Public release date: Aug 12, 2020
Intro to the Enhancements
In this release, we focused on scheduling and calendar-based use cases. These features will predominantly benefit Community Connect clients, but there are plenty of uses that will benefit Get Connected and Campus Connect sites as well. Additionally, we updated the way recurring needs work so that shifts can be extended into the future much more easily.
Convenient ways to access the tool
First, the Schedule feature is easier to find now that it is in the left navigation of your site. Also, it's easy to find shifts on the calendar and take action on them. There are lots of places in the back end of the site that will now help a site manager jump to the new scheduling tool. The same is true for volunteers who have responded to a need. It is easy to find them and take action for them. This will save site managers time and help them take action without navigating away.
Scheduling one or many volunteers for shifts
It is now easier than ever to schedule one volunteer for multiple shifts, multiple volunteers for a shift, or multiple volunteers for multiple shifts. Find the shifts you need, filter for users, and create responses all at once. This will speed up scheduling tasks that site managers and agency managers have had to perform one at a time until now.
The scheduling tool gives clear alerts instead of creating barriers
Site managers have always had a lot of power, and the scheduling tool makes sure they continue to have that power and are able to make informed choices about how they use it. The scheduling tool will inform managers of missing qualifications, scheduling conflicts, availability conflicts, and missing answers to required questions while still letting them create responses in those situations.
Site managers can allow agencies to use the scheduling tool
If this sounds like a tool you want your agency managers to have, you can give it to them. Sharing this tool with agency managers is a great way to distribute work and empower others to help manage the site. They'll be able to schedule users just like a site manager, except they won't be able to double book a user if they have a response that would prevent them from working on a shift. Agency managers will only have access to volunteers who have previously worked with them.
The calendars for volunteers, agency managers, and site managers have been updated and revised for their unique use cases
Our calendars used to have some differences for the various user types that use our sites, but it was limited. Each user type will now see information and features that will help them in their unique use case. This will speed up responses by volunteers, help agencies manage their time, and help site managers with accountability, planning, and management.
Managers can use the calendar to launch all sorts of tools
In the calendar, managers will now see "contextual menus" that let them access a number of features across the site. For example, by clicking on a volunteer opportunity on the calendar you will see a dropdown with actions appropriate to that opportunity. This will speed up your ability to perform basic tasks like editing responses or canceling shifts. For some site managers, this will make the calendar a sort of home base of daily management.
Managers can export a list of the volunteers for any date
Site managers can export a printable roster of the volunteers who will be coming in on any given day. This will create easy references for front desk staff and volunteer managers in the field who are not able to access their computers.
New icons, including capacity icons, for at-a-glance info
Icons that appear on calendars have all been updated to provide quickly digestible information relevant to the viewer. Managers will see the most sophisticated icons, including a capacity gauge so they know how full shifts are, as well as icons showing that hours have been submitted for past shifts. Information in the calendars will now be more eye-catching and easier to read quickly.
Calendars show a "daily" view
You can now get more detail of what's happening on any given day in the calendar with the daily view popup. This view will be the default on mobile, and it will help us display details that would not fit on a month view.
"Ongoing" and "runs until" needs now appear on the calendar
Because we have a daily view, we now have a way to display "ongoing" and "runs until" needs to volunteers as they browse the calendar. This will give the most accurate picture of what a volunteer can do on a given day.
Some Important Extras
You can add more shifts to recurring needs
Until now, a recurring need could not have shifts added once it was created. After a reorganization of how shifts are displayed to site managers and agency managers, you are now able to create additional shifts for a need at any time. Use this feature to maintain and update your recurring needs as they evolve. You can also edit shifts more easily.
Availability can be marked "required" and users can request not to be scheduled
The availability question that appears on user registration and user profiles can be marked required. This will help sites obtain better information about who is free during the week, and that will help them schedule users with our new features. Filters for users' availability have been updated as well so that you can find users who have not answered this important question. Knowing a volunteer's availability is best, but site managers will have the ability to schedule volunteers if they have not completed the availability part of their profile.
Response notes are available to agency managers
Agency managers can see the notes added when responses are created. This will let them get important messages from volunteers and important messages added by site managers when they use our new scheduling tool.