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?
Thanks Marie, really appreciate the details.
We are a 140 person non-profit that collects used books throughout the year. Our volunteers sort, price, box and store books until our 2 day sale in February of each year. We collect close to 800,000 books (1 by 1) driving to individuals homes. It is imperative to keep our organization going that we track the following:
1. Volunteer TIME sorting, pricing and boxing books by type of sort. Volunteers now sign in on a daily basis in a book with a spreadsheet. We then transfer that info into excel and sort it a million times. It is extremely time consuming and not very accurate. I'd love a simple Sign In and Sign Out that would track the time spent at the warehouse. They would then be able to assign those hrs to a particular job. (We could use a drop down so we could change the specific type of sorting.)
2. Volunteer BOX COUNT as they pick up books throughout the city. We pick up form homes, offices, and our own drop boxes. Because we pick up close to 800,000 books it is important for us to track WHEN we receive books and from WHERE. (Zip code is what we use to track) This help us manage our set up of teams and future publicity. We also need to track how many boxes of books we are taking out of each of our 16 Drop Boxes spread across the valley. We compare these to previous years to know if a box is producing or needs to be moved.
3. Volunteer JOBS. We have NO PAID employees. Our 140 volunteers do EVERYTHING. From clean the bathroom at the warehouse, to take out the garbage, to program the computer. Our Board members, parliamentarian, treasurer, secretary also get points for doing their jobs. We need to have a date field, sign in and sign out, total time (1 hr = 1 pt) and what the job was. It is a lot like #1 above although MOST of the volunteer time is spent sorting and pricing books.
It sounds like a small operation with only 140 little old ladies collecting used books, but last year we brought in close to half a million dollars in 2 days at our sale! We give all of our proceeds away to local charities in our community. Last year we put in a minimum of 22,000 hrs of volunteer time!
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'd like to have a volunteer tracking component in Wild Apricot. Nearly all of my clients' organizations rely heavily on volunteers. Keeping track of them is a problem. It'd be great to have a way for volunteers to sign up for activities, time slots, etc. and communicate with them, as well as tracking their hours for the year or whatever time frame. Using the events database to do this (i.e., creating a "Volunteer for..." event) is possible but really doesn't cut it for any but the simplest projects.
I definitely support this functionality. Our treasurer currently receives monthly "donated service logs" that track our board of directors' donated time, expenses, mileage, meals, etc.
We currently use Google Docs to process this information, but more sophisticated tracking system associated with member profiles would be great!
Capabilities of the current version related to volunteer management are quite limited - but this definitely an area we are interested in and I hope to see comments on this thread as well as other requests for volunteer-related functionality.
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)
Evgeny Zaritovskiy commented
No ideas, sorry. But we are aware of its importance.
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?
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.
Site admin - http://www.cmacskiracing.com
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
Thanks to everyone for ideas. I feel that we are much closer to figuring out a proper solution for this.
One thing to keep in mind is that volunteers are separate from event registrations. Not all volunteers are attendees.
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!