General Administration Questions

Q. Can volunteers sign themselves up so I don't have to get a million phone calls a day?

A. Yes, iVolunteerOnline is designed to allow your volunteers to sign up themselves instead of having them call or email you.  You will be able to link from your website to your organization's page on ivolunteer.com.

Q. Why doesn't iVolunteerOnline support sending Text Messages as Reminders instead of using email?

A. We are occasionally asked to add support for sending text messages in addition to or instead of email. Text messages are something that we are still considering. However there are two challenges with texting. One is that bulk texting is much more expensive than e-mail so we would probably have to charge extra for this; there is no such thing as "reliable unlimited free texts" when it comes to sending texts in bulk. The second challenge is that U.S. law requires that volunteers opt-in to receive texts, and this appears to be more strict than with e-mail. Administrators would not be able to simply send a volunteer a text until the volunteer indicates that he or she is willing to accept texts from iVolunteer. As more phones seem to support e-mail the number of requests to send texts has seemed to diminish. With that said, if enough customers continue to ask for this we may look more closely for a solution.

Q. How can I total the hours for each volunteer?

A. Run a Participants Report across all events you're interested in totaling the hours for.  You can do this by selecting an Event and going to the Reports tab and choose the Participants Report.  To learn more about Reports, check out our FAQ on Reports, or view our Training Video.

Q. How can volunteers track hours/points volunteered?

 A. Each slot position has an hours field associated with it.  Volunteers can access this on their participant page which can be reached by using the link in the Confirmation Email they were sent when they signed up for the Event.  Additionally, Administrators can run a report on this information.

Q. Is it possible that someone could "bump" another volunteer out of a slot?

 A. The first person to sign up for a slot will have the slot locked for ten (10) minutes. After ten minutes it is possible that someone could take the slot, although until someone else does the original person can still confirm.  Once the slot is confirmed, they can't lose the slot unless they cancel the slot or an Administrator cancels them.

We also have a feature called auto-confirm.  By default, once someone has confirmed one time, we place a cookie (a small packed of information) into their browser that says this person is confirmed.  The next slot they go to sign up for can then be auto-confirmed, meaning that they get the slot right away without having to get a confirmation email again, assuming they signed up for the second slot on the same computer and browser as the first.

Q. When signing up a volunteer, can I have their information auto-filled?

 A. As the Administrator using the event's Manage tab to add a volunteer, you can begin typing someone's name or email into the email field for suggestions.  Down arrow to the desired suggestion and then hit the enter key to auto-fill the rest.

You can also add participants from the Database by clicking the "Add From DB" button in the Event Manage tab.  Any participant who has signed up for an event with your organization in the past can then be added to a new event.  Learn more about the Database with these FAQs, or these videos.

Q. Does iVolunteerOnline have a function where volunteers may swap time slots?

 A. iVolunteerOnline currently allows volunteers to self-cancel a slot they have signed up for, and then sign up for another slot.  A cancelled slot automatically becomes available again to other volunteers.

Q. How do I remove a volunteer?

 A. A volunteer can cancel themselves if the Administrator has elected to allow Self Cancellations (Event menu | Details tab).  The Administrator can cancel any volunteer from the Manage tab in a selected event by clicking on the volunteer's name and then clicking the Cancel button.

Q. Is there a way to disable online cancellations?

 A. Yes, in your Event, under the Details tab | Dates section, there is a dropdown menu of your options for Self Cancellation, including "Self Cancellations Are Not Allowed," "Midnight Following the Task/Slot Date(s)," "Midnight Just Before Task/Slot Date(s)," 12 hours prior, daily increments, etc..

Q. Do you have to give my participants the ability to opt-out of receiving reminders?

 A. Yes, the FCC CAN-SPAM ACT says that we have to provide a way for recipients to opt-out from receiving unwanted email messages.  Additionally this policy helps to keep iVolunteerOnline mail from being blocked by email providers.

Q. Can I change my Organization Unique ID?

 A. Intentionally, we do not allow you to change your Unique ID on your own.  If you need to have your Organization Unique ID changed, please contact support at supportativolunteer.com.

Q. How can I block off slots for a group or groups of volunteers?

 A. One way to do this is to go into the Manage tab and add volunteers using an email address designated for that group. Then when you receive the list of volunteers for that group, you can go back into manage and make the changes

A second option is to stagger signups over time. For example, suppose you have three groups: A, B, and C with C being your general pool of volunteers. You can open up the event early for group A first with a password that only group A knows about. When it's group B's turn, you can change the password to one that only group B knows about. Then when it's time for group C (the general pool) you can remove the password requirement. Additionally you can change the number of available slots each time to keep one group from grabbing too many slots. 

