Automatically track volunteer time

You can enable the automated time tracking feature to have hours automatically tracked for a volunteer opportunity. Volunteers will not have to manually track their time. You will not have to manually review and approve time. You will also get a more accurate picture of program participation as volunteer hours will not go untracked.

In this article:

Enable feature

  1. Select Manage from the top-right corner of your program site.
  2. Go to Site Settings > Volunteering Settings.
  3. Under Automated time tracking, decide if you want the feature enabled and on by default, or enabled and off by default. If you choose "Enabled - off by default...", users can still turn it on when they create an opportunity.
  4. Pick a grace period for how many days volunteers have to edit or cancel shifts before their time is automatically tracked.

Turn it on for an individual volunteer opportunity

New opportunity:

  1. On the top navigation bar, go to Volunteer > Create a Volunteer Opportunity.
  2. Fill out the form.
  3. On the Shifts tab, turn on the "Automatically track volunteer time” toggle.
  4. Make sure that all shifts have start and end dates/times and volunteering time (automation does not work without these details).

Existing opportunity:

  1. Search for or navigate to the opportunity page.
  2. Select the Edit button.
  3. Go to the Shifts tab and turn on the "Automatically track volunteer time” toggle.
  4. Make sure that all shifts have start and end dates/times and volunteering time (automation does not work without these details).

Volunteers will get an email letting them know that their time will be automatically tracked in the time period you selected in the Manage side of Spark. During this window, volunteers can edit or cancel their shift.

shifts-tab.png

FAQ

Who can turn the feature on for an individual opportunity?

Anyone who has access to create a volunteer opportunity can turn it on. You can configure this depending on how you set up your time tracking settings in Manage > Site Settings > Volunteering Settings.

If someone signs up for a shift, but doesn't end up going, will their time still be tracked?

This is why there is a grace period. You can select 24 hours, 72 hours, 7 days or 14 days as your grace period. Volunteers can edit or cancel their shift within the grace period you select. When that period ends, their time will be tracked automatically.

How does it work for ongoing or virtual volunteering with no date or time?

It does not work. There must be dates and times for the automation to work.

Will volunteers receive email notifications that their time is going to be automatically tracked? 

Yes. Volunteers receive two email reminders: one after they sign up for a shift, and one after their shift ends.

How does automated time tracking work with volunteer rewards? 

After the grace period, all volunteers for that opportunity will receive their rewards. One reason why the time is not immediately approved is in case a volunteer is not able to make their shift. They can cancel their shift and you can make sure that the rewards are not given out to people who didn't volunteer. 

Will automated time tracking work if I have the "Time Tracking Allowed Dates" setting enabled?

Yes. Automated time tracking will bypass this setting.

Will automated time tracking work for bulk volunteer imports using a CSV file?

No.

If I enable automated time tracking for an existing opportunity, will the shifts be automatically tracked?

If the shift end date has not passed, time will be automatically tracked. If the shift end date has passed, but the grace period is still open, time will be automatically tracked. If the grace period is over, time will not auto track.

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