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Aug 19, 2020 1:52:48 PM by InitLive

Volunteer Management Software: FAQ +18 Top Solutions

Volunteer Management

volunteer Management Software_ FAQ +18 Top Solutions

Volunteers are an integral part of many organizations and nonprofits. In fact, a volunteer team can be the difference between meeting your annual goals and not. Like any other part of an organization, they require tools and resources to work effectively and efficiently. 

At InitLive, we work with nonprofit organizations of all sizes to help manage and empower volunteers in less time through our robust volunteer management solution for programs and events. InitLive is committed to ensuring that every organization is equipped with the right tools to increase its impact and meet its goals. That’s why we have compiled a comprehensive list of software providers to help your organization find the right solution. 

Is your organization ready to upgrade your volunteer management process from spreadsheets to software? First, let’s start with the basics:

In this article, we will explore: 

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Before you can begin evaluating your options, you first need to establish your organization’s needs and key features to look out for in a solution. Let’s dive in!

Volunteer Management Software for Nonprofits: FAQ

There are a lot of moving parts that go into managing a team of volunteers which can be difficult to navigate. Here is a quick overview of the frequently asked questions and their answers to set you up for success as you begin your research into Volunteer Management Software (VMS) options. 

How do you manage a volunteer program?

There are hundreds of ways to run a volunteer program, and your team’s approach all depends on what your organization's goals are. Here is a simple infographic that explains the basic volunteer program management lifecycle. 

Volunteer Management Lifecycle

The volunteer management life cycle outlines the basic elements in properly managing a volunteer program. From defining your staffing needs to recruiting and scheduling volunteers, to communicating with and supporting them to do their best work, there is a lot of work in running a successful volunteer program. 

Here is a list of all the steps in the volunteer management lifecycle:

  1. Planning: Planning your volunteer program 

  2. Recruitment: Recruiting volunteers 

  3. Scheduling: Scheduling and matching the right volunteers to the right roles 

  4. Training: Training and onboarding volunteers 

  5. Management: Managing and empowering volunteers to do their best work 

  6. Evaluation: Evaluating your programming and surveying your volunteers for feedback

To get the job done efficiently, you need to invest in a good leadership team committed to the cause and volunteer management software that can support your administrative needs. 

Why is volunteer management important?

Volunteer management is important to ensure the overall health and sustainability of any programs and events that rely on volunteers’ work. A successful volunteer management process ensures that volunteers are kept informed, engaged, and motivated in the time they commit to an organization, which in turn increases long-term volunteer retainment. 

What is a volunteer management system?

A volunteer management system, or volunteer management software, is a tool created to help organizations administer volunteer programs, events, or initiatives. 

This type of software often offers volunteer recruitment tools, scheduling, management, and communication and acts as a database for all of an organization's volunteer information. A volunteer management system also offers feature sets specifically for the administrative requirements to manage any number of volunteers. 

How do you choose the best volunteer management software?

There are so many solutions available to your organization, but not all of them will meet your specific needs. So how do you cut through the noise and find your perfect solution? You first need to establish your organization’s longer-term volunteer management needs and goals. What you need today may not be enough tomorrow. 

With that in mind, here is a list of core features to look out for in a solution that can accommodate basic and more complex needs for the future: 

Volunteer Database Features

  • Multiple organization, program, or opportunity capabilities to expand your volunteer programs or add events

  • A secure database that stores all volunteer profiles and activity information

  • Easy data filtering and sorting capabilities

Recruitment Features 

  • Branded volunteer sign-up pages listing opportunities and available shifts

  • Customized online volunteer application workflow

  • Accommodation for group sign-ups

Screening Features 

  • Centralized screening of volunteer application 

  • Defined roles with qualification 

Scheduling Features 

  • Easy schedule building with bulk actions and shift duplication capabilities 

  • Multiple scheduling views (calendar and list) 

  • Automated matching for volunteers with shifts based on qualifications, roles availability, and conflicts

  • Group scheduling 

  • Mobile schedule management

Communication and Engagement Features 

  • Pre-scheduling and send email messages 

  • Self-check-in and attendance tracking for volunteers in mobile app

  • Multiple tier communication options (email, SMS, in-app messaging) 

  • Volunteer mobile app with communication, personal schedules, and access to documents

Tracking and Reporting Features 

  • Volunteer tracking and hours tracking with a summary of check-in/out timestamps

  • Custom exports reporting on volunteer program data


For a more in-depth look at the features you need, make sure to download our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide to Volunteer Management Systems to help you better evaluate your options. Plus, you can take a look at some of our favorite tools below.

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What is the best volunteer management software?

The best volunteer management software should offer you everything you need to run your volunteer programs, initiatives, and events in one system. Using multiple-point solutions to meet your organization's specific needs can waste your time and result in harmful data and administrative errors that can negatively impact your organization's bottom line. 

