Tech Update 3.2 - Alerts & Notifications, Pre-order Books, Course Management

It's been almost a year since our last technology update, but we've been busy adding new features and improvements. Highlights include setting up notifications for newly added activities, pre-ordering books, and a download to help better manage student progress in a course.
Jeff Bowman Jeff Bowman
IT Manager
June 04, 2019
Tech Update 3.2 - Alerts & Notifications, Pre-order Books, Course Management

It's been almost a year since our last technology update, but we've been busy adding new features and improvements. Read on to learn about the latest and greatest on The Mountaineers website and other systems.

Alerts & Notifications

  • We added an Alerts & Notifications section to the My Profile page where members and guests can choose to receive an email as new content is added to our website. We set up this system to alert members and guests to new trips immediately, in a daily digest, or in a weekly digest. Edit your My Profile page to set this up!

  • We will add this for courses, clinics and seminars in this summer's development cycle.

  • We changed the branch email newsletter opt in so that a member may choose to receive any branch's email newsletter. This is great for those who live between branches or just want to be more informed. Edit your My Profile page to set this up!

Pre-ordering & Backordering Books

  • We added a new website e-commerce function so that customers may pre-order books that have not yet been released and backorder books that are out-of-stock. While many online retailers have this capability, our authors prefer to refer people to Mountaineers Books to pre-order (and order) our books. Margins are better on direct sales, so we keep more money in house to support our mission. Looking for a good read? Find a book!

Activities, Courses & Events

  • We added a course activities download to course rosters that not only shows whether the participants are signed up for the required field trips but also includes all the activities they are registered for to ensure that snowshoe students are getting their snowshoes, climbers are getting on climbs, and sea kayakers are getting registered for sea kayak trips.

  • Currently many instructors register for a single field trip. Because they aren't added to the course roster they aren't available for recruiting via our course template roster. With this new feature we will automatically add instructors to course rosters when they register to teach at a course activity. Also having the course listed on a person’s My Courses & Programs page will help those who want a quick link to upcoming field trips where they can volunteer to instruct at more course activities.

  • We added a Last Activity Led column to committee rosters to better help committee personnel manage their leaders. It's  the most recent date of an activity (including past activities whether closed or not, and future planned activities) that a leader led for the committee whose roster is being viewed. The leader could have more recently led an activity for another committee, but that that in not reflected on the committee roster being viewed.

  • We split the Skiing/Snowboarding activity type into Cross-country Skiing and Backcountry Skiing to make it easier for members and guests to find the particular type of skiing courses and activities that most interest them.

  • We rearranged fields on the event edit form to make it easier to complete, improved default setup and departure times on the event edit form, and added validation for rooms at the Tacoma Program Center to the event edit form.

  • Need to learn about any of our new or existing features? Review our Schedule & Manage help pages or our Leader Resources page.


  • We added a feature that splits off those who turn 18 from a family membership to their own adult membership. Along with this comes a very generous multi-year discount membership offer. Questions about anything membership? Contact our Member Service Team at

youth programs

  • Like we do for Youth Information Forms, we made the Youth Program Forms printable from an activity’s Youth Flag Report so that leaders may print all the information they may need about youth participants to have with them during the activity.

  • Like we did for courses, we will automatically add chaperones to youth program  rosters when they register to chaperone at a youth activity. This will make its easier for program managers to recruit chaperones and  being listed on a person’s My Courses & Programs page will help those who want a quick link to upcoming activities where they are a chaperone and where they can volunteer to instruct at more youth activities.


  • We installed StepUp, a Salesforce tool that will help us track out engagement with our guests, members and volunteers over time.

  • We gathered engagement path data to help us determine the most common  things people new to our organization do first, so that we can better support those pathways.


  • We implemented a final round of improvements for the website headers.

  • We made some small Improvements the text search features of our faceted searches and site search.

  • We improved our set of Development dashboards. We have three dashboards that are nearly complete: a giving overview, one for individual “household” giving, and one for corporate and foundation giving.

  • We streamlined Salesforce import processes for importing data from events and actions like the Gala, Meet The Mountaineers, Eventbrite, and EveryAction conservation advocacy actions.

  • We upgraded our web server’s operating system so that we have the most up-to-date system and all the latest security features.

  • We upgraded to latest version of Plone 4 in preparation for upgrading to Plone 5 later this year.

  • We improved code deployment so that updates, improvements, and new features can be deployed more efficiently, and so that we can bring and other server online for known high-traffic events like our Conditioning Hiking Series hikes signups.

  • We added reCAPTCHA to our public web forms to make them more secure.

  • We set up Sales Account features in Salesforce for our Books Sales team and imported accounts so that they can better track interactions with our book buyers.

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Mike Kretzler
Mike Kretzler says:
Jun 06, 2019 11:29 AM

These are great features, especially the alerts and course management features. They will save me time managing my course. Thanks!

Donna Kreuger
Donna Kreuger says:
Jun 06, 2019 05:03 PM

How exciting! Great nrws. Thank you!

Stephen Johnson
Stephen Johnson says:
Jun 29, 2019 11:44 AM

Love the email alerts - thank you! (Tho I wonder why trips open for registration on a future date rather than immediately.) Would love to see future "Watching" or "Saved" function for trips you have your eye on but are not ready to register for. Similar to Amazon's "Wishlist."

Jeff Bowman
Jeff Bowman says:
Jul 05, 2019 03:35 PM

Thanks Stephen, I'm glad you like the new Alerts & Notifications feature and find it useful! It would be great if all trips opened as soon as they are added, but there are some cases where is is not practical, it is a feature that many of our leaders want, and it is also a bit of a "holdover" from our old system. We do have a system for providing suggestions. It's <>. I think we have a suggestion that is much like you want. It is Email Reminder for Activities, Courses and Events About to Open for Registration, <>.