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Article ID: KB279
Keyword Name: Volunteer Management, Tracking Hours, Pivot Reports, Summary, Log Notes, Recording Hours
Created: June 03, 2015
Viewed: 12815

How to Track Volunteer Hours in Trail Blazer, and How to Build a Pivot Report that Summarizes Volunteer's Hours

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Author: Joel Kristenson

Last Updated: 2015-06-03


This article walks through the steps to manually log volunteer hours, and then run a summary report showing total hours worked by multiple volunteers for a given time range.  The application of Pivot reports in Trail Blazer can be beneficial in many different circumstances to create summaries.

IMPORTANT: Some parts of this article require appropriate security clearance for things like creating new log notes. If you use another system to track volunteer data, or any other data for that matter, learn about Trail Blazer’s import utility to import the data from that system to ours.


You’ll first need to create a Log Note Type for volunteer hours.

Navigate to the Log Types list, click [+ New], create a name, and click [Save and Close].

Click [Search] to refresh the logs list which will display your new log type. For accurate and efficient reporting down the line, you may want to create sub categories for these different volunteer categories, such as Volunteer Hours – Data Entry, Volunteer Hours – Phone Calls, Volunteer Hours – Events, etc.

Now that you’re finished creating the new Log Types it’s a good idea to refresh all of the drop-downs in your database.  Follow Application Menu > System Manager > Settings > Update Unique Search Value (Drop Downs), and click [OK].

This may take a bit of time (1-15 min.) if you haven’t done it in a while, especially if you have a very large database.

Once complete you’ll be prompted with a pop-up, click [OK].

Now that that’s done, navigate to your Contacts (Voters/Donors) list.  Run a search query for the volunteer you want to record hours for, and click on their name to open the record.  In my example I queried for everyone in my database tagged with a Volunteer attribute, and opened the record for Tom Cope as shown in the image below.

Click on the Logs tab, and click [+ New] under the Log sub-tab.

Choose Volunteer Hours as the Log Type, that you created in the previous steps.

Enter the date, the amount of hours, and *optionally a description of what the person did, then click [Save]My example is below.

By clicking Save instead of Save and Close it gives you the option to set a reminder with your log note.  The image below details an example reminder, this is of course an *optional step you could take, but isn’t covered in-depth in this article.

You’re now finished recording the volunteer’s hours.

Make sure everything is saved correctly, and close out of the volunteer’s record card.

From the Search Log Entries list select the Volunteer Hours as the log type, and click [Search].  This will load every volunteer log entry that’s been recorded so far in your database. You could filter this query further by things like Date Range, A Specific Volunteer, Event(s), Etc.

Now click the Pivot button from the list tool strip.

Select First Name and Last Name from the Row Labels tab.

Select Show count of occurrences and $ or Hours under the Data tab, and click [OK].

The pivot report will run and provide you with the results in a grid view once it’s finished.  My example finished report is below, I clicked on the SUM ($ or Hours) column header once to sort in descending orders.

You’re now finished with these steps.  Take a look at the related resources below for useful articles and videos on similar topics. You can export your final report to a .csv file, or print it onto paper which will maintain the grid lines.  The two images below show a print preview of my final pivot table.

Img 1 – Print

Img 2 – Print Preview

Related Resources

Article: Log Notes vs User Fields vs Attributes

Article: Adding Log Types

Article: Adding Log Notes, Mass Log Notes, and Reminders

Article: Fund Allocation and Summary Report (Another Example of a Pivot Report)

Video: Reporting 105 – Pivots – summary reporting

Video: Attributes – Adding New

Video: Importing

3rd Party Resource (Tool): Volgistics – Robust Donor Management

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