your back!

School Staff Announcement: <Our school> is getting ready to use POINT to manage student volunteering. Using the free POINT app, students can find service events posted by over 100 nonprofits filtered by the causes they care about and sign up with a tap. Students’ activity is instantly synchronized to the POINT dashboard from the POINT app. We will be sending more information soon on how you can sign up as an admin for any clubs or teams you lead. For now, please check out pointapp.org if you want more information.

Social Media Announcement: <Our school> is on @pointapp! All our students can download the free POINT app, follow causes they care about, and sign up for a volunteering event by tapping go. Now it’s as easy to #domoregood as it is to book an Uber.

Morning Announcement: <Our school> is now using POINT to make finding ways to do more good as easy as ordering an Uber. Simply download the free app from the App Store or Google Play, follow causes you care about, and sign up for volunteering events by tapping “go!” Check your email for your 6-digit join code that connects you with <our school>.

Community Newsletter Announcement: <Our school> is using POINT to make doing more good as easy as booking an Uber. Our students (and teachers, parents, & siblings!) can download the free app, follow causes they care about, and sign up for charity events by tapping “go”. Find out more at pointapp.org.

Here at POINT, we’re trying to create a culture shift in how people view volunteering. Here are a few things you need to know when talking about POINT, a.k.a our Brand Guidelines. Please follow and respect them.

POINT is reshaping how people view charity. Our goal at POINT is to rebrand “volunteering” into a lifestyle of doing more good that comes from a love of community, and is not guilt-ridden or forced.

PLEASE DO NOT USE TYPICAL ‘VOLUNTEERING LANGUAGE’ THAT CAN MAKE AN EVENT FEEL BORING OR RELIGIOUS (“making a difference,” “less fortunate,” “helping the needy.” INSTEAD, PLEASE USE PHRASES LIKE “do more good,” “empowering communities,” “volunteering on your off days,” or “get involved with something you care about.”

DO NOT USE IMAGERY WITH WORD ART, OF VOLUNTEERS IN MATCHING T-SHIRTS/ANY SHIRTS SAYING “VOLUNTEER” ACROSS THE FRONT, STOCK PHOTO REPRESENTATIONS OF “TEAMWORK,” TREES WITH LEAVES MADE OF HAND PRINTS, OR OTHER TYPICAL ‘VOLUNTEER’ IMAGERY. INSTEAD, IMAGERY SHOULD REFLECT A DIVERSE DEMOGRAPHIC HAVING FUN DOING THINGS TOGETHER. Because that’s what volunteering actually looks like—people of all backgrounds working to improve their community.

If you have any questions about our Brand Guidelines, contact our Communications Director, Lindsey, at lindsey@pointapp.org and she will be more than happy to help you!

How to Upload Students to POINT

You’ve signed up your school, created your profile, and are ready to add students! Hooray! All you need is each student’s name, email, grade, and any relevant club statuses in one excel file (CSV).

For now, send this file to our Community Outreach liaison, Stephanie. She will get all of the students uploaded to POINT and make sure they each receive an email with the school’s join code.

That’s right, for now you get to sit back and relax! We got it.