April 1, 2019

Five reasons volunteer management just got easier

Find out what’s so great about UCalgary’s new volunteer management software and how you can start using it
In addition to improving the administrative side of volunteering, the Better Impact volunteer management system makes it easier for potential volunteers to find opportunities that match their interests, aptitudes and availability. Photo by Casey Blais
In addition to improving the administrative side of volunteering, the Better Impact volunteer manage

It takes a lot to manage volunteers successfully. There’s scheduling, communication, record-keeping and role development — plus you need to match the right people with the right positions, all the while meeting the ever-evolving legislative requirements.

Thankfully, you don’t need to figure it out on your own anymore — UCalgary is centralizing and formalizing its volunteer management processes.

Janet Stein, director of Risk Management and Insurance, says her team will begin rolling out the Better Impact volunteer management system in stages starting this spring.

“We’re transitioning UCalgary to Better Impact just a few accounts at a time so we can ensure every administrator is fully trained and comfortable with the software,” says Stein. “We want to offer strong support during the steepest part of the learning curve, so we need to pace ourselves and leave adequate time for training.”    

Account requests will be assessed and prioritized based on client need and resource availability. You can request your Better Impact account now, but if you need convincing first, here are the top five ways a Better Impact account makes working with volunteers easier:

1. Volunteers create their own profiles with the information you require

Every volunteer has a single Better Impact profile they use to apply to different departments and units. You decide what specific details you need, but most profiles will contain useful information about qualifications, availability, and interests.     

Volunteers can instantly update their profiles any time, so administrators are always working with the most current information.

2. Qualified and available volunteers are automatically matched to suitable activities

With Better Impact, you define the required qualifications, interests and availability for each role or activity you need filled. Then, the software automatically matches volunteer opportunities to the most suitable volunteers.  

3. It’s so easy to schedule, track time and delegate

If you create the shifts, volunteers can schedule themselves without any further input from you. Volunteers can also log their own hours, so all you need to do is approve them. And, if you’d like to delegate aspects of volunteer co-ordination to a chosen volunteer, you can adjust their Better Impact access so they can take over certain administrative duties. 

4. Outstanding training and support is available

Better Impact is a powerful tool, and without adequate support, it could seem overwhelming to implement. To ensure proper training, Risk Management and Insurance is taking a hands-on and measured approach to rolling it out to campus.  

Every account activation comes with an in-person training session for groups of account administrators, where they can get expert advice about how to use the management system in the context of their unique needs. Activations are also accompanied by a UCalgary-specific Volunteer Administrator Training Guide, which covers Better Impact procedures from start to finish, as well as broader volunteer topics like WCB and Occupational Health and Safety compliance.

In addition to UCalgary-focused training, more general support is available through Better Impact. For every task, there’s a demonstration video on Better Impact TV. There’s also a searchable online knowledge base that contains all the information you’ll need — from basic configuration to advanced scheduling procedures. And remember, the Better Impact connects you with expert advice by chat or email 24/7 or by phone 24/5.

5. A standardized system ensures safety and sustainability

If you’ve managed volunteers in the past, you may have noticed the process was a bit cumbersome — there was scanning and emailing paper forms, and a lot of figuring things out on your own.

Better Impact allows for more electronic documentation and manages many of the required legislative processes. With standardized online safety training courses and in-person safety briefings, UCalgary is ensuring a greater commitment to the health and safety of all volunteers.

Now that a centrally supported system and training program is in place, sharing and transferring volunteer-related responsibilities will be easier and UCalgary will be better prepared for the inevitable growth and change that is always on the horizon.

Do you recruit UCalgary alumni volunteers?

The UCalgary Alumni team offers volunteer recruitment support through their Better Impact team account for all alumni-specific volunteer opportunities on campus. If you are interested in tapping into UCalgary’s amazing community of alumni volunteers, contact alumnivolunteer@ucalgary.ca.

For all non-alumni focused accounts, submit your request to Risk Management and Insurance.