Ronald McDonald House Charities of NW Florida
Samantha: How has scheduling changed at Ronald McDonald House since switching to VSP, and how has that affected the organization overall?
Vicky: Before, volunteers were just supposed to come in and sign up on the dry erase board in the volunteer workroom... It was just a hodgepodge mess - It was really, really difficult. So [VSP] has really helped us with consistency, with time, and the flexibility for the volunteers. They can just get on the computer, see what's available, and get themselves scheduled. They don't have to go through me. And then when they can't make it, they just go in and put in a swap request on their end and they don't have to worry about contacting me. I don't think we've had one volunteer forget they were supposed to be scheduled for that night because they are getting that email reminder which is just tremendously wonderful.
Samantha: How have your volunteers reacted to scheduling themselves online?
Vicky: The volunteers love the flexibility of being able to, any time of day or night, go in to see who's on the calendar for the next day and plug themselves in if there's an opening. They also love getting swap requests so they can just jump in on a day when they're available.
Samantha: Are all of your volunteers scheduling themselves online?
Vicky: No, I also have my "high impact volunteers" who come on a weekly basis. I put them into the program manually [on a rotating pattern]...But it's easier now with VSP for someone to see what's available on a regular basis. So if they say, "I want to be a regular volunteer every Thursday morning, is that open?" I can look right away and say, "Yep, we don't have anybody scheduled for that job, I can plug you in and you can be a weekly volunteer," and it's done, it's awesome.
Samantha: Do you think the online system has changed how volunteers get involved?
Vicky: I really do think it makes it a lot easier for them to get involved. We have a lot of teenagers...who just come to get some community service hours for school or for the Bright Futures Scholarship - they're not going to be long termers. They can just get scheduled and come in and do their thing and go. It's really helped a lot with getting a lot more of them signed up than before.
Samantha: Was it difficult to get used to the program?
Vicky: I found VSP to be very user-friendly, and then anytime I've had a question I've been able to call you, Samantha, and you have been awesome in walking me through anything I needed to know! I'm not one of the young ones who just jumps in and could do computers straight out of the womb.
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