Everything You Need to Know About Recurring Events in One Step-by-Step Article
Recurrence Templates are much more than a recurring event – from a Template 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.
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
- Creating a Copy of a Template
To create a Recurrence Template, simply click on the Create Event button on the Dashboard or after selecting a specific Event Group. Then, on the next screen, select “Recurrence Template” from the Event Type field.
The Starting Date/Time and Ending Date/Time fields will not appear when “Recurrence Template” is selected. The date(s) and time(s) of any instances for this Template will be selected in the next step.
Once you’ve entered the details for the Recurrence Template and saved the event, you will be taken to the Instances page to select the date range and start/end times for all future instances of the event. Now you can activate future instances of the Recurrence Template by selecting the desired recurrence pattern and frequency.
Once you’ve created a Recurrence Template, you can 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.
To add instances, simply navigate to the Recurrence Templates tile and select the desired Template. Click Add Instances. You can create instances in addition to the ones you’ve already created. You can add a few instances for next week or create a full year’s worth of events! After you have entered your chosen Times, Pattern, and Dates, click Add to add those 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 page) and click Edit.
Any details that can be edited for the specific instance will have a “Detach” icon – click the broken chain (left) for the details you’d like to change, make your adjustments, then click on Save. Any “detached” details you change will not affect other instances of the Recurrence Template.
Date & Time settings of an individual event within a Template do not have a detach icon, as they can freely be adjusted.
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 the Recurrence Templates page and select the Recurrence Template you’d like to edit. Next, click on the Edit button for that Template. When finished making changes, click on 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.
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.
To change the start/end times of all future instances of a Recurrence Template, navigate to the page for that Template. 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 to overwrite the times of your existing instances with the new times. (No changes will be made to any existing reservations or registrations.)
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 and click the ellipsis (...) button next to the Recurrence Template for which you want to delete all instances. Select the "Delete Template" option 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. In addition, if you are going to be recreating instances on specific dates, any registrations or reservations that already exist on those dates will be kept.
Next, go back to the Recurrence Templates page, click the filter, select Only deleted events, and press the filter icon again. Click the ellipsis (...) button next to the Template you just deleted and select "Undelete Template" 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. If you add new instances on the same dates that were previously posted, any registrations and reservations will come back as well.
You can easily create a copy of an existing Recurrence Template, which is particularly useful for creating additional shifts for the same volunteer opportunity.
From the template you want to copy, click the ellipsis ()... button and select "Save Copy of Template." Then edit all the details in the copy to reflect your new event (e.g., change the Name of the event from "Copy of Food Sorting - AM Shift" to "Food Sorting - PM Shift").