RSVPMaker Volunteer Roles Plugin

The RSVPMaker Volunteer Roles plugin is an extension to RSVPmaker for organizations that have a regular list of members whom they need to sign up for roles. By giving those members at least subscriber-level login credentials on the website, we can allow them to sign up for a role with one click — the software retrieves their name from their user profile.

Previously, I had created something very similar with RSVPMaker for Toastmasters (which you can learn much more about at the WordPress for Toastmasters website), except that version is very specific to the needs of those public speaking and professional development clubs. At Toastmasters, the need is to sign up people as speakers and for supporting roles such as timer and evaluator.

RSVPMaker Volunteer Roles is a general-purpose version of the same thing, which you might use to sign up representatives for to man a booth at a festival, for example. A consulting client who hired me to do some RSVPMaker customizations is using it to sign up members of a rifle range for roles such as range safety officer and also to track the hours that members contribute. Used in combination with RSVPMaker’s event templates feature, the volunteer signups plugin allows this group to recruit volunteers for a regular weekly schedule of events and track the hours that they contribute.

Instead of presenting members with the standard RSVPMaker form, we give them a series of buttons to click if they want to sign up for different roles. Using JQuery/Ajax techniques, I allow them to sign up with one click — no form submission / page refresh required — making it easier for people to sign up for multiple roles quickly.

roles

Behind the scenes, the button labels and parameters are specified with a series of WordPress shortcodes (placeholder codes that are interpreted by the plugin when the page is displayed).

[rsvpvolunteer role=”Set up” hours=”1″]

[rsvpvolunteer role=”Booth volunteer” count=”2″ hours=”3″]

[rsvpvolunteer role=”Clean up” hours=”1″]

The count and hours parameters are optional. Count allows us to specify that multiple volunteer opportunities should be presented for a given role. The hours parameter lets us say how many hours of credit the volunteer should get for filling the role.

When this plugin is active, you can retrieve statistics on volunteer activities through the Volunteer Report and Volunteer History items under the RSVP Events on the administrator’s dashboard.

volunteer_report

Volunteer opportunities can also be represented on a specialized version of the RSVPMaker Calendar, where a member can add himself to the volunteer roster for a given role by clicking the plus sign or withdraw by clicking the minus sign.

calendar_roles

The shortcode for displaying this calendar is shown below.

[volunteer_calendar type=”optional-type-slug” ]

You can see a live demo of this example on the Volunteer Roles Demo page — use the credentials user: rsvpdemo, password: rsvpdemo to log in.

On the demo page, the calendar has set up to use an RSVPMaker event type to only display events for which there are volunteer opportunities, and the rsvpmaker_upcoming shortcode is also used to display a listing of those events below the calendar.

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