Top 10 Free Volunteer Management Software Tools

Lori Halley 19 August 2009 9 comments

Free Volunteer Management Software

When I began to manage small groups of volunteers to cook breakfast for a YWCA Women’s Shelter, I had no idea what I was getting into:

“What could be so hard about scheduling two dozen volunteers?”

It turned out to be a lot.

Conflicting schedules, no-shows, missing contact info, a corrupt Excel file,  competition over who gets to do what (I once had to break up a fight over who would fry the bacon)... the list goes on.

These issues led me to search for software that could help. Given my budget was $0, I was delighted to find a number of free volunteer management tools that offered simple shift scheduling, automated email reminders, easy online registration, and tools to help me match jobs to volunteer skills. A quick evaluation of the tools I found led me to the perfect one for my needs, which has solved my problems ever since.

To help others like me, I’ve put together this list of every volunteer management tool I've come across that can help a volunteer manager of any sized organization.

Note: Wild Apricot is an all-in-one nonprofit management option used by over 20,000 organizations (here’s a link to our free, 30-day trial).

In this list you’ll find the top ten free volunteer management tools, plus five of the best (and cheapest) volunteer management softwares, three free shift scheduling tools, and six more free resources that are incredibly useful.

 

Top 10 Free Volunteer Management Software Tools for Nonprofits

ivolunteer free volunteer1) Ivolunteer.com

Free Account Details:

  • Unlimited sign ups by up to 15 volunteers
  • 1 adminstrator
  • Free accounts must be renewed every 30 days

Ivolunteer.com is an easy, effective way to sign up volunteers for events and to manage volunteer scheduling. Just publish your event through email or on your website and Ivolunteer.com will take care of the rest. Features include reusable sign-up sheets,  automated emails, and advanced reporting. Premium accounts start at $20/month.

Free Volunteer Management Software2) RosterVolunteers

Free Account Details:

  • No limits to the number of volunteers who can register
  • Free accounts have all premium features, but have ads

RosterVolunteers is a basic volunteer registering software that can be accessed by members, leaders, administrators, and supervisors. Functions include a schedule view with 1-click confirmation (for volunteers) and 1-click mass reminder email (for supervisors only), as well as several features to easily create on-the-fly mass emails based on member qualifications/duties.

samaritan free volunteer software3) Samaritan

Free Account Details:

  • Unlimited volunteers
  • 1 coordinator
  • Must have an annual organization-wide budget <$400K
  • Must apply for AL!VE’s free software donation program

Samaritan will help you recruit, manage, and measure your volunteers. Features include automated emails, embeddable registration forms on your website, surveys, and full analytics to track volunteer hours. Premium accounts start at $2,500/year.

signup free volunteer web tools4) SignUp

Free Account Details:

  • 1 Group Page
  • 1 Custom Question Field on signup sheet
  • 1 Primary Organizer

SignUp makes it easy to create a volunteer group and begin coordinating them right away. Features include unlimited emails, customized signup themes, reminders, shift scheduling, and unlimited signups. Formerly VolunteerSpot.com. Premium accounts start at $9.99/month.

signup zone free volunteer management

5) Signup Zone

Free Account Details:

  • Free unlimited signups

Signup Zone makes it easy to create a signup form and allows volunteers to see what time slots need to be filled. Add an overview page of your event for $10/year, and a custom URL for a one-time fee of $10.

