Assignment Scheduling

Understanding weekly schedule

Understanding the Weekly Schedule

The Weekly Schedule is the "nerve center" of the Scheduler system.


Understanding daily schedule

Understanding the Daily Schedule

The Daily Schedule gives you a clear view of today's schedule.


Understanding the Offers Inbox

Understanding the Offers Inbox

View the volunteer signups that come in from the Help Wanted page and approve if necessary.


Understanding Ongoing Assignments

Understanding Ongoing Assignments

Review and manage ongoing or recurring assignments for job shifts.


Understanding One Time Events

Understanding One Time Events

How to manage events in the system that only occur once or on a non-routine schedule.


Sending a mass email out to all my volunteers

Volunteer Self-service

Volunteers can sign up for an opening through the public Help Wanted page, or cancel their shift via a cancellation link in reminder notification.


Volunteer Group Calendar

Using Volunteer Groups

Delegate responsibility for an ongoing assignment to an organized group of volunteers.


Q: What are these gold star icons on the Weekly and Daily schedules?

The gold star indicates that the slot has enough ongoing assignments to meet the minimum requirement, and won't usually be "pink" (i.e. short-handed) in future weeks. If a slot has the gold star but it is pink or has a green substitute assignment on this particular day, it's due to a cancellation or time off for one of the "regular" assignees.

This allows you to tell the difference between slots that are short-handed (or have a green one-time assignment) due to a temporary situation (cancellation or time off), and those slots that have a recurring short-handed status, and could really use an ongoing assignment.

Q: What's the difference between a Job and a Position?

A Job has one or more Positions. The main difference between multiple Jobs vs multiple Positions in the same Job is in how they're displayed – each Job gets its own row on the weekly schedule, while all Positions for a Job are shown together in the same “slot”.

Q: Which jobs are shown on the public Help Wanted page?

Jobs are displayed if their Visibility is set to Public (this is set at the job profile), and the Job has at least one "open" shift in the displayed week.

A job shift is "open" if there's at least one position that has fewer volunteer assignments than the "minimum required workers" specified in Job Settings.

If you're a volunteer coordinator, you can look at it this way: a job with visibility set to "Public" will be shown on the public Help Wanted page if it has at least one pink slot on your weekly schedule.

Q: A local company wants to sign up to supply a volunteer to fill the same shift every week, but they might send different people. How should I set that up in the system?

We'd recommend that you define a Company record, e.g. “ACME, Inc”, and add the point person at ACME as a Contact. Then define a “role” Contact under the company, e.g. with first name “ACME - driver” and use this contact for the ongoing assignment. On the schedule it will show that ACME has committed to fill the shift even though you might not know yet which person they'll send.

Q: I have multiple "shifts" for similar jobs on the same day, but with different start times. How do I handle this?

Add them as different positions for the same job, for example "front desk 8-12" and "front desk 12-4" under the job "Reception", from the Jobs/Jobs Settings menu.

Q: A volunteer is going to be out of town for several weeks, what's the best way to cancel all their shifts?

Use the “time off” feature under the Job Schedule section on the right side of the Contact detail page. This allows you to handle vacation or other extended absence without removing the ongoing assignment and putting it back later, or canceling the assignments for each week one at a time.

Q: Which jobs are displayed on the Help Wanted page?

Jobs are displayed if their Visibility is set to Public (this is set at the job profile), and the Job has at least one "open" shift in the displayed week.

A job shift is "open" if there's at least one position that has fewer volunteer assignments than the "minimum required workers" specified in Job Settings.

If you're a volunteer coordinator, you can look at it this way: a job with visibility set to "Public" will be shown on the public Help Wanted page if it has at least one pink slot on your weekly schedule.

Q: I have volunteers who drive every other week. Where/how do I put them in the system?

The "Custom" scheduling option you see in the the Ongoing Assignment form is designed exactly for that. Insert the volunteer, choose "every 2 weeks", pick a start date, and save. It's that simple. The same Custom scheduling feature can also be used when several individuals or groups rotate on an every 3, 4 or 5-weeks schedule.

Q: Do we get email notifications when volunteers sign up for an opening in the Volunteer Portal?

Yes, the "Main Volunteer Coordinator" listed under "System Admin > Our Company" usually gets notified about a sign-up (or cancel). You can also specify separate/additional people to be notified about signups and cancellations happening in different job groups. Go to System Admin > Who Gets Admin Notifications to view and modify who receives notifications of signups various job groups.

Q: Who is notified about a shift signup or "offer"?

Users can be subscribed to receive notifications of all signups, or only signups in specific job groups. These subscriptions can be viewed and modified under System Admin > Who Gets Admin Notifications?

If there are no subscribers, the notification of new signups goes to the main Volunteer Coordinator email address listed in the System Admin > Our Company

Recent signups or "offers" can be viewed in the Offers Inbox on the main menu bar. You may want to read the Offers Inbox tutorial.

Q: What happens when I cancel an assignment?

