Our colleagues at Redeemer are testing our continuing project to build a very functional Volunteer Management system into BVCMS. Up until now, we have provided a way for you to set up volunteer organizations with a special type of registration where volunteers can commit and choose their preferred time slots for their service. This has worked well and has allowed staff to manage and easily notify those scheduled to work in the next week.
Now, we have released a version that goes further by allowing you to establish a lockout period for a volunteer’s commitments in which they can’t just uncheck a box to get out of their commitment. Now, the volunteers have to find their own substitute during the lockout period.
For example, Susan discovers she cannot make her commitment this coming Sunday, so she goes to manage her commitments and clicks the "get sub" link next to her locked-out commitment. This composes a suggested email for her to send, allowing her to customize it, and choose those other volunteers in her same ministry to send her request for a substitute. Those other volunteers will see the email from her and it will have the details and two links for them to click: "Yes, I can sub for you" and "No, sorry, I can’t sub for you". If you’ve used votelinks, you will notice that these work just like that, but with a twist. The first person to respond will be automatically substituted for Susan in the calendar and both Susan and staff will be notified. The remaining volunteers will be told that the request has already been fulfilled if they, too, click the links. Furthermore, Susan and staff can get a report of who all has responded "No" until someone responds "Yes". This way, they can monitor the situation.
Commitments farther out than the specified number of lockout days can be uncommitted by just unchecking their box. Finally, the commitment calendar shows how many openings are needed and which time slots are already filled. This is a great way to manage your volunteers and let your volunteers manage their own upcoming commitments while still keeping everybody in the loop.
The next phase of this project is to make it easy for a staff person to manage "Week of the Month" teams of volunteers.