Timecounts automatically sends confirmation and reminder emails to volunteers when they apply or sign up for opportunities. These auto-notifications are included in all plans and do not count towards the general email allotment in subscription plans. This is to ensure volunteers are always kept updated.
There are a few types of auto-notifications that go out to volunteers. Let's walk through each case, so you know what your volunteers will experience.
When a volunteer signs up for a shift, event, or assignment, they will receive a confirmation email. There are two types of confirmation emails:
1) Confirmation an application has been received: If permissions for the opportunity are set to review, it will let the volunteer know they will receive a follow up email once their request has been approved. "We have received your sign up for X" email.
2) Confirmation an application or shift request has been approved: If permission settings for the opportunity are both set to auto-approve, the volunteer will only receive one email as an immediate confirmation of their commitment. "Confirmation: you have been approved for X" email.
If the volunteer signs up for more than one shift and are able to be confirmed right away, they will only receive one confirmation email, not multiple. This feature saves their inbox by keeping communication consolidated wherever possible.
Sending Auto-Confirmations from a Schedule
When you make changes to a volunteer's schedule you will see an amber button appear in the top right corner called Notify. This button prevents an email confirmation from going out until you are finished your session. It will start to add up and display the count of how many volunteers you will be updating.
This button will be triggered when you assign a volunteer directly to a shift, approve an application or shift request. Basically any change that would require the volunteer to be notified. Once you are done reviewing your schedule - make sure you press this button so it disappears and sends out the email confirmations to volunteers.
There may be an instance when you make changes to your schedule and don't wish to notify volunteers. Perhaps they are coming that day and it's not necessary to confirm as you did this verbally. To clear all pending confirmations, click the arrow to the right of the button that lets you select 'Do Not Notify'.
Please note, there is currently no way to trigger a second auto-confirmation email. If you wish to send a volunteer another confirmation email, you will need to send a general email to that volunteer with the information. Volunteers will receive a reminder email the week of their commitment (see below).
Dashboard Task for Sending Notifications
If you step away from your computer and forget to trigger the Notifications in a schedule view, don't worry, you will see 'Notifications to send' as a task on your Dashboard. It's important to always keep this clear so your volunteers are updated and don't miss a commitment.
Reminders are an important to keep volunteers updated so they never miss an event or shift. If a volunteer is scheduled for the upcoming week they will receive a "Reminder: your schedule for the week ahead" email on Sunday.
This email will state the status of their commitment in case anything has changed along with the time, role/assignment, and location where they will be volunteering.
My volunteers are receiving too many emails - how can I limit the number of email that are sent automatically?
It can be a difficult balance when it comes to communicating with volunteers. Some people like to be updated at every stage of the process by email, others are happy just to login to their hub to view. Admins have the ability to override auto-notifications within opportunities. To do this, you can click on the Details tab and across the top select Messaging. Uncheck the box if you wish to stop notifications from going out. We do not advise completely eliminating notifications, but it can be useful to turn off reminders if you are scheduling and confirming people in the same week.
Can I customize the Auto-Notifications?
At this time we do not allow for customized messages to be included with email confirmations and reminders. It will simply the information they see within their hub commitments view. We will be allowing for customized notes to be included with confirmations and reminders in future.