Mapping the Future: Volunteer Management with CiviCRM

Whether your nonprofit or social good organization is small, like the local animal shelter, or large, like the Creative South conference, chances are volunteers mean a lot to your mission. Ginkgo Street Labs has been leading the effort to develop the CiviVolunteer extension of CiviCRM to make it easier and faster for nonprofits to manage their volunteers.

Because of the CiviCRM project’s open-source structure, many nonprofit users are active on the online forum, troubleshooting issues and sharing ideas for things they wish CiviCRM could do. We regularly organize and categorize this input into the CiviVolunteer Road Map, which shows where we’re going next with development.

Right now, we are in the final stages of developing CiviVolunteer Version 1.4, which includes:

  • An easy way to thank volunteers for a job well done—improving their interactions with your organization

  • Forms that allow managers to capture volunteers’ general interest, skills and availability

  • Give managers an easy way to create multiple volunteer sign-up forms that display differing custom fields (important for nonprofits with diverse volunteer needs)

  • And more…

 Of course, there’s always a next step, and we already have a list of features to be developed for release 1.5. As Ginkgo Street Labs continues to raise funding for development, we will be building out the next extension to give volunteer managers the power to:

 Streamline scheduling. You will be able to save draft schedules, set regularly recurring volunteers and send automatic notifications when volunteers are scheduled.

  • Manage large groups of volunteers easily. You will be able to assign volunteers to a supervisor and set a primary location for them to report to, as well as create incentives to reward your best volunteers.

  • Know more about your volunteers. You’ll gain the ability to set prerequisites (such as “must be CPR certified”) and you’ll get notifications if your volunteers don’t fit them. You’ll also have increased power to track and view data about a volunteers through the Contact Record.

  • Create custom event templates and easily duplicate events.

  • And more…

With each iteration, the Volunteer extension serves the needs of a growing variety of organizations. Visit the forum to join the conversation, and follow Ginkgo Street Labs on Twitter to find out when new releases are coming out. Help shape the future development of CiviVolunteer by sharing your feedback in this survey by Dec. 21, and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.