Using AHEAD Communities

Q: How do I add contacts to my contact list?

A: There are several ways to add contacts. When you perform a search in the Directory, you will see an “Add as contact” button to the right of each person in your search results. Just click this button to send a contact request. If you click through and view an individual’s profile, you can click the contact request link to the right of his or her profile picture.

Q: Why should I add contacts to my contact list?

A: Creating this virtual address book makes it easy to send your contacts messages through the community site to stay in touch, ask questions or even build a referral network. Additionally, when you view another member’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common.

 Communities / Discussions | Top

Q: What are communities?

A: Communities allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other AHEAD members.

Q: What communities do I already belong to?

A: Go to “Communities” in the main navigation bar. Select “My Communities” to view the communities you currently belong to.  All AHEAD members are automatically added to the AHEAD Members Community with a daily digest email notification setting. If you have joined other Communities, they will appear under My Communities.

Q: How do I join/subscribe to a community and the affiliated discussion group?

A:  Click on “Communities” in the main navigation and click on “All Communities” in order to see a list of available communities. Click on the community that you wish to join and simply click "Join," then choose a delivery option for posts (Real Time, Daily Digest or No Email).

Q: How can I control the frequency and format of emails I receive?

A: Navigate to your profile and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu.  On that page, there are subscription options avaialbe for you in each community you are a member of in the Notification Settings toward the bottom of the page where you may select for each community to receive Real Time, Daily Digest, or No Email.  

For each discussion, you have the following delivery options:
  • Real time: sends an email every time a new message is posted.
  • Daily digest: sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day.
  • No Email: allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site.

Q: How do I leave a community or unsubscribe from a discussion?

A:  Go to your profile and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu. Here, you will see a list of available communities and those to which you’ve subscribed. Select "Leave Community” under the Actions column for the discussions you wish to leave.

Q: How do I respond to others’ posts?

A: To respond to a discussion post, please navigate to the discussion post and choose one of the following options:

  • Reply Inline: Allows you to reply publicly to the discussion without taking you away from the thread. When you reply inline, you will notice that the text box pops up directly below the thread you are replying to. This great new feature allows you to reference back up to the message without directing you away from the thread.
  • Reply to Discussion: Also allows you to reply publicly to the discussion, but this feature will re-direct you to a brand new page away from the message you are replying to.
  • Reply to Sender: Sends a direct private message to the author of the post. This will go to the author's community inbox, but will also send them an automated email of the message with a direct link on how to respond.
    • If you are trying to find the message they sent, they can go to their sent messages on their profile. Find this by going to Profile > My Account > Inbox > Sent messages.
We recommend replying to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and replying to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources that others could benefit from.  If you prefer responding to a Community discussion posting in an email as you have typically with the AHEAD listservs, you can still do so with the main AHEAD Members Community by emailing  The subject of your email will be the discussion topic post, if you include attachments they will be automatically added as a resource to the community library, and your email message will be the content of your discussion post.  To reply to a particular discussion thread within a digest via email you may select the links for "Reply to All Via Email" to reply to everyone within the discussion or topic or "Email Sender" to reply only to the person you wish to email. 

Q: How do I start a new discussion thread?

A: Go to the AHEAD Community you would like to start your discussion in and select "Add" beside the "Latest Discussion Posts" section. From an email (HTML version) for a particular community discussion forum, you can use the “Post Message” link located at the top of the discussion email.  If you prefer using only your email, you can start a new discussion post in the AHEAD Members Community by sending an email to  The subject of your email will be the discussion topic post, if you include attachments they will be automatically added as a resource to the community library, and your email message will be the content of your discussion post. 

Q: Where is the draft message I saved?

A: Select the drop-down menu beside your AHEAD member profile (located at the top right of every web page) and choose the profile tab.  Once you are at your profile page, select the My Contributions tab and then the List of Contributions.  From here the additional drop down tab will provide you with the option to select View All Items, View Published Items, or View Draft items. The View Draft Items will provide a list of all your current messages in draft status. 

Q: I’m having trouble viewing the HTML email messages. How do I fix this?

A: If images are not appearing, it is likely that your email client is set to suppress images. This should be something you can change in your security or viewing options. If you would rather receive text-based email, go to your profile page and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu. Select the “Plain Text” format option for each of the discussions you are subscribed to.

Q: Can I search for posts across all the communities?

A: Yes, please enter a keyword in the search bar located at the top  of website near the area where you signed into the website. 

Q: How do I see a listing of all of the posts to a specific Community?

A: Locate the Community you are interested in viewing to go to the Community's landing page, then locate the "Latest Discussion Posts" area. If you see a post you’re interested in, click the subject line which will take you to the entire thread. “Original Message” at the bottom of all of the posts in a thread will display the original message that started that discussion.

Q: Why am I not receiving email digests of community posts?

A: Due to the high volume of email generated from our community, some email service providers (ESPs) incorrectly identify the email as spam. While we do everything possible to ensure strong deliverability rates, it is sometimes necessary that you add the community email addresses to your "white list" (this tells your ESP that we are approved senders and not spam). If you stopped receiving email from the community, this is the first and most critical step to take to ensure our email can be delivered to you. For more information about white listing AHEAD community emails, visit our White Listing page.

Q: Are there terms of use for the Communities?

A: Yes. During your initial login to as a member you agreed to the Terms of Use in order to proceed to use the Communities.  To review those terms, please visit the Terms of Use page.

Libraries | Top

Q: How do I find resources that may have been uploaded by other members?

A: If you know which library the resource might be located in, find the affiliated community via the All Communities page. Click through the community's landing page, then click on the “Library” tab . If you do not know where the resource might be, enter search terms in the main search box the same way you might enter search terms into Google or another search engine.

Q: Can I search for specific file types?

A: Yes. Enter your desired keyword in the main search box. From the search results page, click "Show Advanced Search."  Then click on “Search for Specific File Types.” This gives you the option to specify file type: Document, Image, Spreadsheet, etc.

Q: How do the libraries get populated?

A: The libraries are populated including an attachement in a discussion post within a Commnity. The sytem automatically places it in the specific Community library.

Q: How do I upload a file?

A: Select the “Add” button found beside the "Latest Shared Files" section on any Community landing page. Please note that uploading a document is accomplished by completing a few steps, and each step must be completed before you can move on to the next:
  • Choose a title for your document, and include a description (optional). Select the library to which you’d like to upload it, and select a folder to which you’d like to upload it (optional).  Then, choose an Entry Type (most will be Standard Files, but be cognizant of any copyright licensed material). Once you have completed these steps, please click “Next.”
  • Upload your file.
  • Select “Next” if you want to further describe your files and/or add tags to your file.  Otherwise, please click “Finish” to post your library entry

Q: What kind of files can I upload?

A: The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images and YouTube videos.

Q: What are the “tags” for?

A: Tags are great way to organize and categorize content on your site. Tags can be applied to blogs, library entries, events, and glossary terms.  Tagged items are prioritized in the search results.

AHEAD Statement of Civility

AHEAD recognizes and appreciates the rich contributions of our diverse membership in fostering intellectual inquiry and growth. We believe in the right to freedom of expression and the establishment of environments marked by civility, mutual respect, and self-responsibility. Consistent with these core values, AHEAD strives to create spaces where individuals feel supported when conveying their thoughts and challenging one another in a respectful manner regardless of diverse professional, social, or political views. This approach cultivates meaningful learning and intellectual exchanges that foster members’ professional development and personal growth.

Individuals experiencing or observing behaviors which compromise AHEAD’s commitment to civility are encouraged to communicate their concerns to AHEAD’s Equity Officer, Executive Director, or any Board member.