Canceling an assignment removes the volunteer from his/her previously assigned slot. When you cancel a volunteer's assignment, you're given a choice to record or not record the cancellation. Recording cancellations is useful, because it allows you to later identify unreliable volunteers or problem routes. But you might not want to record a specific cancel because it was done for administrative reasons such as shuffling around assignments, and you don't want it to show up on any calendars or reports. Your options to record are; No Show (this usually recorded when a volunteer did not show up for their job), Late Cancel (this is recorded when a volunteer canceled after the early/late cancellation cutoff time), and Early Cancel (this is recorded when the volunteer canceled before the cutoff time).

Q: How can I give an organization some control in scheduling their own people to volunteer?

Take a look at our Volunteer Groups features. You can make an ongoing assignment to a Group, and every week the Group Leaders can assign the shift to a specific group member without your involvement.

Q: When should I enable the Volunteer Group switch for an Organization?

You can use the Volunteer Groups feature when you'd like to delegate responsibility for certain job shifts to another organization (such as a church group). The most common scenario is that you assign a job to the Group as ongoing assignment, and they take over the weekly task of finding someone to fill the shift (from among the roster of volunteers who are "members" of their group). A Volunteer Group has some additional features and benefits that allow the group members to collaborate (for example find their own substitutes when going on vacation). see the Volunteer Groups tutorial for more info.

Q: Which assignments get the Group Assignment icon on the Weekly schedule?

An assignment is a "Group Assignment" if a) it was once assigned to a Volunteer Group (via the Group Placeholder contact) and b) it was reassigned only within the Group (i.e. from one group member or the group placeholder to another)

Q: What happens if a Group Assignment is canceled?

It depends on who did the cancellation and how. If the Group Leader cancels using the default cancellation option, or the volunteer cancels themselves (using the cancel link in the shift confirmation or through the volunteer portal), the Group retains responsibility for the shift, so the shift is automatically reassigned back to the Group Placeholder and a notification is sent to the Placeholder's email address.

If a Volunteer Coordinator does the cancellation, either directly or by entering a "time off" for the contact, the shift is canceled the same as a regular (non-group) assignment would be, and is not automatically reassigned to the group. The Coordinator has the option of specifying the Group Placeholder as a replacement assignment if they wish the group to retain responsibility for filling the shift.

Q: Can I make a one-time ("green") assignment to a Volunteer Group?

Yes! Here's a useful scenario: Volunteer Coordinator: "Hey Mary, can you get one of your group members to fill in on Route 3 on Friday? I know some of your people know the route because you usually do it on Wednesday..." Mary (Group Leader at St Vincent's Church): "Sure, I'll find someone. Go ahead and assign it to us, I'll take care of it." VC: "Thanks!"

Q: What if I have jobs that only happen once or not on a regular schedule?

We provide One Time Events for this purpose. See the Events section for details.

Q: How can I get the word out about an event?

Each event has a publicly accessible page that lists event details and allows your volunteers to sign up. The Event Signup URL is listed on the Event Detail page... Just copy that URL and mention it in an email to your volunteers or link to it from your public website.

Q: Can volunteers sign themselves up for an event?

Yes! Open events can be displayed on the public help wanted screen and in the Volunteer Portal. Your volunteers can review event details and sign up as with routine jobs.

Q: Can I track credits for volunteer participation in events?

Yes! Each event has fields for associated mileage and hours. These will be counted for the contact's total when the event is closed.

Q: Can I assign an event to a placeholder contact for a volunteer group?

Yes! A group leader in the group can replace the assignment with a group member later.

Q: Can I change where _Events_ show up on weekly, daily, and public schedules?

Yes! One Time Events are a job group. You can set the job groups by going to Jobs > View All Jobs and clicking the Gear icon in the Job Group header on the table. Note: the One Time Event group is always displayed, even when there are no events for the time period shown (for non-event job groups, the entire group is hidden when there are no jobs in the time period displayed.)

Q: What's the difference between 'Cancel', 'Close', and 'Delete' for Events?

  • Cancel - removes the event from schedules and disables signups. Note that assigned volunteers are not automatically notified of the event cancellation. You can re-open the event with original assignments intact. Mileage/hours credits for volunteer assignments are not counted for canceled events.
  • Close - sign off on completed event so that volunteers get credit for hours/miles specified.
  • Delete - remove existing assignments and the details of the event itself. Note that volunteers with assignments are not automatically notified, and there is no way to recover a deleted event.

Add an assignment

Adding an Assignment

Learn how to assign a worker to fill in a short-handed shift.


Cancel an assignment

Canceling an Assignment

Volunteer calls, has a doctors appointment and can't deliver meals. Learn how to cancel their assignment.


Setup a volunteer to be assigned a job on a ongoing basis.

Scheduling a Volunteer for an Ongoing Assignment

Learn how to add a volunteer to a job on a recurring basis. Example: Every Wednesday John delivers meals for Route 1a.


Canceling a workday

Canceling a Work Day

Bad weather, and you need to cancel today's deliveries. Learn how to cancel a work day and notify your volunteers.