What is Volunteer Management Software
Managing volunteers is a time-consuming task. That’s why Volunteer Management Software is an essential tool that all organizations can benefit from. As the name suggests, Volunteer Management Software can help manage and organize volunteers in an efficient and time-saving manner. Organizations such as non-profits, charities, religious groups, and governmental organizations of all sizes can all benefit from a volunteer management or scheduling software.
In this article, we will cover the benefits and features that a volunteer management solution can provide for your organization.
How to use Deputy as volunteer management software
According to The Economist, non-profit organizations are becoming more professional in nature as they apply the lessons learned from the business sector. Part of this professionalism extends to how the non-profit sector treats their volunteers. To facilitate this transition, charities need to use the appropriate tools for volunteer tracking and schedule management. Workforce management software, which has traditionally been utilized by businesses, is now being used by non-profits to schedule both volunteers and staff.
Organizations, like religious groups, charities, and recreational groups, can all benefit from using volunteer management software. Managing volunteers can present particular challenges, such as last-minute shift changes, effective communication, and sufficient notice of availability. Using Deputy as volunteer management software helps organizations to meet the challenges of coordinating volunteers. Deputy’s cloud-based workforce management platform has all the necessary functionality to help you streamline your volunteering process and manage your volunteers. The best volunteer management software will contain the following features:
- Volunteer scheduling
- Task allocation
- Communication tools
Most organizations that use volunteers are responsible for storing a vast amount of data. Therefore, a fit for purpose volunteer management software needs to have the capability of handling and storing this information in line with federal and state regulations. Utilizing a spreadsheet for volunteer tracking can be time-consuming and may result in confusion. Small non-profits with only a few volunteers may be able to get by with creating manual volunteer schedules but will need something more sophisticated as their team grows.
If your non-profit employs paid employees and uses volunteers, consider using Deputy to double up as volunteer management software for your unpaid workers and a workforce management tool for your salaried employees.
Benefits of volunteer management software
The benefits of using Deputy as volunteer management software include:
- A stress-free experience for you and your volunteers. Organizing events with volunteers require a great deal of planning. Your volunteer management software will provide your volunteers with all the information they require in one system. Your volunteers won’t lose track of where they need to be, which will result in fewer queries for you and your staff to deal with.
- Higher volunteer retention rates. It can be a challenge to recruit new volunteers. If you provide your volunteers with an organized and fun experience of dealing with your non-profit, they’re more likely to return to help out in the future. Additionally, your volunteers are also likely to spread the word about the good experience they’ve had with your organization, which may lead to new volunteers signing up.
- Better relationships with volunteers. Connecting with your volunteers in a meaningful way helps to further the aims of your non-profit. Volunteer management software allows you to keep a record of your volunteer preferences, so you can personalize certain aspects of their experience. The best volunteer management software will have many integration options with different tools like CRMs. Linking your volunteer management software to your CRM will enable you to store useful information and also send emails or social posts if necessary.
Volunteer management software features
The following features will guide you through how to use Deputy as volunteer management software:
The best volunteer management software includes options to store the required information about volunteers. In Deputy, you can add information such as:
- Contact details
- Background checks
Deputy’s new and updated profile feature helps you to manage employees and volunteers in a simpler way. This update makes it easier for coordinators to view their volunteers’ information for effortless management. Adding volunteers to Deputy is a simple process. You can enter the names and email addresses of your volunteers manually from their volunteer sign-up sheet. An invitation email will be sent to your volunteers after you’ve included their details in Deputy. Alternatively, you can import your volunteers’ details from Google or an Excel spreadsheet.
It’s important to have an open line of communication with your volunteers to pass on messages and updates. Sending each volunteer text messages or using a messaging app takes time. Also, using messaging apps makes it difficult to keep records of conversations, which may be required to show that you’ve complied with relevant non-profit laws.
Deputy’s news feed is a collaboration hub for you and your volunteers. With Deputy’s news feed, you can manage your volunteers at different locations if you have several events running at the same time. You’re also able to send messages to all of your volunteers or just one individual. To ensure that your volunteers have read your message, you have the option of requesting a confirmation read receipt. Deputy’s news feed encourages two-way conversation as you can allow your volunteers to make comments on your posts. If you would like your volunteers to review documents, simply upload PDFs and photos to share with your team. You can create a post in a few simple steps. There is also a filter function to enable volunteers to find relevant posts.
The best volunteer management software will enable you to create and edit schedules quickly and accurately. Deputy provides a complete scheduling solution for your volunteers with the functionality to:
- Schedule your volunteers in different locations.
- Let your volunteers know that their schedule has been published via SMS, an email, or a push notification.
- Drag and drop to create schedules with ease.
Using Deputy for volunteer scheduling can take away the guesswork from organizing accurate schedules. The auto-scheduling feature uses artificial intelligence to schedule your volunteers with one click. Auto-scheduling recommends volunteer schedules based on various criteria, for example, previous events.
The Deputy Kiosk time clock app provides a convenient way for your volunteers to clock in and out of your premises or events. You can use your iPad, iPhone, or iPod running on iOS10+ to capture your volunteers as they arrive at your organization or event. Deputy Kiosk time clock app also provides facial recognition technology to take your volunteers’ image and compare it to their photo on file.
There’s a possibility that you may experience internet downtime while you’re at events. You’ll still be able to use the Deputy Kiosk time clock app even if you have no Wi-Fi. This is because your last 24 hours of activity will be stored in the event that you have no internet access. You can download the Deputy Kiosk time clock app from the Apple iTunes store free of charge. Setting up the Deputy Kiosk time clock app can be done in a few easy steps to provide you with an efficient way of monitoring your volunteers’ start, break, and finishing times.
Your volunteers can also check into your event using their phones. At this point, they will be assigned tasks and you can update them about what’s happening in real-time.
You should ensure that your volunteers can access as much information as possible in order for them to be productive at your event. Each volunteer should know what their duties are and the tasks that need to be completed at different times of the day. Making use of Deputy’s tasking function when volunteer tracking gives you the opportunity to create reports about the man-hours necessary to successfully coordinate an event. Also, you can provide personalized recognition to your volunteers for specific tasks they have completed. When using Deputy as volunteer management software, the task feature enables you to:
- Allow volunteers to exercise their initiative by allocating tasks themselves.
- Use a traffic light system for a simple way to track the status of any task.
- Set-up recurring tasks to be repeated at specific times.
- Include checklists so that volunteers are aware of exactly what needs to be done and when.
- Choose from best practice templates or you can also save and duplicate your own templates.
The steps for setting up the tasking function are straightforward and are explained fully in our ‘getting started with tasks’ tutorial.
If you’re considering using cloud-based software, like Deputy, to manage your volunteers, you may already be using other cloud-based tools to operate your non-profit. The best volunteer management software should have the ability to sync seamlessly with other apps that you currently use. Deputy integrates with over 300 apps to help you create a complete system to manage your volunteers. For example, Deputy integrates with leading payroll software, such as Xero and Sage. Payroll integration will assist you in managing your volunteer’s expenses. Integrating your workforce management software with your payroll also makes your financial reporting easier and more accurate.
Deputy also integrates with HR software, like BambooHR and Happy HR. An advantage of this integration for your non-profit is that creating updates about the number of volunteers and their demographics is an uncomplicated process.
Accurate reporting on the status of your volunteers is useful for many situations, including weekly briefings, quarterly updates, and end-of-year reviews. Your reports need to provide a true picture of the changes in volunteer numbers and also the tasks that volunteers undertake while at an event.
Given that most non-profits (with the exception of church-affiliated and government organizations) need to file an annual information return with the IRS, it’s crucial to keep correct records of what’s happening with your non-profit, including your volunteers.
Deputy’s reporting function helps you to review how different areas of your non-profit are performing. You’re able to generate reports based on different aspects of volunteer management, including:
- Scheduled hours
- Personal information
You also have the ability to customize your volunteers’ information with Deputy’s report builder. This allows you the flexibility to tailor your reports according to the information you need to know. You can satisfy your donors and other stakeholders with the information they require using a few simple steps. Like the other features in Deputy, the report builder is intuitive and simple to set up and use. For the confidentiality and security of your volunteers, the ‘report’ tab in Deputy can only be accessed by system administrators and location managers. With the proper access, the report function can be set up in a few steps.
If you’re looking for the best volunteer management software for your non-profit, consider signing up for a free trial of Deputy.
Let Deputy handle scheduling your volunteers so that you can focus on fundraising activities to raise money for your chosen cause. Give Deputy a try and find out why Deputy is the best volunteer management software to help you to run an efficient non-profit, which in turn will help you to fulfill your charity’s mission.
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.