Advanced Training in ClubRunner Focused on Board Members and Club Leaders Topics to be Covered

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Advanced Training in ClubRunner

Focused on Board Members and Club Leaders
Topics to be Covered:
1. Adding friends to the distribution list
2. Sending emails to committee members or the entire membership
3. Writing announcements and stories for the newsletter or website
4. Uploading and downloading files to the site
5. Help with the enhanced editor
6. Creating and managing online signup sheets
7. Using Forums to communicate among committee members
8. Adding custom fields to member info
Adding Friends to the Distribution List
One of the most effective ways to tell people about what we do is to add them to the distribution list for the newsletter. Each newsletter is distributed to all members and to all friends of the club. When you add a person as your friend, the heading for that person’s emailed newsletter will say that it was sent to them as your friend. This can be a great recruiting tool for new members, because the newsletter captures both the high activity level of the club and the fact that we like to have a good time. We want to recruit new members who appreciate both of these aspects of the club.
To add a friend to the distribution list:
1. Select Friends of the Club under Membership Manager on the administration page.
2. Click Add New Friend in the upper right hand corner of the table.
3. Put in, at a minimum, the person’s first and last name and email address. [Note that ClubRunner will assume that you are adding your friend, but if you are doing this for another member, you can change the “Friend of “designation by clicking on the dropdown menu.]
4. Click Save to add the person to the Friends list.

Sending Emails

Sending emails through ClubRunner has three distinct advantages. First, the email addresses are maintained in one central place instead of by a dozen or more board members. Second, a set of distribution lists can be created that are shared by anyone on the board. Furthermore, when a member changes his or her email address on the ClubRunner system, it is changed in all of the distribution lists. Third, ClubRunner sends out messages as individual emails, which makes it less likely that they will be blocked by Internet providers as SPAM. That was a persistent problem when the newsletter was distributed as a bulk emailing to all members.
To send emails in ClubRunner:
1. Select Email Message Center under My ClubRunner on the Administration page.
2. Create the email by clicking on Add New Email (upper right hand corner).
3. Enter a subject line and your message in the boxes shown and then click Save.
4. You can add attachments by clicking Attachment next to the message you created and saved.
5. Click Email to send the message, which opens a page of available mailing lists.
6. Click on the mailing lists you want to use by clicking the Check All button next to the list.
7. Click Send to actually send the email.
Writing Newsletter or Website Stories
Newsletter and website stories are written in slightly different ways, but there is considerable overlap in how they are handled. Also, stories written for the website can be tagged to also run in the newsletter (called eBulletin in ClubRunner). If you want a story to run in the newsletter more than once, be sure you inform the newsletter editor of your desires, since it is he or she who will be compiling the final list of stories for a given newsletter.

You can use any browser program (e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox) to access the website or write stories for the website or newsletter. However, ClubRunner currently supports only Internet Explorer as an “editor” for such articles. What this means is that if you use Internet Explorer, you can convert selected sections to bold or italics using formatting buttons similar to what you would find in Microsoft word. You can also insert links to specific sites with a link button. You can do all of these things in other editors, but you will have to insert your own HTML code. If you do not know what HTML code is, trust me when I say you don’t want to have to insert it yourself.

To write a newsletter article:

1. Click Edit Bulletin Contents under Club eBulletin on the administration page, which opens a table of the current list of stories.
2. Click Add New Content (upper right hand corner of the table) to create a new article, which opens the Bulletin Story Item page.
3. The Bulletin Story Item page has several options that need to be filled out. Many are inserted automatically, but the automatic insert might not serve your purpose. These are the items that you will need to address on this page.
a. You probably want to accept the sequence number it assigns. The newsletter editor will likely change the number anyway to arrange the order in which stories appear in the newsletter.
b. Give the story a short descriptive title. The title should have major words capitalized as they would appear in a newspaper headline.
c. Write the content of the story. Hit return to start new paragraphs. (NOTE: Hitting return to start a new paragraph ONLY works in Internet Explorer. To start a new paragraph in any other browser, you will have to insert the following HTML code:

d. It is highly recommended that you do a spell check on the final story. A spell check can only be done in Internet Explorer.

