Archive for the ‘MSP’ Category.

Resources for the Non-Internet Savvy

Do you have some volunteers who like things “the old way” and just aren’t ready to use technology? Or volunteers with an email address but are still getting comfortable with navigating the web? MSP can still help you save time and frustration when it comes to volunteer scheduling.

Identify your offline volunteers

First, for any volunteers who don’t feel as comfortable with computers, un-check the “Has internet access” box in their profile. For anyone without an email address, this box will be unchecked by default. This way you can quickly identify the volunteers who are not as accessible online, and this may be a great way to transition the ‘less tech savvy so that they are getting emails and hard copies.

Easily contact and collect preferences

When it is time collect preferences or away dates for offline volunteers, use MSP’s filtering tools to identify those that need to be contacted by phone or in person.  By filtering right in the Volunteer pane, you will have an easy to manage list of those volunteers with their contact information handy and their profile easy to edit while you chat! You can also use MSP’s Rosterizer to apply the same filtering tools and run a report with names and contact information for these volunteers to have in one handy place.

Print copies of the full schedule

Once the schedule is finalized, export the schedule and print it. This can be used to post in the church or hand out/mail to volunteers who won’t be accessing it online.

Give offline volunteers a printed copy of their schedule

When sending out the “schedule finalized” email to all of your volunteers, in addition to sending the email with the Send button, we can click the Print button to select “Print – Copies for those without internet access.” This will allow all volunteers to have a copy of their own schedule, either as an email or as a physical letter.

For those volunteers who have an email address but are not very comfortable on the computer (and who we have un-checked the “Has internet access” box), they will receive the email and also have a copy printed for them. this may be a great way to transition the less tech savvy so that they are getting emails and hard copies.

Increase font sizes

Do you have more mature volunteers that would benefit from reading in a larger font? Use the size menu in the Emailer to increase the font size before you print copies for those without internet access.

Or, help your mature volunteers who do use the Web Terminal by teaching them to increase the font size in their web browser. This is found in the settings area of the browser. Look for “zoom” or “magnification”.

Print Mailing Labels

And if you won’t see a volunteer at church to hand out the printed papers, use the Mailing Labels pane to print labels for those without internet access to send them in the mail.

Get help from Ministry Leaders

In the Plus edition of MSP, you can designate lead volunteers as Ministry Leaders who can identify volunteers without internet access that need a sub and can request a sub for them!

 

Summer Scheduling in Ministry Scheduler Pro

The sun is shining, temperatures are rising, and summer is approaching quickly. This transition into the new season often calls for ministry schedulers to make some special adjustments in the church schedule – and MSP is here to help!

Changing service times or ministry requirements

For changes in service times or ministry requirements from season to season, you can easily make adjustments in the Service Times pane of MSP – even creating different sets of services for a particular season if needed. The changes you make to the times or ministry requirements for services in this area will all be reflected the next time a schedule is created. If you have services that are not held during the summer months, it just takes one click to make them inactive so that they will not appear on your summer schedule.

Remind volunteers to input vacation dates

MSP has built-in email templates that make it easy to send important information to volunteers. One of these templates is called  “Request for updates to availability” and allows volunteers to input all of the times they cannot serve before you run a schedule. In this email template, you can include a little blurb to remind people to be sure to input their summer vacation dates. Collecting all of this information before the schedule is created saves valuable time and reduces the amount of swaps that need to be made later on.

Display special summer activities

Having a church picnic or outing this summer? The Web Terminal is a great place to display these special summer events as it can function as an online bulletin board for your volunteers. You can even edit the font size, color, and header of the Web Terminal to make it unique to the season or your particular church.

Want to see these features in action? Start a 30-Day Free Trial or purchase risk-free with our six-month money-back guarantee.

 

Ministry Leaders! 3 Reasons to Celebrate St. Isidore

Today, is April 4th, the feast day of St. Isidore of Seville, the patron saint of the Internet and technology.

Who was St. Isidore?

St. Isidore was deeply committed to the preservation of the Church’s past and wanted to prevent the dissemination of any teachings that were inconsistent with its history. Because of this, St Isidore compiled a vast encyclopedia of knowledge, known as the “Etymologiae”, which has been compared to the structure of a database.


Before you log into the Web Terminal or send out an email, think of St. Isidore and the path he paved to the technologies we have today.  If you are a Ministry Leader, you may have the following reasons to be extra thankful for this patron saint:

  1. Not having to call each of your volunteers about their schedule. Whew! What would once take hours, now takes a few minutes with the simple click of a button
  2. The ability to access shared documents online. You never have to worry about misplacing an important paper or having disorganized drawers of files– think of all the trees you are saving
  3. Requesting subs on behalf of volunteers and eliminating no shows. Long gone are the days of panic, searching the pews for scheduled volunteers. Keep everyone on the same page with a Web Terminal that updates with each and every change.

