Type in your suggestion - new feature or improvement idea

Tracking Event Volunteers

A huge part of our non-profit's activities involve not only sponsoring events and managing event registrations, but also (just as importantly if not moreso) signing up volunteers to help with these events. There are a few different types of volunteers typically.

(1) General volunteers who sign up to help plan the event. There may be different subsets in this category. For example, our annual Spring Fair is a major event that recruits volunteers for the Food Committee, Decorating Committee, Entertainment Committee, PR Committee, etc.

(2) Event Day Volunteers are people who sign up for specific jobs and/or time slots on the day of the event. Using the Spring Fair example, we might have someone who can work a Game table from 1:00 - 3:00. Another person can work the food booth from 11:30 - 1:00. The committee chairperson needs to make sure she has at least 2 people to cover the food booth for the duration of the event.

(3) Multi-Day Events volunteers. Some events go for an entire week and we need to make sure we have enough staffing for each day of the week. This is similar to #2 above but allows people to specify a specific day as well as a specific time.

How can I sign up volunteers using WA?

39 votes
Sign in
Check!
(thinking…)
Reset
or sign in with
  • facebook
  • google
    Password icon
    I agree to the terms of service
    Signed in as (Sign out)

    We’ll send you updates on this idea

    Kim SkimmonsKim Skimmons shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    21 comments

    Sign in
    Check!
    (thinking…)
    Reset
    or sign in with
    • facebook
    • google
      Password icon
      I agree to the terms of service
      Signed in as (Sign out)
      Submitting...
      • TangentRWTangentRW commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Just as for events there is a volunteer workflow which includes recruiting, categorizing, training, scheduling, evaluating the performance, and thanking our volunteers. As organizations differ in their practices there should be some flexibility in setting up this workflow.

        We have a need to integrate our volunteers with our events where volunteers at one time may be event participants at another so when someone schedules themselves at an event they can see an entire schedule of their activities both as volunteers and as event participants. These schedules need to have controllable visibility so that department heads, not just system administrators, can see and review the schedule.

      • tlymantlyman commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I see that event volunteers are still a hot topic. Our organization is 175 ladies who raise money and perform service hours in our local community. We have a need to not only track the total hours worked, but to record board officer's hours, recruit event and planning committees, day of event volunteers and multi-day volunteers. Mostly in the manner already described. We currently utilize Signupgenius.com and speadsheets for this function (with lots and lots of errors) and would love to have some sort of integration with WA (or have signupgenius's functionality within WA)

      • dalman603dalman603 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We also are in desperate need of this feature. To be in good standing, you have to have volunteered so many hours, and its very hard to track. Some volunteers are not event attendees either - so we can't track it this way. Looks like this request has been talked about since 2008 - any idea when this might be implemented if ever?

      • cmacmom@live.comcmacmom@live.com commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Love this request. Hear, hear we need this!

        We most specifically track volunteers needed to put on an alpine ski race. We do this today in a xls.

        There are over 40 volunteers needed to put on a single day race. All our races are multiday events and most volunteers select to work an entire race.

        Kari

        Site admin - http://www.cmacskiracing.com

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Keith, I can't think of any app that would suit this purpose. You can of course embed any Javascript widget into a page but it would have no interaction with WA database.

      • xockxock commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think that you've correctly stated the basic func spec for this feature.

        I would like to support the observation that this is a CRITICAL need for my organization and I'd loved to be able to use WA for this purpose.

        However, given that, even under the best of circumstances this will take months, may be years for WA to get to, can I ask for suggestions about free-standing open source apps that would do some of the basics that could just be displayed inside a WA web page? Anybody have ideas?

        I'm assuming that there aren't hidden gotchas in calling an app from within a WA page.

      • MarieMarie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Liz R has done a great job of articulating our needs. Presently we are using both Filemaker Pro and Excel 2007 to handle these tasks that she lists but it would be great if it were integrated into WA. I am a huge WA fan and would love to see it go into the volunteer management area.

        Here are our needs. We have 1 huge booksale a year. It takes us 363 days to get it ready for it and 2 days to execute it. (last year we took in over 600,000 books! We track our 150 volunteers throughout the year. We also track the number and type of books we bring in each year. Then we sell the books during a 2 day event. It takes us 1200 volunteers to staff the 2 day event. We need:
        * Set up jobs by shift
        * Assign number needed per job per shift
        * Allow volunteers to self sign up until shift is full

        * Administratively change/assign volunteers to individual shifts
        * Provide an email to volunteer of what shift they are assigned to, when and where to report, and the duties of the job.
        * Print badges by volunteer for all shifts (Sat shifts on 1 badge, Sun on another)
        * Email follow up with thanks.
        * Report of each job for supervisor of who is assigned to which shift so the Supervisor knows who to expect.
        * Report of no shows
        * Report of each vol and hrs worked.

