Volunteer Management Blockout Dates

No more having to keep up with specific dates people can't work, and then trying to make sure you accurately schedule them around days they said they would be unavailable. Breeze now makes this incredibly easy for you when using Volunteer Management! In this article, you will find a thorough review of Blockout Dates, how to collect them from volunteers, how to edit them, and how they work with the system while scheduling volunteers. 

How to Collect Blockout Dates

First, you may want to collect Blockout Dates from volunteers before you start to assign them. Volunteers will be able to block out their dates as far out as they desire using the blockout calendar. There are several ways to Request a volunteer's blockout dates:

Option One: 

Navigate to your Event > Volunteers

From Assign Mode click the arrow beside "Send Schedules to Volunteers" and select "Send Blockout Date Request", this will allow you choose specific roles of volunteers you would like to request blockout dates from.   

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Option Two: 

Send out an email from anywhere in Breeze using the action panel and selecting the Mail Merge option > "More Options" > "Request Volunteer Blockout Dates"

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Option Three (If you already have a list of volunteer blockout dates, scribbled on pieces of paper, formated in an excel spreadsheet, or bouncing around in your head you can manually add these in for your volunteers to make your process that much more smooth) :

Navigate to a Volunteers Profile in Breeze > On the left-side click Volunteering > Click Manage Blockout Dates > Edit the Dates and click Save. 

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Option Four (If you would rather schedule your volunteers and then later revisit the blockout dates, this option is for you!) :

  • At the bottom of "Reminders" there is a built-in option that allows volunteers to set their block out dates and mark themselves unavailable for future dates.  

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How to View a Volunteer's Blockout Dates

Now that we know what dates our volunteers are unavailable, here is how to View a Volunteer's Blockout Dates when you Add Volunteers:

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Here is how to view a Volunteer's Blockout Dates while setting their recurring schedule:

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Here is how to view a Volunteer's Blockout Dates while in Grid View: 

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 Volunteers will only show when selecting "Show Blockouts" for roles they have previously been scheduled for. If they have not been scheduled in a role, their blockout date will not show until you try to schedule the volunteer. 

Managing Blockout Dates In "My Profile"

Breeze users who have access to "My Profile" can manage their own blockout dates, right within their profile by:

Navigating to "My Profile" > Volunteers on the left-hand side > "Manage Blockout Dates" > Make changes > Hit Save. 

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On a technical side, the Role permission would need access to "My Profile" and "View my Volunteer Schedule" to edit to manage their own Volunteer Blockout Dates within their profile.

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Comments

18 comments
  • We're just starting to use Volunteers 2.0, and I'm liking it so far!  One question - can volunteers view their upcoming assignments and add blackout dates via the Breeze app?  On a smartphone or tablet, I mean.

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  • @office

    Great question! Block out dates cannot be added via the Breeze app, however they can be added via the email request that was sent out to the volunteer. In addition to that, you would want to make sure that you sent out the schedules to your volunteers. This is the primary way volunteers will see their upcoming schedules.

    I hope this is helpful for you!

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  • Are we able to remove the blocking question from the emailed schedule reminder? We use the rotating schedule option (one week on, skip 3 weeks) in the assignment mode and volunteers are required to get their own subs. So, this question on the bottom of the reminder is unnecessary.  

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  • Hi @tpate,

    Unfortunately, that link at the bottom of the email is not able to be removed. I'm sorry if this causes an inconvenience for you and your church! Perhaps a workaround in this scenario would be to edit the email to explain not to use that link.

    Again, sorry that doesn't completely solve the issue here, but I hope it was helpful!

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  • We are wanting to send out an email to our volunteers for them to blockout dates in August only. Is it possible to limit what they can blockout (ie. only Sundays in August)?

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  • @brandibecker

    You can send out the dates that you want them to be able to block out for on previously scheduled dates!

    When sending out lockout schedules, you will be able to send this out for only the dates that you would like! 

    If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to let us know!

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  • We are asking our volunteers to mark the dates they're unavailable through the blockout dates feature.  Is there a way to see if they've filled it out besides clicking on each individual's profile?  I want some raw data to show they've responded.  Otherwise we're guessing if they haven't filled it out or if they're available. 

