VolunteerLocal – how your organization makes the first impression on volunteers
DonorPerfect Community Conference 2022
VolunteerLocal – how your organization makes the first impression on volunteers TranscriptPrint Transcript
Amanda Tadrzynski: All right. Well, I think we are live. Good afternoon or good morning, everyone. Welcome to our session on VolunteerLocal presented by Paige Pennigar. Paige is the Director of Business Development at VolunteerLocal, a platform focus on volunteer scheduling, Read More
Amanda Tadrzynski: All right. Well, I think we are live. Good afternoon or good morning, everyone. Welcome to our session on VolunteerLocal presented by Paige Pennigar. Paige is the Director of Business Development at VolunteerLocal, a platform focus on volunteer scheduling, communication and reporting solutions. As a former public school teacher, rescue dog mama, and food security advocate, she feels a deep connection to nonprofit endeavors.
Before I hand it over to Paige, I do have a little bit of housekeeping. I’d love to remind all of you to be to sure to add your questions to the Q&A tab, so that we can answer them and address them at the end of the session. Questions that you guys put in the general chat area may not get answered due to the constant scrolling of the chat. With that said, Paige, I’m going to turn it over to you.
Paige Pennigar: Awesome. Thank you so much. Welcome everyone. I’m Paige and I am the Director of Business Development for VolunteerLocal. We are one of the core integration partners with DonorPerfect in terms of your volunteer management needs.
Today I am going to dig into– Just talking about some of the logistical pieces of running your volunteer systems and how the importance of these systems can lead to better volunteer stories on the other end. I’ve got some lovely quotes here from some random volunteers for different nonprofits that we work with. A core piece of volunteering really comes down to making your volunteers feel connected to the mission that you have.
If you are starting off that relationship with your volunteers in a rocky way because their sign-up process is not simple or maybe your communication with your volunteers is a little disjointed. That can have a negative impact on having your volunteers come back to sign up for more shifts or maybe telling their friends and family members that they should volunteer with your organization.
Staying organized is going to play a crucial role in building that sustainable volunteer base. We believe that the sign-up process through the shifts completion, maybe sending surveys, asking your volunteers for feedback, that whole process should be really simple for them and for you obviously. We are going to take a quick look at VolunteerLocal and what we do in terms of the scheduling and management process with your volunteers. Then we’ll take a peek at what our integration with DonorPerfect looks like. Obviously, one of the most painful pieces of any management system is going to revolve around data and importing and exporting.
Your life is so much easier, if you can just click a button and magically that information’s going to show up where you need it. That’s what our DonorPerfect integration does. If you have a donor who is also a volunteer, your reporting needs and just your general cohesive look at an overall donor is going to be a lot easier if you can see their volunteer history in DonorPerfect.
We handle the volunteering piece in terms of you building your schedules, your calendars, the sign-up process. Then you’ll be able to look in DonorPerfect and see that Jane volunteered on these days, these hours, maybe has these skills, so we give you a lot of controls for how you have that information showing up in DonorPerfect. We’re going to toggle over to an example VolunteerLocal Account. I’m just going to show you the basics, so that you can see how simple it is for you all as Admin users and also for your volunteers.
This is an example of an Admin dashboard. You’ll be able to get live reports, whatever you need, sign ups, t-shirt sizes, that sort of thing, and then you navigate over to this events and programs page in order to build your core volunteer application and any of your programs for special events. A volunteer application within our system can be fully customized, so I just have an example application here. You can add whatever questions you might want to add to that form.
We do have what we call a feature called Applicant Status. You can build your different flow into VolunteerLocal for your stages of an application. Maybe you require background checks, maybe you require certain trainings to be completed before a volunteer can access your sign up pages, you’ll be able to customize that. This is just some example questions that you might ask your volunteers.
We do have texting as an option within our platform as well. From a communication standpoint, you can keep in touch with your volunteers, remind them of their shifts. Qualifications is also something, if you’ve got– Maybe you want to see what your volunteers can do and that uniquely qualifies them for a given volunteer opportunity. You can customize all of that, take notes on your volunteers and these custom fields can be pushed into DonorPerfect. You’ll be able to decide exactly what information you want to be sent to volunteer or to DonorPerfect from VolunteerLocal. You can send confirmation messages, collect waivers, all of that fun stuff for your volunteers.
