What is the difference between a staff site and a community site?

Tier: Professional, Enterprise


Findhelp is the largest closed-loop social care network in the United States, with more than 300,000 free and reduced-cost programs in all 50 U.S. states, territories, and Puerto Rico. Our standard practice for professional and enterprise customers is to create two sites as part of your findhelp implementation: a site dedicated for public or community usage and a second site dedicated for staff usage. There are benefits to have both sites:

Community Site Benefits

Staff Site Benefits

  • Provides a self-service tool for your community members to anonymously search and connect to resources 
  • Gives community organizations access to free intake, reporting, and integration tools 
  • Segments community search data to gain valuable insights about top needs in your area
  • Collaborate within teams with shared notes, favorites folders, referrals
  • Track outcomes by making and logging referrals and following up to close the loop
  • Optional:  use single-sign on to make signing in more efficient
  • Optional: integrate your findhelp site with your Electronic Health Record (EHR) or care platform


How is the Community Site Used?

The community site is tailored to support your larger community. A person’s social needs are often associated with their most vulnerable and challenging life experiences and the discomfort or shame many people feel about these personal situations can be a barrier to asking for and receiving help. Our data shows that people often search for different types of resources when searching anonymously versus when they’re required to login. Giving your community the option to anonymously search for resources allows them to find help on their own and take control of their experience. 

Community site users typically do not log into the site but use the site to search to find resources for themselves, family members, or friends. Once on the site, these users typically take the following actions:

  1. Search for programs using key works or categories.
  2. Click on a phone number, email, or website on the program card.
  3. Share program information
  4. Directly connect with a program using the electronic referral button. 

How is the Staff Site Used?

A staff site is tailored to help your team members work closely together to manage the overall care and well-being of the people they serve. Unlike the community site, we expect staff users to log in to your site so that they use site tools, view site analytics, and follow an expected workflow.


A dedicated staff site provides collaborative tools like shared notes, favorites folders, and team navigation for referrals. These tools allow teams to communicate with each other and share updates about the individuals they are helping, directly via your site. Additionally, staff sites can support single-sign on, integrations into other platforms and customized assessments that enable staff members to assess an individual's needs. 

Example Workflows

Understanding the expected workflow of different staff user groups provides the context you need to better analyze or understand the data in analytics. 


Work with your program manager to understand the specifics around staff workflow!

Based on the expectations of a staff member’s role, there are different workflows that a staff user may follow when using your site. Staff user groups typical fall into one of three categories:


Site Features Utilized

This staff group regularly interacts with clients/community members/patients and are in a position where they may complete simple searches on behalf of someone looking for help. 

Basic features:

  • Search for resources
  • Possibly print or share program information with individuals

This staff group supports clients/community members/patients, however supporting people with social needs is not a primary part of their role. These users navigate the site on behalf of a person in order  to provide them with program information. In some cases these users send referrals and may track follow-up, but it is not required or expected. 

Intermediate features

  • Possibly assess a person’s needs (if this feature is enabled)
  • Search for resources
  • Print or share program information with individuals
  • Possibly connect individuals to programs
  • Possibly follow-up

This staff group supports clients/community members/patients and addressing a person’s social needs is part of their role. This group is expected to navigate the site on behalf of others. At a minimum this group of users is  searching for resources, connecting & referring people to resources, and following up with referrals. 

Advanced features

  • Assess a person’s needs (if this feature is enabled)
  • Search for resources
  • Print or share program information with individuals
  • Connect individuals to programs
  • Follow-up with individuals to see if they got the help they needed
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