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6 Considerations for Modernized School Volunteer Management


Staff member
Mar 19, 2024
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School volunteers contribute significantly to various school functions, including tutoring, classroom assistance, chaperoning events, and fundraising. Recognizing the essence of a successful volunteer program is crucial. It should facilitate:

  • Recruitment,
  • Manage applications,
  • Conduct background checks,
  • Ensure compliance with state laws,
  • Notify admins of expired approvals, and
  • Guarantee the safety of each volunteer—and the students they interact with.

However, the manual management of volunteers can be cumbersome and time-consuming. This blog shares 6 factors schools should consider when modernizing their volunteer management process.

1. Streamlining the Application Process​

“We’re not like a lot of districts, with building-based or grade-level volunteer coordinators. I’m it, for the entire district. That’s a testament to the speed and ease of use of the Raptor system. I’m able to manage more than 30,000 volunteers, process 6,000 new applications, help applicants or volunteers with any questions, complete the necessary screenings, and do all of this by myself.” Greenville County Schools, SC

Opt for a system that offers an online application accessible directly from the school’s website. This not only provides convenience for potential volunteers but also ensures that district employees can assist those needing help with the application.

When prospective volunteers only have to submit one application for the district instead of applying to each school individually, it saves time—and reduces effort—for both school staff and prospective volunteers.

2. Prioritizing Safety with Criminal Background Checks​

“The volunteer module has proven to be so helpful. Since we started using Raptor to manage our volunteers, we have been able to make our volunteer application process run so much smoother. With the integrated background check functionality, the whole process has become more convenient for parents since we have now moved to yearly background checks.” Todd Brendel, SRO at Dayton ISD

An integrated system that incorporates criminal background checks in all 50 states is non-negotiable. Such a feature ensures thorough screening of each volunteer, safeguarding the school environment.

Addressing Volunteers with Criminal History

If a volunteer’s screening reveals discrepancies, the system should promptly alert the concerned authorities. A queue system for manual review ensures that each case is handled judiciously.

3. Customizing to Your School's Needs​

Every school has unique policies and requirements. Having a flexible and customizable volunteer management system means your school can:

  • Build your school’s criteria and requirements right into the system.
  • Stay in compliance with district and state mandates.
  • Align the level of background check to volunteer types or roles based on your requirements. You may want a tutor, for example, to have a more thorough check than an event fundraiser.
  • Receive notification when a volunteer needs to reapply.

4. Enhancing Communication​

Effective communication is vital. Having an integrated volunteer management system means:

  • Volunteers can access their profile, track hours, view current and upcoming events, communicate with other volunteers, and update their personal information as it changes throughout the year.
  • Automation saves schools time by allowing the system to send standard emails regarding application approvals, program updates, application expiration, and more.
  • An integrated portal where approved volunteers can communicate, collaborate, and share contact information (with consent) can foster a sense of community and teamwork.
  • Prospective volunteers can fill out personal information, school preference, and volunteer interests—so you can find the right volunteers for your needs while also helping volunteers find events that fulfill their interests. This ensures higher volunteer engagement and helps reduce resources spent on applications that are not a fit.

5. Efficient Event Management​

A holistic view of upcoming events, tracking volunteer sign-ups, and insights into roles that need filling are essential features to look for. This ensures smooth management of volunteers for each event.

And, because not every volunteer will come onto campus, consider whether your volunteer management platform supports the creation of virtual events, allowing you to recruit, screen, approve, and track hours from virtual volunteers, wherever they are located.

6. Scaling your volunteer program​

“Mason County School District uses Raptor to know which employees, visitors and volunteers are in our buildings at any given time. It makes a big difference with our volunteer program because it allows us to manage them and track their hours and expiration dates. We love how it helps us try to keep our students and staff safe, while always connecting with the community and family members who volunteer.” Peyton Truesdell, Volunteer Coordinator at Mason County School District, KY

With all information centralized in one location, you can quickly create customized, detailed reports to see how your volunteer program is scaled across your district. And, because an integrated platform makes it easy for volunteers to see upcoming events, review event details, and register, you help foster a sense of community—encouraging volunteer engagement and increasing your program’s success.

Choosing the right partner​

Selecting the right volunteer management software is a pivotal decision for schools, and choosing an innovative partner that understands the unique challenges of schools is crucial.

For more strategies to streamline your volunteer management program, read Raptor’s free guide.

Related Resources

Guide to K-12 Volunteer Management

Best Practices to Streamline Your Volunteer Program

Learn More

Guide to K-12 Volunteer Management

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