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How to build a base for volunteer management without duplicates? (Update record issue)

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odba
5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

Hi there! We run various festivals and events, and have a base of around 400-500 volunteers who help us out on these events. For our last event, we moved all volunteer management over to Airtable which worked like a charm. 

I have all my volunteers in one table (with their personal data such as emails, phone numbers, food allergies etc.), and in another table I have the available time slots from our last event, such as "Ticketing on July 2nd from 0900-1000". I used a form under my Volunteer-table to fill the vacant time slots for our last event.

Now, I've set up the time slots for our next event in a third table, and would like to reach out to our volunteers and ask them to sign up. However, I already have most of their data, so ideally, I would enable them to update their records with their chosen new time slots. If not, I would get a lot of duplicate records. Are there any way to do this? Ideally I would also enable the volunteer to update some of their record data.

I've seen some third party solutions (customers portals, miniextensions etc.) but they're too expensive for a small NGO.. 

Any suggestions is greatly appreciated!

2 Replies 2
TheTimeSavingCo
18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

> I already have most of their data, so ideally, I would enable them to update their records with their chosen new time slots. If not, I would get a lot of duplicate records. Are there any way to do this?

Yeah, you could do this by creating a junction table with linked fields to your Volunteers table and your Time Slots table and creating a form with the linked field to the Volunteers table.  You would then create a prefilled form URL so that volunteers wouldn't have to select themselves, they'd just need to select the timeslot they want

This would mean that anyone with access to the form would see everyone in the Volunteers table via the linked field though, so I would suggest creating a single line text field and prefilling the volunteer's name (or other identifying ID such as email, etc) there.  You'd then create an automation that would trigger on form submission, and its action would be to link the form submission to the time slot

> Ideally I would also enable the volunteer to update some of their record data
Yeap, you could use this guide in the Airtable documentation to help with this

Thanks a lot Adam (and sorry for the late reply). I'm looking at the guide you linked to and will do some testing on how to solve this the best possible way 🙂