Steve Kallin, Volunteer Coordinator, Jackson Hole Salvation Army Red Kettle Fundraiser, Jackson Hole Lunch Rotary Club, Wyoming
Cheers to 21 years for your Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign!
VolunteerSpot enabled Rotary Club members and the community to signup through a link placed on the Rotary website. When the need for Bell Ringers was announced through list serves or radio interviews, the community could then respond by accessing VolunteerSpot through the local Rotary website...It enabled the community to conveniently signup as Bell Ringers. The feedback to the Club was that the signing up was simple and easy!
Today our spotlight shines on Steve Kallin, Volunteer Coordinator for the 2013 Jackson Hole Salvation Army Red Kettle Fundraiser, who uses VolunteerSpot's online signup sheets to organize volunteers.
Please tell us about your organization and your volunteer needs.
All funds raised are used locally to meet the needs of those living in the Jackson Hole Area. The entire effort is conducted by volunteers. This year approximately 200 volunteers contributed about 350 hours as Bell Ringers on Fridays and Saturdays (eight total days), between Thanksgiving and Christmas at four locations.
This was the first year that an online signup system was used. There was a desire to reach out to the community and encourage volunteers from outside of the Rotary Club to become involved. The ability to signup online was key to encouraging more community participation.
Explain how you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate these volunteers.
Bell Ringers were able to signup using a combination of VolunteerSpot and hardcopy signup sheets at the weekly Rotary Lunch Club meeting.
In the past, volunteers signed up primarily at the weekly Rotary Lunch Club meeting using clipboards passed around the room. This approach was still used. VolunteerSpot allowed me to disable signups on Tuesdays to accommodate this hardcopy signup at the Rotary meetings. I later entered the information for these volunteers into VolunteerSpot and then enabled online signups. This was a bit inconvenient but an important step in helping this Club transition from hardcopy signups to an online signup system. Many members readily signed up online even though signup clipboards were available once a week.
VolunteerSpot allowed information to be exported in csv. which could then be adjusted and used in a template for a hardcopy signup schedule. A printed final schedule would also accompany a red kettle at each location for each day, which provided contact information for each scheduled volunteer.
Instructions and information were provided to each volunteer through a link in the confirmation signup email they automatically received from VolunteerSpot.This enabled basic information about Bell Ringer duties to be easily shared with volunteers that I would never meet or talk to.
Reminder emails, which were automatically sent to Bell Ringers two days before their scheduled time slot, were certainly important in reducing "no-shows."
Another important feature of VolunteerSpot is it made it easy to thank volunteers, both weekly and at the end of the fundraiser. A thank you email was sent at the end of each week. One week, Bell Ringers braved sub-zero temperatures to enable the community to donate at the red kettles. It was very nice to thank these Bell Ringers shortly after they volunteered.
What’s one piece of advice you have for volunteers or their leaders out there?
If you need a lot of volunteers, it's important to make it easy and convenient for them to signup.
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
I wanted a tool that would make it easy for anyone in the community to join this effort and would also help me in organizing and managing volunteers. Also, because this is an all-volunteer, low budget effort, I wanted to find a "free" service.
The reason I chose VolunteerSpot was because of the user support it provided. I looked at about 10 online volunteer programs and tested 4-5 of them. It was immediately apparent that VolunteerSpot had by far the most comprehensive and extensive user support program. The online FAQs, videos, and webinars were well done and easy to follow. I was also impressed by the short response time when emailing questions to VolunteerSpot. I received several replies within an hour!
It was very important that the first attempt to use an online signup system for this longstanding community fundraiser be successful. I believe this successful year will encourage more community participation and support in the future. VolunteerSpot worked great! It was reliable and did everything I needed it to.
We salute Steve and all the other volunteer leaders out there making a difference. If you're using VolunteerSpot, write and tell us about what you're doing and give us a chance to shine our Volunteer Spotlight on you!! Just email us at VS@volunteerspot.com.