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Schedule Preferences Versus Assignment Preferences

Both Assignment Preference and Schedule Preference fields can be included on an online volunteer application form. In some instances it is more appropriate to include Assignment Preferences, while in other situations it may be more suitable to collect Schedule Preferences on the application form. This help topic differentiates between Assignment Preferences and Schedule Preferences, so that an organization can determine which (if any) they would like to use on their application forms.

Assignment Preferences

Including Assignment preference fields on the application allows applicants to indicate which Assignments they would like to participate in. This is appropriate when applicants should have some input as to what they will be doing in an organization, but when either (a) an organization does not use schedule openings to schedule volunteers, or (b) applicants do not participate in deciding when they will serve.

If the Assignment Preference field is configured to add a Role when volunteers indicate an Assignment Preference on the application, the Assignment is automatically added to the Service tab when their application is received. Usually, the Role selected to be added is Preference to indicate the volunteer would like to serve in the area.

Assignment, Facilities [North\Maintenance]; Role, Preference

In order for a volunteer to have the Role of Assigned in the Assignment, a System Operator must manually edit their Role, or confirm that automatic Assignment recording is turned on. In this case, they will also need to make sure that the volunteer has a service entry in that Assignment, or is scheduled to serve in that Assignment.

Schedule Preferences

Alternatively, Schedule Preferences are useful when you want volunteers to indicate specific dates and times they would like to serve by choosing their preference of schedule openings. Schedule Preferences can only be included on an application form when schedule openings have been created, whereas Assignment Preferences can be collected even if you have not created any openings.

Schedule Preferences can be setup so they are automatically received as actual schedule entries, or as preferences where they are not automatically added to the actual schedule when an application is received. In the latter case, the applicant's selections are displayed with the raised hand icon.

Raised hand icon with the words Schedule preference

When choices are received as preferences, a System Operator must manually approve the preference before it officially becomes part of the schedule.

You can learn more about adding Schedule Preferences to your forms in the Schedule Fields section of Customize Application Form Content.

If you include Schedule Preferences on your application form, you can increase applicants' understanding of your organization's Assignments by checking Link Assignments, Places, and Sites to Opportunity Directory descriptions on your Application Form Setup page. This makes the Assignment names on your application form appear as links to the Assignment profile for each Assignment, giving visitors to your form a way to learn more about each Assignment as they examine the application form.