A good volunteer management software should offer you the flexibility to choose how you want to manage your programs and events within the system, allowing you to make things as simple or complex as you want. The software should also be up to date and easy for you and your volunteers to use—meaning there’s no need to settle on a 15-year-old system that doesn't work on a mobile device. 

Without further ado, here are our top 18 volunteer management software providers along with their reviews:

InitLive - Volunteer Management Software

InitLive offers a leading all-in-one volunteer management solution to help organizations and nonprofits increase their positive impact while empowering their volunteers. This solution provides organizations with efficient and flexible volunteer recruitment, screening, scheduling, management, and communication tools through their modern cloud-based web app and native mobile apps.

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Here’s what makes InitLive stand out: 

  • Unlimited number of programs and opportunities 

  • Self sign-up opportunities for volunteers directly from your website

  • Drag and drop schedule building with multiple views and easy duplication 

  • RosterMode™ functionality to match volunteers automatically to shifts are roles based on qualifications and availability and interests 

  • User-friendly volunteer mobile app that users of all age groups have widely adopted

  • Real-time volunteer management tools with the only patented volunteer management mobile app on the market

  • Volunteer hours tracking and customizable reporting 

  • 5-star customer service and self-paced online training through the InitLive Academy

InitLive’s all-in-one volunteer management solution has helped hundreds of organizations

reduce their volunteer administration time by up to 70%, decrease volunteer no-shows by 30%, and retain more volunteers year over year. 

In the words of one happy customer, "InitLive has made my life 100 times better compared to our previous volunteer management system." -Gini Douglas, George Washington University Hospital


To learn more about InitLive's solution make sure to check out our demo video by clicking here or get in contact with the sales team by clicking here

Our Favorite Volunteer Management Software Reviews

While the InitLive solution offers the most comprehensive volunteer management software with the best user experience on the market, there are many other simple solutions available to organizations like yours. We have created a comprehensive list of simple volunteer management software options to consider. 

SignUpGenius 

SignUpGenius

SignUpGenius simplifies the process of coordinating events and people by providing online sign-ups for all sorts of nonprofits and organizations. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software::

  • Enact an easy sign-up process 

  • Send automatic email or text reminders

  • Run volunteer hours reports for easy tracking and exports 

This is a simple tool that's great for those organizations simply looking for a way to recruit people for tasks online quickly. 

Volunteers For Salesforce (V4S)

Volunteers for Salesforces (V4S) is a tool to help Salesforce customers manage their volunteer programs. This solution fully integrates with an organization's existing suite of Salesforce products like a CRM or Nonprofit Success Pack. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:

V4S User Interface

  • Manage, track, and assign volunteers

  • Engage with volunteers through automated emails 

  • Track volunteer participation with reports and dashboards

V4S offers a number of great volunteer management capabilities from tracking volunteer skills availability and hours to online recruitment options and email reminders. 

 

Volunteer Mark 

Volunteer Mark

Volunteer Mark offers a more comprehensive volunteer management software that includes scheduling, communication, and reporting. Plus, their mobile app gives volunteers an easy way to keep track of their volunteering duties and schedules. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:

  • Recruit and manage volunteers

  • Schedule volunteering opportunities

  • Simplify communication with volunteers


This software offers multiple options from a simple sign-up form to a more robust volunteer management solution depending on your organization's needs.


 SignUp Zone

Signup Zone is an online tool for coordinating volunteer help and more. It is as easy to use as a paper signup but with all the convenience of being online. This solution is a good option for those simply looking to collect a list of contacts quickly. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:Singup Zone

  • Create volunteer sign up pages 

  • Create and share schedules 

  • Roster volunteers 

Signup Zone offers a simple solution for organizations like schools to quickly collect parent and volunteer information online.

Giveffect

 Giveffect is an all-in-one nonprofit software that provides robust volunteer management functionality. Volunteer shifts, hours, and contact information seamlessly integrate into our CRM system, providing a comprehensive overview of your constituents.

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management Giveffect's volunteer management software provides a comprehensive overview of your constituents and eliminates the need for manual data entry. software:

  • Volunteer management 

  • Donor management 

  • Robust reporting

With volunteer scheduling and tracking, a mobile volunteer check-in kiosk, and volunteer to donor conversion tracking, Giveffect consolidates your nonprofit operations and eliminates manual data entry.

Better Impact

Better impact offers a large breadth of features and services for organizations, from donor and client stewardship to volunteer management.

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:

  • Customize volunteer profiles and organization profiles

  • Create individual and mass targeted email and text communications

  • Track and report on hours, outputs, feedback, and more

This volunteer management product offers customizable profiles, database management, volunteer recruitment, flexible scheduling tool capabilities, and reporting to help manage a team of volunteers efficiently. 

 Helper Helper

Helper Helper’s software platform and mobile app helps you easily coordinate and track service hours across your entire organization.

