Sunday, February 10, 2013

Technology for Volunteer Programs

 I think we can all agree that one of the things all volunteer programs do not have in abundance is money for systems. Luckily there are lots of online tools to use to speak with, sign up and move your volunteers.  Today I want to take a few minutes to point out a few that I use in my program.  There are many web-based tools out there, if I missed one please let me know.  I only have two requirements:
  1. It must be EASY to use - Dummy proof you might say
  2. It must be my favorite price- FREE
Here are a few I like:

Zoomerang for Surveys & Polls they have combined Survey Monkey and Zoomerang.  Cant get any easier than this.  This is what I use to do my annual surveys of volunteers.  Works great, exports to EXCEL and makes nice Graphs.

 Doodle for finding the right dates for a meeting

 Sign up Genius   This is my new favorite online tool. We need to schedule shifts in a shelter, or a event. The cool thing is it won't let you over-staff, always a hassle to call volunteers back and say  "we have too many". The other cool thing is the volunteer can see who they will serve with.

DropBox  I use this to share Powerpoints that are too big to mail.  Its free, but if you send someone a document with this and they sign up to use it (So they can see the document) you get added free storage space.  A great tool!

Form Builder - Can be used to build online forms.  Pretty cool, but can't stay with free for long if you use it alot.

Free Quiz Maker  I see some pretty cool uses for this, you could design your own tests on YOUR procedures.  I will have to spend some time with it

Poll Everywhere - Saw this used at a conference, while the individual might get charges for SMS, it makes for a pretty slick presentation

While I am not advocating using either Bing or Google for serious translation, they are good for a quick peek at what someone is saying; but if its important get a real translator.

Bing Translate
Google Translate

And just a couple of cool websites thrown in for fun (cause I'm a fun guy)

HayStack - this is a real cool website to test your passwords on- interesting

Wordle- Beautiful words - You can paste any document (CEMP, Volunteer Policies, anything) and it will make a beautiful picture of the words.

Disaster Dave

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