Spring Cleaning with MSP!

After Easter, you might be spending some time cleaning out your church office and packing away decorations until next year. Why not bring some of that energy and organization into your volunteer scheduling? Here are some spring cleaning tips to ensure summer scheduling goes smoothly:

- Clear out old “Can’t serve dates/times”

Keep your database tidy and get rid of old can’t serve times. To do this, go to the Volunteers pane in MSP, click on a volunteer, and then “Edit Volunteer”. On the right side in the “Can’t serve times” section, click the “Clean…” button and choose “Clean all.” Click OK when done, and all expired can’t serve times will be removed.

- Onboard new volunteers and check in with current ones

With all the hustle and bustle of New Years and Easter, you’ve likely had a spike in interest in volunteering. Capture that momentum and be sure to get those folks into your system or send them your enrollment form so they can get started themselves. Now is also a great time to check in with your current volunteers, thank them for their service, and ask them to update their profiles. If you haven’t heard from some volunteers in a while, consider whether or not now is the time to remove these long-time inactive members from your volunteer list. If you are not sure, we recommend emailing your inactive volunteers to see if they plan to serve again in the future.  If they will not be returning to serve, just go to your Volunteers pane, find their name, and click the “Delete Volunteer” button.

-Update your Preassignments

Preassignments are the first positions to populate a schedule once you click the “Create…” button.  These preassignments may change with volunteers who have shifting spring and summer schedules. Take note of these changes and save yourself time by making sure everything is correct and in place before running your next schedule.

 

Tips for Easter Scheduling

Easter opens up special opportunities for volunteers to serve. But these new opportunities create special challenges for schedulers.  Use the tips below to ensure your Easter scheduling goes smoothly.

  • Create “Yearly Services”: Before you create your schedule containing your Easter dates, build your Easter services in the Service Times pane as new “Yearly Services.”  Once you create these services, they will appear in your schedule each year to come. MSP will even remind you to change the date of the service for future years.
  • Create “One-Time Services”: If you have already created your schedule but do not have your Easter services in the system yet, there is another option for you!  You will need to create your services directly on the schedule. Just find the date where one of these special services occurs and click “New Service.” These services will not repeat next year, though. So you’ll still want to go to the Service Times pane and create your Yearly services so you’re set for years to come!
  • Adjust Volunteer Preferences: If you have manually added a service to the schedule and are planning on auto-scheduling based on your volunteers’ preferences, you will want to check out the “Treat as” dropdown in this window to be sure the correct volunteers are scheduled. If you want any of your volunteers to be scheduled for any of your special services, regardless of service preferences, you will want to double check your Scheduler Settings to ensure they are correct.

For more help with scheduling Easter, check out Frequently Asked Questions on special services or watch the “Tips and Tricks for Scheduling Easter” webinar. Don’t hesitate to email support or ask the MSP discussion group for tips!


 

The 2015 MSP stats are in…

To celebrate a great year here at Rotunda Software, we have compiled some of our favorite stats to share with you.

OUR TOP 3:

State With Most New MSP Users

California
Exciting to have so many new users in our backyard!


Continue reading ‘The 2015 MSP stats are in…’ »

Rotunda Giving Thanks

 

Sometimes, we at Rotunda Software look around and just can’t believe how lucky we are to work with such extraordinary volunteers and volunteer schedulers each and every day. This Thanksgiving season, we’d like to share our deepest thanks with you! Continue reading ‘Rotunda Giving Thanks’ »

Upgrading to MSP’s Plus Edition

Moving from MSP’s Online to Plus Edition is fast and easy.  As soon as your upgrade payment goes through, you’ll gain instant access to valuable new features without having to download anything new.

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Top 3 obstacles when implementing scheduling software …and how to overcome them!

If you’re considering scheduling software or are helping a church with their decision, the hurdles below probably sound familiar. Here are some tips we’ve learned from our users for how to get over them: Continue reading ‘Top 3 obstacles when implementing scheduling software …and how to overcome them!’ »

Top 3 Online Knowledge Base Questions… and Answers!

Ministry Scheduler Pro’s revamped Online Knowledge Base is the go-to resource for on-the-go schedulers.  The “OKB” includes hundreds of helpful articles about our ministry scheduling software but the following three questions stand out. Get ahead of the game and check out the answers to the top three most-asked questions!

Continue reading ‘Top 3 Online Knowledge Base Questions… and Answers!’ »