e. If you have a photo for the story, use the browse feature on the Image line below the story to find the photo on your computer.
f. The Created By line automatically inserts the newsletter editor’s name, but you can put your own name in by clicking the down arrow on that line and clicking on your name.
g. The Show in Bulletin line lets you either show or not show the article. Normally, you will want it set in the default mode (show it). However, this is handy for routine articles that appear periodically, such as posting the names of prospective new members.

h. The default date for Date Created is the date you created the file, but you can change that date if you are updating a file you wrote earlier.

i. Click the Save button to save the story. You can always edit the story later.
Writing a story for the website is very similar to writing one for the newsletter. Therefore, we will be brief in our discussion of those steps, except for the steps that are unique to website articles.
To write a website story:
1. Click on Edit Stories under Website Manager on the administration page.
2. Click on Add New Story.
3. The sequence number and title box are exactly like in the newsletter article. However, you will want to set the sequence number to something smaller than the current lowest number, because we want the newest articles to always be on the top of the page. The default is to automatically insert a number that is higher than the current highest number, which will put all new stories at the bottom of the page.
4. The first thing you will notice that is different than writing a newsletter article is that there are two boxes for the story on the website. The top box is for the two to three sentences that tease the story. These sentences appear on the home page of the website. Keep this short so that the home page does not become crowded and thus load very slowly for those people visiting the site. The second box is for the rest of the story. This is what people see when they click “More…” If there is a limit on how long the story can be, I have not found it.
5. You insert an image, change the name of the editor, and set the date just as with a newsletter article. If you want the article to appear on both the website and in the newsletter, click Yes to the question Show in Bulletin?
Help with the enhanced editor  

Problems can result from hidden HTML code that is carried over with your text when you copy and paste. Please try the following steps to solve your issue:

1)If you are copying and pasting from MS Word, use the "Paste from MS Word" feature on the editor. You can see this feature if you click on the small arrow beside the paste symbol on the toolbar.

2)If that alone is not enough to remove the HTML code, you may also try the "Remove Text Formatting" button at the top of your editor. This button looks like a white eraser, and will remove the text formatting from your content.

3)Finally, you could try using the "Clean HTML Code" button. This button looks like a document with a lightning bolt through it, and is located on the second line of buttons at the top of your editor. This button will remove all HTML code.

Please note: If you would like to edit the HTML code yourself, you can click the "Source" tab on the editor.  

Uploading and Downloading Files
Most files that are stored on the site will be under Club Documents. These files are available ONLY to members who have logged into the site. If you want a document available to anyone, you can put it on the Download File site, which appears on the home page for anyone who opens the site.
Most of the files that are posted are Adobe Acrobat files (pdf), which can be read by anyone without regardless of what software they own. All you need is a Adobe Acrobat reader, which often comes already loaded on most new computers and can be downloaded free at Converting a document to pdf requires that you own software that will make that conversion, such as Adobe Acrobat Professional. If you do not own such software, you can probably find a member who does and can do the conversion for you.
If you are uploading a working document, you might want to upload it in the format you are using, such as doc or xls format (Microsoft Word and Excel, respectively). For example, the club letterhead is posted as an Excel document. If you print the document, you will get letterhead, which you can then use to print a letter.

To upload a file to the Download File site:

1. Click on Edit Download Files under Website Manager on the Administration page.
2. Click Add New File in the upper right hand portion of the table.
3. Give the download a short descriptive title in the box labeled Link Title.
4. Use the browse function to locate the file on your computer.
5. Change the name of the editor (the person who created the file or uploaded the file) as appropriate.
6. Click Save to upload the file and add the link to the Download List on the home page.

To upload a file to the Club Document archive:

1. Click Edit Club Documents under Website Manager on the Administration page.
2. Use the Table of Contents file (the first file in the archive) and a quick check of existing documents to decide what sequence number you want to use.
3. Click Add New Document.
4. Adjust the sequence number as needed, give the document a short descriptive title, including a description in the Subject box if you like, and use the browse function to find the file on your computer.
5. Click Save to upload the file and add the listing in the appropriate place on the archive list.
To download a file from Download Files list on the home page, simply click on the title of the document. To download a file in the club document archive, click View Club Documents under My ClubRunner on the administration page, and then click View for the document you want to see. Depending on the browser you are using, you may or may not be asked what program you want to use to open the document. You also may be given the option of saving the document directly to your computer without opening it if you like.
Managing Online Signup Sheets
Online signup sheets can be used to get volunteers for a club program or to have people sign up for an event, such as the Club Christmas Party. The advantage of using this signup system is that member will get automatic reminders of when they have volunteered each time they get their newsletter. They will also get reminders of events that they have signed up for. In addition, any member can check the volunteer list at any time. Also, name tags can be easily printed for events like club parties.