A third option is to create different events for each group of volunteers that you can either password protect or simply make hidden. Then send each group the link to their signup sheet. Additionally you can designate someone in each of the groups to be an Event Administrator. This way the group can be responsible for signing up everyone in their group.

Q. How can I see Events that occurred in the past?

 A. To see all events, current and past, click the Clear Filters link above your Events list.  To see only past events, click on the Filters & Sort Order link above your Events and in the Status Filter dropdown menu select Only Past Events. Additionally, we recommend copying your old event and giving the copy a new start date to reuse old signup sheets.  When you copy events, all dates inside the copied event are adjusted relative to the new date.  Also, only the structure of the event is copied so you don't have to clean out all of your volunteers from the old event.  If not much has changed, you can be ready to go in minutes!

Q. Why do my events still say "past" when all my dates look correct?

 A. Check your Task Date Option.  If your task date option is:

  • Task is on one day, your task will be set on the first day of your event.  You can change this by changing the Task Date next to the drop down box
  • Task spans Event Dates (no specific date) your event will not show as past as long as the event date is not in the past and there will not be a specific date on the task.
  • Dates are in Column Headers, each column will be on the date specified in the Column Header.  Edit the column header to supply/change the date for the header.
  • Dates are in Row Headers, each row will be on the date specified in the Row Header.  Edit the row header to supply/change the date for the header.
  • Dates are in each Slot Position, tasks will be on the date specified in each slot.  Edit the slot position to supply/change the date for the slot position.

Q. Why can't I see any of my events from last year? Did you delete them?

A. iVolunteerOnline never deletes any of your Organization's information without your consent.  We hold all information for at least a year for inactive subscriptions and at least 5 years for active subscriptions. You may need to clear your filters.  Above your Events list, you'll see the heading Events (filtered). To clear your filters, click on the Clear Filter(s) link.  Now you can see every single event you are in charge of.  To add filters to narrow down your search for a specific event, click on Filters & Sort Order.

Q. Can I reuse an Event from last year?

A. To reuse an old Event, just copy the Event.  This copies the structure of the event, not the volunteers.  Then you can just make small adjustments to the event for the current year.  Additionally, changing the event start date will change all of the dates in the event relative to the new start date.

Q. Do I need to remove all volunteers from a previous event?

 A. No.  We recommend that you copy the previous event and use the new copy.

Q. My volunteers can't see the Event link on my home page, why is this?

 A. An event will not show up on your main page when any of the following are true:

  • The end date of the event is in the past
  • The event has not been made active
  • The event has been made hidden.

Q. Can we attach a PDF file and require that volunteers read it when they sign up?

 A. While administering the relevant event, go to the Settings tab | Prompts sub-tab and add a Custom Prompt.  Select the Checkbox type and enter text along the lines of "I have read the volunteer requirements" as the description, check the Hyperlink option beside the description and type a link to your PDF.  The PDF can be on your own website, or you can press Select to upload it from your computer to iVolunteerOnline.

Q. How can I add an agreement/waiver so that volunteers can read it and agree to it?

A. Go into the event you wish to add an agreement to, go into the Settings tab | Prompts sub-tab and add a Custom Prompt. Select the Checkbox type. Add a title of "I agree" and a short description that says "Click here to read the agreement." Then check the Hyperlink option beside the description and type in a link to the agreement. The agreement can be on your own website, or you can add a PDF by pressing Select and uploading it from your computer to iVolunteerOnline.

Q. How can I insert a hyperlink into the Screen Messages (Top Instructions)?

 A. Go to the Settings tab | Screen Messages sub-tab OR the Signup Sheet Design tab | Instructions button.  In the Top Instructions Editor, highlight the text that you want to be the hyperlink, and then press the Edit or Add Link icon. Key or paste the link you wish to use.  You can provide a link to your own website, or press Select to upload a file (such as a PDF) to host it on ivolunteer.com

Q. Why does my event say that it already occurred when volunteers try to sign up?

 A. The date that you put in the end date field must be in the future or the current day.  

Q. Why can volunteers see my event, but can't sign up?

 A. Check your dates for the Event in the Details tab.  You may also want to review any dates in your Tasks in Signup Sheet Design.

Q. What if volunteers sign up for the same slot at the same time?

 A. The first volunteer to submit their information will get it and a lock will be placed on the slot for ten minutes.  The other volunteer will receive a message that the slot was just taken.

Q. Is there a way to disable volunteers' access to an event while I'm still designing it?

 A. Yes, if the Administrator does not click the "Activate" button to make the event Active, then volunteers will not be able to sign up for that event until the "Activate" button is clicked.  If your event is already Active, you can click the "Deactivate" button to make the event in-active so that volunteers will not be able to sign up.

