- volunteer sign up (collecting appropriate information about the volunteer in this process)
- scheduling/matching volunteers for activities (this could be done by a coordinator or by the volunteers themselves, if activities/schedule was available to them)
Would be Nice:
- searching for volunteers (allowing organization or individuals to search volunteers, ideally not just online for everyone to see to protect volunteer privacy!)
- volunteer orientation (what should they know? do they have to sign something? onboarding process communicated or ideally fully enacted online)
- contacting volunteers (this should be easy and possibly be able to be done as the full volunteer group for large scale communications)
Option 1: Handle the absolute needs only with an easy solution people already kind of get.
Option 2: Code something custom for yourself and be ready to do some planning.
Pros of anything custom is it typically works with what you already have to do exactly what you need it to do. Custom basically equals perfect for you.
Cons would be it would cost. Custom also means time and time means money. If you were going to use something across multiple schools or districts, sharing that cost with them could lower the price (but it also means your perfect solution also has to be theirs, which means more planning/conversations.)
Option 3: Find a third party solution and be ready for trial and error.
The idea with a third party solution is that someone else has already solved your problem and will sell you the solution to yours. Everything I’ve found related to volunteer management is software trying to do lots of other things (donor relations! events calendars! etc.) That said, I did just find this: http://
In many cases, we can transform the phrase ‘third party solution’ into ‘awkward sales call to find out how much it really costs and what it really does’. You may have to try a few things before you find a third party solution that works for your project.
I’ll stand by what I said and I could take this three option approach to almost any tech problem. You either go basic so you can deploy something quickly and at least partially fix a problem; do something custom and have lots of talks about feelings; or find something that already exists and is ‘good enough’. Depending on your timeframe, budget, and internal politics, the right approach may become apparent to you.
We’ll see what they decide about volunteer management but it’s nice to know they (and you!) have some options on that front.