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How to Let Volunteers Schedule their own Hours with Teamup

For community groups and nonprofit organizations, there’s often a need to schedule volunteers for different events, hours, or shifts. This can become a time-consuming task, especially if you manage a large number of volunteers and need to adjust their schedules if something comes up.

Here’s how you could set up Teamup to ease the workload and enable “self-scheduling” for volunteers.

How to set up the calendar

  1. Create sub-calendars:
    • One (or more) sub-calendars for open shifts. In this example, we’ve created a sub-calendar for morning shifts and another for afternoon shifts, and put them both in an “Open Shifts” folder.
    • One sub-calendar for scheduled or claimed shifts.
  2. Add recurring events on the calendar for regular shifts. You can also add events for one-off events or special hours that aren’t on a regular basis.
  3. Create a calendar link for each volunteer. The link should give Read-only access to the open shift sub-calendars, and Modify-from-same-link access to the Scheduled Shifts sub-calendar.

Here’s how a week would look before any shifts have been claimed by volunteers:

All shifts are open

How volunteers sign up for a shift

Here’s how a volunteer would self-schedule for a shift:

  1. Open the calendar with their calendar link.
  2. Choose the shift ‘slot’ they want and right-click to Duplicate the event.
  3. Add their name to the (required) Who field.
  4. Save the event to the Scheduled Shift sub-calendar. (They won’t be able to save the event to the open shift calendars since their permission to those is read-only, so there’s no risk of a volunteer saving their shift to the wrong sub-calendar.)

Here’s a calendar view with several shifts claimed:

Volunteers claim shifts on Teamup

It’s easy for volunteers to see which shifts need to be filled.

A volunteer can see all the shifts they signed up for adding a link parameter (filterByPermission=modifiable) to the end of their calendar link. They can bookmark the filtered view in their browser to quickly view their scheduled shifts, as shown below:

Volunteer Linda sees only her claimed shifts when she adds the modify by permission link parameter to her calendar link.


To cancel a shift, a volunteer would simply delete their duplicated event on the Scheduled Shift calendar. Each volunteer would only be able to delete their own events, so there’s no risk that one volunteer might delete another volunteer’s scheduled shift.

How to get notified about changes

If a volunteer coordinator wants to stay updated on scheduled or canceled shifts, they can set up email notifications. Then, when a volunteer adds or removes an events, the coordinator will get an email notification.

See a real story of coordinating volunteers in a similar manner.

Pro tip: add a custom choice field for volunteers to choose the shift type (i.e., morning or afternoon) or the role (e.g., cashier, helper, etc.) they’ll fill for the shift.


Updated on September 16, 2022
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