Q. How do the Event and Task volunteer limits work together?

A. The Task volunteer limit restricts the number of volunteers able to sign up for a particular task.  The Event volunteer limit restricts the number of volunteers for the entire event.  The Task limit will automatically be set for the Event limit, and can be changed to a lower number per task if so desired.

Q. Can I have several laptops accessing the event page to sign up volunteers in Kiosk Mode?

A. Yes, iVolunteerOnline is designed to support simultaneous volunteering from multiple computers accessing an event page, including in Kiosk Mode.

Q. Why is iVolunteerOnline not requiring volunteers to confirm their commitment when NOT in Kiosk Mode?

A. After an email address has volunteered and confirmed once for an Organization, any subsequent sign-ups from that email address from the same browser will be auto-confirmed.  That "Confirmation Required Once" behavior is the default Confirmation Mode.  If you prefer for volunteers (outside of Kiosk Mode) to always receive the confirmation email that they must confirm, you can change the Confirmation Mode to "Confirmation Always Required." This Confirmation Mode setting is under the Settings tab | Emails sub-tab. Your choices are: "Confirmation Required Once," "Confirmation Always Required," and "Confirmation Never Required."

NOTE: Using "Confirmation Never Required" is not recommended for normal use.

Q. Can an Administrator make changes to an event after volunteers have started signing up?

A. es, if you add or move rows or columns then volunteers will shift appropriately to remain under the headings they signed up for.  Be careful changing headers of rows or columns because volunteers will expect to have signed up under those headings. You cannot remove a row or column if there are volunteers signed up in any of the slots in the row or column you wish to remove.

Q. How can I move a volunteer to a different slot?

 A. First, sign the volunteer up for the new slot in the Manage tab.  Then, cancel the slot you are moving them from.

NOTE: When adding the volunteer to the slot, just start typing their name in the email box for a list of suggestions. Arrow down to the desired suggestion and hit the enter key to auto-fill their information.

Q. Why am I having trouble editing the Rich Text Editor?

A.  There are known issues with running the Rich Text Editor on early versions of Internet Explorer.  Try using Google Chrome, or Firefox instead.

Q. I've accidentally deleted my event, is there some way to restore it?

A.  Yes, iVolunteer has a Restore Event button that allows you to restore any Event for up to 90 days after you have deleted it.  It returns all of your settings, preferences and even your volunteers just as you had them before you deleted the event.

Q.  Will I be able to get my Event layout back with the Restore Event button?

A.  Yes, the Restore Event button will restore your entire layout as well as all of your preferences and settings for the Event.

Q.  Will I be able to get all of my volunteers back in the slots they signed up for if I restore an event?

A.  The Restore Event button will restore all volunteers signed up for an Event, even those who haven't confirmed yet, into the slots they signed up for.

Q.  Is there a way to set up a PayPal button on the volunteer signup forms so that they can donate money at the same time?

A.  You can add a link to your PayPal account either in the instructions for your organization's home page, instructions on an event signup page, or as a custom prompt in the volunteer signup screen.  However iVolunteer does not currently tightly integrate with PayPal in such a way to guarantee that a payment is made as part of the volunteer signup process.  You can at least use the Custom Prompt method to ask the volunteer to check a box indicating that they have made a payment.  We do plan to have tighter payment integration in the future.

To add a link to your PayPal account in the event instructions, administer the relevant event, go to the Signup Sheet Design tab and press Instructions. Highlight the relevant text and press the Edit or Add Link icon. Press Save when you are done.

To add a link to PayPal as a Custom Prompt, go to the Settings tab | Prompts sub-tab.  Press Add Prompt.  Select a relevant Type, for example CHECKBOX.  Make the label "I have paid," make it required, and make the short description "Click here to go to PayPal to pay," and check the Hyperlink box.  A dialogue will appear where you can enter the link to PayPal.  Press Save when you are done.  By default this custom prompt will appear on the signup screen on all of your tasks.  You can selectively remove it form any task under the task's More Task Options.

Q.  We know one of the benefits of iVolunteer is email verification of users without a formal username/password.  Is it possible to have volunteers create a login with contact information?

A:  When a volunteer signs up for the first time (or the Administrator signs up a volunteer on their behalf) the confirmation email contains a unique link through which that volunteer can access his or her volunteer commitments (and cancel a commitment if you allow self-cancellation).  Whenever a volunteer signs up or receives a reminder, that link would typically be included again in that email.  A volunteer can also re-send themselves that link by visiting any event they have signed up for.

Your administrator(s) could also create a "registration" event with Custom Prompts for additional information such as address and phone number.  You could then either ask your volunteers to sign up using the "Registration Event."  This information can be linked to and viewed in the Organization's Database, where you can group volunteers and send out emails to the entire Database.