See Why SoftwareAdvice.com & Girls on the Run - Bay Area Recommend VolunteerSpot
Mission driven programs like Girls on the Run, a youth development nonprofit that sponsors running activities and events for girls, rely heavily on volunteer support. Spreadsheets, clipboards and reply all emails don't cut it anymore when it comes to organizing hands on effort; check out this recent post from SoftwareAdvice.com on how VolunteerSpot's free online sign ups help coordinate, track and maintain a volunteer schedule for a very important organization . . .
Girls on the Run—Bay Area relies on the generosity of about 800 volunteers, who contribute a combined 30,000 hours of time annually to coach and train participating youth. Over 100 of these volunteers are recruited to assist on race days with pre-race setup, post-race breakdown, food and beverage distribution, registration assistance, face painting and passing out medals at the finish line.
Prior to 2011, four full-time staff members devoted half their work week to recruiting and scheduling volunteers in the five weeks preceding a race, which strained their limited resources. People who were interested in volunteering signed up through an online form that Girls on the Run staff had created themselves, but volunteers weren’t able to choose which tasks they wanted to undertake.
“All of our race-day volunteers signed up for the same four-hour time slot, and we assigned them tasks as they checked in on race day,” says Thomas. “This created a bit of a mob scene in the check-in tent. We'd end up with too many people in one area and not enough in another, or some volunteers wouldn’t like the job we assigned them. Others were distressed when we had to split up their group to fill the available jobs.”
The disorganized sign-up and check-in process began to jeopardize the volunteer experience—so staff decided it was time to find a better solution.
VolunteerSpot Provides Full-Featured, Budget-Friendly Solution
The team began searching for a system that could streamline race-day volunteer coordination and allow volunteers to accomplish three things:
- Read descriptions of the available tasks.
- Sign up for a specific task online.
- Register a group of volunteers, such as a high school or corporate group, to serve together.
Fortunately, the search for a better system didn’t take long. One of the organization’s committee members recommended VolunteerSpot—an online volunteer scheduling and management system—because he had previous experience using it.