Everything You Need to Know About Recurring Events in One Step-by-Step Article
Recurrence Templates are much more than a recurring event – a Recurrence Template is a template from which you can create future events (called “Instances” in VolunteerHub) in a few simple clicks without having to recreate the same event over and over. You can create one instance at a time for events not occurring on a schedule, or create a full year’s worth of events. In addition, Recurrence Templates give you the ability to edit all future instances created from that template at once, as well as register users for one or every future instance, if desired.
This guide explains how to:
- Create Recurrence Templates
- Add Instances to an Existing Template
- Edit Individual Instances
- Edit All Future Instances
- Delete All Future Instances
- Register Users for Individual or All Future Instances
- Creating a Copy of a Template
To create a Recurrence Template, log into VolunteerHub as an administrator and click the orange Create Event button in the center of the Dashboard page. Then, on the next screen, click the Recurrence Template tile.
The Starting Date/Time and Ending Date/Time fields will not be available initially when creating a Recurrence Template; instead, the date(s) and time(s) of any instances for this template will be added in the next step.
Once you’ve entered the details for the Recurrence Template and clicked Save & Continue at the top of the screen, you will be taken to the Instances page. Click the orange Add Instances button to select the date range and start/end times for all future instances of the event. In the pop-up that appears, select the start and end times of all instances to be created as well as the desired recurrence pattern and frequency using the options provided. When finished, click the Add button in the top-right corner.
Once you’ve created a Recurrence Template, you can and add more instances at any time, even if you’ve previously created instances for that template. Recurrence Templates are meant to be created as a template and reused as needed to speed up event building; in other words, once you've built the template, you'll never need to recreate it.
To add more instances to an existing template, click the Recurrence Templates tile in the main menu, then click the ellipsis (...) button to the right of the desired template and select "Add Instances" from the menu that appears (screenshot below). In the pop-up that appears, add instances as desired, following the same steps as in the previous section to add more instances using the selected template. You can add a few instances for next week or create a full year’s worth of events!
Edit Individual Instances
After adding new instances to a Recurrence Template, you still have the option to edit the details of a specific instance. To do so, click on the name of the instance (either from your Events page or from the list of instances provided in the Recurrence Template's Instances page) and click the Edit button in the top-right corner (or, click the ellipsis button to the right of the event and select "Edit Event" from the menu that appears).
Any details that can be edited for the specific instance will have a link/unlink (chainlink) toggle to the right of the field name; click the unlink (broken link) icon on the left side of the toggle corresponding to the field you’d like to update, then make your adjustments and click the orange Save button in the top-right corner of the screen. Any “unlinked” details you change will not affect the Recurrence Template itself or any other instances of the Recurrence Template.
There are two ways to edit existing future instances of a Recurrence Template. The first is to edit the general event details of the template, and the second is to edit the start/end times of the existing instances.
Change the Event Details
To edit the event details, such as descriptions, location, registration details and automated event emails, navigate to Recurrence Templates page from the main menu, click the ellipsis (...) button to the right of the Recurrence Template you’d like to edit and select "Edit Template" from the menu that appears. When finished making changes, click Save. Any changes will be applied to all future instances (including existing instances) of the template. However, no changes will be made to instances occurring in the past.
You can also save a copy of the Recurrence Template by selecting Save Copy of Template from the ellipsis menu. This is useful if you need a different template for each day of the week; you might create the first template for a Monday shift, for example, then change the details for Tuesday shifts and click on Save Copy of Template. This will create a second template with the Tuesday shift’s details. This is a useful strategy for signing up volunteers for all Monday shifts for a specific type of event.
Change the Start/End Times
VolunteerHub allows you to have one instance per day for each Recurrence Template you create. This means you cannot create two instances in a single day; if a new instance falls on the same date as an existing instance, the system will overwrite the current instance with the new times. You can take advantage of this functionality to update the start/end times of all future instances of a template!
To change the start/end times of all future instances of a Recurrence Template, navigate to the Instances page for that Template and click Add Instances. Select the same recurrence pattern and date range as if you were recreating the instances you already have, but this time select different start/end times. When finished, click Add Instances to overwrite the times of your existing instances with the new times.
The Multi-Event Editor is available at no extra charge to Enterprise Plan customers and may be added to existing Plus and Pro sites at an additional cost. Contact your account manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on this feature.
You can easily delete all future instances of a Recurrence Template. This is useful if you create instances for the wrong date range or recurrence pattern and need to start over.
First, navigate to the Recurrence Templates page, click the ellipsis (...) button to the right of the Recurrence Template for which you want to delete all future instances, then select "Delete Template" from the menu that appears (don’t worry, you will reinstate the template without losing the event details or previous events associated with that template). This will delete all future instances only.
Next, go back to Recurrence Templates page, click the filter icon and select "Only deleted events" from the drop-down that appears. Click the orange Apply Filters button; this will update the page to show only deleted Recurrence Templates.
To the right of the template you just deleted, click the ellipsis (...) button and select "Undelete Template" from the menu that appears to reinstate the template (this will not recreate the future instances you deleted).
Now you can go in and add new instances to the template as needed or save it for future use.
As an administrator, you can register a user for one or all future instances of a Recurrence Template from the user’s profile. To do this, navigate to the Users page from the main menu and click on the user’s name/username, then click the Add Registration button in the Timeline tab. A pop-up listing all future events will appear; use the filter options at the top of the page to filter the list to a specific Recurrence Template, then click Apply Filters.
To register the user for one instance or all future instances of an existing template, click the orange Include button to the right of each desired instance, or click the grey Include All button to select all instances appearing in the pop-up window (based on your applied filters). This will add a checkmark beside all selected instances. When finished, click the Save button in the upper-right corner to register the user for all selected instances.
You can easily create a copy of an existing Recurrence Template, which is particularly useful for creating additional shifts for the same volunteer opportunity.
In the Recurrence Templates page, click the ellipsis (...) button to the right of the template you want to copy, then select "Save Copy of Template" from the menu that appears. This will save an exact copy of your template with no instances and with "Copy" in the name of the template. Next, click the Edit button in the upper-right corner to change all the details in that page to reflect your new event (for example, you might change the name of an event from "Copy of Food Sorting - AM Shift" to "Food Sorting - PM Shift"). When finished, click the Save button. You will then be directed to the Instances page of the new template, from which you can start adding shifts for your second shift/event.