Then your core volunteer application can be tied to any program you create. This example sign up page here is tied to the application. That means that your volunteers are not going to have to fill out questions every single time that they want to sign up. That application really simplifies things for you and your volunteers because it’s going to remember and recognize that volunteer as a returner or as a new volunteer.
One of the biggest compliments we receive about our software especially, from volunteers is that there is no username or password for volunteers. Everything’s going to be tied to their email, which I’ll show you in just a moment. There’s something I really like to hit home is that our system is super simple for volunteers because they’re not going to have to remember yet another password and you as administrators or volunteer coordinators are not going to have to reset passwords all the time.
We switch gears and look at this example sign up page, this edit details page is basically the settings that [unintelligible 00:07:07] here’s where you can decide who has the ability to sign up for any given program. As an example, maybe only your approved volunteers, we do have pretty extensive group volunteering as an option as well, where you can decide exactly what additional information, one primary volunteer has to input, automatic messagings. You can get all of those communication tools scheduled.
They go out automatically based on each volunteer schedule, so again, they’re going to, from their perspective, think that this whole process is super simple and they’ll be focusing on their experiences with you rather than being frustrated with, “I didn’t get a reminder about my shift.” That won’t have to be scheduled by your coordinators, it can go out automatically.
This edit details page is basically the settings for any of your sign up pages, notifications, cancellations, the ease of the check-in process for your volunteers. We do have mobile check-in, admin check-in, kiosk mode, but my favorite is QR code check-in. Again, going back to this idea of make your volunteers’ lives easier, let their stories be focused on their experiences, volunteering with you and helping with your mission, not the logistical headaches. QR code is one of those things that just really simplifies your processes for your volunteers.
Any of your scheduling pages are obviously going to have jobs and shifts. You get to customize those. You can easily password protect things, add different locations, self-reporting, qualifications for a job. Our jobs builder is really straightforward and the shift scheduler is also really straightforward. We have different types of shifts. If you’re really wanting to give your volunteers flexibility, maybe they’re completing a task rather than signing up for a specific shift, that helps you expand your reach as coordinators, if you’re giving volunteers a diverse set of options to choose from.
That’s our shift scheduler, jobs builder, and then an example of the sign-up process. We can wrap everything to look like your website, you’ll see our branding today, but the volunteer is going to open up and this would be embedded in your website. They’ll put in a email address and a first name. If I’m using myself as an example, when I click submit, if I was already in the system, I would be taken straight to sign up for shifts. If not, it’ll re-route the volunteer to fill out whatever your application form should have and again, that can be extensive.
It can be simple, we do have conditional questions. All of that’s unlimited. The completed application, they’ll get a text message saying, “This org would like to send you text reminders.” They confirm their mobile number, and then they’ll be prompted to sign up for whatever your opportunities are. We do have calendar view, date, location, and however, you would like to filter those volunteer opportunities.
If you’re using that applicant status filter, they wouldn’t see this page right away, they would get a notification saying, “Thanks for applying, hang tight while we review your application. We’ll let you know when you’re eligible to sign up for shifts.” Volunteer chooses their shift, reads through your waiver, and then they simply click, sign up to volunteer. Again, no usernames, no passwords. Everything is going to be done through their email.
This is an example of a confirmation message they’ll be able to see what they’ve signed up for. All of these email templates are completely customizable, y’all, so you can fill them with whatever information you would like. Volunteers just have an option to open their profile. This would look like your website, not ours, but they can add their shifts to their calendars. They can cancel shifts, if you use mobile check-in, there’d be a green option to check-in there and they can open up any of your programs to sign up for more.
We really pride ourselves in making things easy for your volunteers, so that when they are telling others about your organization, their stories are focused on the incredible work that they did while they were working with you, and not having to go searching for links or remember passwords to get in. In terms of your admin capabilities and reporting, we do have extensive communication tools, interactive reports, where you can see who’s supposed to be showing up for any of your given programs.
