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?
Has anyone found a workaround for this? Maybe another web-based service that we can link to in order to get this functionality? We have tried Signup Genius but it doesn't do exactly what we need.
(The main thread for this is at https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825953-volunteer-management-functionality and this should probably be combined with it.)
AdminEvgeny Zaritovskiy (VP Technology of Wild Apricot by Personify, Wild Apricot by Personify) commented
Can you please elaborate a little more? For example, we have another suggestion - http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825554-members-to-be-able-to-submit-events - isn't this the same one?
We have several volunteer groups in our organization. It would be great to be able to add an interactive calendar for volunteer members to sign up for their shifts.
We just went live on WA last week, and I was reminded of the absence of this feature.
There are at least two other threads on this point:
Can they be combined?
Brandon Longley commented
Our organisation uses Volgistics, in which we have linked Wild Apricot and Volgistics through manual IDs. It doesn't affect us that greatly since around 10-15% of our volunteer base are members, however if this number was larger it would be a headache - the amount of manual data entry we would have to do.
We've found that we really need a single system to manage donors, volunteers and members and soon we're going to be looking at options however.
In a perfect world a single centralized system would be great but they are very costly.
One day I see Wild Apricot being the solution for this.
Sue Beckwith commented
The functionality we need most is the ability for volunteers to track their time. Need the vols to add the date, text desc, hours to the nearest 30 mins and select from a pull down of the type of work (that we have chosen: usually admin, prof, trades, other). We need this to show donors the signifcant number of vol hours contributed. Need to report by date and also rank by highest number of hours in given time period (for rewards).
Kirsten Greene commented
I would also like to have a volunteer sign up option
I'm evaluating membership support software for our small volunteer yacht club.Without this feature, we can't consider WildApricot.
I am in favor of that a lot. Not all registree in events are participants; some are organizers with different tasks. Some have more than one task.
For this year we decided to use "10 authors" rule. Our 2014 roadmap currently consists of 83 wishlist threads with 10 or more different authors commented in them.
Sunnyside Gardens Park commented
We need exactly this.
Currently we are using Volunteerspot and though appreciative of it ; would prefer to have one streamlined website
Has this been added to the new update ?
I wanted to know before I added it to wishlist. How many people need to have the same items on their wishlist before you consider implementation ?
Dmitry Buterin commented
Matthew, thanks so much for the details, this really helps. This does seem like something we would consider in the future - though not within 2013. I would appreciate comments from other people who have similar needs.
Can you please check http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825953-volunteer-management-functionality thread? Is it what you speaking about?
Brandon Longley commented
I think volunteer tracking would be a great addition to the future of Wild Apricot but we need to remember that Wild Apricot is a Membership Management System. They do this great, and there may be other alternatives to WA that do Volunteer Management better.
I really value Wild Apricot's effort they do with software updates for Memberships however if they invest in Volunteer Management, our membership updates will come slower.
Please people, look at alternatives to WA for Volunteer Management. Since configuring WA to manage Volunteers is a MASSIVE project which would consume a lot of WA's resources.
For now, use the software as it was design, try not to appropriate it for other uses.
Greg Swallow BCHDA Webmaster commented
[quote user="Chief_Apricot"]I would appreciate input from everybody on this - what are the specific functions you need related to volunteers? The more specific examples you can give us, the better.
I have tried volunteerspot and jooners for volunteer sign ups and didn't find the free versions at least of those did everything I needed. We just started using http://volunteersignup.org/ and it seems really good, and is really free, no premium upgrade. Check it out as an example of what would be good.
I have 6 events a year that need about 40 volunteers each. We schedule what jobs and shifts are needed and people sign up.
Volunteer sign ups in Wild Apricot could be possible as an 'event' if it was possible to limit the fields chosen so when say 4 people chose a certain option on the form it wouldn't let anyone else choose it. I know this is on the roadmap in the development queue, but no target version yet. That might solve this problem too.
If I could limit options on an event registration I don't think there's really anything else I'd need. We could export the registrants and calculate hours in excel. Maybe a hidden field so we could set the # of hours that each option was worth when designing the form, but not absolutely necessary.
Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it. We do monitor everything in Wishlist, and I also agree that this is important request. We're just focusing now on even more important things, requested more by customers. So, no progress yet.
Jeremy "JT" Trigsted commented
Our organization would also benefit from a system like this.
Adrian Turcanu commented
Hi Wild Apricot designers,
What is the status of this?
I would like to add my voice here, I belong to 2 different non-profit clubs and both clubs rely on volunteers for 90% of the work.
One club uses Wild Apricot, the other still struggles with HTML but they are considering switching to a friendlier environment.
Volunteer management functionality is the large piece of the puzzle that is missing right now from the Wild Apricot API and I am convinced that adding this functionality will give me enough ammunition to tilt the balance of their decision towards Wild Apricot.
Managing volunteers is very time consuming, both clubs have a dedicated person for this. A pain in the butt...
Reading the posts it seems that most of the organizations have similar needs:
- have a list of tasks (maybe associated with dates and times) and task description.
- have the ability to associate tasks with members
- have the ability to mark the tasks as "completed"
- maintain a history of what member completed what task.
I will be happy to assist your team in formulating detailed requirements.
Thanks for the input. It's going to take us some time until we have progress in this area (I would say not within a year), but in the meantime have you tried to look into http://www.wufoo.com/features ? This can be a suitable workaround.
David Grimes commented
We are a bicycle club.
Our volunteers contribute in two areas, leading rides (about 350 per year) and contributing labor at events such as picnics (6 or 8 events per year).
At the end of the year we compile volunteer efforts and award prizes for outstanding participation.
We do not publish ordinary rides or picnics as 'Events', so keeping track via Events will not work.
We need a form for admins to enter into member records the date and name of their volunteer efforts. Both fields are free form, not defined by an "Event" (maybe that could be optional for those who want to keep track by defined Events).