When posting a volunteer opportunity in Get Connected, Campus Connect, Community Connect, or Corporate Connect, you'll need to select a duration type (Ongoing, Runs Until, Happens On, Custom Shifts, or Recurring Shifts). This article focuses on:

For more information on the other duration types, click here. For instructions on posting a need, click here.

Click here to view a video on opportunity scheduling.

Custom Shifts

Custom shifts are those that don't occur at the same time each day. Here are some examples of needs that would fit into the "Custom Shifts" category:

  • Multiple shifts within a single day, such as serving shifts at a soup kitchen
  • Shifts that occur at different times on different days
  • Shift that may occur at the same time but require a different number of volunteers each time

Assigning Custom Shifts to a Need

The instructions below assume that you are already on the Create Need page, which you can access by going to your agency manager view, clicking Needs and then clicking Add New Need.

To assign custom shifts to a need:

  1. Select Custom Shifts from the Duration dropdown.
  2. Complete the three Shift fields that appear. These fields are described below.
    FieldDescription
    Shift Date/TimeClick inside this field to view the date/time picker. Choose the date of the shift from the calendar. Choose the time by adjusting the slider below the calendar.
    Shift HoursIndicate how long, in hours, the shift will last. Decimals (such as 2.5) are allowed.

    Note:Type the number only; do not include the word "hours" or any other text.

    Shift CapacityType the number of volunteers that are needed per shift. For example, if you are posting three shifts that require two volunteers each, you would type (not 6). To open the shift to an unlimited number of volunteers, type 0.

    Note:In the volunteer view, the total number of volunteer spots will be shown. Using the above example, volunteers will see that the need has six volunteer spots. After clicking to learn more, the volunteer will see that two spots per shift are needed.

  3. Click Add Shift.
    Once you have added a shift, two things happen: The shift is displayed right below the Add Shift button (shown below) and the Shift Date/Time, Shift Hours, and Shift Capacity fields are cleared.
  4. Complete steps 2 and 3 for all additional shifts for this need. Each time you add a new shift, it will be added to the listing.

    Note:To remove a shift, click the to the left of it, shown in the previous image.

  5. Complete all other required and applicable fields for the need (Allow Team Registration, Address, Interests & Abilities, etc.)
  6. Click Create Need.

    Note: Once you have clicked Create Need for a Custom or Recurring Shift need, you cannot change the duration type.

Once the need has been created, Need Shifts table is displayed at the bottom of the Create Need page.

As volunteers respond to the shifts, the numbers under the Responses heading will be updated.

Note: To edit a shift, click the Edit (pencil) icon for the shift. You can edit the start date, start time, end date, end time, and capacity. Once you have saved the new information, you must refresh your screen to see the change reflected in the Need Shifts table. You will also be prompted to reach out to anyone who has already responded to the edit shift, to inform them of the change.

Recurring Shifts

The "Recurring Shifts" option is for repeating shifts of needs. Here are some examples:

  • An agency serves food seven days a week and needs volunteers to work dinner shifts, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • A thrift store needs volunteers to sort donated clothes on the first Saturday of every month.
  • A nonprofit needs volunteers to tutor students after school on Wednesdays

The Recurring Shifts designation is for shifts that occur at the same time of day.If your shifts occur at different times, whether within the same day or on different days, you should use the Custom Shifts designation instead.

Assigning Recurring Shifts to a Need

The instructions below assume that you are already on the Create Need page, which you can access by going to your agency manager view, clicking Needs and then clicking Add New Need.

To assign recurring (repeating) shifts to a need:

  1. Select Recurring Shifts from the Duration dropdown. You will see two new required fields: an Occurs dropdown and a Capacity field.
  2. From the Occurs dropdown, select the repeating time interval: Daily, Weekly,or Monthly.
  3. If you select Monthly, you'll need to specify if the need should occur by Date(e.g., the 15th of every month) or by Day of the Week (e.g., the first Saturday of every month).
  4. Complete the additional fields that are displayed. Click here to jump to the field descriptions.
  5. In the Capacity field, type the number of volunteers needed for each shift (not for all shifts combined). For example, if you are posting three shifts that require two volunteers each, you would type (not 6) for each shift. To open the shift to an unlimited number of volunteers, type 0.

