What features should a volunteer management system have?

News, Recruitment

Written by Katie Taaffe

Over the past few years, Assemble’s volunteer management software has been adopted by many of the UK’s largest charities, who are currently putting its many features to work. Our continual development with our not-for-profit customers, as well as a long history with the UK’s Police Forces (via our older sibling DutySheet), has enabled us to truly understand what both Volunteer Managers and volunteers want from our software. So here are our highlights; the top features any volunteer management software needs.

Simple Data Capture

The volunteer journey begins the moment of initial engagement with your organisation. How well organised this journey is at every step, leaves a lasting first impression on newcomers and if problematic, can lead to difficulty in converting an interested volunteer to an active one. A clear and concise data capture form is essential to set the tone and expectations going forward. It is surprising how easily we can be turned off by arduous application forms or anything that requires too many steps or questions, so keep it simple. User experience is everything, so make sure the first leg of the journey is in the bag.

Recruitment tools

Recruitment will always play an integral part in enabling organisations to operate successfully. In volunteering, where long term or consistent commitment can be unpredictable, Volunteer Managers are invariably working with an ongoing recruitment cycle. A good Volunteer Management Software will offer support in organising and simplifying this huge task. A platform that allows you to use a structured and repeatable recruitment process end-to-end will offer organisations a consistent procedure to follow. Assemble, for example, seamlessly integrates at the point of posting an opportunity to your website and guides volunteers through the recruitment journey. Meanwhile in the background Volunteer Managers are able to create great looking opportunities, gather the right data, carefully filter applicants to suit the role, perform checks and track each stage of the process with ease, so every element is measurable.

Scheduling

Its no surprise to hear that organisations use multiple tools for different purposes, with some organisations still using spreadsheets to manage their rota’s. And what’s wrong with this we hear you say? Well, whilst it does work for some, it can be time consuming, especially if you are constantly making updates and amendments to a sheet, which then needs to be shared and distributed. The possibility of multiple revisions of a spreadsheet flying around can be frustrating and potentially misleading, especially if out of date versions are not corrected or multiple managers are editing forms.

Using a rota builder, like the one in Assemble, empowers volunteers to submit and manage their availability independently, which in turn gives Volunteer Managers a clear run at creating schedules with intuitive, user friendly technology.

Reporting

How did it go? That’s what really matters doesn’t it. Are we doing ok? And how can we improve? Measuring the success of both regular volunteer roles and one-off events is almost guaranteed to help your organisation to improve efficiencies and takeaway important findings. Our customers love this feature as it provides such rich and useful insights that really help to measure the impact of volunteers. Data is displayed using neat graphics to arrange the information you select to share, which makes for a more interesting and self-explanatory debrief.

Mobile ready

There really is no reason why the core features of any volunteer management software shouldn’t be available across any device. In the same way our personal and work lives make use of incredible advancements in cloud technology and Mobile apps, so should volunteers and their managers. Not only will this engage a wider demographic, it will improve communication, help track and measure more efficiently and when time is at a premium, empower volunteers to take control of their responsibilities. Assemble is a SaaS (Software as a Service) application, so web and mobile apps are continually updated.

Want to learn more or request a demo? Assemble’s volunteer management software is full of features, highly intuitive and easy to configure – whether you need simple or complex workflows, custom fields or branding, API integrations or open access – everything is possible.