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:Helper Helper volunteer software and mobile apps

  • Manage multiple calendars
  • Communicate with volunteers and teammates
  • Streamline volunteer recognition

This solution also offers a centralized data source for volunteerism–including sign-ups, reminders, kiosk check-ins, and reporting.

 Galaxy Digitial 

Galaxy Digital offers an easy-to-use volunteer management system called Get Connected. This product makes it simple for volunteers to find and select the opportunities they are passionate about. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:Galaxy Ditgital

  • Manage events

  • Schedule volunteers

  • Track volunteers’ hours

Ideal for everyday use, Get Connected can help increase volunteer engagement, develop long-term relationships, and track involvement.

YourVolunteers 

YourVolunteers offers a free volunteer management tool that supports registration management, scheduling, and volunteer profiling. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:YourVolunteers is a free cloud-based volunteer management system.

  • Create and schedule shifts 

  • Maintain a database of volunteers

  • Track volunteer attendance

This cloud based tool also offers an easy way to create and assign volunteer shifts, keep notes, and collect information from volunteers. 

 

Timecounts’ solution provides organizations with the tools required to recruit, manage, and mobilize teams of volunteers. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:Timescounts volunteer management system for organizations..

  • Create a volunteer database

  • Leverage smart forms 

  • Schedule events

This solution removes the friction between you and your eager volunteers by offering a way to publish opportunities online, collect volunteer information, maintain a directory of volunteers, and offer communication capabilities. 

TeamKinetic

TeamKinetic is a volunteer workforce management solution allowing organizations to create custom websites and recruit, train, deploy, retain, and reward volunteers. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:TeamKinetic's volunteer management software offers a simple solution for creating custom websites and building an immersive volunteer program.

  • Advertise volunteer opportunities

  • Email and text your volunteers

  • Measure your impact

Volunteers can also register and join these opportunities, allowing organizations to capture their information, reviews, and hours logged.

GIVFUL

GIVFUL is an online employee giving, volunteer management, and reporting solution. Their technology helps nonprofits attract new donors and raise more money for their causes. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:GIVFUL's volunteer management software offers helpful tools for managing volunteers and employee giving.

  • Recruit volunteers

  • Create a member directory

  • Manage your calendars

Thanks to their innovative and streamlined solution, GIVFUL engages even the youngest generations and attracts corporate employees who in the past have not participated in corporate volunteerism.

VolunteerSchedulePro

Volunteer Scheduler Pro is a solution specializing in volunteer scheduling that also helps manage and communicate with volunteers as well. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:VolunteerSchdulePro

  • Offer flexible scheduling

  • Set up automatic reminders

  • Plan for online substitutes

This solution is ideal for small organizations that need a simple upgrade from general office tools.

 

CERVIS is a volunteer management software that offers simple tools to coordinate volunteers. Their solution includes tools for scheduling, communication, reporting and more.

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:

  • Schedule volunteer shifts onlineCERVIS is a volunteer management software solution that includes tools for communicating and reporting.

  • Set automatic reminders

  • Create custom data reports

They also offer impactful training resources for you and your team to get up to speed on effective volunteer management and software.

 Mobilize

Mobilize offers a solution for mission-driven organizations to help manage events and recruit volunteers. This solution is used by nonprofits, progressive campaigns, advocacy organizations, labor unions, and more.

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:Mobilze

  • Set up recurring and multiple-shift events

  • Automate email and text messages

  • Ensure straightforward approval processes and permission levels

This solution makes sure volunteers sign up, show up, bring friends, and come back through its powerful and engaging platform. 

 Volgistics

Vologistics offers an online volunteer data management tool with recruitment and scheduling features to help organizations and manage a team of volunteers. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:Volgistics

  • Volunteer recruitment

  • Volunteer scheduling

  • Volunteer reporting

With this tool, volunteers are able to fill out applications, submit their schedule preferences, and self-schedule online.

ClickTime

ClickTime makes it easy to track, plan, and manage employee and volunteer time. This solution is great for organizations simply looking to report on impact for funding purposes. 

Here’s what you can do with this volunteer management software:

  • Send email reminders

  • Create and update online timesheets

  • Access real-time dashboards

With ClickTime, you can improve operations and increase team-wide employee productivity through easy-to-use timesheets you can access anywhere, anytime.

Conclusion 

Volunteer management software should make your life easier by offering you all the tools you need to manage your volunteer program and empower you and your volunteers to do their best work. 

There are so many options available on the market that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices, and we recommend you take your time and define what you need before committing to any software. Remember, one solution that can offer everything you need to succeed, such as InitLive, instead of multiple-point solutions will serve you better in the long run. 

If you are ready to start exploring your options, check out InitLive's solution by watching a demo today. Good luck!

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Additional Resources

We’ve also compiled a number of helpful resources to guide you along your buying journey. These resources include more useful tips and insight on what goes into great volunteer management: