Help Center

Volunteer Check-in: A Guide for Site Managers

With your Connect site's check-in feature, volunteers can check in when they start a volunteer shift and check out when they finish. Volunteer hours are calculated and submitted based on check-in and check-out times. Volunteers do not need to return to your site to log their hours; it's all done automatically!

Types of Check-in

Volunteers can check in and out in a couple of ways:

  • Self Check-in: By clicking a link in an email or going to the Need Responses area of their profile, volunteers access options for checking in, and can later access options for checking out. Volunteers can also schedule their check-in and check-out times in advance as needed.

    Note: To activate the email with the link, go to Communication > Notifications, find your "Volunteer Self Check-in" template, and switch it to Active.

  • Agency Check-in: Volunteers check in and out using a device (tablet, laptop, etc.) provided by the agency at the site of the volunteer work. The agency manager accesses the check-in/check-out feature from their agency management area.

This article provides a few details about each type of check-in, links to the associated articles in the Help Center, and shows you how to view check-in/check-out data on your site manager panel.

Self Check-in

Self check-in is a convenient tool for volunteers who have responded to shift needs. On the morning of their shift, volunteers will get an email reminding them to check in. They can schedule their check-in time early, or they can access the email when they arrive at the volunteer site and check in then. They can use the same method for checking out.

Self check-in/check-out for shift needs is also available in the volunteer's Need Responses area of their profile.


If a volunteer uses self check-in, their hours will be logged automatically based on their check-in and check-out times. Hours logged with self check-in follow your site's settings for hours approval. For example, if all submitted hours are pending until approved by an agency manager, hours logged with self check-in will automatically have a status of Pending.

Note: Click here to learn more about why self check-in is available for shift needs only.

Agency Check-in

The agency manager accesses check-in tool by going to their agency management area and clicking Check-in. (Click image for a larger view.)


The agency manager clicks one of the following options for a selected need:

  • Individual - Volunteer can type in their email address to check in, and then again to check out. This is a good option if there are not many volunteers, or if the agency manager expects volunteers to show up who have not responded the need.
  • List - Volunteer coordinator pulls up a list of volunteers who have responded to the need. As people show up, the coordinator (or the volunteers) can select their names and check in. This option is best for bulk check-ins.

Once a volunteer has been checked in, the check-in tool provides the option to check the volunteer out. The agency manager can see who is checked in by going to the Checked-in section of their agency management area.

Important: If you are using an iPad for check-in, the program may time out after 20 minutes of inactivity. This is an issue with the iPad in particular and not with other brands of tablets.

Click here to learn more about the agency's check-in tool.

Viewing Attendance Data

As a site manager, you can easily see who has been scheduled for a shift on a given day, and you can get a good idea of who actually showed up for the need by viewing the hours logged. Your Attendance Report pulls individual responses to shift needs within a selected date range, and you can finder it in the Reports area of your Site Manager panel. To access it:

  1. From your site manager panel, click Reports located at the top of the page.
  2. Under the Needs heading, click Shift Attendance.

From here, you can specify a date or date range to view. The report shows the following information for the date range:

  • Volunteer's name
  • Volunteer's email address
  • Need
  • Agency
  • Start date and time of the shift (not necessarily the volunteer's check-in time)
  • End date and time of shift (not necessarily the volunteer's check-out time)
  • Hours (This includes the allotted hours based on check-in and check-out times, along with any hours that are logged manually matching the date of the shift.)

To view all volunteers who responded to a particular shift, click the linked start or end date and time.

Why Is Self Check-in Available for Shift Needs Only?

At this time, self check-in only works for shift needs. The reason for this relates to how shifts are stored. All shifts are stored with a definite start and end time, so if the volunteer wants to click "Check in/out at the shift start/end time" (or if they don't check out at all), then the system will check them out and automatically log the number of hours associated with the shift. With shifts, agency managers are required to enter a start time with a duration, so shift needs always have associated start and end times, and there's no question about how many hours should be logged for the the volunteer.

With the other types of needs, there may not be a time associated with the need (times and durations aren't required for Happens On, Runs Until, or Ongoing needs). Even if a start time is provided, the "end time" for Runs Until and Happens On needs is at 11:59pm on the need date, and the "end time" for Ongoing needs is 20 years after the date the need is created. Because accurate times are not available for needs with non-shift durations, Connect sites only offer self check-in for shift needs.

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