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  • Hey @admin! I'm glad I was able to get your question in our Support channel too! Hoping that Grid View will help you see these block-out dates over a period of time.

    https://support.breezechms.com/hc/en-us/articles/360026422313-Volunteer-Management-Grid-View 

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  • Thank you, except this doesn't answer my question.  We want to assign volunteers once they've filled out their availability.  How do I know when someone has filled out their blackout dates for the time period I've requested?  The problem is if I look at a particular person and I see for the three months I've requested they don't have any dates blocked off, does that mean they're available for all of those dates or does it mean they haven't put in their blackout dates?  For other things, such as forms or RSVPs, I get an email when people respond.  Is there a way for me to in a big scale if the volunteers have submitted their dates, even if it means they're available for all of them?  Does that make sense?

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  • Hey @admin! You bring up some great ideas! At this time, Breeze doesn't have a feature to be able to allow you to send out requests for specific block-out periods and report on those as I see would be helpful for you. They will receive a calendar to put in any and all block out dates they wish. We really are happy to think this one over. You are always welcome to submit Feature Requests with the link provided below.

    https://support.breezechms.com/hc/en-us/articles/360006602793-Submitting-Feature-Requests 

     

     

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  • I have another question!  I'm trying to view blockout dates while in Grid View, and no one is showing up in any of the roles.  I know people who have previously been scheduled in that role have submitted their availability because I can click on a particular cell and they are all shown and it says if they're not available that day.  It makes sense that those that have never been assigned that role won't show up in that cell, but I'm not sure why no one appears in any of the weeks I can see.  Thanks so much for your help!

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  • Hi @admin!

    Another great question here! I think I might be able to serve you best if we take a look at the account specifics together :) 

    You'll be hearing from me soon via email!

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  • I'm running into a strange issue.  I have the event "Nursery" on a calendar called "Children" (separate from the default "Main" calendar).  My Nursery volunteers have set their blockout dates, but those dates do not show when I view the schedule (like in Grid mode while assigning volunteers).  If I try to assign someone on a certain date, then it will show on the volunteer select screen under the individual's name that they are not available, but their blockout unavailability will not show on the grid screen (i.e. after I click show blockouts).  

    While I was troubleshooting this, I found that if I moved the Nursery event from the "Children" calendar to the default "Main" calendar, the blockout dates would show on the scheduling grid view as they are supposed to.  Obviously the blockout feature is much more helpful if you can see all the dates at a glance on the grid view, versus having to click on an individual date, and then find out who is/isn't available (and have to do that for every date individually!).  Any help on this?  

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  • Hello @Ryana,

     

    This is Annie with Breeze! Thanks for letting us know about the blockout dates not appearing in Grid View! I know I would be frustrated by that too! I would love to look into this with you and I am sending you an email where we can troubleshoot this further! 

    Blessings,

    Annie

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  • Is there a way to view ALL of a selected volunteer's availability (i.e. ALL blockout dates in a selected time frame) at one time? And is there a way to download/print those? What about selecting a volunteer "position" and then print the blockout schedules of all people who serve in that area? (all people who teach Sunday School or or all people who play in the worship band or serve on tech teams during worship, etc). Before trying to balance people across positions, it would be so helpful to know what days they are available before you start. If person A is available on week 1 and week 2, but person B is only available on week 2, then you want to use person B on week 2 and person A on week 1. It is very time-consuming to have to click on every single day on our 3 month schedule, and then on each person for each position to assemble an availability schedule manually. I often have to move people around to different positions, and it gets even more complicated when some people prefer not to be schedule more than X times per month, etc. A full-featured "availability schedule" or "Block out Schedule" would be so helpful.

    Many volunteers are able to work in multiple positions - the worship band, tech positions, children's ministry, etc. We schedule 3 months at a time. I would like to be able to know when someone is/is not available before I start placing people. The easiest way would be to view or print ALL of a volunteer's blockout dates at once. Thanks!

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  • @susanisalso

    Great questions!  I'm going to email you directly to try to help with some of these.  Keep an eye out for that email.

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  • Hate the link at the bottom of the volunteer reminder to add blockout dates.

    We are unable to use this feature because the link causes more confusion than it is worth.

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  • @vpchellappa

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us!  If you have a question about using blockout dates, we would be happy to help you with that so that you could explain it to your people and clear up any confusion.  You can reach us by email support@breezechms.com.

    Have a blessed day!

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