Volunteer Software vs. Volunteer Hour Sheets: Which is Better? | Track It Forward

Volunteer Software vs. Volunteer Hour Sheets: Which is Better?

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Graphic of woman with a laptop and a giant question mark with text: Volunteer Software vs. Volunteer Hour Sheets: Which is Better?

When it comes to tracking volunteer hours, it can be difficult to know where to begin. There are so many different ways to track hours, from paper sign-in sheets to volunteer hours logs and volunteer software. This article is going to cover two common ways of tracking hours: Volunteer hour sheets and volunteer software. 

Volunteer Hour Sheets

Volunteer hour sheets can include one or both of the following:

  • Paper sign-in sheets
  • Spreadsheet hours log

Spreadsheet hours logs can include Excel spreadsheets or online spreadsheets like Google Sheets. This community service log typically includes volunteer data such as who volunteered when, for how long, and what activities they completed. Volunteer hours sheets can be a good option for smaller organizations or those who are just starting their volunteer programs because they’re free. However, it can quickly become a lot of paperwork and manual data entry to manage. If the process is too cumbersome and takes up too much of a volunteer coordinator’s time, or results in missing paperwork and potential inaccuracies, it’s time to consider a different solution.

Volunteer Software

This is where volunteer software comes in! There are many different types of volunteer software with a variety of features. The type that works best for your organization will depend on the needs of your volunteer program. Here are some things to take into account:

  • Volunteer program size
  • Number of volunteer activities and events
  • Program budget

When it comes to features, think about what you’re looking for in a volunteer software. What kind of data are you looking to track and report on? Some examples include:

  • Event calendar and RSVPs
  • Check-ins and Check-outs
  • Tracking hours by activity or location
  • Hours verifications and approvals

Pros and Cons

Still not sure what will work best for your organization? Take a look at our pros and cons list for volunteer software and volunteer hours sheets.

Volunteer Software Pros:
Easy process to pass on to the next coordinator
Data is stored securely online
Easily track data and generate reports
Schedule events and collect RSVPs
Send mass communications to volunteers
Volunteers can view their hours history and status

Volunteer Software Cons:
More Expensive
Some Training Required


Volunteer Hour Sheets Pros:
No Training Required
Volunteer Hour Sheets Cons:
Large amounts of paperwork
Takes longer to manage
Can result in reporting inaccuracies
No hours transparency for volunteers
No events calendar and RSVP capability

Overall, volunteer software is a better solution for most organizations due to the convenience, data preservation, and various features it offers. Although some initial training is required to learn a new system, a solution like Track it Forward is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Track it Forward is a flexible, customizable, and easy-to-use volunteer software program with different features and plans to meet the needs of your organization. From our user-friendly mobile app to milestones tracking and email communications, there is something to fit every program!  For our full features list, click here.