Easy Volunteer Tracking Software, Different Volunteer Employment Roles, E-cards, and More! | Track It Forward

Easy Volunteer Tracking Software, Different Volunteer Employment Roles, E-cards, and More!

Written by Kasey Murphy

Topics Discussed: Easy Volunteer Software,  Volunteer Staff Roles, E-Card Services, and Easing Volunteers Back - Limiting # of Volunteers

Recap from March 9 - March 15
Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community Weekly Recap!

The Volunteer Coordinator Resource Community has come together to bring up some new topics, and new perspectives! 

A constant topic of conversation is volunteer software. There are many different volunteer coordinators who use different software for volunteer tracking, volunteer events, and volunteer databases. 

Volunteer tracking software is a very important tool and the topic of conversation! We would know, we are a volunteer time tracking software! But, we do truly believe that each organization can benefit from different volunteer tracking software in different ways. This is why we always welcome the opportunity for other volunteer software to be discussed in the group! 

A conversation that occurred this week was about volunteer software that will be easy to use for the older population that is not as technology-friendly. Volunteer time tracking software often requires at least a little bit of input and effort from the volunteers themselves, so it might seem a little tricky to find an efficient volunteer time tracking software for those who are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with technology. 

Hello! I am the Volunteer Coordinator at a smallish non-profit museum - around 100 volunteers. We are in the process of updating our website software and I will have an option for a volunteer portal. Our demographic is 90% retirees - some with no knowledge, some with minimal and a few that are wizzes with computer experience.  I'm mainly looking at adding recording of hours, sign-up sheets for special events, etc... - we now have an online application but that could also use improvement.  What are your absolute must haves, can't live without or don't even think about it options? Any tips and ideas are greatly appreciated!

When you start looking for volunteer software, it is important to note things like the post has done above. How complex the software is and what you want out of it are very important factors. 

The above post mentioned recording hours, sign-up sheets, and events. As well as an online application. 

If you’d like to read all of the comments, they are here. 

We suggest using a slow transition to digital before fully implementing volunteer software if your volunteers are not on board with technology and software. This could be with a simple digital event sign-in sheet or check-in kiosk. Then, all volunteers need to do is sign in and out of events. The volunteer tracking software does the tracking and data logging all on its own! 

Resources For Finding Volunteer Tracking Software




The next topic is one that is applied to larger volunteer programs, those who have multiple staff dedicated to working with volunteers! If your organization has many paid staff who work with volunteers, how do you separate different volunteer roles and responsibilities? 

For those of you who have multiple staff working with volunteers - how are your responsibilities and titles split? Our volunteer program is growing, and I'd like to see how it's done at other orgs!

Advice From The Comments: 

  • “I am in the midst of a reorg of vs staff. New roles are Recruiter, Scheduler and Group Volunteer Coordinator. Before it was by program area — Restore long term, Restore short term and Construction vol coordinator.”

  • “We have 23 branches, and each location has a Volunteer Coordinator. I am the Volunteer Services Manager and I have an assistant. We oversees the program, but it's executed at the branch level. The coordinators oversee anyone who runs a program, and these are the volunteer supervisors. Working with volunteers is on everyone's job description, but it's a relatively small part of their jobs. Only the two of us in Volunteer Services work with volunteers full time.”

  • “My favorite structure is a Volunteer Coordinator who focuses on individual volunteers who reports to the Volunteer Manager who focuses on group volunteers.

  • That's the way I explain it to other staff. But some more details on who does what: The Coordinator does recruitment, hour inputting and verification, and our recognition program. The Manager does any conflict management, staff training, and special events.”

To read about other ways that organizations organize volunteer programs - read all the comments here! 

It is important to organize your volunteer program and the roles and responsibilities of each staff member working with volunteers. Not only is this good for your staff and volunteers to feel organized and know who is directing what initiative, but it is also important for legal reasons! 

Find more information about organizing your volunteers and paid staff members in this article! 

Volunteers vs Employees - Why Is It Important To Strictly Distinguish Them



As volunteer programs still maintain virtual, or at least contact with volunteers is minimized, it is important to find alternative actions that allow volunteers to still feel appreciated. 

A volunteer coordinator in the group specifically was asking about e-cards and any services that people might use to send out e-cards to volunteers! 

Looking for a free program online to send ecards to volunteers. Free would be nice or low cost. Thanks!!

To comment or see all of the advice about virtual cards for volunteers, check out the post here. 

Comments And Resources for Virtual Cards And Appreciation

Check out this article too to see different ways to spread volunteer appreciation safely during the pandemic! 



Lastly, we have volunteer coordinators who are struggling with the slow transition back to in-person volunteering. Of course, some programs might be waiting for a total reopening to feel safe. Some might be waiting for vaccinated volunteers to come back and volunteer in-person. But some, like this Volunteer Coordinator, are having to make tough decisions on who to let back into the organization first as they slowly transition back into a fully operating volunteer program. 

Looking for some advice as things start to ever so slowly open back up. Part of the group of volunteers I coordinate assist with our summer camp. Because of the seasonal nature and state guidelines, those particular volunteers reapply each year. This year our entire structure will be different to mitigate risk and the number of volunteers we will need will go from hundreds to a few dozen. I am going to be turning away many people who have been dedicated to us for years and anxiously waiting for us to open back up. I know many will be understanding given the pandemic, but there will be people who question why some were chosen over others. I'm anticipating lots of mixed opinions and feelings.
So my big question is: any advice on how to best manage conversations with these volunteers? Anyone else start letting volunteers back into their programs slowly, requiring them to turn away active dedicated volunteers? Thanks!

We feel this is a really important topic. If you have more you would like to add, please comment here! 

Here were some of the existing comments: 

  • “I would make it very clear from the beginning just like you did in your post. I think when you say normally we welcome hundreds of volunteers, but this year due to COVID we can only support XX number. But it's just temporary and we look forward to being back full steam in future summers. That just makes sense given the circumstances.”

  • “We are dealing with very similar where I work!!! We went from 1800 shifts/week to maaaaaybe 150 after our reopening from covid. I think the biggest thing is to be honest and transparent and give the actual numbers if you can!! I know at my organization a lot of volunteers thought that “reopened” equated to “normal” operations when that’s really not the case. Is there anything volunteers can do remotely or help with other projects if not the summer camp? Best of luck to you! It’s a HARD situation to be in! I know a lot of places are hurting for volunteers, but having way more than you need and disappointing people is a problem too.” 

As volunteer programs transition or struggle with transitions throughout the pandemic easing up, we encourage you to post in the Facebook group to see how others are coping. The issues that you might be having now could have been someone’s issues last month or could be someone’s issues this coming month. So, it is important to get all of the topics talked about and bounce ideas off of other volunteer coordinators, so everyone can improve! 

In the meantime, check out this article below for updates we have been working on for volunteer programs considering opening with vaccinated volunteers! 

Restarting Your Volunteer Program With Vaccinated Volunteers