Members do not have to sign up online. You can create the signup sheet and then print it out and bring it to the meeting to have people sign up the old fashion way. It takes just a few minutes for the captain of the event to enter those names into the system. Once the names are in the system, all of the advantages above apply.

We recommend that you create these signup sheets at least two months before the event. Once the sheets are set up, you would be responsible for managing and monitoring these signup sheets.
To add people to a volunteer list:
1. Click on Edit Events under Website Manager on the administration page.
2. Click on Services for the event of interest.
3. Click Tasks and Volunteer Management under Volunteer Services.
4. Click Volunteers for the task and/or time slot that you want to add a person.
5. Click Add New Volunteer to add a person. If the new person is a club member, you can select that member from the list and the contact information will be filled in automatically. You can also add nonmembers. It is a good idea to include contact information for nonmembers because then you will be able to keep in touch with them more easily.
You might note under Volunteer Services there is an option to send email to all volunteers. There is a parallel option under Attendance Services. Not only do all members or friends who sign up for an event (either as a volunteer or as an attendee) get weekly reminders of the event at the bottom of each newsletter that goes out, but you have the option of sending them additional information via email at any point. This is very helpful if there are changes in plans or procedures or in the time slots.

To add people to an attendance list for an event:

1. Click on Edit Events under Website Manager on the administration page.
2. Click on Services for the event of interest.

3. Click on Register Attendees from My Club under Attendance Services. [Note that there is a parallel function for registering nonmembers.]

4. You can register a club member by clicking Book next to their name. The process is a bit more complex with guests (such as a member’s spouse). Click Book Guests next to the club member’s name and fill in the required information. Although you can just put in a place holder, such as “Guest” in place of a name, you really want to put in the person’s name. The reason is that we can use the list to print name tags for the event. There is no limit on the number of guests for a member.

Using Forums
Forums are online discussions. They can be started by any member and contributions can be made by any member. A given discussion topic is referred to as a thread. It is possible to review the development of the discussion over time by reading the comments on any given thread.
Forums have two advantages over meetings. First, you do not have to find a time that everyone can get together. People can read the ideas of other members of a committee at any time, day or night, and add their own ideas. Second, unlike a typical meeting, people have the time to think about the implications of the ideas suggested by others and therefore are often able to make more substantial contributions to the discussion than they might be able to make at a meeting. Forums do not replace meetings, but can substantially enhance the work of a committee. They are also a good place to document what work on a project has been completed and what work still needs to be done so that that information is available to everyone.
To open, read, and contribute to forums:
1. Click on Forums in the menu.
2. Select a general category from the list (General, Club Web Site, or Areas of Service).
3. To start a new discussion, click the New Thread button in the upper right hand corner.
4. Give the new discussion a descriptive title and enter your message. If it is the first message in a new thread, use the message to outline the purpose of that discussion. Note that forums can be public (available to everyone) or for members only (members must sign in using their username and password).
5. Click Post to post the message.

6. To read the posts on a thread, select the category on the Forum page and click the name of the thread in the table of forums in that category. The comments posted so far will appear at the top of the page, with a box for you to reply at the bottom of the page. Enter your response and click Post. [Note that carriage returns are ignored in your post. If you respond with several paragraphs, it will put them together as if they were a single paragraph.]

7. When a thread is no longer needed, it can be deleted by one of the website administrators. It cannot be deleted by anyone else.
Member Info – Add Custom Fields
You can add up to 30 custom fields in total. The field types are date, character and flag, and you may add up to 10 of each type. To add a custom field, please follow these steps:

  • Login as usual, and go to the Admin tab.

  • Click on Edit Custom Fields under the For Administrators heading.

  • Click on Add new field.

  • Type in the Sequence, which is the order of the custom fields.

  • Type in the Field Description, which is the name of the custom field.

  • Choose a Type, which can be date, character or flag.

  • Click Save.  

Note: Software error – When updating member info, you must save member info before updating custom fields in the Club Specific Information section.

Page of 6/12/2008

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