Departments are where you track where Volunteers are needed during your event. Most events need volunteers working in multiple locations performing different functions and Departments allow that.
Each Event may have a different mix of Departments that require volunteers so after a Department is created it also needs to be attached to an Event.
Even an individual Department may have needs for multiple locations where they need volunteers to work (for example, a line control department that has multiple entrances they need to cover), so each Department will have one or more Rooms. It is the “Department Rooms” where volunteer requests are tracked.
From the main Departments page you can view a list of your Departments. The Add button allows you to create a new Department, the Edit button to edit an existing department, its Rooms and schedules.
Add a Department¶
From the Department List page, use the Add button to add a Department. A pop-up will open asking for a Department Name. You will also be asked for an Event to connect to the new Department.
Add Department to an Event¶
If the Department was already used for a prior Event, you should add it to your new Event rather than creating a new Department record. This allows you to track history of the Department across multiple events.
To connect an existing Department to a new event, with the Event selected (in the upper right corner), Edit the department. On the Events tab, click on the Add to Event button.
You can also bulk-add departments to events from the Edit Event page.
From the Edit Department page, on the Events tab you can manage some basic information about the Department that are specific to each event.
A place to note the name (or names) of your contact point for this department
A place to a note a phone number or other contact information
- Approval Required?
If volunteers must first be pre-approved to work in this department, enable this option. The volunteer must then be marked approved for the department (on the Volunteer Preferences form) before they will show up as schedule suggestions.
If Approval Required? is set, this Department will only be displayed in the Volunteer Portal if the Volunteer has been pre-approved.
- Visible to Volunteers?
If enabled, this Department will be listed in the Preferred Departments form on the Volunteer Portal, allowing Volunteers to indicate their preferences. (Available Hours must also be set to “Edit” on the Site Settings).
Clicking on the Approved Volunteers button from this page will display a list of Volunteers who have been marked as approved for this Department.
Add a Room¶
Before you can start tracking volunteer requests for a department, you must first add a Room to the Department.
On the bottom of the Events tab (on the Edit Department page), you can specify the Room Name and click the Add Room button.
You may need to reload the Edit Department page after adding an room to see it listed on the Schedule tab.
On the Schedule tab, you can enter the volunteer requests for a Department. If your departments sends volunteer requests by numbers (e.g., “I need 10 volunteers from 10am until 2pm in Lobby A”), that is easy to enter and track from this page.
To enter a request for volunteers, make sure the Room is selected from the drop-down menu. Next, on the schedule grid highlight the time frame of the request. You can mark in 15-minute increments.
With your highlighted select, adjust the request by selecting one of the Set Request Count numbers. You can adjust up or down in increments of 1, 5 and 10.
You can adjust the Display of the schedule grid as follows:
Shows the number of volunteers currently needed during a time frame. This is # requested minus the # scheduled. If all needs are met, the value for that time-frame will be 0.
Shows the requested total from the department.
Shows the number of volunteers actually scheduled.
Scheduling volunteers from this screen is done by selecting an individual from a list of suggestions. Highlight a time-frame on the schedule grid and the Suggestions display will update (underneath the grid).
If the Suggest Available Only checkbox is checked, only volunteers who have marked that time-frame as Available (either from their Volunteer Portal or a manager on the Volunteers page) will be displayed. If unchecked, volunteers with no stated availability preference will also be displayed. If a volunteer has indicated they are not available during that time-frame, the will not be displayed as a suggestion, regardless if the box is checked or not.
This view will display a list of volunteers who are available to be scheduled during the selected time frame. Take note of the Hours (Duration) listed, as a volunteer may not be available for the full time selected. The Rank displays the weight of the suggestion, taking into account a number of factors including a volunteer’s indicated preference for working in that department, their ability to work the full selected time frame, the total number of hours they have been scheduled for already.
Click on the Schedule button next to the volunteer to schedule them. The schedule grid will update to display the new counts. If scheduling a volunteer will put them over their requested Max Hours limits, a warning will be displayed but you are not prevented from scheduling the volunteer.
When highlighting a time-frame on the schedule grid, the Scheduled volunteers will be displayed next to the Suggestions. This shows the actual volunteers scheduled during the selected time-frame (Note, their shift may start or end outside the selected range).
If you would like to un-schedule a volunteer, select the Remove button next to the shift. The schedule grid will update to reflect the new counts.
There are two types of notes you can add on the Edit Department page.
First, Department-level notes can be added from the Notes tab. This is a read-only record of notes used by other managers of the system. Useful for tracking interactions or important things you want the other managers to know about a department, these notes are not visible to volunteers.
To add a department note, enter the note in the text box and click the Add Note button. Notes can not be edited once entered.
The other kind of note is a Schedule Note. On the Schedule tab, With a time-frame on the schedule grid selected, click the Add Note button and enter your note. This note will be displayed any time your selection overlaps the time-frame of the note. These are useful if you have notes specific to an individual shift (e.g., “Need someone able to stand for long periods” or a description of the task). These notes are also visible on the Timeclock interface, but are not visible to volunteers.
You can delete a Schedule Note by clicking the little trash can icon on the note.