Create a volunteer schedule, send invitations for the volunteer to accept/decline, and automate reminders
A Service Volunteer Template is a boilerplate where you can set the standard number of volunteers needed for a particular role on a team (group) for a worship service, Sunday School hour, or any other gathering. They are designed to be used over and over, by adding a date-specific schedule to the template.
Templates will save you time by not having to designate the needed roles each time you are ready to schedule volunteers. All you have to do is select the people to fill those roles.
Setting up a volunteer schedule involves three steps initially:
Once you complete the first two steps for a ministry, you will be able to skip those in the future and skip right to schedule and invite volunteers.
Preparation - Create Groups and Roles
Volunteer scheduling begins with a group. We recommend that you first set up your volunteers into volunteer ministry groups if they are not already. This allows for ease of communication from the leader as well as scheduling volunteers.
The next step in preparing for your volunteer schedule set up is to ensure that you have Group Roles properly set. To set up Group Roles, go to Groups & Events > Settings > Group Roles. On this page, add a Group Role (to be used in any group) by entering the name of the Group Role (Ex: Vocalist) and clicking the blue "Add Group Role" button. Next, check the box for any Ministry in which Groups will use the newly created Group Role.
Create Service Templates
Go to Groups & Events > Service Volunteers.
*If you are new to Churchteams, you will see a sample Template already created for you. You can use this and make modifications to suit your needs or follow the instructions below to start a Template from scratch.
- To Create a Template, click the blue button to the right of "Service Volunteer Templates." Give it a name and default service time. We recommend a name based on when you will use the Template and possibly the ministry using the template. Ex: Sunday Morning Worship or Sunday Children's. Click OK. You will add Groups to use this template next.
- From the drop-down menu in the Template, Add the Teams (existing Groups) for which you are going to schedule volunteers.
- Indicate the number of volunteers needed for each Group Role.
*Note that you may not use all Group Roles shown, as some Group Roles are just used for group members and not volunteer positions.
Click Save when done. This can be edited later by clicking the Edit icon in the upper right corner once the template has been saved.
- Continue adding teams that will use this Service Template, and adding the number of volunteers needed within that team. The number needed for each role and the roles filled for each team can vary within a Service Template. See the image below, with 4 teams added to the Sunday Children's Ministry Template. This template is complete and ready for schedules to be added.
Create Service Schedules & Invite Volunteers
- To create a Volunteer Service Schedule, go to Groups & Events > Service Volunteers, then click the button to the right of the Template you want to use to add a Schedule. Give the Schedule a Name and Date. Click OK.
- The Template shows you the teams you are scheduling unless this is the first time you've used the template (in which case you will need to add teams). If needed, you can add more teams from the drop-down menu.
The menu icon to the right of the team name allows you to add people, email or text the team, re-send schedule invitations. and edit the template settings (including the reminder schedule).
By clicking on the name of the team, you can edit the Substitute preferences and the Reminder message. The default Substitute preference for the team will be the last used setting for this team, or "No Substitutes" if you have never previously used this team.
- Click the blue under each Group Role listed to begin assigning or requesting volunteers for that Role.
- Make selections for scheduling team members by checking the box to the right of their name and choosing the Group Role. Click Save. There are other options for adding people, choosing all group members, pre-confirming, and allowing the choice of role. See below.
A: Add people - a quick way to add someone to your team without having to leave the Schedule to go to the Group. *This person will be added to the Group roster as well.
B: Use the "All" or "None" buttons to quickly select or deselect everyone on the team.
C: Quickly change everyone on the team to allow for a choice of role. Team members will choose their role when accepting the invitation to serve, according to how many positions are open for each Group Role.
D: Use the "All" or "None" buttons to quickly pre-confirm everyone or no one on the team. Pre-confirming means that they will be assigned rather than invited to a role and the position will show as "accepted" for the person right away. A reminder will still be sent, but an invitation will not.
E: Each team member's name is hyperlinked to their member profile, where you can view their Volunteer Schedule in its entirety/see any schedule conflicts.
F: Conflict Warning: This symbol is used as an alert that the member is already scheduled on another team at this same time. Click the member name to view their volunteer schedule and see the conflict.
G: Choose the Group Role(s) for each team member on an individual basis. More than one Group Role can be selected for each person, using the drop-down menu.H: Pre-confirm at the individual level (rather than for all).
- Created Schedules remain in Draft mode until you are ready to send invitations out. This allows you to create multiple Schedules, then send your drafts at once. Send/invite team members by accessing the menu to the right of the Schedule name and date on the Template page (Groups & Events > Service Volunteer Templates).
You can also copy/duplicate a Schedule or delete a Schedule via this menu.
After clicking "Send/Invite" choose which drafts to send out, so that all invitations can be sent in one email.
- Volunteers are sent an invitation for the volunteer schedule. From the link in that email, they are able to accept, decline and in cases where you have made the setting available, place a substitute. Read more about Accepting, Declining, and using Substitutes.
*The Templates page (Groups & Events > Volunteers Service Templates) will display a number on each service schedule indicating open positions and conflicts for you to resolve. You can see the schedule of those who've responded by clicking the Schedule Name. There you can email, text, or re-send invitations within each Team menu.
*By default, the system will send out reminders 6 days and 1 day before they are scheduled to serve. To change the reminder schedule, go to Groups & Events > Service Volunteers. Click the Schedule you want to edit, then Settings from the menu located in the upper right corner of the team. This will update the reminder schedule for just this team.
Service Volunteer Briefing Video
Join the Churchteams team and many users for this detailed overview of Service Volunteers.