Configuring a new activity
Activities can be customised to suit a range of operating conditions. Let’s learn a little more about the settings you’ll encounter when creating an activity.
What is an activity?
See our Activities systems overview here.
Who can create the Activities?
- Program Managers can only create activities for the program(s) they are manager of
- Admins can create activities for any program
Where do I create an activity?
By heading to the Activities Console, you will see the "Create Activity" which will bring up the activity creation screen.
When you first create an activity, we’ll ask you to fill out some basics.
- Name: Give your activity a unique, memorable name. The name is used to identify the activity and will be the primary title for your activity across all interfaces for your management team and your volunteers.
- Program: Select the activity's program. Admins can select any program that exists whereas Program Managers will only be able to select the program(s) they are a manager of.
- Description (Optional): Click Add a description to include additional information on the activity. Activity descriptions are visible to all volunteers able to view the activity. This is a great space to add in some instructions or general information about the activity.
Choose the privacy settings for your activity. Consider how you want volunteers to find the activity and join the team.
- Requires Approval: This is where you can set to have an approval stage for your activity by your management team (this includes your Activity Leaders). This is helpful if the activity requires a certain kind of volunteer (e.g. it is high risk or requires specified skills). Once approved, a volunteer can start selecting their availability for upcoming rosters.
- Open Activity: This is the opposite to the Requires Approval setting. Essentially this means that the activity is open to volunteers in that program to join immediately and start indicating their availabilities for upcoming rosters.
- Hidden Activities: Hiding the activity if you want to remove it from volunteers’ view. Hidden activities will only be visible to volunteers who are on the team. Managers can still see all hidden activities through the Activities Console.
For this section, you’ll need to consider the frequency of your activity. Some activities will be very regular, and recurring, while others might be sporadic or ad-hoc. Choose your activity type, and set the time frame using start and end dates.
Regular activities run according to a set frequency and have recurring rosters. They are ideal for repeating activities that use the same structure each time.
- Start date: A start date is required to define the first date that the activity will run.
- End date (Optional): You can add an end date if you want to define a set time frame for your activity.
- Frequency: Select a frequency for your activity to recur. This recurrence will be based on the start date that you selected.
- Doesn’t repeat: only a single roster and report will be expected on the selected start date
- Daily: rosters and reports will be expected every day between the start and end dates
- Weekly: rosters and reports will be expected once per week, on the day of the selected start date (e.g. Weekly on Thursday)
- Monthly on date: the rosters and reports will fall every month on the same date (e.g. Monthly on the 16th)
- Monthly on day: recurrence will be every month on the same week and day (e.g. Monthly on the third Monday)
Regular activities will generate an empty roster for each day that the frequency setting would expect, between the start and end dates. It’s up to you and your team to ensure that the rosters are used; which means publishing them on the dates the activity will be running, and cancelling them on the days that it doesn’t.
Flexible activities do not run according to a set frequency. Rosters will need to be created individually; reports can then be submitted in response to the created rosters.
Flexible activities are perfect for things that run irregularly, or for any kind of work that doesn’t have a predictable daily, weekly, or monthly frequency.
Be sure to check out the intro to rosters and the chapter on creating instant rosters if you’re new to activities, or trying out flexible activities for the first time.
- (Optional) Start and end dates: Start and end dates are not required here, but can be added if the activity does have a distinct time frame.
In 'Roster Settings' you'll be able to select a roster type that best suits the operating model of the activity. Consider how you would like volunteers to view and interact with the rosters for this activity.
For activities with more requirements around which volunteers are rostered on, managed rosters allows managers to control the rostering and publication process entirely. Volunteers can indicate the sessions they're available for, and managers will be able to select which volunteers they would like to attend the activity.
For more casual volunteering opportunities that don't require rosters to be looked after by managers, open rosters would be the ideal roster type as they can be entirely self-managed by volunteers. Volunteers can add and remove themselves, but managers can also make changes to open rosters from their side.
Every activity needs at least one session. Sessions give you a way of breaking down an activity into chunks. You can use these chunks to describe sequential shifts, parallel blocks of work, individual start/middle/end reports, and loads more.
Each session is tied to a report type. Report types are the customised sets of questions that include your impact data fields. Breaking an activity into multiple sessions is an easy way to allow different teams to record data over the same period of time, or across the duration of the activity.
You can also dedicate sessions to smaller reports and leave a single session at the end of an activity to a larger, final report.
Let’s take a look at what goes into a session.
- Session name: Pick a session name that describes what will be going on. Make each session name unique within the activity, and be sure to choose something that makes sense to you and your volunteers.
- Description (Optional): You can add a description to include additional info for volunteers who join the activity.
- Alternative location (Optional): Sessions will default to the activity location (which you choose in the following section), but you can specify a different location on sessions if needed. We cover activity location selection in the next part of this guide.
- Start and end time (Optional): Most sessions will have a known start time and end time. If the session does not occur at a set time, you can choose to leave these fields blank. The overall activity time will be taken from the earliest start and latest end time across all sessions.
- Volunteer numbers: Indicate the minimum number of volunteers that the roster should expect for each session. You can at a maximum too if appropriate. Currently these numbers are for display only, and do not affect any functionality of the volunteer availability or roster building.
- Report type: A report type is required for each session. You can choose a pre-existing report type from the dropdown. This selection will correspond to the report that your team submits at the end of each session. Consider breaking bigger reports into their own small session if intermediary reports don’t need to collect as much data. Admins can also create new report types at this step. See our article here for report type creation.
Here you describe where your activity is taking place. All of your sessions so far, unless indicated otherwise, will inherit this location. This is the location that will set its pin on the Activities Console and the Activities pages.
Use the location field to search for any address. You will need to click on one of the dropdown options in order for the activity to save overall.
If your activity is online, or doesn’t have any physical location then you can make it a remote activity. Remote activities can have a link or phone number attached. Remote info is only visible to volunteers who are part of the activity’s team.
Attachments can be added to an activity. You can upload most images, files, or documents by clicking on Attach a File from Your Computer. Volaby will allow for any type of file format as long as each file uploaded is under 10MB. Attachments are visible to all volunteers who can view the activity in their Activities page.
Your save button is located at the top of the screen, on the right hand side.