Before you can create schedules with MSP, you need to set up the program with the ministries you would like to schedule, your service times, and information about your volunteers. You should start by entering your ministries, since the information you enter about your ministries is used when configuring the rest of the program.
When first opening MSP, you will be directed to the Quick Start Guide. This will walk you through the steps to set up MSP. Here is an overview of those steps:
Enter your ministries
The first step to getting started with MSP is to specify the ministries you will be scheduling. The word ministry is used to refer to any task that is performed at a service or event. Some common ministries are usher, altar server, lector, or Extraordinary minister, but you can create ministries for any other task which volunteers perform at a service, such as alms basin, beverage server, floor sweeper – you name it! For each of your services or events, you will be able to specify how many people from each ministry should be scheduled for that service. It is important to enter your ministries first since the information you enter about your ministries is used when configuring the rest of the program.
Enter Services and Events
The next step is to enter the events for which your volunteers need to be scheduled, called service times or just “services”. You will likely create a service time for each of your weekly services or Masses, and you can also create a service time for any other event that needs to be scheduled, such as nursing home visits, child care shifts, or meals distribution.
Add your volunteers
Now that the schedule is saved, it’s time to get your volunteers into the database. There are three ways to do so:
- Import volunteers’ contact information from a .csv (Excel) or .txt file. Alternatively, MSP can sync with some external management software.
- Email your church’s enrollment form to a list of contacts. As people enroll, they are added as a volunteer to the database.
- Enter your volunteers’ information manually, one volunteer at a time.
Schedule your volunteers
Once you have created your schedule and imported/entered volunteers, you are ready to start scheduling volunteers.