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I see there's been a lot of posts about volunteer management programs, but I thought I'd make one specifically about Salesforce. I work at Goodwill in San Francisco, and we don't currently have a volunteer program, but my job is to create one. We already track our donors in Salesforce, so people are saying that I should find a way to track volunteers with it too. I've seen other organizations do this, but their Salesforce is highly customized. Ours is pretty much out of the box, and it's not clear to me at all how it could be used for volunteers. I can't see a way to track peoples' hours, which I think is crucial. Has anyone else here used Salesforce for volunteers? Or should I just use something else?
Thanks in advance!
Are you just looking to track volunteer hours, or are you interested in tracking other aspects of organizational volunteer interactions? (eg training and qualifications, roles and tasks, equipment allocations and returns etc. etc.)
Thanks for the reply...I was hoping to manage everything related to volunteers in the same place: Contact info, hours, availability, skills, etc.
Hi - I don't have direct exposure with Salesforce (and can't comment on it's suitability or otherwise) however Jayne Cravens maintains a very good list of Volunteer Management software that you might like to check out... it's available at: http://www.coyotecommunications.com/tech/volmanage.html
I have some knowledge of Salesforce, from the perspective of other users. My understanding is that it does take quite a bit of customization. I'd suggest going to Salesforce and getting some help in setting it up.
As a rule of thumb, I think using your single piece of software is better than getting another piece of software to do part of the job. One way or another, you are going to have a learning curve, and better to invest it in a product that you are already using and have support for, rather than starting from ground zero again.
I do think it's a good idea to keep your volunteer management integrated with your donor management.
www.FundRaiserBasic.comVolunteer TechSoup Moderator
I can't find Salesforce in TEchsoup products. How do you register?
Salesforce actually has their own foundation which supports a donation of their Nonprofit Starter Pack to eligible nonprofits. Check here for more info. They have a couple of webinars, lots of online tutorials, and some examples of their nonprofit dashboard. Their full list of nonprofit resources is available here.
I've used Salesforce at previous nonprofits where I worked and we just created a customized field for volunteers under the Contacts tab so we could sort them all easily. We also had a couple of fields for what tasks and trainings they'd had and how we first met them. It was nice that we could log all of our emails back-and-forth in SF via synching with Outlook. I'm not honestly sure how to track hours in it, but I'm sure there's a way it could be done. We just didn't care to do that for some reason so we never bothered setting it up.
Becky Wiegand is the Webinar Program Manager at TechSoup.org @bajeckabean on Twitter
We've done a lot of work with Nonprofits using Salesforce to manage volunteers donors and such. It works pretty well. If you are a 501c3 you can apply for a 10 user donated license at the foundation site. http://foundation.force.com/products_donation_eligibility
The Nonprofit Starter Pack has added features to make it more useful for nonprofits and we have also created enhancements that work alongside the Nonprofit starter pack to extend it's features for Nonprofits. It's called NimblePack and it's free, you can read more about that here. http://www.nimbleuser.com/blogs/Nimble_News/Nimble_News/NimblePack_-_Free_for_Everyone!.aspx
We use Salesforce as our central database to track just about everything in the agency, but we have spent a lot to customize it. While the App Exchange offers some simple volunteer tracking applications, we found our needs too complex, so had a new application built using a Plone website. Our volunteers register on the website, their data goes into Salesforce. Each volunteer has their own dashboard on the Plone website where they can return to register for training classes, select the days and locations of the sites where they will volunteer, and record the hours they have worked, which are then approved by their site manager. Our auditors required us to have our volunteers record their own hours worked, so this was our solution. An expensive one, but we can use it for many years.
I have been working with the Salesforce Foundation for a while and had great success with the platform both as a user (I was director of resource development) and as a consultant in client implementations. The nonprofit edition of Salesforce is a great starting point for many NPOs looking to track constituents, partners, volunteers, donors, donations, activities, and cases. Best of all, the platform licenses are free for many NPOs. The Salesforce Foundation donates up to 10 free licenses to each 501c3 organization.
To apply: http://foundation.force.com/home
There are two apps on the AppExchange for volunteer tracking that you can install for free:
Volunteer Management: http://sites.force.com/appexchange/listingDetail?listingId=a0N300000016bhjEAA
With that being said, every organizations has a unique business process and needs and you will probably need to customize these apps or to tailor a solution to your needs.
Please feel free to contact me if you need more information.
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Need a program for more than tracking volunteers
Chacrice, are you looking to track something specific?
We are a small non-profit (under 1 million$$) - we have been using DIA as our database but are finding it inadequate for our development tracking needs. I've been looking at salesforce.com since attending the Tech Soup webinar a few months ago. I believe it will meet our needs and we qualify for their free license. We have a staff of 3.5 people and no technical support. Before we take the step of moving to salesforce.com, my ED wants to know if the integration with DIA works well. We are also interested in the Quickbooks integration but that is not as important as DIA. Who can we talk to to get a better idea if this is a good move for us?
Currently, the DIA integration with Salesforce is in beta and it should be GA (maybe) by the end of the year. This integration is not a high priority for them because it will benefit less than 1% of their members.
You have two options (both are not ideal):
1. Export and import the information - this solution can be very time consuming.
2. Use a consultant to develop a tailored connector for your organization (both platforms have an open API) - this solution can be expensive, however, DIA might be interested in partnering on the development.
Disclosure: we are a Salesforce.com implementation partner.
Are you familiar with the Etherios product, Democratizer?