6) Sons of Service

Free Account Details:

  • Open source software, 100% free
  • Unlimited users and admins

Sons of Service (SOS) is a 100% free volunteer management database for any type of nonprofit. Track any volunteer information including contact info, availability, relationships, and comments. Please note that SOS has not been actively developed since 2011, so it may be limited versus more modern systems. If you require new functionality, you can modify the software yourself, or you may contact Andrew Ziem (the creator) and discuss rates with him.

track it forward free volunteer software7) Track It Forward

Free Account Details:

  • 0-25 volunteer max

Track It Forward allows volunteers to sign up and begin tracking their own hours. Features include embeddable registration of your website, instant reports, and a mobile app for volunteers to log their hours. Free 30 day trial. Premium accounts start at $15/month.

volunteer local free volunteer management8) VolunteerLocal

Free Account Details:

  • 1 admin user
  • Unlimited jobs and shifts
  • Unlimited volunteers
  • Custom registration fields

VolunteerLocal includes everything you need to manage an effective and happy volunteer force for events. Features include your event listed on HappyVolunteering.com, your own sign-up website with a custom URL, automated follow-up emails, and online check-ins. Premium accounts start at $200/event.

whentohelp free volunteer web tools9) WhenToHelp

Free Account Details:

  • Organization is considered a charity
  • US 501(C)3 designation, or Canadian Registered Charity
    Unpaid volunteer schedule use only
  • 250 volunteer max
  • 100 shifts per week max

WhenToHelp makes volunteer scheduling easy with automatically assigned schedules based on your volunteers work time preferences. Features include an unlimited number of schedulers, scheduled email reminders, and text message alerts. Premium accounts start at $15/month.

your volunteers free volunteer management10) YourVolunteers

Free Account Details:

  • Unlimited volunteer “Focuses”
  • 1,000 volunteers per “Focus”
  • No email schedules
  • Account has ads

YourVolunteers is a powerful, cloud based volunteer management system used by over 10,000 organizations around the world. Features include a public calendar on your website, shift tracking, list filtering, and a volunteer database.  Premium accounts start at $20/month.

 

Volunteer Recruitment Checklist

 

5 Of The Best Cheap Volunteer Management Software Tools

I thought I’d give a worthy mention to some of the best cheap volunteer management tools that have come under my radar. While many of the free tools I mentioned also offered paid features, below is a list of my top five paid-only volunteer scheduling software tools.

volgistics cheap volunteer software1) Volgistics

  • Starting at $9/month

Volgistics provides a complete volunteer management software. Features include a volunteer portal, automated scheduled reminders, report customization and free support. Over 5.5 million volunteers tracked.

better impact best volunteer software2) Volunteer Impact (Better Impact)

  • Starting at $10/month
  • One-time setup fee of $395

Volunteer Impact is a volunteer database and management software for any sized organization. Features include unlimited administrators, a half hour consultation, a volunteer time clock, and an online volunteer portal.

volunteer mark best volunteer software3) VolunteerMark

  • Starting at $34/month

VolunteerMark is a robust volunteer management solution which can scale according to the size of your organization. Features include a volunteer dashboard, email and text communication, analytics, and online donations.

rotunda cheap volunteer tool4) VolunteerSchedulePro (Rotundra)

  • Starting at $25/month

As its name suggests, Volunteer Schedule Pro is a solution to schedule, manage, and communicate with your volunteers. Features include flexible scheduling, automatic reminders, online substitutions, reporting, and tiered access.

vroom cheap volunteer software5) vroom
  • $49/month

vroom makes it easy to create customizable online forms to start signing up volunteers right away. Features include unlimited volunteer sign ups and shifts, unlimited coordinators, volunteer profiles, and communication through personalized messages.

 

3 Free Shift Scheduling Software Tools

While doing research for this article, I also came across a number of free employee scheduling software tools. While not optimized specifically for volunteers, I found many similar features that can be beneficial to volunteer managers, especially if you also have paid staff.

abc roster shecule software1) ABC Roster

ABC Roster lets you manage days off, leaves, events, bookings and more. Features include a simple interface, an automated planner, Excel, PDF, or HTML report exports, and scheduled emails. 100% free.

schedule head scheduling2) ScheduleHead

ScheduleHead’s free mobile app can be setup for your organization in under a minute. It allows you to automatically send emails to up to 10 employees and sign them up for shifts based on their skills and seniority. Premium accounts start at $19/month.

sling scheduling3) Sling

Sling allows you to quickly create shifts, tasks, messages and a newsfeed in an easy to use drag-and-drop schedule builder. 100% free.

 

6 Additional Free Resources for Volunteer Managers

  1. Volunteer Recruitment Checklist: a useful resource for any volunteer manager looking to seamlessly recruit new volunteers.
  2. Free Volunteer Schedule Templates: Sometimes you just need a simple time sheet or task list instead of a sophisticated volunteer management system. If that’s the case, here are 15+ free volunteer scheduling templates.
  3. Doodle: Doodle is great if you’re looking to setup a training meeting with your volunteers and you’ve got a flexible schedule. Simply create an event for free and email the link to your volunteers, who can choose the best time that works for them.
  4. New Volunteer Application Template: Don’t have time designing a new volunteer application form from scratch? Use one of these 15+ free templates. Microsoft Word compatible.
  5. Volunteer Appreciation Certificate Templates: Add an extra touch to your volunteer appreciation by giving your volunteers an appreciation certificate. These 16 templates are Microsoft Word compatible.
  6. Volunteer Name Tag Templates: Tired of writing out name tags by hand? Download this simple, printable Microsoft Word template.

 

Additional Reading:

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 19 August 2009 at 2:28 PM

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Comments

  • James Higginbotham said:

    Wednesday, 19 August 2009 at 7:05 PM

    Thanks for including Church Director in your list!

  • Paul Cheney said:

    Thursday, 20 August 2009 at 11:36 AM

    Thank you so much! great post!

  • Stacey Monk said:

    Saturday, 22 August 2009 at 8:27 AM

    Dependent on what you're organizing, Liquid Planner may also be useful and is free for many nonprofits.  We're using it now - and loving it ;)

  • Nicole said:

    Sunday, 04 October 2009 at 5:05 PM

    If interested, there are more free online webmaster tools to try. Visit <a href="http://www.webtoolhub.com/" title="Free Webmaster Tools">http://www.webtoolhub.com/</a>

  • Mikki said:

    Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 9:03 AM

    If you are looking for a smarter way to fill shifts and a software that can create intelligent schedules based on preference, I invite you to take a look at Volunteer Scheduler Pro.

    <a href="http://www.volunteerschedulerpro.com">Volunteer Scheduler Pro - Online Volunteer Scheduling</a>

    VSP allows you to fill shifts with ease, reduce administrative costs, and build lasting relationships with volunteers.  You can download a free 30-day trial to evaluate the software and see how it will work for your situation.

  • Mikki said:

    Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 9:04 AM

    If you are looking for a smarter way to fill shifts and a software that can create intelligent schedules based on preference, I invite you to take a look at Volunteer Scheduler Pro.

    www.VolunteerSchedulerPro.com - Volunteer Scheduler Pro - Online Volunteer Scheduling

    VSP allows you to fill shifts with ease, reduce administrative costs, and build lasting relationships with volunteers.  You can download a free 30-day trial to evaluate the software and see how it will work for your situation.

  • Jess said:

    Sunday, 07 March 2010 at 12:31 PM

    Thanks for including VolunteerSpot on your list.  Please come to our website and take a live or video tour. If you can shop online, you and your volunteers can use VolunteerSpot's free and oh-so-easy volunteer scheduler!

    http://www.VolunteerSpot.com

  • Jon Admin said:

    Friday, 19 March 2010 at 10:33 AM

    This is an incredible list.  Another option for volunteer scheduling is Hello Scheduling.com.  Unlike other scheduling tools on the web, we actually make this tedious process fun.

    Your volunteers will never miss an event with Hello Scheduling and we offer super deep discounts for nonprofits.

  • Jon Admin said:

    Friday, 19 March 2010 at 10:34 AM

    It looks like my link didn't work properly.  Check out:

    http://helloscheduling.com/industries/volunteer-scheduling

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