Harvest Leader Manual

  Harvest: signup and roster

The sign up process is fairly complicated, but mostly automatic, however harvest leaders need to know how it all works so they can have the right information at the harvest.

The number of pickers is set by the Harvest Director when the harvest is posted. The number of needed assistants is set then also. As volunteers sign up online, the roster slots are filled. If they indicate that they can assist, this shows on the sign up page also. If a point is reached where the number of open roster slots left is the same as the number of needed assistants, then the only options available are to sign up to assist or go on the waiting list.

When all roster slots are filled, the only option is to go on the waiting list. The waiting list can keep increasing until the harvest is set to "closed" using the Harvest Update page. Typically, the harvest is left “open” until a few hours before the harvest, however, there is no reason to leave a harvest open for sign up when all slots are filled and the waiting list is overwhelming long.

For some harvests, circumstances show that more pickers are needed than was posted. In this case the Waiting List Manager (linked from the Harvest Roster and Information page) can be used to promote any number of waiters and to increase the number of roster slots. Note that increasing the number of roster slots on the Harvest Update page does not promote anyone from the waiting list. That must be done through the Waiting List Manager. Typically, increasing roster slots and promoting volunteers from the wait list is done by the Harvest Director or Assistant Director.

Closing the harvest means that it will no longer appear on the public Harvests Page. However, there will still often be changes to the roster because volunteers on the roster can still cancel their slots and those on the waiting list can be promoted to fill them. This can happen up until the time of the harvest. This allows those on the waiting list every chance to get to the harvest if there are last-minute cancellations. It also means that you have the best chance of having all the pickers that you need.

It is best to print the roster for the harvest as close to the harvest time as you can because of the changes that can happen after that. You should also include the waiting list in your harvest packet. This is because late promotions will arrive at the harvest but will not be on the regular roster if you printed it before they were promoted. When they check in, the assistant can look at the waiting list to verify that they have probably been promoted. It is also possible to use a smart phone to check the current, exact list online.

It is best to:
Set the number of needed assistants extra high because it is better to have too many than too few.
Find assistants from volunteers in line at the harvest.
Calculate how many assistants are needed as closely as possible.
Volunteers on the waiting list:
Cannot be promoted to the roster after the harvest is closed for sign up.
Can get on the roster only by someone else cancelling.
Have sometimes come to the harvest anyway and waited in the car, checking online with a phone, hoping to get a last minute promotion to the roster.
The waiting list:
Is deleted once the harvest is closed.
Is stored for future reference to see who has had to wait.
Does not give priority to volunteers who have indicated that they will assist.