You’ll be able to view a volunteer’s profile from an admin’s perspective, you can send them emails and text messages from your templates, move them around to different options. It’s a lot more comprehensive from a coordinator’s view. Template builder is pretty straightforward. This is one of my favorite parts of our platform, so I’ll pull up an example template message. Then let’s say, I wanted to send an email to just my approved volunteers, who are medically certified.
Your statuses and qualifications allow you to filter who you’re sending emails to. Those can be scheduled to go out later or sent in the moment. Our texting tool works pretty much identically. It’s just a text box rather than an email box. You’ll also have a data of check-in tool if you needed that from an admin’s perspective. I’m just pulling up an example. I know you guys probably can’t see some of these dropdowns but you’re not missing too much there, it’s very simple. This is an example of an admin check-in tool, you can check your volunteers. This is mobile-friendly as well. You can do their profiles, so very, very simple for admin users as well. That’s the basics of how VolunteerLocal works.
If we shift back to look at the DonorPerfect side of things. I’ve got some screenshots that I can show you. This handout is available if you’d like to save that for future reference, to dig deeper into some of these reporting capabilities. We have an entire section in our platform that is dedicated to the DonorPerfect integration. You’ll have a lot of control over what types of information, what jobs, what shifts you want to show up in DonorPerfect. You’ll be able to see that volunteer’s history, their hours, any data you might want, demographic information. This is just an example of what you might see on our DonorPerfect integration page within VolunteerLocal.
You’ve also got the ability to push upcoming hours into DonorPerfect, so you’ll be able to kind of see that sync from when a volunteer checked in, checked out for a shift. The days of manually exporting and importing data, volunteer data and showing it in DonorPerfect are nearing an end, if that is something that you get frustrated with. I know I struggle with every platform I use, whenever there’s an import and an export that can get messy. We really like to simplify that. You’re able to also control how VolunteerLocal matches records. A lot of times when you’re dealing with syncs and integrations, it can create duplicates and that sort of thing. We have things in place to avoid that headache for you as well.
You also will be able to check boxes to build profiles, sync profiles we call them. The DonorPerfect ID will get all of that set up for you. When you onboard with us, that’s part of our process is making sure you feel good about that sync. Here’s an example of a sync profile. You don’t just have to have one type of sync. You can build different profiles that allow you to push information from VolunteerLocal, into DonorPerfect. In terms of the sync profiles, you can also do different filters, whatever information you want to push into DonorPerfect. Right now, we have a sync button that allows a coordinator or an administrator inside a VolunteerLocal to push a button that would then sync with DonorPerfect.
Our goal is to– We have it already architected to build out. Our goal is to have an automatic sync where you would be able to say, “I want this sync to happen at midnight every Saturday.” That’s coming down our roadmap here, but for right now, it’s just a simple sync button. You can select and create again, as I mentioned, those different profiles. Some examples that we see you might have just a general hour sync, new volunteer sync, full address sync. If you’re trying to have some fluidity between your donors and volunteers, maybe you want more of your volunteers to consider being donors, or maybe you want more of your donors to consider volunteering. We can help with that process.
I am going to just go through some of these slides there, we could talk for much longer about them individually but this handout is available if you want to see more of those details. This is an example, I do want to take some time to look at this example of an email that you as an admin user would receive after every sync. If you’re wanting to get a detailed overview of what information was syncing, maybe some conflicts, some duplicates, some overwritten data, if any of that were to show up, you would get that via email. You’re not just sending data into the ether and not knowing what happened to it. You’ll get a detailed outline of everything that’s synced from VolunteerLocal to DonorPerfect.
Just as a quick recap, before we look into some of the questions and chats, the sign-up process and delivery is meant to be very simple for your volunteers, so that they’re coming back to you over and over again. I’m happy to pop back into our VolunteerLocal platform here in just a moment to answer any questions or dig deeper into some questions you might have. We provide that simple, streamlined process. Again, the core piece being that VolunteerLocal and DonorPerfect are integrated. That is going to be super simple in terms of running your volunteer information into DonorPerfect and seeing someone’s entire history there.
