Creating Individually Scheduled Volunteer Opportunities

In the Spring '16 release of HandsOn Connect we introduced a new type of Volunteer Opportunity Schedule: "Individually Scheduled"

A quick guide to HandsOn Connect's three ways of scheduling volunteers.

Here's information about which type of schedule to use when creating a volunteer opportunity.

Date and Time Specific

Use when you need a certain number of volunteers, all of whom will be volunteering on the same date, start time and end time.  You can create one or more ‘occurrences” of dates and times for this opportunity.  Use this type of schedule if you need, for example, 5 volunteers every Monday from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm.  Date and Time opportunities can be full sign-up (volunteers who meet age and other restrictions are automatically confirmed) or you can make it ‘express interest’ where you can review and manually confirm the volunteers for the occurrence’s specific date and time.  When a given occurrence is full, volunteers have an option of being added to a wait list in case space opens up.  Best schedule type for multiple volunteers at a specific time, and easiest for both volunteers and administrators.

(*New)  Individually scheduled

Use when you have a flexible schedule of when you need volunteers. You define a range of times when volunteers are needed (i.e. Monday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm) on an ongoing basis. Volunteers can express interest in the opportunity and propose one or more times they are available to attend within the schedule you’ve defined. You then simply confirm the volunteer if you approve of their proposed schedule. No need for phone calls or emails to arrange schedules. Each volunteer for this opportunity can be scheduled to attend on a different date and time based on their availability. Volunteers can express interest for this opportunity as often as they like making this ideal for ongoing volunteers when scheduling can be flexible. Starting by mid-year, you'll also be able to create schedules for volunteers administratively if you prefer. This schedule type is best for scheduling ongoing volunteers on a variable schedule, and makes managing individual volunteer schedules easy!  (Note: volunteers must express interest individually, team signup is not included in this schedule type).

To Be Scheduled

Our legacy version of individual scheduling. You are alerted that a volunteer has expressed interest, but details of when and how often the volunteer will attend must be worked out by you via follow-up phone or email to the volunteer. Volunteers can only express interest one time in a “To Be Scheduled” opportunity, so subsequent tracking of this volunteer has to be managed by you administratively.  We recommend reposting your previous ‘To Be Scheduled” opportunities with our new improved “Individually Scheduled” type, but this remains an option if you don’t wish to track and manage your volunteers and their schedule.

Creating an Individual Scheduled Opportunity (ISO)

Use the "Create Volunteer Opportunity" link in the left sidebar to create a new volunteer opportunity.

Creating an Individual Scheduled Opportunity (ISO)

Choose "Individually Scheduled" as the Schedule Type

Choose "Individually Scheduled" as the Schedule Type

Set the start date and end date of when you need volunteers

If you set a start date for the future - the opportunity will be published, and volunteers can express interest, but they cannot propose dates to volunteer earlier than the start date.

We recommend not setting the end date more than 6 months in the future (you can always extend the end date later on).  This will prevent volunteers from making committments too far into the future that they may have to change or cancel.   Click Next

Set the start date and end date of when you need volunteers

On this screen you begin to set the schedule of when you need volunteers:

Choose a day of the week, and the time range during which you need volunteers and click next.  You'll have the option to add additional days and times so that you can specify each day of the week / time span when you need volunteers and they can propose their availability.  

Example:  if you say you need volunteers

  • Mondays:  9:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesdays: 12:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Fridays: 9:00 am:  5:00 pm

Then a volunteer could propose their interest in volunteering:

  • On a Monday from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Every Wednesday from 12:00 - 2:30

Volunteers would NOT be able to propose volunteering:

  • On a Tuesday
  • Wednesday from 4 pm - 6 pm
On this screen you begin to set the schedule of when you need volunteers:

Add as many days / time ranges as you like to the schedule for this opportunity

To add another day or time range on the same day - answer YES, and click Next.  You'll be taken back to the previous screen to add another day / time range.

When your schedule is complete, choose NO and click next.

Add as many days / time ranges as you like to the schedule for this opportunity

After choosing no, you're opportunity is created and complete.   Click Finish.

You'll then be taken the Volunteer Opportunity Page

After choosing no, you're opportunity is created and complete.   Click Finish.

Editing the schedule:

If you wish to review and/or edit the schedule of when you need volunteers, you can do so from the Volunteer Opportunity Page.

Click on "View Scheduler"

Scheduler Page

On the Scheduler Page you'll see the Start and End Date of the Individually Scheduled Volunteer Opportunity, and the days of the week / time ranges when you need volunteers.  This schedule page controls when volunteers can and can't offer to volunteer.  You can edit the schedule at any time by clicking on "Edit".

This is where you can change the days and times volunteers are needed.  Editing the days and times will not affect existing connections that have been proposed by volunteers, but will define and limit when volunteers can propose a schedule in the future.

Click on Edit to make changes to the schedule:

Scheduler Page

Scheduler Edit Page

1. You can create new schedule days / time spans by clicking Add Day & Time.   Here I'm going to add an additional schedule for Wednesday.   (notice that there is already a 9 - noon schedule -- but we're taking two hours off for lunch, so we don't want volunteers from noon - 2.     You can add multiple schedules on this page by adding additional days and times.

2. You can remove existing days / times by clicking "Remove"

3. Click Save after you've edited the schedule.

Saved view with new schedule added.

Click on "Back to Volunteer Opportunity" to go back to the Volunteer Opportunity record.

Saved view with new schedule added.

Notes about Individually Scheduled Opportunities

Individually Scheduled Opportunities are for individuals, not teams

Individually Scheduled Opportunities are likely to have a lot of connections associated with them since a volunteer could potentially schedule themselves for up to 50 connections at a time.  For this reason, we are not permitting team signups for these opportunities at the time.  (A Team of 40 people signing up for a schedule with  30 dates would result in 1200 connections!  That's not something we want to permit at this time.

Individually Scheduled Opportunities do not allow for custom questions.

Custom Volunteer Opportunity Questions in HandsOn Connect were designed to get an answer for one-time volunteers.  Since Individually Scheduled Opportunities are intended to allow a volunteer to express interest in many different dates over time, we don't want them asked the same question over and over again.  It would also generate many many of the same answers.   At this time, Volunteer Opportunity Questions cannot be added to Individually Scheduled Opportunities.   (Depending on demand, we may find a solution in the future where a question would be asked only one time over the entire engagement with this opportunity).  

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