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Community Discussion Forum Rules and Tips

The Community Discussion Forum (formerly the Message Board) is a place to participate in cause-related dialogue and seek real-time answers on important needs and issues. All active, eligible ConnectVA registered users can post and reply on the Community Discussion Forum.

Categories contain a collection of forum topics related to the category description. Topics contain a collection of discussion posts and replies. To view the topics in a category, click on one of the category names. To view the posts in a topic, click on the one of the topic names.

Recently posted topics in the 7 permanent categories listed at the top of the Community Discussion Forum will appear in the ConnectVA Daily Update.

To use the ConnectVA Community Discussion Forum, you must be registered and signed in.

Message Board Tips

Post a topic: Make sure you’re logged in, click on a category, and you will have the option to create a new topic. Use a descriptive subject line and a concise, specific, informational, professional and courteous message with hyperlinks to more information on a webpage if applicable. Please remember to avoid use of distracting text, font, colors, images or other content that is difficult to read. Do not link to inappropriate images or videos that contain viruses, malicious content or otherwise violate the Community Discussion Forum rules.

Post a reply to a topic: Make sure you’re logged in, click on a category and topic, and click Reply on one of the topics or existing replies.

Edit a topic. Navigate to the Community Discussion Forum page, click on the Category you posted in, and then find your Topic and click on it. In the top right corner of the Topic you will see an option to edit it. While editing, you have the option to add modification notes so readers are aware of your changes.

Subscribe to a category: Make sure you’re logged in, click on the category you’re interested in, and then click on Subscribe. When you subscribe to a category, you will receive an alert every time a user posts a new topic in the category you are subscribed to. Alerts will be sent to your registered email address. Any time you post a new topic, you are automatically subscribed to your own topic. Subscribing to a category helps ensure you know when a topic is posted about a subject you are interested in or a reply has been posted to one of your topics.

Unsubscribe from a category: Make sure you’re logged in, click on the category you’re interested in, and then click on Unsubscribe.

Flag an inappropriate message: If you see a posted message that violates the Community Discussion Board rules or you believe is otherwise inappropriate, sign in, locate the message and click Flag under that message. A dialogue box will appear asking for the reason you are flagging the message. Complete the dialogue box and click Submit to send the flag report to the ConnectVA Administrators. We will review and respond to the report as soon as possible. Before flagging a message, please review the Community Discussion Board rules and use the flag option responsibly.

Tips of the Week

Message Board  – Tips and tricks for making the most of the Message Board

Recently Posted Messages – Post to the top five categories of the Message Board will automatically be included in the Daily Update

Message Board Affinity Categories – Do you want to stay informed on a specific community issue or topic? Interested in an easy way to communicate with stakeholders who share your interest or focus of work?

Message Board Rules

We want the Community Discussion Forum to be a safe, comfortable environment and a useful, productive tool through which users and visitors can learn, share and connect.

Use of the Community Discussion Forum is subject to our Terms & Conditions and by using the Community Discussion Forum, you acknowledge and agree to the following rules:

  • Behave responsibly and respectfully towards all users, respecting their values, viewpoints, feelings and rights
  • Welcome new users, ideas and diversity
  • Avoid conflict, acknowledge that differences of opinion and conflict often occur, and resolve any conflict constructively
  • Statements, opinions and content on the Community Discussion Forum are those of the individual users, not of ConnectVA, and ConnectVA does not endorse them
  • ConnectVA does not moderate the Community Discussion Forum but reserves the right to delete or edit any topic or post at any time, including but not limited to those posts that are deemed to be spam, contain malicious content, flagged by other users or be otherwise inappropriate
  • We strongly encourage you to use plain text formatting and keep messages concise and easy to read
  • Avoid use of distracting text, font, colors, images or other content that is difficult to read
  • ConnectVA does not allow anonymous posting; you must be registered and logged in to use the Community Discussion Forum

The following kinds of messages or content are prohibited:

  • Content or hyperlinks to content that is illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, offensive, inflammatory, controversial, untrue, inaccurate or overtly religious, ideological or politically partisan
  • Confidential information or content that infringes on intellectual property rights
  • Spam and solicitations
  • Requests for donations (please visit our Funding Resources page)
  • Advertisements for for-profit products and services (please visit our Business Directory)
  • Requests from or for volunteers (please visit HandsOn Greater Richmond)
  • Job opportunities, event information or items needed and available (please post them through your Organization Profile and they will be sent out automatically in the Daily Update)
  • Requests from job seekers (please visit the Job Finder)

You agree that if you repeatedly or willfully violate these rules (or the Terms & Conditions), your right to use the Community Discussion Forum or ConnectVA can be suspended or terminated.

Affinity Category Guidelines

Affinity Categories on the ConnectVA Message Board have been identified as important topics to our users who wish to be kept informed, participate in cause-related dialogue, and seek real-time answers on important needs and issues related to these specific topics. Affinity Categories are related to community, civic, or nonprofit topics that support ConnectVA’s mission.

Addition of Affinity Categories

If you are a ConnectVA registered user and wish to request a new Affinity Category on the Message Board that adheres to our guidelines, please send an email to with the following information:

  • Name of proposed Affinity Category
  • Description of proposed Affinity Category
  • Purpose of proposed Affinity Category
  • Your registered name and email address
  • Your organization or affiliation
  • Full names and email addresses of at least 25 individuals who indicate interest in this proposed Affinity Category. These individuals must be ConnectVA registered users.

Administration of Affinity Categories 

The ConnectVA Administrators may add, change, or remove Affinity Categories on the Message Board at any time with or without notice. The ConnectVA Administrators will make reasonable efforts to communicate Message Board changes to our registered users.

Removal of Affinity Categories

The ConnectVA Administrators may remove Affinity Categories at any time with or without notice. Reasons for removal include but are not limited to:

  • Inactivity – fewer than an average of 4 messages per 30 days have been posted under the Affinity Category for 90 or more days.
  • Inappropriate Activity – the Affinity Category contains repeatedly flagged or otherwise inappropriate messages, or a substantial number of registered users express that the Affinity Category is inappropriate for the Message Board.
  • ConnectVA administrators decide the Affinity Category should be merged into another related category or changed for other reasons.