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6 Strategies for Finding a Substitute

Updated 5/12/2023

Life happens but you are responsible for making every effort to find another volunteer to cover any shift you aren't able to attend.

We understand that life throws a curve ball at each of us from time to time that can interfere with plans to volunteer. Many of our activities require a certain number of volunteers in order to be successful. If something prevents you from attending a volunteer activity that you signed-up for, PLEASE don't delete your name from the SignUp Genius page.

Please try to find another volunteer (a substitute) to cover they shift you aren't able to attend.

SWAP to Trade and Exchange

SignUp Genius includes a SWAP tool to identify the other people who are volunteering on the same activity and ask for help. As the name implies, this tool helps you exchange volunteer shifts with another person. You can check out the steps to SWAP shifts in this handout:

SWAP Shifts in SUG
Download PDF • 328KB

I'd like to use a lifeline

You can also reach out to other volunteers directly using the contact information from the RCMG Directory. It's often useful to start with other volunteers that you've gotten to know, like mentor teams, neighbors, and other people who you've had the chance to work with in the past. We recommend calling or texting individuals directly instead of using email, especially group emails because you're more likely to get a reply that way.

2023 RCMG Directory
Download PDF • 3.24MB

Best Practices for Finding a Substitute

If there is MORE than one week before the event project:

  1. Try using the SWAP button on SignUp Genius.

    1. You choose an alternative day and time and check the box next to the person's name that you could swap with.

    2. SignUp Genius will email those people and will also email you when someone swaps with you.

If there is LESS than one week before the event project:

  1. If you are an intern with a local mentor, contact your mentor and ask if they can help or give you suggestions on who else to contact.

  2. If you are volunteering with another person at the event, contact the other volunteers sharing the same event/shift with you to ask if they know of someone that you could call and ask to help.

  3. Check the SignUp page and contact volunteers signed for different shifts for the project this year and contact them directly. We recommend that you call them.

If there is LESS the one day OR you were unable to find a substitute using the tools above

  1. Contact the project coordinator listed for the SignUp page to ask for help.

  2. Call the program coordinator to let them know that you will not be able to participate and what you did to try and find a substitute.


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