Need a volunteer management solution for a one-day, multi site event
January 27, 2014 7:00 AM   Subscribe

I'm working with a Community Foundation that is planning our (first) annual Volunteer Day in our town. We're working with other non-profit organizations in town to design volunteer activities which can be completed on a designated day, we will basically be the central clearing point for these activities and volunteers looking to participate, as well as do the publicity / awareness raising etc. I have taken on finding a solution to help us connect activities to volunteers and vice versa. I've done some online research and found a few options, but none are ideal, and so I turn to the hive mind for ideas and insight. Ideally, I am looking for an online tool which allows me to set up 20 or so 'projects', each with different time and skill requirements, and organizers, and allows participants to sign up to one that interests them. special requests and snowflake details inside

The features described above the fold (listing individual projects each with their own time and other requirements ) are required for us. Below are features that in an ideal world, I would love:

- each project has its own organizer. I do not want to become the person answering questions about location or skills for all 20 projects - ideally, each partnering non-profit will designate their contact person who will be listed for each project
- part of our awareness raising will include having people sitting with sign-in sheets at tables at other town events. So ideally, I'd like for the administrator to be able to add someone else as a volunteer to a particular activity if they'd signed up on paper
- mobile functionality / app would be excellent - that way people can sign up on their phones while talking to us
- we're a nonprofit. Free is ideal, but low cost ($20 or so a month) is what we're aiming for.
- email reminders for participants, and also ability to push out new information to participants if the details change
- each project page can be customized - logos, themes etc.

Looking online and at past Asks, I looked at a few options, and have listed my thoughts on pros/cons for each. If anyone's used these tools and has workarounds for my cons (or can tell me how to make it work if I was too stupid to figure it out), would love to hear.
I especially want to know, based on requirements above, if you have used and loved other tools and think I should check them out. -
• Easy to create event info, even events occurring on multiple days or events with multiple shifts on one day
• As well as a URL listing of all activities, each project page gets a separate URL
• Can enter unique contact info for each project
• Can’t customize the themes to include organization’s logs
• Can’t manually add volunteers to an event
• Smartphone sign up available for volunteers
• Can create single day event or events spanning multiple days
• Can create individual URLs for each activity
• Can only assign a SINGLE point of contact across all projects– not to individual activities
• Can’t customize pages for each activity
• Can’t manually add volunteers to an event

Sign up Genius
PROS - simple interface, free
• Can only create ONE activity page, with multiple activities listed on it. i.e. cant create separate pages with descriptions etc for each project.
• Can only assign a SINGLE point of contact across all projects
• Can’t customize pages for each activity - mentioned on prior AskMes
- looks like its more geared to a large organization to manage multiple volunteer activity types (hospitals etc) - has a complex UI and set up process. - there was no trial account available, but from the video demo, it looked like it would meet our needs. It also looked expensive
posted by darsh to Technology (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have used Volgistics and it is definitely not what you need - it's cumbersome and the volunteer interface is not ideal. I recently began using a system called CERVIS (not affiliated with the company except as a user), that I think will do most of what you're asking for - it has a very nice volunteer interface and is simple to set up multiple projects each with its own organizer. It is not, however, free although I think it is reasonably priced. HTH
posted by faineant at 7:20 AM on January 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I wonder if Boston Cares might allow you to utilize their system? They might charge you, but the "Hands On Connect" system is built to do this for affiliates all over the country and you wouldn't have to start from scratch.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 7:53 AM on January 27, 2014

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