When I started using VolunteerLocal, it took me awhile to figure out the best steps to set up events to maximize my ability to create signups, recruit and communicate with volunteers. I’ve learned a few tricks, tips, hacks – whatever you want to call them – over the years that I’d love to share with you:
You can create custom urls for various jobs. There are some events I put together that have 10 or more different specialized jobs, and I want to recruit for them with targeted groups. So I break out individual jobs by tacking &job_name= onto the end of the event url. So, I can recruit specifically for hospitality roles by sending out the link that ends with &job_name=hospitality. Or any VIP job could be tagged &job_name=VIP. This has majorly cut down on confusion, especially when jobs are reserved for people with different skill sets.
You can replicate recurring events using the “copy information from another event” feature. Whether it’s a weekly or annual event, cloning events is as easy as a few clicks. I like to use the “copy volunteer information” option when creating many events to ensure I don’t forget to capture the info I need for my volunteer data exports. Just make sure that you take the original event out of archive before you attempt to replicate it, and make tweaks to any of the information that has changed year-over-year! If you have events that reoccur, it’s helpful to name them with the year or month and year, so you can have a better data record.
You can export data from multiple events to get a big picture of your volunteers. Each year, our accounting office asks me for the total number of unique student volunteers we’ve had during that fiscal year. I used to cringe when I’d get that question and make a major coffee run, because it meant sifting through a bunch of varied signups. Now, I run everything through VolunteerLocal and gather the same data for each event. I select all of that year’s events and export them as one big batch. Using some quick Excel wizardry learned thanks to YouTube, I could remove the duplicates easily and, viola, have my totals in a breeze.
Do you have tricks and shortcuts that have saved you time – or sanity? Send them over to firstname.lastname@example.org and we might just share them with the rest of the community!