Today there are apps and online tools for everything, more than 1.2 million in the Apple app store all total. So it would make sense that there are more than a few tools for volunteers, right?
Volunteers aren’t just hands-on folks, they’re also often organizers, enlisting and managing other volunteers, managing a project, communicating with multiple people and groups, and tracking and reporting their progress. Year after year, survey show that the people who volunteer the most are moms and dads, usually through a school, church or program for kids. Class moms, sports coaches, PTA leaders, carnival organizers and more, all do the work of caring for and nurturing their own and others’ children — and they do it for free.
Being a volunteer leader at that level can be pretty demanding. That’s why we love these four apps that somehow make being a parent, having a job and being the class mom seem do-able.
VolunteerSpot.com – This online tool is great for organizing groups. It’s a free, online scheduler that can replace those annoying reply-all emails and Google docs, and was created by an Austin mom. VolunteerSpot lets volunteer leaders create a group, get them signed up to fill a volunteer slot, send them reminders, collect money and more. For users managing multiple projects, you can upgrade to $9.99 a month and track volunteer hours, capture other information like t-shirt sizes and kids’ names, and there’s even a plan for a whole school. There’s an app version of the tool, too.
The tool was created by Austin mom Karen Bantuveris, a working mom who also became a Girl Scout troop leader and a PTA board member, who created it to encourage more people to volunteer by taking away some of the hassle. The powerful tool is used by moms and volunteer leaders across the country.
That’s why TeamSnap is so awesome. With this online tool and app, you can create a group of all the parents on the team and then create and share the game and practice schedules, the roster, the snack schedule and more. It also tracks payments and sends reminders, and lets you send last-minute text messages for rain dates. The free version is pretty basic, but other levels are just $7.99 – $17.99 per month.
SignUpGenius.com – This free online tool is great for creating and managing group sign up lists and forms. Thinks of it as an Evite invitation for volunteers. It offers a simple wizard that walks you through creating the form, sends your group email invitations and reminders, and lets you track it all.
We’ve used SignUpGenius for class parties, for example, but you can also use it for fundraising events, donation wish lists, shift schedules, potlucks and more.
HipChip.com – Ever needed to collect payments for a teacher or coach gift card? This app is ideal. It lets you start a gift pool by naming the recipient and choosing an electronic gift card – anything from Amazon, Chili’s, Gap, Staples, TJ Maxx and more. Then you invite participants with a personalized email. The email includes a link to where they can make a secure payment — and their names, contact and billing information is always kept private.
Best of all, HipChip send the gift card and lets everyone who chipped in know the gift was made. Did we mention it’s free? Moms, you can do this!