What is Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S)?

Organizing an event using volunteers for Salesforce

Volunteers for Salesforce is a volunteer management solution originally developed as a Salesforce app in the 2000s by Groundwire. Organizations could install the V4S application from the Salesforce AppExchange as a free application to function as their volunteer management system and help reach fundraising goals. 

The applications’ features and simple structure quickly caught the industry by storm and gained immense traction, so much so that the application was acquired by Salesforce and was included in many of the Nonprofit Success Pack environments as a way to improve volunteer impact. 

Continue reading to learn about the features and functions of V4S if your organization is looking for a volunteer management software or solution that easily integrates into your existing Salesforce solution and streamlines volunteer scheduling, onboarding, event management, and more. 

Why V4S? 

Volunteers for Salesforce is a simple tool that brings simplicity, efficiency, and automation to streamline your volunteer management process with features and functionalities that will allow your organization to get up and running quickly to create and market for your volunteer opportunities. Some great features of this application are: 

    • Pricing—It’s Free! Volunteer for Salesforce is a free application provided by the Salesforce.com Foundation and does not require additional licensing. 
    • Streamlined—Volunteers for Salesforce is a native Salesforce application that seamlessly integrates with Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack, keeping all of the data in one platform within the application’s components. There is no separate database for data management, reporting, or dashboards, keeping applicants’ personal data secure. 
    • User-Friendly—Volunteer for Salesforce has a user guide to install and easily administer the features and suggested customization areas. It also includes online forms that can be customized to start collecting online sign-ups on Day 1 and help volunteers get connected with your organization quickly. 
    • Data Tracking & Reporting— A key benefit to using V4S is that it allows you to centralize your data, harnessing all volunteer information into volunteer profiles and matching specific volunteers to different events, shifts, and opportunities. V4S’s out-of-box features layer onto the NPSP’s Contact object and provide a series of new objects and custom fields to support specific volunteer data tracking needs on records your organization will already be using for donor management and better understanding the depth of a volunteer’s relationship to your organization. 

V4S Features 

Collecting Online Volunteers and Sign-Ups 

V4S offers a series of online sign-up forms your organization can use to provide various opportunities for current or future volunteers to interact with you online and to accept volunteer applications and aid in volunteer recruitment, including— 

    1. Volunteer Interest Form
    2. Volunteer Sign-Up
    3. Shift Calendar and Sign-Up
    4. Volunteer Jobs Calendar

 These forms are Visualforce pages that can be customized easily with Salesforce Field Sets to choose which fields or information you want to ask your volunteers for or what information you want to be displayed about each volunteer opportunity. 

For a better volunteer experience, configure & tailor forms to your organization’s needs before you begin to collect volunteer data:  

    • Customize the Job Skills multi-picklist for skills relevant to your organization’s volunteer opportunities. 
    • Customize the Availability picklist for applicable times of your organization’s Volunteer opportunities. 
    • Customize the Email Templates for Job and Shift Reminders to add signatures, custom branding, or personal notes to your volunteers. 
    • Review the Volunteer Forms you intend to make publicly available and adjust any customizable attributes before linking to your website. The V4S forms can be styled with CSS to enhance the look and feel when leveraged as their landing page or use iFrames to embed these forms into your organization’s website easily. 

Managing Volunteer Hours 

Volunteer Hours allows your organization to associate a volunteer with a Job or a Volunteer Shift on a specific date and record how long that individual volunteered for accurate hour tracking. 

Volunteers can access the mobile app’s visual force page, which allows them to check in to their shifts, see their volunteer job summary, and more in real-time.

QUICK TIP: Ensure the Volunteer Hours Related list is on your Contact Lightning Page sorted Descending by Date. This will allow your staff to quickly see a constituent’s volunteer history, with the most recent volunteering at the top!

Volunteer Hours will be summarized within fields that can be added to the Contact Page, like Total Volunteer Hours, First Volunteer Date, Last Volunteer Date, and more. These are powerful data points to leverage in auditing and managing all Volunteer Hours. 

Additionally, V4S has a Visualforce page that enables users to easily mass edit volunteer hours if a shift date or time is changed or a volunteer opportunity is canceled altogether. 

Communicating with Volunteers 

As a nonprofit organization, you are likely always looking for new communication tools and opportunities to create efficiencies and ripples of impact. With V4S, you can easily strengthen volunteer engagement with the V4S automated email alerts and mass email functionality. 

Volunteers for Salesforce includes out-of-box email automation to deliver mass notifications for upcoming shifts, new volunteer job opportunities, and confirmation of any online Job and Shift sign-up.  

This can assist with volunteer churn and ensure you create a thorough, engaging volunteer program. 

Additionally, through the email functionality, you can send volunteers waivers and links for background checks and other pertinent links and information.  

Volunteer Profiles 

Inside your volunteer dashboard, coordinators can see volunteer profiles to better understand the types of and specific hours a volunteer is interested in. Additionally, you can see the total hours per week, month, or year a volunteer works and their availability to best match them with volunteer opportunities, improve volunteer engagement, and make a better impact in your organization.  

Additionally, within your Salesforce CRM, you can run volunteer reports to produce a year-end volunteer summary for your volunteers of their annual volunteer hours to show their impact and send them the report via mass email. 

Getting Started with V4S 

If you’ve been looking for volunteer management tools to elevate your volunteer experience and management, and V4S sounds like it might be the right software solution for you, it’s easy to get started today. 

 To get started with V4S as your volunteer database, first check your existing Salesforce Installed Package within the Setup Menu— you might already have it! 

If not, you can install the application for free from the Salesforce AppExchange (Volunteers for Salesforce). 

Follow the customization guide or contact a Salesforce Consultant to provide more complex needs your organization’s volunteer program requires. 

The CRM Firm has implemented V4S for dozens of nonprofit organizations and has seen volunteer engagement and program growth after just six months of use.