    Note: In the volunteer view, the total number of volunteer spots will be shown. Using the above example, volunteers will see that the need has six volunteer spots. After clicking to learn more, the volunteer will see that two spots per shift are needed.

  6. Fill out any other required and applicable fields.
  7. Click Create Need.

    Note: Once you have clicked Create Need, you cannot change the duration type for Custom Shift and Recurring Shift needs.

Once you've clicked Create Need, a Need Shifts table is displayed at the bottom of the Create Need page.

As volunteers respond to the shifts, the numbers under the Responses heading will be updated.

Note: To edit a shift, click the Edit (pencil) icon for the shift. You can edit the start date, start time, end date, end time, and capacity. Once you have saved the new information, you must refresh your screen to see the change reflected in the Need Shifts table. You will also be prompted to reach out to anyone who has already responded to the edit shift, to inform them of the change.

Recurring Shifts: Additional Fields

Depending on whether you select Daily, Weekly, or Monthly for recurring shifts, you'll be given some additional fields to complete.

Daily Shifts

Once you select Daily from the Occurs dropdown, you'll see these additional fields:

Additional FieldDescription
Repeat Every ... day(s)Indicate how often the shift repeats. A selection of 1 indicates that the shift occurs every day, while a selection of 2 indicates every other day.
Date RangeClick inside these fields to view the date/time pickers. Select the start and end dates that the need should be available for volunteer sign-up.
Start TimeIndicate the shift's start time.

Note: If shifts occur at different times each day, you should use the Custom Shifts duration.

HoursIndicate how long, in hours, the shift will last. Decimals (such as 2.5) are allowed.

Note:Type the number only; do not include the word "hours" or any other text.

Weekly Shifts

Once you select Weekly from the Occurs dropdown, you'll see these additional fields:

Additional FieldDescription
Repeat Every ... week(s)Indicate how often the shift repeats. A selection of 1 indicates that the shift occurs once a week, while a selection of 2 indicates every other week.
Repeats OnSelect the day(s) on which the need occurs each week. In the example below, the need occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.
Date RangeClick inside these fields to view the date/time pickers. Select the start and end dates that the need should be available for volunteer sign-up.
Start TimeIndicate the shift's start time.

Note:If shifts occur at different times each week, you should use the Custom Shifts duration.

HoursIndicate how long, in hours, the shift will last. Decimals (such as 2.5) are allowed.

Note:Type the number only; do not include the word "hours" or any other text.

Monthly Shifts

Once you select Monthly from the Occurs dropdown, you'll have the option of choosing by Date(for example, the 15th of every month) or by Day of the Week(for example, the first Monday of every month). After making your selection, you'll see these additional fields:

Additional NeedDescription
Repeat Every ... month(s)Indicate how often the shift repeats. A selection of 1 indicates that the shift occurs once a month, while a selection of 2 indicates every other month.
Date RangeClick inside these fields to view the date/time pickers. Select the start and end dates that the need should be available for volunteer sign-up.
Start TimeIndicate the shift's start times.

Note:If shifts occur at different times each month, you use the Custom Shifts duration.

HoursIndicate how long, in hours, the shift will last. Decimals (such as 2.5) are allowed.

Note:Type the number only; do not include the word "hours" or any other text.

Note: If you selected to have the need recur monthly by Day of the Week, the system will use your Start Date selection and schedule the shift accordingly. For example, if you select March 2, which happens to be the first Thursday of the month, the need will be scheduled for the first Thursday of every month thereafter, ending with the first Thursday of the month that occurs before the end date.

Automated Notifications for Shifts

As mentioned above, it's easy to edit or remove an instance of a shift after it has been created. If you remove a shift that already has responses, an email notification will be sent to those volunteers, letting them know that they have been unregistered from the shift.

