Tip of the Week January 07, 2019

Review the basics in Volgistics’ Getting Started Guide

For new or prospective Volgistics users, or for experienced users who would like to freshen up on the core settings and features of their account, Volgistics offers a comprehensive Getting Started Guide. This guide provides an easy-to-navigate tour of the system and covers numerous introductory topics explaining fundamental settings and features.

The Getting Started Guide can be a valuable resource for organizations that are planning or beginning to use Volgistics, or who would like a simple way to familiarize new employees with using and making the most of its capabilities.

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Nonprofit Volunteer Management Strategies

Nonprofit Volunteer Management Strategies

Your volunteers are one of your organization’s most important assets. They assist you with tasks you could never finish without their help, keeping you from getting bogged down with small tasks and freeing you up to accomplish other things for your charity. Volunteers also bring an infectious spirit and enthusiasm to everything they do, getting others excited about your mission.

Providing volunteers with concrete direction and instructions will encourage them to give you the support you desire and help make your charity event stronger. Here are some effective volunteer engagement and management tips for nonprofits that can increase your organization’s efficiency.

Set Clear Goals

Employees are different from volunteers, but both groups should have a set of goals. Volunteers who know what they’re working toward will be much more motivated than those who do not. For example, if you tell your volunteers, “I need you to assemble as many baskets as possible in the next hour,” you aren’t motivating them to reach a certain goal. But if you say, “I need you to assemble 50 baskets in the next hour,” they know what they need to do, and they’ll know if they’re falling short or overachieving.

Either way, it’s valuable for your organization to get an idea of your volunteers’ productivity. This knowledge will help you set organizational goals as well.

Give Your Volunteers Recognition

Volunteers do what they do out of the goodness of their hearts, but they still want to feel valued. Hearing how they’ve made a difference for your organization keeps them excited and inspired to continue volunteering. You can show them how much you value them in several ways, including:

  • Writing a thank you note
  • Recognizing them at a company-wide meeting
  • Naming something for them, such as a technique they developed for sorting donations

Improve Your Onboarding

Many places have professional onboarding programs for when a new employee is hired. Doing the same for your volunteers can increase the feeling of community and show them what an important part of the team they are while also answering many of the questions they may have at the start. Your onboarding might include training in specific duties and an in-depth explanation of the organization’s mission.

Encourage Volunteers to Tell Others About Their Experience

One of the best nonprofits’ volunteer management strategies can be to get your current volunteers to recruit future ones. If they mention to friends and family what a fantastic experience, they’ve had with you, it could spark others to step forward and volunteer.

Take Advantage of Technology

Technology has made scheduling, tracking, and contacting volunteers much easier. While paper schedules can get lost and someone could spill coffee on your volunteer contact list, storing all that information in a volunteer software program, like the one from Volgistics, will allow you to stay organized and communicate with your volunteers.

Follow these tips for managing nonprofit volunteers, and you’ll find that your volunteers become more engaged while you feel more organized. If you’d like to learn more about how Volgistics can help, you can sign up for a demo or get in touch with us today.

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Tip of the Week December 31, 2018

Message history is available on History tab of volunteer record.

When you use Volgistics’ features to send email, Vic mail, or text messages to volunteers, a record of the messages sent to each volunteer is kept on his or her History tab. You can view this record to see if the message shows as being successfully delivered, or as failing.

Volgistics initially shows the message with a green icon that means that no errors have been received for the message. If a delivery failure notification is received from the recipient’s email or cell phone provider, the color of the icon will change to red and the reason for the failure will appear if you hover over the icon with your mouse pointer.

In addition to custom messages you send, this feature also tracks automatic email and text messages, such as schedule reminders and VicNet password messages. You can learn more about message tracking in Help topic 2064.

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Tip of the Week December 24, 2018

Find a volunteer’s last access to VicNet.

If you use the VicNet module to allow volunteers to login to the secure portal to do things such as update their contact information, download forms, receive messages, view or record service, and more, you may sometimes need to see when a volunteer signed into the module last. You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Select Volunteers from the Menu.
  2. Find the volunteer record you need.
  3. Click on the Vic tab of the record.

The date the volunteer last signed-in will appear after “Last access was.” If the volunteer has never signed-in to the module, this will show “(never)” instead of a date. You can also add this field to the list that appears when you select Volunteers from the menu. You can find directions on how to do this in help topic 1202.

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Engage Volunteers During the Holidays

Engage Volunteers During the Holiday Season

The end of the year is often the busiest for nonprofits. People give more donations and reach out for information, and many charities’ clients face greater needs. Through this time, you will rely on your volunteers even more than usual to keep working toward your service goals.

But volunteers get busy too. They have holiday plans and engagements, and they need time to tend to their own families to celebrate. How can you engage volunteers during the holidays to ensure you receive the support you need? Consider implementing the following holiday volunteer engagement tips for ways to keep your volunteers involved during this special time of the year.

Keep Volunteers Occupied During Their Shifts

There’s nothing more frustrating for a volunteer than showing up for a shift and not being used. While you may be swamped with your own duties, you should plan ahead of time what you want your volunteers to do so that you don’t waste their valuable time. You can always assign them to tasks you don’t have time to do yourself. Something as simple as cleaning the office coffee pot or organizing holiday cards can save time.

Offer Short Shifts to Assist Your Charity

At the holidays, time is limited. Everyone has many things on their plate. People still want to help out, but they often can’t dedicate an entire day to your cause between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Open up shorter time periods of an hour or two when volunteers can give their time and then leave. You may be surprised at how quickly people take these spots.

