In most of our conversations with schools considering software for their school volunteer program, we’ve realized that school administrators and parent volunteer program leaders need help understanding the many different options available to them and how those options differ from one another. So, in a 4-blog post series, we’ve decided to share our knowledge about the wide range of available options on software to track school parent volunteers.
Generally speaking, software for tracking school parent volunteers comes in 4 categories:
- Online signup forms
- Hour Tracking web apps
- General volunteer management systems
- Specialized volunteer management software uniquely designed for schools
In this post, we’ll focus on Online signup forms.
As we briefly wrote in a past blog post, online volunteer signup forms are, well, just that. Online signup forms come in different varieties, from free single webpage signups to multiple online signup form services.
Features of Online Signup forms
Free Signup forms
- You’ll typically get 1 signup form
- 1 ‘organizer’ account, which is usually for the person who is managing the school activity or event need volunteers.
- the ability to create a ‘schedule’ – either the day(s), Start and End times of the volunteer opportunities, and how many volunteers you need.
- send emails to the participants, i.e. parent volunteers.
- pick a theme for your signup page.
- no passwords needed – this is a good and bad thing – good in that you can send the link to anyone, and bad because the link is often posted by the schools on their website, meaning anyone on the Internet can see the information.
Paid Signup forms
- these will of course include the features contained in a free version, plus the following, in one form or another.
- multiple signup form webpages, each one being a different link.
- multiple organizers, again, the # available will depend on some type of plan that you can select; the greater the # of organizers, the more you pay per month.
- custom fields that you can add to each signup form.
- various ways to create signup schedules.
- more advanced emailing capabilities.
- basic volunteer hours tracking; this usually comes in the way of services hours from one signup page being dumped into an Excel spreadsheet.
- the cost of Paid signup form services range from $9/month to as much as $49/month.
Getting started is very easy with online signup forms, you just need to create an account.
If your school needs help with recruiting parent volunteers for a school event, then online signup forms are great tools. You just need to pick which plan you need based on how many events and how many organizers you have.
In our next post, we’ll be looking at Hours Tracking web apps. We’ll provide features information on those web apps and how they differ from online signup forms. So be sure to come back in a couple of days.