Intro to rosters
What is a roster?
Rosters are an essential ingredient in every Volaby recipe. Every activity should feature at least one roster at some point. Rosters provide your volunteers with important communication and visibility around the dates and times that they're expected to attend activities.
Remembering back to the lifecycle of an activity:
- You create an activity to describe a volunteering opportunity, configure roster settings and add session(s) to breakdown the work
- Volunteers apply and join the team, or are added to the team by managers
- Volunteers will need to choose their availability for upcoming dates (rosters) and times (sessions).
- Managed rosters are then published to let people know they’ve been selected for specific dates and times OR if your activity uses open rosters, volunteers will be able to join the roster immediately.
- Volunteers attend the activity and do their thing!
- Reports are submitted to capture volunteer hours and custom impact data from each session
- Repeat steps 3 to 6 forever, or until the activity time frame is over
What types of rosters are there?
When creating an activity, the type of roster can be configured through the Roster Settings section.
Volunteers indicate availability, managers or activity leaders are responsible for selecting the team and publishing the roster.
Volunteers can add and remove themselves from the roster freely.
To add volunteers to an open roster, managers and activity leaders will have to follow the same process of selecting and publishing volunteers as a managed roster.
Managers and activity leaders can also remove volunteers who have added themselves to an open roster, however doing so will prevent removed volunteers from being able to add themselves back to the roster.
Where do rosters come from?
All rosters begin in an empty state. Empty rosters are marked by a ‘not started’ label on the Directory. On an empty roster, none of the sessions will have had any volunteers assigned to them, and the roster will not yet have been drafted or published.
For regular activities
Regular activities will have empty rosters generated for all of the dates prescribed by the frequency that was selected when the activity was created. These rosters won’t be generated beyond the end date if one was chosen. You can create additional rosters for dates other than the ones generated by the activity frequency; we call these instant rosters.
For flexible activities
Flexible activities, on the other hand, will not generate any empty rosters. You’ll need to create an instant roster for each date that you’ll run the activity. Using instant rosters is not optional when working with flexible activities, so understanding how instant rosters work is crucial to most teams on Volaby.
Create an instant roster
Instant rosters should be created as needed. They’re mostly used in flexible activities to designate dates that the activity will be running. Besides flexible activities, instant rosters can also be used to create ad-hoc rosters on regular activities in case the activity needs to run on a date that doesn’t match the normal frequency.
What you’ll need to create an instant roster:
- Program manager or admin privileges
Adding a new instant roster
You’ll usually want to begin by selecting the activity that you’re creating the roster for. Find and select the activity from the activities console map view. With the activity overview open (or at any point from the activity console timeline view) hit the Add Roster button at the bottom of the monthly directory.
We can now fill in the details to add the instant roster. Normally, the only thing that needs to be picked is the date. If you already selected an activity beforehand, the program and activity won’t need to be changed; otherwise you’ll need to choose the program and activity manually.
- (Pre-filled) Program: Select a different program to access other activities
- (Pre-filled) Activity: Only activities from the selected program will be shown here
- Date: Select the date for this roster
- (Inherited) Location: The location for an Instant roster is inherited from the Activity but can be overridden if needed.
- (Optional) Notes: Add notes to share specific info with volunteers once they’re rostered.
- (Inherited) Sessions: All sessions that belong to the original activity will be included on the instant roster. Inherited sessions cannot be edited at this time.
With all of these details complete, the instant roster can be created. You’ll be taken to the newly generated empty roster for the date that was selected. From there you’ll add volunteers like any other roster.
Delete an Instant Roster
An instant roster can be deleted if it has not been published. This will usually be needed if an instant roster was created for an incorrect date, or activity. Instant rosters that have already been published cannot be deleted, and must be cancelled. This allows Volaby to notify rostered volunteers of the change.
An instant roster that is deleted will be removed entirely from the timeline. This can’t be undone, but another instant roster can always be created in place of the deleted roster.
