Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Volunteers (tracking hours etc.) integrated with donor software?

    Posted 01-08-2018 08:49 AM

    Hi - we are at the first stages of implementing a new fundraising program called Benevon which helps organizations develop a pipeline of new (and hopefully some major) donors. At the same time, we're trying to find a volunteer tracking system that's free of charge (our curfrent donor software doesn't have a viable volunteers section). Do you all track volunteers as part of your donor tracking/development? Or, do volunteers and fundraising exist more separately for you? Thank you!


  • 2.  RE: Volunteers (tracking hours etc.) integrated with donor software?

    Posted 01-08-2018 01:07 PM

    We adopted a new CRM a couple of years ago, and I tried to do the same thing (merge the Volunteer tracking with the CRM) and it really doesn't work.  Especially with things like tracking hours/scheduling and the like.  It's an apples and oranges type situation.  There were a few ways to jury-rig it to *sort* of work with limited functionality, but in the end the costs due the reduced functionality weren't worth the "savings".  

    I know it's a monthly cost, but Volgistics works very well for us and every time we dig deeper we find additional things it can do.  The system is made for volunteer tracking/scheduling and well worth the $50 cost per month.  We have ~150 volunteers.  Your organization may be smaller, so it might be even less.  (BTW: I don't work for Volgistics or anything like that)

    An anecdote:  When we adopted our CRM system, we were taking on a yearly cost of ~1,800 and it took a bit to sell this cost to the board, but my goodness, having that tool has enabled us to do so much more and our fundraising has grown by leaps and bounds since we got it.  I look back and shake my head at how limited we were without it.  It's a cost, but a necessary one that enabled growth.  Call it a cost of doing business.

    A monthly cost for a Volunteer Management system is sort of the same thing but much cheaper.  It will be a cost, but it's a necessary one for growth.

    Please let me know if you have questions.



  • 3.  RE: Volunteers (tracking hours etc.) integrated with donor software?

    Posted 01-08-2018 02:11 PM

    Chris - thank you so much for your response - it was helpful! What CRM system do you have? We have Neon, which doesn't seem to be what anyone else uses and has limited functionality. Thanks again!


  • 4.  RE: Volunteers (tracking hours etc.) integrated with donor software?

    Posted 01-08-2018 07:09 PM

    We're using Kindful, which to be honest, I wouldn't recommend.  We looked at Neon too, but Kindful seemed like the better option at the time.  

    In retrospect, I learned a lot about choosing a CRM (and have spoken with organizations about it who were of those "don't make the mistakes I made!" sort of thing) and we'll probably be moving to another platform in the medium future (I've heard great things about Bloomerang) but it works ok for now.  Not good enough that I love it, but not bad enough that it is unworkable.

    Big lesson: Don't be penny wise and pound foolish.  If at all possible, pay for the better tool.  The time saved/efficiencies gained are worth the cost.  Same for whatever volunteer management tool you choose.  How big is your organization?  How much do you see it growing in the next 5 years?   Give Volgistics and the other ones out there a call and schedule a demo.  Then ask the companies for folks who use their product and talk to them.  

    If you'd like more info I can get you in touch with our volunteer director who is most versed in Volgistics to give you more info.

    Please let me know if you have more questions.