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Types of Signups
When adding a new sign-up sheet, there are four Event Types you can choose from:
- Single — This is for an event that happens on just one day. You will only be able to enter one date on the tasks screen that will apply to all items/tasks for this event type.
- Recurring — This is for an event that recurs on multiple days, but has the exact same items/tasks needed for each occurrence. For example, our school has Popcorn Fridays almost every Friday, and we need two poppers and one cashier each Friday. On the tasks screen for this event type, there will be a multi-date select box to allow you to set all the dates for this event, and then all of the tasks you enter will show up for each one of those dates. NOTE, it is possible to eventually fill up all the space allocated to this dates field, so if you have an event that recurs a very large number of times, you may need to limit how many upcoming dates you list at one time and deselect old dates after they have passed. We came across this problem with our Popcorn Fridays event for our school, but after I figured out the problem, I more than doubled the available size for this field.
- Multi-Day — This is an event that happens across more than one day, but that has different tasks/items needed for each day. For example, we use it for our Book Fairs, where we have a “set up” day and a “take down” day where we just need a certain number of bodies to help, and then for the week of the book fair we need a certain number of cashiers and book finders/floaters for each day. For these Multi-Day event types, each task/item has its own single date picker field to specify the date for that item/task.
- Ongoing — This type of sheet doesn’t have any dates associated with it. These are for more general volunteer type opportunities that don’t have specific date/time type requirements, but are needed at various times throughout the year. For example, you could use it to get volunteers for Yearbook photographers, Webmasters, Art Docents, classroom helpers, etc.
Adding a New Sign Up
You can create a new sign-up sheet by clicking on the “Add New” button at the top of the “All Sheets” list. The forms for entering a new sign-up sheet are split across 2 pages.
- Sheet: Fill in the event type and details. In effect, you create a home page for the signup.
- Tasks: Set up all the items/tasks you need volunteers for. Once a sheet has been saved, there will be an “Edit Sheet” and an “Edit Tasks” link for each sheet when you hover over the name.
Add / Edit Sheet
This is the page where you set up the Event Title, Type of Event, Contact Info, and the Event Details. There are a lot of fields, but you can ignore most. Focus on the following:
- Event Type: You can only select the Event Type when adding a new sheet. Once that sheet has been saved, you can’t change its event type as the task data is saved differently for each type of event and would not translate properly to a different event type.
- View with Calendar: leave set to No Calendar View.
- Groups: Select most appropriate choice from drop-down. Contact us if you need a new group.
- Customizer Email Options: Use defaults.
- Custom Fields: Use defaults, except for the following:
- 1st/2nd Reminder Days: Set for 7 and 2 (or your choice)
- Allow Duplicate Signup Times: set depending on your needs.
- Contact Info: This is required. We generally do not show this information on the pages. The software uses it to send you alerts.
- Program Event Details: While this is optional, we recommend using it. In effect, you are creating a home page for this event or project. Your description appears above the tasks.
Here is some additional documentation.
- No Signup Event? Checking this box lets you create an event that doesn’t need anyone to sign up, but still lets you create simple tasks/items. This is so you can show other types of events, which don’t require volunteers, in the main sheet list, the widget, or the calendar extension.
- Reminders: You can have up to two automatic email reminders sent out to volunteers. To set up a reminder, simply enter the number of days before the task/event date that you want the email sent. For example, you may want to send out the first set of reminders 7 days before an event/task, and the second set of reminders the day before. If you don’t want any reminders sent, just leave these fields blank or set them to 0. Note that the date that the reminder function checks against is the date for each task, so it works properly for recurring events or multi-day events. If you use an Ongoing even type, these fields won’t have any effect and reminders won’t be sent.
- Clear links and # of days: You can decide if you want to allow volunteers to be able to clear themselves from an item/task they signed up for. Uncheck the box to completely disable the clear links for all signups on the sheet. If you leave it checked, you can also specify a # of days before the event after which they can no longer clear their signups. For example, if you set this to 2 for a task/item scheduled for a Friday, then they can only clear their signups before Wednesday. From Wednesday on the clear link will not be shown. Please note that this only works if your volunteers all have user accounts on your site and if they were logged into their account when they signed up, or, if they weren’t logged in, they used their registered email. They only see the list of items they have signed up for on the main sign-up sheet page if they are logged into their user account.