        Other than that, we don't have any other pressing needs. Ha ha. Funny, right?

        Thanks for considering these issues.

        Marie

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Marie,

        Thank you very much for posting! Even though we are still some time away from working on this functionality, this kind of input is essential for us to start brainstorming the overall direction and understanding our clients needs!

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Additional example of requirements from Liz R:

        One of the needs is to have a place to organize volunteers for an event and to track hours worked. Here is a list of what the high level needs are:

        1. Ability to set up events (such as a regatta) where we need to organize volunteers to staff a number positions (Meals, computers, start line, finish line, parking, lodging, transportation, etc.)

        2. Ability to set up shifts for each position with ability to specify how many volunteers needed per shift,

        4. Ability to send email notification of opening of sign ups

        5. Self-service sign up for members

        6. Ability to review sign ups and to print or save sign up list

        7. Ability for members or administrator to modify sign ups

        6. Ability to report out on the number of hours worked by each member

      • MarieMarie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        As we are tracking volunteers my organization has a need to also track the TIME they spent in their volunteer duties. Because time spent translates into money we take this piece very seriously. At present each volunteer member is required to spend a minimum of 50 hours sorting books, must spend at least 2 hours picking up books from a drop box (of which there are 16 sites), must spend at least 2 hours picking up books from a home or office. These hours are translated into Points Earned so it would be nice if we could do some type of conversion from minutes to points. Then we would also need the ability to add those totals up and report them into different categories every quarter. I know it's is asking a lot but the hours are the basis of service in our organization.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thanks to everyone for ideas. I feel that we are much closer to figuring out a proper solution for this.

      • Kim SkimmonsKim Skimmons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        One thing to keep in mind is that volunteers are separate from event registrations. Not all volunteers are attendees.

      • kbroderskbroders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My previous post had a typo which made things a little confusing. I have edited to fix. To elaborate, we added a multiple choice "I will help" field on our Event registration form with the help that we need for the event -- e.g., "Bring refreshments" and "Photography". This has worked wonderfully in at least getting us a field of volunteers. As the event date approaches, we export the attendees to Excel and scan the "I will help" field and choose who will bring refreshments and who will do photography. (No way for us to see the field in Wild Apricot directly.) In some cases, we assign more than one person to a job.

        We keep track of who is assigned to do what outside of WA. Ideally ability to create fields at the Event level -- e.g., "Refreshment Volunteer" and "Photography Volunteer" -- would let us keep track of this inside of WA with the event. (I just realized that I could update the text of the event to include the information. It wouldn't help much for coordination or reports though.)

        Here's a pie in the sky idea: The field on the registration updates the event level field automatically (if the event level field is blank.) Auto assignment!

      • kbroderskbroders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My previous post had a typo which made things a little confusing. I have edited to fix. To elaborate, we added a multiple choice "I will help" field on our Event registration form with the help that we need for the event -- e.g., "Bring refreshments" and "Photography". This has worked wonderfully in at least getting us a field of volunteers. As the event date approaches, we export the attendees to Excel and scan the "I will help" field and choose who will bring refreshments and who will do photography. (No way for us to see the field in Wild Apricot directly.) In some cases, we assign more than one person to a job.

        We keep track of who is assigned to do what outside of WA. Ideally ability to create fields at the Event level -- e.g., "Refreshment Volunteer" and "Photography Volunteer" -- would let us keep track of this inside of WA with the event. (I just realized that I could update the text of the event to include the information. It wouldn't help much for coordination or reports though.)

        Here's a pie in the sky: The field on the registration updates the event level field automatically (if the event level field is blank.) Auto assignment!

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @kbroders - can you elaborate on your idea? You already can add custom fields to event registration forms but I suspect you mean something else.

      • James KerichJames Kerich commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Like kbroders suggests, can't you set up a free registration "type" for each of your volunteer categories and then set up your registration form to itemize out what they will do to help. The registration form has the ability to add multiple choice options which they can review and click off each of the items you need help with.

        I guess you could do this are part of your event registration process or set up an "Event" just to collect vounteers that could be separate from your actual event. Seems like you could get WA to help you out with this.

      • kbroderskbroders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Our organization uses volunteers for all of this too. What we do is add a Volunteer field on the registration form. After a certain amount of time, we review the attendees and assign volunteers.

        It would be great if we could add custom database fields to the EVENT. Then we could assign volunteers at the event level. Ideally we would also get some email options on the Volunteers. But what we currently do is assign and coordinate them outside of WA. At least WA helps us to find volunteers without calling them. That's been fantastic for improving our volunteerism.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You are right, Wild Apricot is used by many people for volunteer management through various workarounds but current version does not have any specialized volunteer management functionality.

      • Kim SkimmonsKim Skimmons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I moved this entry over to the Wishlist because I don't think this is something WA can do right now.

      ← Previous 1

      Feedback and Knowledge Base

      Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2L7