In this blog post we will provide product information on Volunteer management software for purposes of tracking parent volunteers in schools.
Volunteer management systems are the next step up from Time/Hour tracking software and generally offer a much broader range of features and functionality. The reason for this is volunteer management systems serve more industry segments, for example, non-profits, hospitals, universities and, of course, schools. And since these organizations tend to be big organizations, with hundreds if not thousands of volunteers, their volunteer needs are wide-ranging.
In order for volunteer management system vendors to be able to serve such varying industry segments – and their needs – the software offerings need to have more feature set offerings. That said, whilst such feature sets are broad they are not “deep”, meaning they come with many features, but the extent to which the features serve user needs is rather limited.
However, it is the extent of an organization’s volunteer program which causes these organizations to look to volunteer management systems.
Catholic, Independent, and Charter schools, with their strong focus on building school community, most often have very extensive parent participation programs. A Catholic elementary school with 300 families for example, may have as many has 70+ school events and activities, with 600 to 800+ available volunteer positions or shifts, every year. Plus these schools have significant volunteer requirements, for example, tracking families with Criminal Record Checks or Food Handling Certificates. Online signup forms and Time/Hour tracking systems simply do not come close to serving such volunteer management needs.
Features of Volunteer Management Systems
- Generally provide all the features that Time/Hour tracking software provide, plus the following.
- Centralized system wherein everything from signup forms, volunteer profiles, event signup, scheduling and management, and advanced reporting are all in one place.
- Scheduling of events and school activities needing volunteers.
- Ability for volunteers to add and manage User profiles, all contained in a volunteer database.
- Volunteer signup and hours tracking.
- Ability to serve up and manage unique volunteer signup pages for special groups of people or special events.
- Ability to manage volunteer profiles.
- Multiple user levels and permissions.
- Ability to send emails to volunteers, both automated and manual.
- Kiosks for volunteers to check in and check out.
- Integration with CRM or school information systems.
As you can see, volunteer management systems offer a wide range of capabilities.
With volunteer management systems, getting started usually involves “implementation”, meaning entering data and configuration of the system. In most cases, training is also part of the process, again, because there are so many capabilities to learn.
In our next blog post, we will look at another option for school parent volunteer management – highly specialized systems uniquely designed for schools. Come back again in the next couple of days to learn about these systems.