- Allow Duplicate Signup Times? Allows volunteers to sign-up for different tasks (on the same sheet) that have overlapping times.
- Contact Info: You must enter at least one name and email. Multiple names and emails can be entered by separating each by a comma.
- Program/Event Details: Although this field is optional, it is probably the best place to put all your detailed info about an event that you want to present on a sign-up page.
Add / Edit Tasks / Items
The page to add or edit tasks/items should also be mostly self-explanatory, but a few things will change depending on the type of event selected.
- For Single and Recurring event types, the first field on the page will be for date/dates. For Single events, you may select only one date with the pop-up date picker. For Recurring events, you can select many dates, but you MUST select at least 2 dates.
- For Multi-Day events, the main difference is that the date field at the top will be removed, and instead each Task/Item will have its own date field, for which you can pick only one date.
- For Ongoing events, you will not see any date fields at all on the add/edit tasks page. Everything else functions the same as above.
You can add and delete tasks by clicking the (+)(-) buttons on any task. You can change the order of tasks by dragging the double-arrow to the left of each task.
The only required fields for Tasks/Items is a name and # of People/Items needed. If you don’t enter a number for # of People/Items needed, the plugin will assume you meant to enter a 1 and fill that in for you when you save the tasks. Other fields are optional.
- Start / End Times: Bear in mind that, if you enter overlapping times, a volunteer who signs up for a morning shift won’t be able to sign up for an afternoon shift if the shift times overlap – unless you have allowed overlapping signups when you set up the sheet.
- Signup Template: Use default.
- Add/Edit Task Description – You can add an optional description for each task. A small textarea input will open where you can add the description. (Advanced users: you can use HTML codes like <b></b> for formatting).
- Enable Quantities: Check if you want to allow someone to sign up several people under their name. The drawback of allowing this is that you never get the name and email of the other volunteers.
- Details Needed – Allows you to ask for one additional piece of information to collect from volunteers. We usually use it to capture tee shirt size.
- Visibility: If you want to create a signup but don’t want it to be visible to the public yet, click on visibility to toggle between No and Yes. [Be careful not to click unless you want to change this.]
- Under each sheet name, you will see several choices.
- View Sign-ups: Takes you to a sheet that summarizes current signups. Allows you to export to Excel, PDF and to Print.
- Edit Sheet / Edit Tasks: Allows you to edit the sheet and to edit / add tasks.
- Copy: Makes a copy of the sheet, appending “copy” to the name. Useful if you have a couple of events that have very similar requirements, as it will copy all sheet and tasks you have entered, and then you can change the name and any other details on the copy you created for the second event. Does NOT copy signups and does NOT change any dates or times (you need to manually edit and change those)
- Reschedule/Copy: Opens a new form allowing you to choose from three methods: Reschedule, Copy, and Multi-Copy. These functions will change dates/times and will optionally copy signups as well. You can also optionally send the Reschedule emails. More details on each function below. Currently only works with Single and Multi-Day sheets
- Reschedule — You can select a new sheet date for Single type sheets, or a new date for each task for Multi-Day type sheets. For either sheet type you can optionally also select new start and end times for each task (leave blank to keep the original start/end times). Reschedule does NOT create any new database entries. Instead it modifies the dates and times of the existing sheet, tasks, and signups.
- Copy. You can create an all new copy of the sheet, tasks, and optionally signups, to new dates and times. Works the same way as reschedule, with the same form options, except that the old sheet, tasks, and signups are not changed.
- Multi-Copy. This function can be used as a sort of work around to create repeating style events, that repeat at a certain interval of days.
- Trash – Trash doesn’t delete a sheet permanently. It moves it to the trash bin. [Please don’t ever empty the trash. You can click on the trash tab to view and recover an old event.]