Many volunteer programs include both individual volunteers as well as groups such as businesses, service clubs and fraternal organizations that provide volunteer service. Volgistics gives you tools for tracking both kinds of volunteers: individuals and groups.
Each time you add a new volunteer record to Volgistics you can mark as either an individual record or a group record. Use individual volunteer records when you want to track personal information (like name and address); volunteer service; Checklist items; or Awards for a person individually, of if you would like to include the individual in Volgistics emails.
Use Group volunteer records to track groups of people who serve collectively when you cannot, or do not want to, track the group's members individually. When you create a Group record, that single Group record will represent all of the members of that particular group. You can record the name and contact information for a group contact on each Group record; however you do not record the names of the individual members of the group in a Group record.
If you want to track the names - or any specific information such as service, Checklist items, or Awards - for each member of a group, you should track those volunteers using individual volunteer records for each person instead of creating a group record for their group or a separate group record for each member. You can still link all of their records together, using a Flag or a characteristic field, if you want to be able to produce reports just for the volunteers who have a specific group association.
Why do you need volunteer group tracking software? Why is it so important to manage volunteer groups as separate entities? When you manage volunteers directly, they are volunteering for you and your organization. They report directly to you and are your responsibility to manage. When a group volunteers, individual volunteers within the group are helping you as a service to the group which chose to donate their time to your organization.
This being the case, that group may not want you to have access to their members' personal information. With group tracking, you can be sure that you are able to contact the group and, through it, their members, for volunteer services without compromising that group's member information.
In addition, that group may always volunteer as a unit, meaning if you have each member of the group in your system as an individual record, you may mistakenly assign those individual volunteers to jobs they are not suited for or able to perform due to their membership in the group. Volunteer group tracking software can help you avoid this problem.
Remember: if you need to, and if it is acceptable to the group, you can always include any group member as an individual record in your database even while you have a separate record for the group. Group tracking will help you with organizational logistics and by giving confidence to the groups that volunteer for you.
You can schedule group volunteers along with individual volunteers in Volgistics. When you add a group to a schedule from the Schedule tab of the Group's record, you'll see an additional Volunteers field you can use to record the number of group members who are to be scheduled. This makes it possible for you to schedule multiple group members in a single step.
Groups and Individuals appear on the volunteer list and the schedule with different icons to help you distinguish Group records from Individual records.