How do I send serving requests?

Explains how to notify volunteers of their serving assignments and allow them to accept/decline them.

Updated this week

You will need the Full Write Service Plans permission or be a group admin for a team that can be scheduled on a service plan. Group admins can only perform the actions described in this article to their teams and not others where they are not an admin in. Users with Full Write Service Plans permission can perform these actions on any team in the plan.

Once you have finished assigning volunteers to all needed positions, you are ready to send out serving requests which will allow volunteers to not only be notified they are assigned to serve, but also respond to each assignment (i.e. accept, decline, and others).

To do this, click on the "Send Requests" button in the upper right of the Serving tab. This will open up a pop up allowing you to indicate exactly who should be sent this serving request.

By default, this will return uncontacted volunteers on teams you manage (i.e. as a group admin) for all plan times. However, this can be adjusted as needed. Click on the "Done" button in the lower right to be taken to the next screen where you can see which volunteers matched the criteria.

You can further modify the list of recipients from here. For example, either unchecking or removing those you do not want to notify yet. Clicking on the "edit list" button at the top of the pop up will take you back to the search criteria where you can modify it and update the recipient list based on the results again. Note, that the recipient list can only include those assigned on the plan. You cannot add recipients that aren't scheduled on the plan.

Finally, you can set the subject line and body for the email that will be sent to the volunteers. Their serving assignments will automatically be added to the end of the email where they can then respond to each one.

If text messaging is enabled on the account, you can also indicate whether you also want to send a text message (assuming the volunteer has a mobile number on their profile).

Important: a login is not needed to respond to serving requests. They can do this entirely without access to One Church. However, having a login will allow them to view the associated service plan.

Once the requests get sent out, volunteers with a "Not Contacted" status will be changed to have a "Pending" status instead which indicates they were notified.

Important: volunteers who have a Pending or Accepted status will be granted read-only access to the service plan. This means they will not only be able to see the order of service (if any) but also who else is scheduled on that plan (pending and accepted assignments only).

Tip: To send serving requests to volunteers from multiple service plans, load the plans in the multi-plan grid and then go to Grid Actions > Send requests in the upper left.

Responding to a request

Regardless of whether the volunteer gets the request via email or text message, the message will include a link to where they can respond to each individual assignment. Below is an example of how a request may appear as an email.

Clicking on the Respond button will take them to a page where they can review each assignment and respond to each one. The "view plan" link will let them access the associated service plan where that assignment can be found.

The following responses can be chosen in the dropdown for each assignment:

  • Accept - the volunteer accepts the assignment and plans to serve

  • Decline - the volunteer is unable to serve. They will be able to include an optional comment if they wish to share more details on why they are unable to make it

  • Replace - the volunteer cannot make it but would like to find someone else to take their place. See this article for more details.

  • Swap - the volunteer cannot make it but would like to switch places with another volunteer scheduled on a different day. See this article for more details.

Response Notifications

Whenever a volunteer responds to a serving request, the group admin on that team is notified via email. You can quickly see who the team admins are when viewing the serving schedule on a service plan. Hover over the user icon at the top of a column to see who they are. If there is no icon, then there are no admins in that group.

To add/edit team admins, go to the Members tab of the group and change the "Admin?" field to Yes. Admins are listed at the top of the Members tab. You can get to the group quickly by clicking on the team name at the top of the appropriate column in the Serving tab of a service plan, or by locating it under Groups in the side menu.

Important: if a team has no admins, no one is notified when a volunteer responds to a request.

Note:

A serving reminder will be sent if an individual has accepted an assignment. If they have pending status they will be sent a response reminder. Assignments with a "not contacted" status never get any automatic communication.

Resources

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