Just as a quick thing here in the end, it’s worth noting that we are running a special offer for any of you that are in this DonorPerfect community conference. If you are a first-time VolunteerLocal user customer, we are running an additional three month of service at no cost. For example, we do yearly plans. If you sign on for a year with us that 12 months will become 15 months, so it’s three months at no cost. If you are interested in chatting with me a little bit more, happy to show you a more traditional demo. You’re welcome to email me or pop to our website. You can easily sign up for a free trial, schedule demos there, whatever your preference is. I want to go ahead and do a pause.
I’m going to check the chat. Amanda, if anything came in that you were aware of that I should look at? I would love to take some time to dig into more of the VolunteerLocal side or the integration side. I’m going to go back to the beginning of my slides here. I would love to also see if anyone wants to drop in the chat. If you have any really cool stories from your volunteers about why they volunteer or anything, I think this would be a great opportunity to see with different orgs that are in this presentation, why are your volunteers showing up?
I’m going to read some of those off as they come up, but I would love to hear questions or comments, anything that you want to see more of within our platform, would love to take some time to show that.
Amanda: All right. Melissa Owens, actually just popped the question and she asked, “Is all volunteer reporting done through VolunteerLocal, or are the reports integrated with the DonorPerfect reporting system?”
Paige: That is a great question. In terms of the VolunteerLocal side of reporting, if we go down to our volunteers’ tab, we do have the interactive report where you can look at your applications and sign-up pages and see who’s coming for what, but we do have an export option where you can build, whatever different reports you might need. If I chose this example, sign-up page, all of my custom fields, and the standard ones as well, if you need to run some more backend unique stuff. Any custom info that you put in an event or an application will show up here and you’ll notice that you can save reports within VolunteerLocal. Amanda, you might have more context in terms of the DonorPerfect side.
From what I know when that information from VolunteerLocal is sent into DonorPerfect, you then can use your DonorPerfect reporting tools to manipulate that data. We don’t have any shared reports between VolunteerLocal and DonorPerfect, which is actually intentional because that can get a little messy. We leave our end of things, you can save your report profiles here and export to CSV, and then whatever information you have sent into DonorPerfect. You can then use the DonorPerfect reporting tools to manipulate that data. Amanda, do you have anything you wanted to add on that front, in terms of the reporting capabilities on the DonorPerfect side?
Amanda: No, you are exactly correct. Once the VolunteerLocal data is in DonorPerfect, you can use what we call our easy reports or export to file reports as a way to build your custom reports in DonorPerfect. It looks like you get to essentially pick and choose which part of the integration you want to be able to include your reports from or pull your reports from, I should say.
Paige: Thank you for that question, Melissa. Are there any other questions that got dropped in the chat? I’ve got both the Q&A and the live chat open. I also would just love to read off any things that you’ve heard from your own volunteers, why are they volunteering? What do they love about the processes that you have in place? I’m happy to pull up again, anything within VolunteerLocal that you might want to see more of, or back to my slide deck with the DonorPerfect screenshots.
Amanda: Where in the system would they go? Because I believe you said the goal is to eventually have it be a nightly sync, where the data is coming from VolunteerLocal, which I’m excited to hear. Where do they currently have to go in VolunteerLocal to initiate the sync where they have to click the button?
Paige: Give me just a second. Let me see if I can turn it on here in this demo account. Essentially, we have a tab that we use for it. It’s worth noting too, that many of your orgs are likely going to have, I don’t know, 10 to 20, however many admin users and you probably don’t want all of your admin users to have access to the integration pieces. If I were to go add a new admin user as an example, and this is what it looks like to add another admin user, you can customize exactly what that admin user can do, what sign-up pages and jobs and shifts they have access to. You also notice that there’s a check box for whether or not that admin user has the ability to manage the DonorPerfect integration.
It’s not a blanket privilege. You can decide which admin users are going to be able to mess with that just because you don’t want someone accidentally, running any of those. Typically, where we would see that integration is actually going to be one of these tabs. I have to have the API key for it to be a live view. Essentially, there would be an extra tab here to the right of field settings that would say DonorPerfect integration. That tab is where you will see this information. The shift hours, the DonorPerfect settings, it has a dedicated tab for that information. I apologize that I can’t get the API here to show you in real time where it lives, but just pretend that you see DonorPerfect sync right there. It becomes a tab with these pieces.
