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A volunteer management system is software that helps you to recruit, train, engage and retain your volunteers in one centralised space.
There are a number of volunteer management systems to choose from. Different volunteer management systems are often aimed at organisations of different sizes and vary in cost and functionality. Some of the most popular systems include:
A volunteer management system is merely a tool. It should be complemented by policies and processes put in place to support your organisation’s objectives. It will take time to get up and running and even longer to get a system fully embedded.
During the procurement process you need to outline your requirements and in a way that suppliers can understand. Your requirements should be focused on the problems/issues you want to address and what you are trying to achieve with this new system. Engage with and really try and gather as much information as possible from those that work closely with and or manage volunteers along with volunteers themselves.
You should have a clear understanding of who the system is for. It can be helpful to have your own working definition of a ‘volunteer’ that is understood by everyone and allows for any future volunteer roles. This will help ensure a shared understanding of the target audience.
Be clear about what is a priority. You can prioritise requirements by putting them into three categories: Must (absolutely no compromise), Should (really serious problem without it) and Could (nice to have). Be careful not to end up with all requirements in the ‘must’ category.
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