Editing an Instant Roster
The date, notes, and location on an instant roster can be edited so long as the roster has not run. To edit these details open the roster from the timeline and hit Edit Roster, located next to the publish button.
If you’re changing the date of an already published roster, you will be prompted to cancel this existing roster. Volunteers will be notified of the cancellation and the roster will have to be rebuilt.
Rostering with Activities
Rosters are accessed via the Directory on the Activities Console interface. Click on an upcoming date to view the editable roster screen for the selected activity running on a specific date.
Rostering is done across the Activity like a timetable. Managed rosters must still be published for volunteers to be notified, whereas open rosters can be self-managed by volunteers. Cancelling a roster will notify all volunteers immediately via email.
- Activity Leaders can only edit rosters for the Activities that they are an Activity Leader for.
- Program Managers can edit rosters for any Activity in their Program.
- Admins can edit rosters for any Activity in Campfire
- Activity Name – Use this to navigate up to the Overview page for the selected Activity.
- Cancel Activity Button – Open the Cancel Activity dialog for the selected Activity and date.
- Activity Volunteers – The list of all volunteers who are enrolled in the selected Activity. Volunteers are listed in the following order: Available, No Indication, Unavailable.
- All Volunteers – All other volunteers who are in the selected Activity’s Program.
There are multiple states that can appear for each volunteer on the roster screen.
- No indication: The volunteer has not indicated whether they are available or unavailable to attend the in
- To be rostered
- To be removed
- Unavailable (for individual sessions)
- Unavailable for this date
When a roster has unsaved or unpublished changes, a footer card will appear at the bottom of the screen and will remain as long as there are any changes that haven't been published for that roster.
- Summary - View the list of volunteers who will be notified of the changes that have been made to the roster.
- Roster Drafting Tools – Save or Discard changes as you go, if the roster isn’t ready to be published. These buttons will only be enabled when changes have been made to the roster.
- Roster Publishing Tools – Publish the roster when it’s ready to go.
Rosters can be published by Activity Leaders, Program Managers and Admins. When a roster is published, rostered volunteers will receive an email from Volaby notifying them that they have been rostered on for the selected Activity and date.
Rosters can be republished as many times as needed, but keep in mind that email notifications notifying volunteers of any updates relevant to them will be sent out with each publication.
Newly rostered volunteers will receive an email notifying them if the updated roster is published.
Likewise, volunteers who have been removed from some or all sessions will also be notified when the roster is published.
Using the Directory, any Activity and date can be located and opened. All Upcoming Activities in the Directory’s Upcoming list will be presented through the Roster interface. Each listing in the Upcoming list has a status label that indicates the roster’s state.
Roster is not started: The roster has not been edited, no draft rostering has been saved.
Roster is not published: A draft roster has been saved for the activity but it has not been published. Only saved draft rosters that haven’t been published for the first time will have this status.
Roster is published: The roster has been published. Published rosters are viewable by rostered volunteers through their Upcoming Rosters widget on the My Elements and My Activities screen.
Roster has unpublished changes: A published version of the roster already exists, but the roster has newer changes that have been saved but haven't been published.
Activity cancelled: The roster has been cancelled and volunteers are not expected to attend. All previously rostered volunteers will be notified of this cancellation and all unpublished roster changes will be discarded.
Upcoming rosters can be edited through selecting any upcoming date in the Activities Console Directory even after they have been published.
To discard all new edits made to the roster, click the Cancel. To save your changes without publishing them just yet, click Save Changes. Otherwise, hit Publish if you’re happy with your changes.
Until the edited roster is published, volunteers will not be notified of any changes. If a roster has unpublished changes, it will have the Has unpublished changes status attached to it in the Directory.
All rosters can be cancelled by Activity Leaders, Program Managers and Admins.
When a roster is cancelled, rostered volunteers will be emailed to notify them that the activity is no longer running on the date they were rostered on for.
Roster cancellations are not permanent, and can be undone later by clicking Click here to resume this activity when viewing a cancelled roster in Activities Console. Remember to select a cancellation reason (see here how to create these).