Tag Archives: nonprofit

Managing your Volunteer Score Board with MOW Scheduler

Our new and improved “Job Settings” page makes it super easy to update the miles and hours that volunteers contribute on each job.

Most of the time you probably don’t even notice that MOWscheduler is quietly keeping volunteer score for you: who drove which route on what day, and the mileage and time they spent doing that. When those numbers are needed, whether tax season, PR or grant-writing time, they are right there with a few simple clicks on the “Volunteer Credits” page.

Occasionally though, work is needed when clients are added, deleted, and/or reshuffled from one route to another. That’s when estimated shift duration and distance required to deliver the impacted routes need to be reviewed and adjusted to keep the records accurate. To make that work as easy as possible, we recently redesigned the “job settings” page.

Screenshot: Job Settings Page

Volunteer resource requirements such as miles and hours, plus volunteer head counts and the weekdays applicable to each job, can all be reviewed and adjusted in one intuitive and productive environment.

http://MOWScheduler.com

Finding a Substitute Driver with MOW Scheduler

Our “Advanced Search” tab makes it easier to find a substitute driver for a route.

Figuring out where to start when looking for someone to substitute for a route isn’t always simple. Determining which volunteers are likely to “step up” can depend on a number of factors that may be hard to remember, especially in a rush. There are several tools in MOW Scheduler to help you with that.

Screenshot of Advanced Search

For example, some routes may be tricky to navigate, so volunteers who have driven the same route before might be the best candidates. Or, possibly a pool of “regular substitutes” is the place to start. MOW Scheduler keeps track of the factors that may be most useful to you, and puts that information right where you might need it.

So next time when you need to fill an open route, the “Advanced Search” tab is here to help.

http://MOWScheduler.com

MOW Scheduler New Feature: “Service Anniversary”

The Volunteer Coordinator’s dashboard now includes a widget for “Upcoming Anniversaries”. This new widget, and alongside its older sibling the “Upcoming Birthdays” widget, prepares the coordinator to greet and congratulate his/her volunteers every week.

This new feature was suggested by our users at @MOWDurham. We liked it, so we did it. Thanks for the suggestion!

MOW Scheduler Feature Update: “Available Shifts” Public Page

The “Available Shifts” page in the MOW Scheduler is a public page that can be linked from your social media or email requests for volunteers to help in filling “open routes”. The Available Shifts page shows current route and other job openings, and is continuously and automatically updated as openings occur and are filled in the system.

New feature: Volunteers can respond by phone, text, or email, but previously we allowed only one email address to be used for receiving volunteer responses. Thanks to a suggestion by our users at Senior Connections in Atlanta (@SrConnections), you can now list multiple emails so that several people can be “keeping an eye” on volunteer responses at the same time.

MOW Scheduler Feature Update: A Slicker “Ongoing Assignments”

At Meals on Wheels, we rely on many volunteers who come in regularly to drive a route or pack meals. Even though they are “regulars”, they often have very different schedules. Mary may drive route 3 every 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, while Bob drives route 10 only on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays. MOW Scheduler’s “Ongoing Assignments” feature, which stores different types of recurring schedules and uses them to automatically populate the job calendar, has been a major time-saver for the volunteer coordinators.

The following additional improvements to this feature were introduced recently:

1. Multiple weeks of the month can be added (or cancelled) in one action.
2. An existing schedule can now be simply modified without having to vacate and start over.

MOW Scheduler – State of the Union

Our MOW Scheduler product was officially launched about 8 months ago (although we’d been in production use at beta sites for over a year at that point), and since then we’ve been busy! A few highlights:

  • focus on usability: we’re constantly striving to make the every day tasks as simple as possible (but no simpler!), and the complicated stuff doable.
  • new features, including “monthly” ongoing assignments, job groups, performance reports, etc.
  • easier setup, improved administration tools for adding new routes, importing volunteer data, etc.
  • new users: in our first few months we’ve helped a number of customers successfully implement the Scheduler, and received a lot of valuable feedback in the process.
  • conferences: it was great to meet so many motivated people at the national MoW conference in Nashville and the NY state conference. It’s nice to be able to put a face to the names, and our “early adopter” customers have become our most enthusiastic supporters.

What’s next for MOW Scheduler? 

  • more features… what do you want to see?
  • continuous improvement in performance and usability
  • we’ll be at the national MoW conference again this year, plan to stop by our booth in Denver

MOW Scheduler is a web application that helps Meals on Wheels and similar home meal delivery nonprofit organizations schedule their routes and other recurring volunteer commitments. Visit the website at www.MOWScheduler.com — then contact Cha through the form on the site, or by phone (315) 234-0079 x301 to talk about your needs or to schedule a demo.

Purplewire Develops New System for On Point for College

Purplewire and On Point for College are pleased to announce the launch of On Point’s new Transportation Database system.

On Point for College (OPFC) is a Syracuse-based nonprofit organization that provides first-generation college students with a support structure to help them succeed in school, from the application process through post-graduation job search. One of the services provided by On Point is transportation to and from campus for students. The rides are often provided by volunteers. The process of managing the information about requested rides that need a driver, and getting the up-to-date information to the volunteer pool, is a labor intensive process. Previously this was done using a combination of spreadsheets and manually prepared emails. Purplewire saw an opportunity to streamline the process, and volunteered to help. The development and ongoing maintenance of this system have been donated to On Point by Purplewire free of charge.

“We’re very happy that Purplewire stepped forward to help us organize our transportation process”, says OPFC Deputy Executive Director Sam Rowser. “The new database system saves our staff a lot of time, makes collaboration with the volunteers easier, and gives us new ways to view current and historical information.”

The new system is based on Purplewire’s OppTuna™ web-based customer relationship management (CRM) system. Purplewire realized that the process of managing the information about volunteers and clients (students), and the activities (rides) assigned to volunteers on behalf of the students, are very similar to existing functions of the OppTuna CRM system. From that starting point, several features were added and modified to meet the unique needs of the nonprofit organization. The resulting system includes a facility for automatically generating email updates for the volunteers, and includes a “volunteer portal” interface that allows the volunteers to access data about the current list of rides requested, sign up to provide a ride, update their contact data, and review their history of previous rides provided.

Purplewire CEO Chung-Chi Cha says “We’ve been familiar with the good work On Point does for some time now, so we’re glad to have the opportunity to apply our technical expertise to helping them fulfill their extremely worthwhile mission.”

Jay Mortensen, the Purplewire CTO, adds “It was a pleasure to work with the crew at On Point, and we’re happy with way the system turned out. This project has really opened our eyes to some of the similarities and differences between commercial and nonprofit operations. We’re now exploring the market potential for a new version of OppTuna targeted towards volunteer-centered nonprofits. There are a number of companies that produce CRM systems for nonprofits (often called Consitituent rather than Customer Relationship Management in this space), but most are geared primarily towards the fund-raising aspect of nonprofit operations. That’s an important component to be sure, but we feel we can bring something new to the table in terms of helping streamline the nonprofit organization’s processes and collaboration with volunteers, thus freeing the operational staff to direct more of its energy towards the core mission.”

Nonprofits with any ideas, suggestions, or feature requests for such a system are encouraged to contact Purplewire through the website at http://www.purplewire.com. Purplewire will soon be accepting applications for beta testers who may be eligible to receive free implementations of the new system.

For more information: