I need a free, web-based calendar/scheduling thingie for my volunteer group.
January 28, 2009 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I need a very simple group web-based calendar for a volunteer organization I am part of. It also has to be FREE. [Before you ask Google Calendar does not work because we cannot mandate that people have a Google account. Let's just leave it at that. We can't do it.]

The idea is that the pastors will list all of the volunteer events on a calendar, and then everyone who wants to volunteer could put their names and what time they're showing up on that day. I'm thinking of a calendar where you could click and add your name or initials on the dates you can work. It would be great if I could create user accounts/profiles for each person, but it's not mandatory - but it does have to have some kind of basic password protection so the entire world can't come in and see what's going on. I'm not much worried about someone overwriting or erasing someone else (at least not now) so the account thing isn't mandatory. (Yes, it would be great if we were big enough for a volunteer coordinator and all of that, but we're not, I'm trying to solve this with technology for now. If you could graciously confine your answers to technology-based ones that would be awesome.) Thanks.
posted by micawber to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Does somebody at your volunteer organization have a .mac account? If so, they can setup a group and everyone can use THAT calendar.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:23 AM on January 28, 2009

We've used Calendars.net with some success for some projects at work.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:43 AM on January 28, 2009

No one has a .mac account.

JaredSeth, thank you. I looked at it and it lets me create events, butt there's no way to add comments that I can see, except for someone to add their name as an event. And if they can do that, they can delete things too. i'm not worried about someone being malicious, just clicking the wrong thing.
posted by micawber at 8:06 AM on January 28, 2009

No Google accounts, but what about yahoo or other existing web services? Would those be okay, or does it have to be a standalone site/id?
posted by soelo at 9:11 AM on January 28, 2009

Install Google Apps For Business on your domain, then you can create accounts specifically tied to your domain from the admin interface. Then you can use Google Calendar without mandating your users have their own Google Accounts. Plus if you're a non-profit, you get 24/7 phone support free.
posted by Jairus at 9:28 AM on January 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

30 boxes has "simple sharing" although I guess you'd have to try it to see if it would work for you.
posted by mikepop at 9:32 AM on January 28, 2009

Seconding Jairus, assuming you can mandate that they have accounts on your domain. They don't need to use these accounts for email, just for accessing the calendar, and Google Apps for Business (which is free for the first 50 accounts, IIRC) gives you an admin interface where you can create the accounts for the users, reset passwords, and all that.

Under this scenario, no one has to switch email addresses, you can set everything up, and tell them "ok, Pastor Smith, to login to the calendar enter "jsmith@" and your password is ____. Once you've logged in, your computer should remember this for you, so you won't need to do it every time."
posted by zippy at 10:12 AM on January 28, 2009

... jsmith@ [insert domain name here] ...
posted by zippy at 10:13 AM on January 28, 2009

I use Google Apps for our church just for this purpose. It's also easy to create multiple calendars for different ministries and then merge them into one big calendar with color coded events.
posted by Biblio at 10:59 AM on January 28, 2009

You can use Google Calendar, only 1 person has to have a google account. You can invite others to share your calendar and they can make changes to it (or not, as your sharing permissions allow), as long as they have an email address.
posted by alcopop at 11:08 AM on January 28, 2009

As a church non-profit organization, you can actually use Google Apps for Education for free, which eliminates the fifty-user limit.
posted by djfiander at 11:13 AM on January 28, 2009

Of course, when you set up a Google Apps for Your Domain account, your users *do* have Google accounts, they just have your domain name on them. The mail is hosted by Google and handled by Gmail. So if the reason you can't mandate Google accounts is a legal one, this might not be the best solution.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:38 AM on January 28, 2009

We don't have a Google Apps account and we're not going to get one. I understand why it might seem to be super easy to everyone but I have no involvement, at all, with the church (I'm Jewish!) - I just volunteer at the soup kitchen and since I'm the "internet person" the pastor asked if I could help, after the third time in a month where the head cook freaked when it was 4pm and there were no other volunteers in sight and we didn't know if we needed to start calling folks or if they would all roll in around 5 or so.

The church's web site is a totally different animal and if we have to start bringing in additional people to get this thing to happen, I might as well just go buy a big piece of butcher paper and hang it on the kitchen wall and ask people to sign up there. We deliberately need this thing to be independent or then we have to get the deacons involved, make it a committee, etc.

We can't even get people to sign up for a Facebook account and use that.

I'll try Google calendar again but I couldn't see how it would work beyond entering events, and it looked to me that the same access to add anything to the calendar would also allow people to remove stuff from it.

thanks everyone.
posted by micawber at 7:29 PM on January 28, 2009

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