If a volunteer responds to multiple shifts, the volunteer will get a single confirmation email listing all of the shifts. The agency manager, however, will get a separate email for each shift response by a volunteer.

As you will learn in the following section, volunteers will be notified of updates to a shift if you click the Notify respondents check box before submitting your changes.

Editing Shifts within a Need

Once you have created a shift need, you can edit the dates, times, the capacities (number of volunteer slots) for individual shifts.

To edit a shift within a need:

  1. Go to the Needs section of your agency management area.
  2. Click on the shift need, or click Edit under the need title.
  3. Scroll down to the Need Shifts area, which is a table listing all of the scheduled shifts.
  4. Click the "pencil" icon for the shift you wish to edit.
  5. In the Edit Shift window that opens, revise the start date, start time, end date, end time, and capacity as needed. (To open the shift to an unlimited number of volunteers, enter 0 as the capacity.)
  6. If volunteers have already responded to this shift and you wish to notify them of changes to the date or time, mark the Notify respondents of this update?check box.
  7. Click Submit Shift. If you clicked to notify respondents of the update, a message with the updated information will be sent to all volunteers who were registered for the shift.

Shifts and Volunteer Check-in

If your agency uses the Volunteer Check-in feature, or if your volunteers use Self Check-in, your volunteers' hours will be automatically calculated based on one of two things:

  • If the volunteer checks in but never checks out, the system attributes the number of hours you entered when posting the need.
  • If the volunteer checks out, the system attributes the number of hours between check-in and check-out.

If volunteers check in using your agency check-in tool, their hours will be approved automatically. If they use Self Check-in, the hours will follow the approval rules of your site.

Shifts and Volunteer Waitlists

If your site has enabled the waitlist feature, you will be able to view which volunteers have been waitlisted for which shifts.

Viewing the Volunteer Waitlist

To view the volunteer waitlist for a shift need:

  1. Go to the Needs area of your site manager panel.
  2. Click on the Edit link to pull up the need-posting page.
  3. Scroll down to the Waitlist table at the bottom of the page. The table displays a waitlisted volunteer's name and email address, the date the volunteer was added to the waitlist, the shift they're waitlisted for, and the number of open spots for the shift.

Note that you can export the waitlist to a spreadsheet as needed.

Moving a Volunteer from "Waitlisted" to "Registered"

When a spot opens up for a shift, the waitlisted volunteers will automatically be notified five minutes after the spot opens. The spot is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Note: A spot may open up if a volunteer unregisters from a need, or if an agency manager or site manager manually removes a response.

Once a spot is available, you have the option to convert someone's waitlist status to a registered response. In the image below, note that there is an open spot for the shift displayed:

If a spot is available, the Options column includes a "plus" icon.

To convert the waitlisted item to a response, click the plus sign, and then click Yes to confirm. The volunteer will immediately be notified that they are now registered for the shift, and they will be expected to show up at the scheduled date and time.

Rather watch the movie? Check out this video on managing waitlists!

How Shift Needs Look to Volunteers

Shift needs, like all other needs, appear as "cards" on your site.

For shift needs, a volunteer will see "Multiple Shifts Available" on the need card.

Once they click to view details, they will see a list of all available shifts. If team sign-ups are allowed, the option to respond as a team will be available.

If they click Respond Individually to respond individually, they'll be taken to the Need Response page, where they can provide any additional information and complete their response.

If they click Respond as Team, they'll be taken to an area where they can name their team and add members.

If they click Respond to Multiple, they will be taken to another list of shifts, where they can mark the boxes of the shifts they wish to fill.

Note: The Respond to Multipleoption is not available for team sign-ups. Any past are shown in faded text. A volunteer can click the Show All dropdown to select to view only those needs that occur on a certain day of the week.

The Volunteer Viewpoint: Responding to Shift Opportunities

Click here to learn more about signing up for shift needs from the volunteer's perspective.