Continue With Volunteer Recruiting During the Holidays

Did you know that the holidays present an excellent opportunity to recruit more volunteers? You likely see a lot of people during this time of year. When you go to events on your own time or offer assistance at work, talk up your charity to the people you meet. Mention that you have many spots for volunteers and chat about the time commitment or special skills involved. Carry your business cards so that people can easily contact you for more information.

Show Your Current Volunteers Appreciation

While connecting with new volunteers is an excellent idea, you should also show the ones who already work with you some appreciation. These people deserve more than just occasional kudos on your social media sites or a hearty “thank you” at the end of a shift. Consider the following ways to show your regard for your longest-serving volunteers:

  • Write a personal holiday card/thank you note and reference specific things the volunteer did for you this year
  • Throw a party for volunteers and play games that allow you to get to know them better
  • Introduce your volunteers to people at the highest level of the organization, showing how much their efforts mean to you

By using these engagement tips, you can continue to recruit volunteers during the holidays. Need assistance with scheduling or tracking hours during this busy time? You can use Volgistics to help. Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo today!

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Tip of the Week December 17, 2018

Send email to other System Operators without exiting Volgistics.

There are times you may want to send an email message to another System Operator for your account without exiting from Volgistics. For example, if you’re a Site Level Operator and you need to attach a report from your Site to an operator assigned to a different Site. You can do this by giving your System Operators a Coordinator record in your account. This does not increase the cost of your service because accounts are not charged for Coordinator records. When you do this, you will be able to select the System Operator’s name from the dropdown list option for sending email to Coordinators.

Please keep in mind that if you are a Site Level Operator, the Coordinator record you make for the other operator will need to be connected to your Site (or a Place or Assignment from your Site) in order for you to see his or her record. The record can be connected to all of the Sites in your account if you want all operators to be able to see it. This is done on the Assignments tab of the Coordinator’s record.

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Tip of the Week December 10, 2018

Track multiple addresses and phone numbers for volunteers on their Contacts tab.

Volunteer addresses and phone numbers are stored on the Core tab of the volunteer record. In most cases this is sufficient to track the volunteer’s information. But sometimes a volunteer record may have more than one address or phone number you want to track, such as if the volunteer is a snow bird with a seasonal address, or has a business and home address.

Help topic 2296 shows how you can use the Contacts tab to track multiple addresses and phone numbers for one record. If you’re interested in other uses for the Contacts tab, you may find the following help topics useful:

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Tip of the Week December 03, 2018

Go to the Schedule tab of an Assignment from the Schedule page.

There are different ways to view the schedule in Volgistics to match the rendering that fits your needs the best. For example, if you want to view the schedule for your entire organization, you can select Schedule from the menu. Or, if you want to view the schedule for one particular Site, Place or Assignment, you can select Assignments from the menu, click on the name of the Site, Place or Assignment, and then select the Schedule tab. You can even view the schedule for just a particular volunteer or Coordinator by clicking on the Schedule tab in that volunteer’s or Coordinator’s record.

If you are viewing the daily view of the entire schedule after you select Schedule from the menu, there may be times when want to go directly to the schedule for a particular Assignment. For instance, you may need to add an additional opening to an Assignment. Volgistics makes this easy to do by making the Assignment names clickable links. Just place your cursor over the Assignment’s name and select it. You’ll be taken directly to the Schedule tab of the Assignment.

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Tip of the Week November 26, 2018

Use floating subtotals for recording service in a specific period of time.

In addition to regular service hour entries, Volgistics automatically keeps a total for month-to-date (MTD), fiscal year-to-date (YTD), and life hours for volunteers. There are also two floating subtotal fields that you can use to keep track of service performed during time periods that you select. The floating subtotal figures are available in reports and also appear in the Statistics box on the Core tab of the volunteer record.

These fields can be used for a variety of purposes. For example, if your organization operates on a fiscal year the YTD total will record all service performed so far in the current fiscal year. You could also setup floating subtotal fields to track service hours performed in the previous two fiscal years. Or if your organization has a special event where your volunteer service peaks, but also has volunteers that serve during other times of the year, you could use the floating subtotal fields to track how much service is performed between the dates of your event.

Help topic 2260 explains more about how to setup floating subtotals in your account.

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New Multi-Site Level Access Feature

Volgistics’ Site Level Access feature gives the ability to limit a System Operator to one Site in your account. Now with Multi-Site Level Access you can limit an operator to a pool of up to 10 Sites so they can switch their view between the Sites.

The Volgistics team is excited to announce that Multi-Site Level Access is now available. This feature expands on the Site Level Access feature where you can limit a System Operator to viewing just one Site’s Assignments and volunteers. With the new feature, you can assign an operator to a pool of up to ten Sites so they can quickly switch their access to a new Site without exiting from Volgistics.

This introductory video outlines the basics of the new feature:

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Help topic 2209 “How to Use Multi-Site Level Access” gives a more in-depth look at Multi-Site Level access.

As with all updates from Volgistics, you do not need to pay extra money to get the latest software version to take advantage of Multi-Site Level Access. It’s already included for you to use free-of-charge without upgrading to a new version. Simply enable the new feature in your account and you’re ready to take advantage of the added benefits of Multi-Site Level Access!

If you have any questions for the team, we’re happy to assist you. Just submit an inquiry as shown in help topic 1027 “Sending and Receiving Help Inquiries” and we’ll respond promptly.

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