Shift-based volunteering

The one thing I really need Get Connected to do that it doesn't, is make ongoing shift-based volunteering easier - to view, to post, to sign up and to manage. This is where there is one need, or perhaps a few different related needs, that occur ongoing (every day or most days) with multiple time slots per day. 

Example: I want to do river herring monitoring from April 1-May 20, every day for multiple time slots per day. I want volunteers to look at a calendar and sign up for available observation time slots. 

My best options for posting are: 

  • Post a custom shift need on a single day with 6 different shifts, then clone it for every single day from April 1-May 20. So I am creating 50 separate needs when it is really just one, and volunteers have to click on each day to sign up (rather than being able to click on one need and select several different shifts)
  • Post 6 different needs that recur daily, one for each time slot. So it would be "Herring Monitoring - 10 AM" as one need, then "Herring monitoring  - 12 PM" as another, and I would make each recur for April 1-May 20. Problem is that volunteers can't look at the whole day and see what's available. (for example if someone is free that whole day and they want to plug in where they are needed).
  • Post one need with a long, long list of custom shifts. This takes a long time as you have to add each shift individually. And there are so many shifts it is hard for volunteers to just scan the upcoming week and see where they are needed, plus it does not give the context of saying the day of the week so people have to cross reference with a calendar. (say if they are only available Tuesdays). 
What I would prefer is 
  • For posting: An option to post recurring shifts that occur more than once per day - right now the only choices are daily, weekly and monthly. You have to type in custom shifts if the need is more than once per day
  • For signup: either a calendar view for a specific need (or initiative or cluster), or a list view that includes the day of the week. That way they could go to "Herring Monitoring" and  sign up for any shifts they are available for at once. "Oh, looks like they need a lot of help on Sunday, I can do a couple shifts that day, and then I'll do next Friday 6 pm)
  • To manage: With this kind of volunteering, it is helpful to be able to view your coverage "at-a-glance" - say, a calendar view that shows how many slots you have filled/available on each day, and the ability to click in for more detail on who is signed up when.

3 people like this idea

Hi July!

Thank you for your suggestion! You make some excellent points, and I want to pass this along to development. When I write up your suggestion for our development team, I want to make sure I'm getting everything right. Does this sound like an accurate summary? Please let me know if I'm missing anything!

  • Ability to post needs that: 
    • Have multiple shifts per day.
    • Recur everyday.
    • Happen over an extended period of time.
  • Needs that don't require entering a huge amount of manually entered custom shifts for needs that last 2+ months. 
  • A calendar filter for a specific need, for admins and volunteers.
  • A calendar filter to show how many filled/available slots for a specific need per day. 

It may be useful to write up two different recurring shifts, split by the time. To use the herring example, one need could be titled River Herring Monitoring--Morning Shift, and the other could be titled River Herring Monitoring--Afternoon Shift. The two needs could be recurring daily, on the same day, with one need having all the 5:00am shifts and the other having all the 12:00pm shifts. This is not a perfect solution, but it might be a little closer to the ideal! 

To make the volunteer view easier, volunteers can also sort by day when they're responding to a recurring need. If the volunteer clicks Respond To Multiple they will have the option to select a dropdown menu to sort by day, as shown below. 

Thank you again for your thoughtful suggestion! Please let me know if I've made an accurate summary of your suggestion for development. 

Have a great day!


That's basically it! I'd actually also love a calendar filter for a group of related needs if possible. I am thinking mainly of our aquarium where there are different types of roles but you need to look at all of them to understand coverage for a given day/week.

Sounds good! How were you envisioning grouping the related needs together? Would it be possible to use Initiatives? If that works, I could request an Initiatives filter on the calendar. 

Ooh, yes, initiatives would work very well! 

Nice! I'll go ahead and add "Initiatives filter for the site manager calendar" to the suggestions for development.

Thank you! 

I also wanted to post here so that I'm not duplicating suggestions...   we have at least 5-6 different volunteer opportunities that have multiple shifts each day (similar to July's post above).  We want volunteers to be able to look in ONE spot to look at the open pantry shifts.  Our current solution has been to create 4-6 different opportunities based on shift time instead (Pantry Distribution on Weekday Mornings from 9am - 12pm, Pantry Distribution on Weekday afternoons from 12pm - 4pm, Pantry Distribution on Saturday mornings... etc).  

This makes 6 different volunteer "Jobs" and turns them into 24-36 different opportunities just because the shifts are different.   I've also tried to use custom shifts to simplify certain jobs like this, but because the time needs to be formatted so specifically and each date needs to be entered manually anyway, this option is really tedious/time consuming. 

A more flexible/multiple recurring shifts option for a volunteer position would be super helpful!   

2 people like this

Hi Stacy,

Thank you for adding this example and your support! I will make sure to include your support of a Recurring Shift option that would capture more shifts per day to our Enhancement's board.

Thank you and have a great day!


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