Amanda: Awesome. You mentioned that you would need the DonorPerfect API key. Just for everyone’s knowledge, if you reach out to the support team or you’re working with a training specialist we will be able to provide you with that API key that you need, so that you can have the two systems share information with each other.
Paige: To piggyback off of that as well, all of our different plans and single-event prices and all of that, everything comes with customer support and onboarding. That is not something that you would have to pay an additional fee. We don’t have set-up fees, startup fees, anything like that. We really value this integration, this relationship with DonorPerfect. That is part of your plan, we will help you get this integration set up.
Our team would say, “You need to reach out to DonorPerfect to get that API key, and then we will help walk you through, getting that API key into VolunteerLocal and then setting up again your different sync profiles and preferences on that front.” For anybody who’s a little bit like, “Oh, I’m afraid of breaking something.” We try to have a lot of pieces in place to make sure that that anxiety is lifted from you.
Again, just to go back to the beginning here, if your systems are simple for your volunteers, then the stories that they’re sharing are going to be way more focused on your mission and why volunteers volunteer, to feel connected to their communities, to be surrounded by people that are like-minded and want to show up for the similar reasons, giving back to their communities, feeling connected to people they’ve lost, or, causes that are important to them.
If people can’t find your sign-up page or get reminded of an opportunity or see a simple tag on your website that links them to the sign-up page right away, you’re losing a lot of opportunities for people to be more engaged with the missions that you are trying to carry out. If you are one of those people in this presentation who is thinking to yourself, “Oh, I’m so tired of spreadsheets. I’m so tired of sending volunteers’ emails from my personal email account.”
Just know that there are many options out there to make that easier and we’re just one of those that happens to be more directly tied with DonorPerfect. If you’re trying to keep everything within one umbrella family, VolunteerLocal and DonorPerfect have a really great relationship there.
Amanda: Anything that involves not having to export data and import data is always a blessing.
Paige: Yes, it really is. Again, for nonprofits in particular, we’ve spent– As I’m sure all of you in the last two to three years, which is hard to believe that now when we talk about the pandemic, we’re referring to two to three years and not one year. As a more event- and nonprofit-focused company, everything shut down for us as well. Rather than sinking with the ship we really, really tried to swim out of it.
With that came a really large focus on nonprofit organizations. I can almost guarantee you any feature that we have added or made stronger in the last three years was with your missions at the heart of it. This idea of being able to screen your volunteers and have volunteer applications that are set to a certain status or filter, all of those new features we’ve added in the last few years are focused on nonprofits, not on music festivals or marathons. They’re focused more on nonprofit, ongoing programs.
In fact, one more thing real quick that I forgot to mention on our shift scheduler for any of your sign-up pages, you’ll notice that there is a bulk copy option. You can build ongoing volunteer calendars. You will not have to add each individual shift. A lot of people when I talk to them about that, they take this deep sigh of relief that your time can be spent building your communities and not building volunteer schedules. You just need to build one week’s worth of your volunteer calendar and hit repeat, and it will build that ongoing calendar for you. That’s one of the many examples of the features we have that are built specifically for organizations like yours.
Amanda: That is amazing. I love anything you have to click a button and it just copies it.
Paige: Yes. We’re very into the click and copy and walk away and let the system work for itself. If that’s something that you’re needing support with, feel free to reach out to me. Obviously, I can’t see exactly what organizations you all are part of. As someone who is a former public school teacher and does a lot of different nonprofit work now, thank you for all of you who have really ridden out the storm from the last few years and just know that we see you and your missions.
Just I am looking at some of these food banks and different medical groups and people that are in this presentation. Your work matters and you are appreciated. I hope everyone has a wonderful day and we’re out of time. Feel free to reach out or find me on LinkedIn, whatever. We’d love to build relationships with you, even if you don’t decide to join the VolunteerLocal family. We’d still love to chat and learn more about what your needs are.
Amanda: Thank you, Paige, so much for your presentation, and thank you all for your attendance. Our next obsessions are going to be, “Is your staff part of your story and connected to your mission?” and a presentation by Giftcloud telling your story in various ways. No matter what session you choose, you won’t miss any of the content because everything is being recorded. I hope to see some of you in some of those sessions shortly. Thank you all and have a great day.
Paige: Thanks, everyone.Read Less