Click here to view a video on Volunteer Self Check-in.

As a volunteer who has responded to one or more volunteer shifts, you can easily check into and out of those shifts on your phone, tablet, or desktop or laptop computer. Not only is this convenient, but your volunteer hours are automatically calculated and submitted, based on your check-in and check-out times. There is no need to return to the site later to log your hours—it's all done automatically!

Another benefit is to the nonprofit you're volunteering with: By checking in and out, you make it easy for them to see, at a glance, who is volunteering at a given time.

This article explains how to check in and check out of a shift need, and it also shows you how you can view your volunteer hours.

How It Works

You can access the check-in/check-out feature in a couple of ways:

Both approaches are easy to access, whether you are using your mobile phone, tablet, or laptop.

Checking In with the Email Link

If you've responded to a shift need (where the date and time are specified), you'll receive an email the morning of your shift. That email will include a Go to Check-in Page button that takes you to a page where you can submit your check-in time.

Note: This email is sent at 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time. If you don't receive the expected email, check your spam to ensure that they weren't misdirected to that folder. If you still can't find the email, you can find it in your in-app messages (the "bell" icon to the left of your profile menu dropdown), or you can go straight to your Need Responses area.

Checking In through Your Need Responses Area

To access your responses area, log in to your Connect site and follow these steps:

  1. From your profile menu, select Need Responses.You'll see your past volunteer responses listed in a table.
  2. Click Check-In/Out for the selected need. You will be taken to a page where you can schedule your start and end times.

Note: The check-in/check-out options are only available for shift needs.

Submitting Your Check-in Time

Once you've reached the check-in page, you'll see three options for checking in.

  • Check in now: Click this button and you're ready to start volunteering right away.
  • Check in with the shift start time: Click this button if you'll be starting your volunteer work right at the time specified in the need description. If you check in prior to your shift, you'll be automatically checked in at the scheduled time.
  • Check in with a custom time: Click this button to indicate that you aren't starting the volunteer work at the scheduled shift start time. Before you click this button, use the field below it to select the date and time for check-in.
  • If you are part of a User Group, you will be given a dropdown where you can select your user group. 
  • (as applicable) You will have the chance to add Plus-one Hours during check-in if someone without a Connect account has joined you for the volunteer effort. If you select the Yes radio button, you will be presented with additional fields to complete. 
  • If you submit your check-in time prior to your shift, there is no need to check in when you arrive at the volunteer location.

Once you've scheduled your check-in time, you'll get the option of submitting your check-out time in advance.

Checking Out of a Shift

You can submit your check-out time in advance, right after you've submitted your check-in time. Alternately, you can check out when your shift is done. To do so, you can access your check-out options in either of the following ways:

  • Click the Go to Check-in Page button in your original check-in email. If you've already checked in, you'll see the check-out options.
  • Log into your Connect site and go to the Need Responses area of your profile.

In addition, as explained previously, these options will be available immediately after you've submitted your check-in time.

Important: To ensure that your volunteer hours are submitted accurately, and to facilitate volunteer management by the nonprofit you're working with, it is important that you submit your check-out time.

You have two options for checking out:

  • Check out with the shift end time: Click this button to show that you're finishing your volunteer work right at the time specified in the need description.
  • Check out with a custom time: Use this option if you'll be leaving early or staying late.

Note: If you submit your check-out time prior to your shift, there is no need to check out when you leave.

Note: If you forget to check out, the system will assume you worked the full shift and your profile will show that you worked the full duration of the shift; this can result in incorrect data for the agency if you left early or stayed late. Always remember to check out, either by scheduling check-out in advance or checking out when you are done. Not only will this help the nonprofit to have accurate data, but it will help prevent an agency supervisor from thinking you're at the volunteer site if you left early and are no longer there.

Viewing Your Volunteer Hours

Regardless of how you check in or check out, your Connect system will calculate the number of hours you worked (based on your check-in and check-out times), and those hours will be submitted automatically to the agency you worked with. To view your hours:

  1. Log in to your Connect site.
  2. From your profile menu, select Track Hours.
  3. You'll be taken to a table showing your hours, along with the status of those hours (Pending, Approved, or Declined).

In this example, the "Buddy Program" hours are marked as Pending. You can edit them as needed until they are approved.

Note: You can also view your hours in your volunteer résumé.

Related Articles

Check out these related articles for volunteers: