Volunteer and assignment matching provides a simpler way for you to evaluate volunteers to see if they might be a good fit for other assignments. This feature can also be a great way to help you place new volunteers based on their preferences and abilities, rather than only using a list of assignment names. Volunteer & assignment matching can also encourage volunteers to try assignments they are qualified for but may not have considered in the past.
For example, suppose Joe serves at an information desk. He has all the needed skills to work in the gift shop but might not realize there's a need there because he doesn't have a Role in the assignment. With matching, you can see that Joe meets the requirements for the gift shop without having to manually evaluate his profile. In addition, if you choose, Joe could see schedule openings for the gift shop when he logs in at VicNet to check is schedule.
Or suppose Steve is a new volunteer. Steve is eager to help, but not really sure what assignments he wants to serve in. You could hand him a list of all your assignments with their requirements and ask him to pick a couple. Or you could have him fill out an online application and have the system present you (or him) with a shorter list of assignments that he's qualified for.
Volgistics has included volunteer and assignment matching features for a long time, but the old implementation was not very useful for many of our customers. To make this feature work more effectively, we started from scratch and completely re-worked matching. The new implementation is quicker and easier to understand. Since it was just released last weekend, we wanted to let you know how it works.
First, we've done away with the three different levels of matching (good, fair, and marginal). Now, volunteers either match an assignment or they don't. There is also no longer a way to weight the different criteria (availability, characteristics, and preference). Instead, when you set the matching criteria for an assignment, you're basically setting the minimum requirements. Any volunteer who meets that minimum criteria will be a match.
To try this out, you can turn on matching from inside your account by going to Setup; Assignment tracking; Ground rules. Then, you can configure matching separately for each of your assignments. These settings appear on the Profile tab within the assignment record.
You can learn more about these settings and how they interact with matching in help topic 2249 "Volunteer & assignment matching".
After you've turned on matching for an assignment and set the criteria, head over to the Volunteers tab. Here you'll be able to search for matched volunteers. This is a good tool to help you reach out to volunteers who may not have considered serving in a particular assignment, but who are qualified to do so.
Likewise, on the Rules tab, you can allow volunteers who are "matched" to schedule themselves whether or not they have a Role. Again, this is a good way to engage volunteers who might not have thought about serving in this Assignment. It lets them see what the needs are in assignments they're not already working in but are qualified for. It's true that the other settings on the Rules tab give you this ability based on Type and Flag, but the matching feature lets you set a wider variety of criteria on the Profile tab.
You should know that the volunteer's preferences are also considered when matching. So if a volunteer has set their Assignment Preferences (or other preference types), they'll only be matched to those assignments.
If you were already using this feature, your settings were converted as close as possible into the revised feature. But it's still a good idea to take a look to make sure it's set up the way that works best for your organization. Whether you've used matching in the past or haven't considered using it before, we encourage you to take a fresh look at it. In any case, let us know what you think! We're eager to hear your feedback.