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Unread 07-05-2012, 04:46 PM
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Andrew Lynch
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Online Volunteer Sites

I'm interested in learning how teams organize volunteers. More specifically, throughout the build season, how do you assign parents or teachers shifts.

I've only used google surveys to coordinate volunteers and it usually fails after someone decides to change their schedule.

I'm thinking about trying out VolunteerSpot website,
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Unread 07-05-2012, 05:20 PM
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Re: Online Volunteer Sites

We had three teachers this year (and our school district requires at least one on site when we build). Each just picked a regular night or two during the build season; if they had to swap, they arranged it themselves. In our four years, I think we've had a teacher shortage one night (and frankly, we needed that night off).
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Unread 07-05-2012, 06:02 PM
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Re: Online Volunteer Sites

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynca View Post
I'm interested in learning how teams organize volunteers. More specifically, throughout the build season, how do you assign parents or teachers shifts.

I've only used google surveys to coordinate volunteers and it usually fails after someone decides to change their schedule.

I'm thinking about trying out VolunteerSpot website,
If you'll remember from your days on CRyptonite, our team has a parent booster club from where we draw almost all of our mentors (save a few of the "old-timers" who've been with the team even after their children graduated).

Our lead build mentor invites any parents/"old-timers" to a meeting at which he discusses the roles/responsibilities of the 624 mentors and asks the adults to write down which day(s) are best for them. He then compiles a spreadsheet--which this year we posted on Google Docs--for the entire six-week build season, assigning two adults to be "on shift" per night.

If there's ever a night when an adult cannot make it, that adult usually emails the lead build mentor/other key adults ahead of time so that another adult can take their place for the evening.

Now, we're fortunate enough to have a pretty strong mentor base, so we've never come across a night when less than two mentors are present (we have a two-mentor-per-night requirement for the safety of the students), so this sytem has worked well for us.

Additionally, posting/sharing the spreadsheet via Google Docs was a big plus for obvious reasons: the spreadsheet could be updated by our build mentor and the adults could see the revisions immediately without the lead having to send out an email with the new spreadsheet, which tends to cause confusion as to which spreadsheet is the "correct" one.

No "fancy" methods for us.

PM me if you'd like to see this.

Best of luck!
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Unread 07-05-2012, 08:56 PM
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Re: Online Volunteer Sites

I haven't used it (yet) for robotics related purposes, but Trello is another nifty (and free) web-based organizational tool.

Our team's parent group, Raider Parent Mentors (RPM), meets in person at least once a month to organize and plan their volunteer work, which supplements plenty of e-mail communications.
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Unread 07-05-2012, 09:04 PM
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Re: Online Volunteer Sites

I'll vouch for Trello, I use it for my podcasts.
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Unread 07-06-2012, 11:16 AM
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Re: Online Volunteer Sites

I run the online signups for our athletic booster club as each athlete's family is required to do 10 hours of service per season. We use Volunteer Spot to manage who, what, when and where. You can send a private link to selected email addresses, get email notifications of who has signed up and where you still have open spots, and it's free. You can define jobs by type (trailer towing) or by day (who is bringing breakfast and lunch during build season for a particular day).

My faith community is using it for managing volunteers for gardening, funeral lunches, etc.

Works well on mobile browsers, accessible from anywhere, scales nicely to small and large needs and has report export features. Set up is easy. The only thing I don't like is that I can't "lock out" edits within a certain time frame, but I do get emails when people back out of an assignment. I can text message or email the volunteers if something changes at the last minute

PM me if you want more detail.

Julia
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Unread 07-07-2012, 07:49 AM
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Andrew Lynch
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Re: Online Volunteer Sites

Thanks for all the responses, I'll take a look into Trello and VolunteerSpot.
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