We were recently tasked with finding a solution for tracking volunteer hours for a private Christian School in Macomb County Michigan. They were using a Constant Contact form to allow volunteers to submit their hours. The problem? They had to then manually enter the hours in a spreadsheet, which took up valuable paid hours. Since they weren’t using a database, at the end of the year they had to manually add up the hours. Ugh.
The scope of the project required:
- A simple solution that anyone could use
- The ability to track and tabulate volunteer hours
- Needs to integrate with existing website
Here are 5 semi-free solutions for tracking volunteer hours for your non-profit or school.
1. Our Volt
Currently in Beta. This was our favorite by far. With Our Volts you have the ability to use as a standalone or integrated within your website. It also offers a mobile version for your volunteers to log hours. The downside with the free version is the limit of logging 500 hours per month. If you need a more robust tracking tool you’ll need to upgrade to the $10 a basic plan or the $499 group plan. The group plan allows for multiple projects, unlimited hours. Offers a free demo.
This came in a close second. VolunteerSpot allows you to schedule open needs for volunteers on a calendar. Your volunteers choose which activity they want by point and click. Once scheduled, a confirmation is set, along with a email reminder that is sent prior to the activity. A mobile version is also available for volunteering on the fly. A free version is available, however they do ask if you can afford it to upgrade to the pay version. If you need to track volunteer hours you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version which ranges from $4.99/mo for 30 user to $29.99/mo for 400 users.
Charity Counts is an online solution, but very difficult to set up if you aren’t tech savvy. All the information is hosted in a system that is a cross between a forum and MS database. After about 20 minutes trying to get things set up, we decided to abandon it. We’re pretty good with tech but found this to be cumbersome to use. It you have a tech guy may be worth considering. The bonus being it’s free. All the time.
4. Volunteer Scheduler Pro
Not a true “free” solution, we still like this as an option, if only for the price. Volunteer Scheduler Pro starts at $20/mo for the lite version and 100 users. With VSP you have the ability for offer online sign-up, email reminders, and attendance tracking. While it doesn’t seem to track total hours, if you have the need to organize a host of volunteers this is a solid solution.
5. My Time Score Enterprise Edition
MyTimeScore is free to non-profit organizations. You’ll need to contact them to get the free version. It offers a robust solution for tracking volunteer hours. It may be considered overkill for those looking for a simple solution. Know that you’ll spend some time getting this set up. MTS will allow you to integrate with your existing website. They have a nice video to give you an overview of how system works here.
In the process of researching this blog post we stumbled across this comprehensive list of both paid and free versions of volunteer management software. It’s a bit difficult to work through but I think you’ll find the list we created a good start on finding a solution.
Do you have a recommendation for those seeking to better manage their volunteers? Add them in the comments below.