- Why isn't such-and-such software listed?
If there is a volunteer coordination/management software that's not listed here, it's because we haven't found it yet or no one has told us about it! So please, tell us about it!
- What about a search function, so I can easily find the software I need?
We are in the process of developing a search capability so that you can search through this database to quickly identify things like which software programs are free, which have demos, which have a user forum, which work on Macs, etc. A rudimentary version is in place. It will become more sophisticated.
- I have an idea on how to improve this web site. Want to hear it?
Yes! Tell us about it!
- Are you paid by someone to do this site?
No. While the two volunteers behind this site are considering ways to generate revenue to pay for this site, as of now, we're weren't paid at all to develop this site, and we're not being paid to maintain it.
- Why are some profiles of software robust, with lots of descriptions, but others are bare?
Software companies and developers fill out the online profile themselves. If a description is scant, it's because the company or developer hasn't yet filled out the profile. We remind company's to fill out their profiles, but that's all we can do.
- Which software should I use?
We don't make recommendations for which software you should choose -- at least not on this web site. This web site was developed so that users could make their own choice. We recommend you identify 3 to 5 software packages that sound right for you (based on their features, your budget, your requirements, etc.) and then get a demo for each of those packages, so you can try them out yourself.
- Do you endorse any particular platform or package?
We won't endorse any software on this web site. We reserve the right to talk about what we like and don't like about particular software on our own, individual web sites and blogs; however, for this web site, we're staying neutral.
- I need help choosing a package. Even with this web site, I need advice!
Please see this article, "Finding a Computer/Network Consultant (paid or volunteer/pro bono)"
- How do you choose which software you will list here?
We look for software that is called, specifically, "volunteer" coordination or management software, or that says specifically that it can be used for "volunteer" coordination or management. That means the software company or developer must actually use the word "volunteer" somewhere on its web site in describing the product, not just "constituents" or "supporters."
We look for software via Internet searches and during the course of our work with nonprofits. We also frequently get unsolicited suggestions.
To be listed here, software must allow an organization, at the very least, to:
- track all contact information about volunteers (postal address, phone number, email, etc.)
- track where a volunteer applicant is in the volunteer orientation/participation process (completed application, completed orientation, first assignment undertaken, inactive because of illness, permanently withdrawn, etc.)
- track volunteer / community / constituent participation in events, online fora, etc.
- track volunteer hours/contribution by week, month, quarter, year, or project
- track volunteer impact beyond number of hours contributed
- track volunteer skills
- track volunteer availability and interests
- track volunteer performance reviews/assessments by a variety of staff
- allow for reports to be run/data to be exported on any combination of the above fields (a list of only those volunteers in a particular zip code who have completed the volunteer orientation and know HTML, for instance)
- I want to develop my own volunteer management software. Will you consult with me?
Jayne won't. She feels there is plenty of volunteer management software out there, that the market is saturated, as this web site attests. Amy might be interested in consulting on web app development.