How do Conversations (messages) work?

How do Conversations work? We are interested in sending messages between our sponsors and sponsorships. 

Moderated conversations allow supporters and their sponsors to communicate with one another with admin review. Conversations are available on the Essentials, Pro and Pro Plus plans only. 

By default, Conversations are disabled for supporters. To start using Conversations, you will need to enable them. See Article: How do I start and stop using Conversations (messages)?

Once a Sponsor has signed up to sponsor a child, they have the ability to send a message (assuming Conversations have been enabled). The message works similarly to an email -  you can add text, photos, files, and link to a video. Once the message is received by REACH, your organization will receive an email that a Conversation has been added. You then can log into your REACH dashboard and review the message before sending it on.

NOTE: REACH does not support contact directly between sponsors and sponsorships, it only facilitates easier communication between sponsors and sponsorships through the organization's admins. Administrators that are working within your organization directly with the children would be tasked with sharing the information from REACH based on your organization's policies.

How does a Supporter send a message to their Sponsorship? 

The "New Message" button is available to a supporter once they log in to their REACH account and click on Your Sponsorships > See All:

On this page, they can click "New Message" next to the sponsorship that they would like to send a message to:

The new message button is also available on the sponsorship details page:

This will load a "New Message" page where the supporter can compose a message to their Sponsorship:

- Add a subject
- Choose the sponsorship via the drop down menu that lists all current sponsorships
- Add any attachments - photos or video
- Compose the message in the body
- When complete, click on "Send Message"

This will create a conversation between the supporter and their sponsorship. When a supporter clicks the "Send Message" button, the message is sent to a REACH admin notifying them that a conversation was started and to sign in as an admin to review the message.

When a supporter receives a reply to a conversation, they will receive an email notifying them to login to their account. Once logged in, they will see any unread messages highlighted in their Inbox and the number of messages will be shown next to "My Profile":

The conversation will remain highlighted until the supporter clicks on it regardless of what action an admin takes in the REACH admin area.

How does a REACH admin review the Conversation?

As a REACH admin, you will receive an email when any Conversation is sent through REACH. You must have notifications turned on for Conversations to receive this email notification. You can review your Admin settings by:

- Go to Settings > Admin Users
- Click Edit next to the Admin User's name 
- Under Permissions tab - Conversations, click Give Access or Limit to Read Only 
- Click on Save Changes
- Under Notifications tab - check box next to Conversations to receive notification when a supporter starts or replies to a conversation
- Click on Save Changes 

From your Admin Console, go to Sponsorships > Conversations to review your messages. 

The number next to Sponsorships/Conversations indicates how many messages you have to review. In the example above, the number 3 indicates there are 3 unread messages. These are messages supporters have sent to their sponsorship for you, as a REACH admin, to review. 

To review the conversation, simply click on it. Because each organization is different, REACH provides several options for you to decide how to proceed with the message.

If you are in country with your sponsorships, you can then print out the messages and hand it to the sponsorships. The sponsored person can also work with an Admin to reply directly back to the Conversation. 

You can also Generate a Mail Merge. This will generate a mail merge PDF of the conversation that you can attach to an email to your liaison. Or, you can simply copy and paste the message into the email. Or print out the messages and mail them. 

You will also notice a translate button. The reply will be in the language their computer browser is set for. For example, say an admin in Haiti responds to the Conversation and it goes back to the Supporter. If they are using Haitian Creole as their browser language, when the reply comes through, the message is automatically translated into the language set on the receiver's browser. If the admin replies in Haitian Creole and a supporter in the States receives the message, as long as the supporter's browser is set to English, the message will automatically translate. We also give you the option to manually select a language and translate.

The yellow Mark as Unread button will allow you to mark the conversation as Unread should multiple admins need to review the Conversation. This button is included so say an admin state-side reviews the message, they can still mark it as unread, so the Conversation is still flagged as needing review for an admin that is in-country. 

Conversations can be added to various folders you set up for organization. 

How do you initiate the Conversation as an Admin?

To initiate a Conversation as an Admin on behalf of a supporter, simply click on the Compose button. 

This will bring up a page allowing you compose the message and tie the message to the supporter and sponsorship.

When you type in the Supporter's name, the sponsorships they currently sponsor will automatically populate in the Sponsorship field. Or you can select the Supporter & Sponsorship. Add any attachments, compose your message and click Send Message once complete.

What happens when a Supporter receives a reply to a Conversation?

When a supporter has an Unread message, they will receive an email notifying them to login to their account. Once logged in, they will see any unread messages highlighted in their Inbox and the number of messages will be shown next to My Profile. 

The Conversation will remain highlighted until the Supporters clicks on it regardless of what action an Admin takes in the REACH admin area. 

- The sent date field on a Conversation is only updated once an email has been sent from the REACH system. The conversations with a sent date are emailed out from REACH using the email address: 
- REACH cannot track the progress of an email once it has been sent out.
- Archived Conversations are included in exported files. You can export Conversations by going to Sponsorships > Conversations or by going to Reports > Exports > Conversations. 

Also See:
Writing your Sponsored Child - tips from another REACH partner

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